The Scottish Gael 1876
The strong and robust bodies of the Celtae, their comeliness and great strength, have been remarked by all ancient authors who have had
occasion to notice them. These qualifications must have been produced by a sufficient supply of food, by their temperance, and by the
freedom and activity of their lives: hunting, pasturage, agriculture, and athletic amusements, being almost their sole occupation, when not
engaged in warfare.
Both Celts and Germans were remarkably tall. They surpassed all other men in stature; and the largest, who were called Barenses, inhabited
the extreme and most cold parts. The lowest of the Germans were taller than the tallest Romans. Hieronymus says, Gaul always abounded in
great and strong men, who were wont to ridicule other people on their diminutive size. The Senones were particularly remarkable, being
terrible for their astonishing bigness and vast arms. The Insubres are described as more than human. The Britons appear to have exceeded
even the Gauls in height. Tacitus remarks the large limbs of the Caledonians; and some prisoners that Caesar carried to Rome, were
exhibited as curiosities for their prodigious size. Strabo indeed says, that he had seen British young men at Rome, who stood half-afoot above
the tallest men; ..The Celts were, however generally admired for their fine figures, as we learn from Polybius, Arrian, and other. Tacitus
notices the advantage which this height gave the enemy on occasion of crossing a river: whiletheRomans were in risk of being swept
away,The Germans could keep themselves easily above the water. These people were celebrated for their strength, their stature, and their
sinewy bodies, the Romans being certainly of inferior size compared with the barbarians...
Tall as the Celtae generally were, the princes and chief men usually exceeded the common people, both in stature and strength; for beauty
and stateliness of person were generally characteristics of nobility in early society, and naturally proceeded from the constitution of a rude
community, where superior strength and warlike accomplishments are the only recommendations in a chief or leader, and as they intermarry
with families enjoying similar advantages, the race does not degenerate.
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