How the Romans Defeated the Celts
One of the puzzling aspects of Celtic History is how they lost to the Romans. At one point, the Celts controlled much of Europe and, as has been noted elsewhere in this blog, even occupied Rome at one point. We have also noted that their weapons were superior to others, their battle tactics superior....so how did the Romans (over a few centuries) defeat the Celts so resoundingly?
Here are some of the reasons. Rome used a central government. They did not operate on an individual tribal level. The Celts did. Thus, the Romans (once a course of action was decided) did not quibble. The Celts did. A tribe might decide to give up on a military campaign and go home at any time. Not so, the Romans. If you decided to leave, you would be killed. Roman discipline is legendary. The Roman soldier was said to fear reprisal from his own ranks more so than any enemy. In my view, this was the primary reason the Romans had an advantage militarily over the Celts.
Also, the Romans adopted superior weapons whenever they encountered them (the Celtic helmet, shield, possibly the sword). They also adapted military tactics. Thus, advantages from these quarters were negated over time.
Julius Cesear, the person most responsible for Celtic loses, used the Celts against themselves. He offered to assist one tribe against another...did so and then turned on the assisted tribe. He also encouraged the tribes to fight one another. You might say he took "divide and conquer" to its highest level. For a more detailed, colorful account follow this link: http://www.historynet.com/empire-vs-tribe-the-roman-empire-and-the-celts...