Belgius and Brennus - Celtic invasion of Macedonia and Greece of 279 BCE

Jul 2017
208
Neverland
#1
After the untimely death of Alexander the Great, greeks, thracians, illyrians and scythians are overwhelmed with joy and hopes of independence.Several attemps of challenging the Macedonians are met with bloody reprisals from Lysimachus.

With the passing of Seleucas I Nicator, Ptolemy Soter and Lysimachus new opportunities arrive for the oppressed. Macedonia and the religious capital of Greece - Delphi are flush with the spoils of the East - gold, silver, gems.

Surmise it to say, the oppressed have a new champion to forward their yearnings for freedom - the Celts of Pannonia.Word of mouth is, Macedonia and Delphi are ripe for looting, rapine and
mayhem.

As I mentioned in another thread, according to professor Frank Holt of the University of Texas - Houston, contemporary valuation of Alexander's plunder of the East is at least $ 11 Trillion, not even counting the loot from India.

Enter Belgius and Brennus, the 2 Celtic warlords atop a 165 000 strong gaulic army. Their objective is not occupation, glory or martyrdom - not at all !
Their upcoming war on Macedonia is one of plunder, genocide and Greed.
Macedonians are crushed, population exterminated and riches seized.

Acording to Pausanius and Pompeus Trogus, the few surviving Macedonians run for their lifes in all directions.Their king Ptolemy Keraunos has his head paraded on a spear for all to see.

Delphi in Greece is the final destination for the gangsters of Gaul. Its Temples full of riches, town squares with statues of Gods and Greek heroes made of solid gold.Some of Alexander's loot from Persia and Egypt on full display.

Brennus empties most of prized valuables, but dies on the way back out of Greece. The Gauls withdraw to Thrace and Moesia where they will found Celtic kingdoms and eventually melt into the Thracian ethnos.Another gallic group emigrates to Anatolia and will start a new city - Ancyra.The Celts lose 25-26000 warriors in this heroic endeavor of plunder and carnage.

Forward to 107 BCE, with the army of republican Rome conquering the gallic tribe of tectofagi and their capital of Tolosa-ancient GAUL(France). Over 15000 gold talents are
seized by the Romans. The origin of the spoils are traced to Delphi and the celtic plunder on the Balkans.

Some might say " Finders - keepers, Losers- weepers" !

How a Marauding Celtic Army Rocked the Greek World to Its Core
 
Mar 2019
8
Europe
#2
11 Trillion? Those seems literally made up numbers, I'm not sure how they are calculated. Even the numbers given there for the Celtic armies are a bit over the top.

In any case what I find really interesting is how mobile and resilient those groups were, despite being defeated multiple times they survived as long as many other more established groups, especially Anatolia.
 
Oct 2015
737
Virginia
#3
The Aetolians and Antigoas Gonatas defeated the Celts in Greece and Macedonia and drove many of them north (the people of Macedonia were hardly "exterminated") possibly to found the kingdom of the Scordisci. The Thracians eventually destroyed the robber "Kingdom of Tylus". Antiochus and the Pergamines under Eumenes slowed the plundering tendencies of the Celts of Anatolia, and the Romans under Manlius Vulso cured them and drove them into peaceful coexistence (including mercenary service) on the Anatolian plateau.
 
Jul 2017
208
Neverland
#4
11 Trillion? Those seems literally made up numbers, I'm not sure how they are calculated. Even the numbers given there for the Celtic armies are a bit over the top.

In any case what I find really interesting is how mobile and resilient those groups were, despite being defeated multiple times they survived as long as many other more established groups, especially Anatolia.
Remember Alexander the Great and the checks he was sending back from from the East ?
Well, the Celts showed up and made a withdrawal.
No honor among thieves !

As to the 11 Trillion dollars ? This is only a conservative estimate. Professor Frank Holt of the University of Texas - Houston
has a book explaining the rationale for his estimates in today's money. I came across another book from a British historian, who says
the loot is way above the $ 11 Tln, because they don't include the heist from Temples in India and Pakistan, smaller takes in Tyre, Gaza etc.

In the other forum, I mentioned the sunken treasure in the Black Sea and also figured, the average salary of a lowest rank soldier
at about 350 000 dollars yearly. Forgot that, after the first two battles, soldiers were allowed to loot from 2 days to 5 days.
Alexander doubled the pay and looting allowance and yearly bomus and stipend, when the army went to India.
I think now the average earnings for a foot soldier were more like 500 000 dollars per annum.

Here's the link on Frank Holt and his book, plus measuring standards of silver and gold below

Guess on the value of all loot taken by Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great: a very competent expert in finances - Archaeology Wiki

Value of 1 ancient Greek drachma and 1 Athenian Talent
 
Jul 2017
208
Neverland
#5
The Aetolians and Antigoas Gonatas defeated the Celts in Greece and Macedonia and drove many of them north (the people of Macedonia were hardly "exterminated") possibly to found the kingdom of the Scordisci. The Thracians eventually destroyed the robber "Kingdom of Tylus". Antiochus and the Pergamines under Eumenes slowed the plundering tendencies of the Celts of Anatolia, and the Romans under Manlius Vulso cured them and drove them into peaceful coexistence (including mercenary service) on the Anatolian plateau.
The Celts never planned to stay in Greece, they were after gold.The Celtic army suffered 26000 casualties in death and about that in injuries.The went back North and founded 2 kingdoms - one in Thrace and another in Moesia, both in today's Bulgaria.

The Scordisci celts arrived in Moesia and Thrace about 150 years later, after being brutally removed by the Dacian armies of Burebista.
They settled also in what is today's Bulgaria and Serbia. Both groups of Celts melted into the Thracian ethnos.

Another group emigrated to Anatolia and established what is today's Ankara in Turkey.That group was invited by the Greeks of Asia Minor, who along with the Thracians, were probably behind the Celtic raid on Greece.Otherwise, they won't be settling in these locales.
The fate of the Macedonians is grim after these raids..ancient scribes said that Brennus was especially cruel over the population, going town to town, village after village slashing every living being.

Another genocidical campaign over Macedonians of Northern Greece will come again in 88 BCE, when Greeks exterminate
150 000 Roman colonists In Asia Minor, and Sulla will kill several times that number, when Roman army entered Greece.
 
Mar 2019
106
Victoria, Australia
#6
Whilst I am very much interested in this topic (celtic/gallic history being my area of expertise and interest), is there a question of purpose of this thread?

It is extremely difficult to say whether or not the celts actually did plan to stay in greece or not (and would be interesting in knowing where you have a trustable/reputable source that sheds light on this particular aspect). personally I am more inclined to say that they may well have had some kind of interesting in resettling since this fits previous patterns of celtics and gallic tribes simply "up and leaving" to a new place. The Boii and the Helvetians immediately spring to mind as examples of this. Plus, given the estimated size of their combined forces I would think that raiding was not originally part of their minds and instead were actually planning to settle in conquered territory.


Problem with anything to do with celtic and gallic history is that they almost never wrote anything down and the only written accounts of them we have are usually from their victims, enemies or otherwise and cannot be trusted as being factual. the Gallic Wars by caesar is very much the case of something being one of the primary sources of information despite being incredibly biased and politically-loaded. Anyone that tells you they've got definitive proof of something or another in regards to celtic society, diplomacy, way of life, thinking, motivation, etc... is either extremely lucky to find such an artefact, lying or deluded

I may also say that a lot of the information you provided seems dubious in accuracy to me.
 
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Mar 2019
8
Europe
#7
Remember Alexander the Great and the checks he was sending back from from the East ?
Well, the Celts showed up and made a withdrawal.
No honor among thieves !

As to the 11 Trillion dollars ? This is only a conservative estimate. Professor Frank Holt of the University of Texas - Houston
has a book explaining the rationale for his estimates in today's money. I came across another book from a British historian, who says
the loot is way above the $ 11 Tln, because they don't include the heist from Temples in India and Pakistan, smaller takes in Tyre, Gaza etc.

In the other forum, I mentioned the sunken treasure in the Black Sea and also figured, the average salary of a lowest rank soldier
at about 350 000 dollars yearly. Forgot that, after the first two battles, soldiers were allowed to loot from 2 days to 5 days.
Alexander doubled the pay and looting allowance and yearly bomus and stipend, when the army went to India.
I think now the average earnings for a foot soldier were more like 500 000 dollars per annum.

Here's the link on Frank Holt and his book, plus measuring standards of silver and gold below

Guess on the value of all loot taken by Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great: a very competent expert in finances - Archaeology Wiki

Value of 1 ancient Greek drachma and 1 Athenian Talent
Well I don't need to look at them to say it's made up stuff, 11 trillion is made up given it's more gold that has ever been mined up to this very day. I honestly am baffled people even manage to believe those figures, it would have been higher than the GDP of the entire world prior to 1800 CE.
 
Mar 2019
8
Europe
#8
Whilst I am very much interested in this topic (celtic/gallic history being my area of expertise and interest), is there a question of purpose of this thread?

It is extremely difficult to say whether or not the celts actually did plan to stay in greece or not (and would be interesting in knowing where you have a trustable/reputable source that sheds light on this particular aspect). personally I am more inclined to say that they may well have had some kind of interesting in resettling since this fits previous patterns of celtics and gallic tribes simply "up and leaving" to a new place. The Boii and the Helvetians immediately spring to mind as examples of this. Plus, given the estimated size of their combined forces I would think that raiding was not originally part of their minds and instead were actually planning to settle in conquered territory.


Problem with anything to do with celtic and gallic history is that they almost never wrote anything down and the only written accounts of them we have are usually from their victims, enemies or otherwise and cannot be trusted as being factual. the Gallic Wars by caesar is very much the case of something being one of the primary sources of information despite being incredibly biased and politically-loaded. Anyone that tells you they've got definitive proof of something or another in regards to celtic society, diplomacy, way of life, thinking, motivation, etc... is either extremely lucky to find such an artefact, lying or deluded

I may also say that a lot of the information you provided seems dubious in accuracy to me.
Not sure what the point of moving into Greece would have been given there was not much space and there would have been too much resistance, a more successful Celtic campaign(s) in Greece and Thrace would have translated into more Celts going into Anatolia and a stronger Celtic presence in Thrace, maybe ending up with a surviving kingdom of Tylis or even Celts leading Thracians coalitions and states.

With archaeology you can start tracing many general events even if just vaguely, we can for example see the Celtic penetration in Transylvania or their influence on other people through contact, we cannot though trace events like Delphi so archaeology does indeed have big gaps.

Also, yeah a lot of the information seems made up, like the 11 trillion figure.
 
Mar 2019
106
Victoria, Australia
#9
We know now that there isn't much point to moving into greece due to lack of space. but Brennus & Co may not have known that much. Afterall they did't have the benefit of hindsight.

With archaeology you can start tracing many general events even if just vaguely, we can for example see the Celtic penetration in Transylvania or their influence on other people through contact, we cannot though trace events like Delphi so archaeology does indeed have big gaps.
Pretty much, yeah. Infact history in general has huge gaps in it... we can surely guess things based on X, Y or Z but never will we surely know what happened since we don't, and never truly, will know. As far as we know, it is possible that Brennus was in fact a reptilian space-alien with green eyes and massive feet that secretly wished to turn the Peloponnesian into cheese. This isn't supported by anything but doesn't mean it's necessarily false. But, since we don't have any proof of reptilian space-aliens with green eyes, it's more likely he was a human being, and given records of his little campaign it is also more likely he was a gaul --- but was he? Or maybe he was just a greek that made it to gaul to then conquer back his homeland in a massive revenge plot...... *queue dramatic music*

Anyway, we can certainly 'guess' things very accurately or with a high confidence though. So it's not just wishy-washy guesswork. There are also written records, depictions (like murals, statues, etc...) that help us as well and a whole bunch more stuff.

However, may I just clarify what I was trying to say? what I was talking about for instance was the motived of brennus. the archeology can tell us that it happened, at what time and in what place (more or less depending on the artefact, origins, etc... as it could also hint towards other theories), but archeology will never tell us anything about the motivations, ideas, beliefs of Brennus in this case in his campaign. We may be able to deduce and guess based on the evidence --> for instance a large amount of pottery, remains of children and women, carts and construction material would indicate that they were probably more inclined towards settling than if we found a large amount of bodies with traumatic wounds and significant amount of battlefield detritus (spear/arrow tips, fragment of weapons, etc...) and the likes which would indicate towards a battlefield.
 
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