Join the Celtic Clan: How society was divided

If you fancy yourself to be a bit “popular” or you think you have a bit of “mula$$$” well then it probably wouldn’t have mattered because life is unfair and the Celts had society all worked out for you!! So here we will take a look at how people were divided in Celtic society.

  1. Celtic Ireland was divided into about 150 kingdoms. These kingdoms were known as Tuath which were controlled by the king or Rí. The king was elected from the royal family or deirbhfine and they had to rule over the kingdom leading and protecting his/her people.
  2. Below the king were the nobles. This group was made of many different types of people including warriors and the Aos Dána (specially skilled people). The warriors had to fight for the tribe. The often hunted, feasted, rented land and cattle to the farmers and also led cattle raids on neighboring tribes. Cattle was practically currency back then!

The Aos Dána were highly respected because of their special skills.

Judges: They knew the Brehon Law and gave judgments on them

Druids: They were priests who presided over sacrifices and the worship of Gods.

Filí: These were the poets who praised the history and tradition of their tribe

Craftsman: They were the carpenters and metalworkers.

3. Below the Aos Dána were the commoners. These were the plebs of Rome for example. They made up the majority of the people and were mainly farmers. They rented land from the nobles, herded cattle and ploughed the fields. Most commoners would have worked in family groups.

4. The slaves are the lowest in society. They were most likely captured during cattle raids. They would have done most of the work on the farms and served the warriors and royalty.


celtic society

So there you have it! Unless you were lucky in the Celtic era, you were statistically more likely to be a commoner, than a member of the derbhfine or Aos Dána! Bad Luck Brian!

peasant gif

For more on Celtic society, keep it here!


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