Title translation: Early Celtic Social Structures This monograph attempts a reconstruction of early Celtic social structures, based on archaeological, historical and linguistic evidence. Using a methodology derived from social complexity (respectively chaos) theory, the study takes a bottom up approach to social structuration. It is argued that individual agency is subject to ‘strange' social attractors, leading to the emergence of self-similar patterns of social interaction in individually different, historically contingent, locally constituted societies. The study examines these different units and modes of interaction an individual agent could possibly have encountered in his/her life history. Starting out from the most likely units of interaction in which an agent was embedded in early life, the immediate settlement community (the household) he/she was living in, and the family they were part of, the modes of interaction the agents were likely to experience are examined. This is followed by examinations of wider circles of interaction accessible in later stages of an agent's life, with e.g. neighbours, foster parents, contract partners, countrymen and foreigners, as well as different professional groups. Based on these fundamentals, necessary consequences for the emergence of social status, heterarchical and hierarchical social relations, and possibilities to exert social power are discussed and examined. A model of the fundamental units and modes of social interaction in early Celtic societies is constructed from the results of this discussion. In an excursus, the consequences of this model for the interpretation of Iron Age Gaulish societies, as encountered by Caesar, is discussed. It concludes that while each early Celtic society was locally constituted and developed along a historically contingent, individual trajectory, they all share fundamental similarities in how they are structured.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBudapest: Archaeolingua
ISBN (Print)9638046694
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

Research outputs (1)

  • Published

    Politics and Power

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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