Duncan R. J. Campbell (School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester)
University of Leicester: Doctor of Philosophy, February (2009)
This thesis examines the roles played by the Celts and Gauls of the Balkans in the early Hellenistic period based upon archaeological and primary source material. The principal events studied are those associated with the archaeological validity of the Celts, Galatae, and Gauls and the Celtic or Gallic invasion of Macedonia and Greece in 280 BC. The work considers the role of these people in the light of the recent archaeological disestablishment of the Celts as a pan-European culture and the rejection of their traditionally understood migration from Europe into the Balkans. It identifies the origins of the invaders, their reasons for invading, and attempts to clarify their activities. It argues that the invaders were not Celts or Gauls of traditional understanding, but Iron Age tribes from Illyria and the Danube valley.
The invasion was little more than an adventurous temple-raiding and settlement-plundering incursion, and was successful beyond expectation due to the political instability of Macedonia and the weakness of the Greek states. The invasion was used by some Greek states for their own political and social ends, and they were guilty of exaggerating many of the incidents and falsely equating them with the Persian invasion two hundred years earlier. The thesis indicates that the establishment of Galatia as a geopolitical entity was probably unrelated to these incursive activities as traditionally indicated by the primary sources.