[Christine O’Keeffe’s St. Patrick’s History]
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The Romans under Claudius invaded Britain in A.D. 61 and massacred the Druids on the Isle of Mon (Anglesey). They flogged Queen Boudica of Britain; raping her two daughters. She responded by leading the Celtic tribes of Iceni and Trinovantes to massacre the Romans at Colchester and burn their temple. She was defeated at London and poisoned herself rather than be put to death by her enemies. Her battle is a metaphor for the decline of the Celts.

 The final victory for the Romans came nine years later; when they defeated Julius Civilis of the Germanic Batavi on the Lower Rhine. At the time of Saint Patrick the remaining Celts were living in the Iron Age and wealth was measured in cattle. Although the Celtic culture was destroyed by the Romans, later missionaries in the seventh through fourteenth centuries wrote down some heroic stories of the Celts in Gaelic (pron. GAY-lihk) the language of the Celts of Ireland and Scotland. Unfortunately, Gaelic became one of Europe’s most persecuted languages and entire libraries of books were destroyed over the centuries. Surviving texts were translated into English during the nineteenth century and made available to a wider audience. Gaelic is still spoken today: in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Gaule and in regions of Canada (2, 6, 9, 15, 16, 25)

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