Monday, January 4, 2010

Celts in Metz

Before the Romans and Gallo-Romans, Metz was founded by a regional Celtic tribe, the Mediomatriques, whose name still lives, in shortened form, as the name the city. The Mediometriques had a pretty sophisticated civilization, with different kinds of coins, export of salt, and the ability to raise an army of 5,000 men. They controlled the valley of the Moselle until the arrival of the Romans in 51 BCE; Julius Caesar mentioned them twice in his writings. The Museums of Metz have a beautiful example of the sophistication of their craft: a bronze collar, decorated with ivory, that served as a funerary ornament for a woman who must have been important.

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