Celt Leaders


Galcagus

"To us who dwell on the uttermost confines of the earth and of freedom, this remote sanctuary of Britain's glory has been a defence. Now, however, the furthest limits of Britain have been thrown open, and the unknown always passes for the marvellous. But there are no tribes beyond us. Nothing indeed but the waves and rocks, and the yet more terrible Romans, from whose oppression escape is vainly sought by obedience and submission. Robbers of the world, having by their universal plunder exhausted the land, they rifle the deep. If the enemy be rich, they are rapacious; if he be poor, they lust for dominion; neither the east nor the west has been able to satisfy them. Alone among men, they covet with equal eagerness poverty and riches. To robbery, slaughter, plunder, they give the lying name of empire; they make a solitude and call it peace.

Nature has willed that every man's children and kindred should be his dearest objects. Yet those are torn from us by conscriptions to be slaves elsewhere. Our wives and our sisters, even though they may escape violation from the enemy, are dishonored under the names of friendship and hospitality. Our goods and fortunes they collect for their tribute, our harvests for their granaries. Our very hands and bodies, under the lash and in the midst of insult, are worn down by the toil of clearing forests and morasses. Creatures born to slavery are sold once for all, and are, moreover, fed by their masters; but Britain is daily purchasing, is daily feeding, her own enslaved people. And as in a household the last comer among the slaves is always the butt of his companions, so we in a world long used to slavery, as the newest and the most contemptible, are marked out for destruction. We have neither fruitful plains, nor mines, nor harbours, for the working of which we may be spared. Valour, too, and high spirit in subjects, are offensive to rulers; besides, remoteness and seclusion, while they give safety, provoke suspicion. Since you cannot then hope for quarter, take courage, I beseech you..."

Battle speech of a chief who was called Galcagus by the Romans.


Indigenous Peoples' Literature Return to Indigenous Peoples' Literature
Compiled by: Glenn Welker




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