The Library of History

Page 190

Page 190 Sacrifice to their Deities. In like manner they use their Captives also, as Sacrifices to the Gods. Some of them cut the Throats, burn or otherwise destroy both Men and Beasts that they have taken in time of War: Though they have very beautiful Women among them, yet they little value their private Society, but are transported with raging Lust to the filthy act of Sodomy; and lying upon the Ground on Beasts Skins spread under them, they there tumble together, with their Catamites lying on both sides of them. And that which is the most abominable is, that without all sense of Shame, or regard to their Reputation, they'l readily prostitute their Bodies to others upon every occasion. And they are so far from looking upon it to be any fault, that they judge it a mean and dishonourable thing, for any thus caress'd, to refuse the favour offer'd them.

Having spoken of the Celts, we shall now give an account of their Neighbours the Celtiberians. The Two Nations Celts and Iberians, heretofore breaking forth into a War about the Boundaries of their Countries, at length agreed to inhabit together promiscuously, and so marrying one with another, their Issue and Posterity (they say) afterwards were call'd Celtiberians. Two Potent Nations being thus united, and possess'd likewise of a rich and fertil Country, these Celtiberians became very famous and renown'd; so that the Romans had much ado to subdue them after long and tedious Wars with them. These Celtiberians bring into the Field not only stout and valiant Horsemen, but brave Foot, both for strength and hardiness able to undergo all manner of Labour and Toyl. They wear black rough Cassocks made of Wool, like to Goats Hair. Some of them are arm'd with the Gauls light Shields, others with Bucklers as big as Shields, and wear Greaves about their Legs made of rough Hair, and brazen Helmets upon their Heads, adorn'd with Red Plumes. They carry Two-edg'd Swords exactly temper'd with Steel, and have Daggers beside, of a Span long, which they make use of in close Fights. They make Weapons and Darts in an admirable manner, for they bury Plates of Iron so long under Ground, till the Rust hath consum'd the weaker part, and so the rest becomes more strong and firm: Of this they make their Swords and other Warlike Weapons; and with these Arms thus temper'd, they so cut through every thing in their way, that neither Shield, Helmet, nor Bone can withstand them. And because they are furnish'd with Two Swords, the Horse when they have routed the Enemy, light and joyn with the Foot, and fight to admiration.

There's another strange and wonderful Custom they have amongst 'em; for though they are very nice and curious in their Diet, yet they have a very fordid and filthy Practice, to wash their whole Bodies over with Urin, and rub their very Teeth with it, which is counted a certain means of Health to their Bodies. As to their Manners, they are very cruel towards their Enemies and other Malefactors, but very Courteous and Civil to Strangers: For to all such from what Place soever they come, they readily and freely entertain them, and strive who shall perform the greatest Office of Kindness and Respect. Those who are attended upon by Strangers, they commend and esteem them as Friends of the Gods. They live upon all sorts of Flesh in great Plenty, and their Drink is made of Honey, their Country abounding therewith: But they buy Wine also of the Merchants that Traffick thither.

Of those that border upon them, the most civiliz'd Nations are the Vaccaei, who every Year divide the Lands among them, and then Till and Plow it, and after Harvest, distribute the Fruits, allotting to every one their Share; and therefore it's Death to Steal, or underhand to convey away any thing from the Husbandman. Those they call Lusitanians, are most valiant of all the Cimbri. These in Times of War carry little Targets made of Bowel Strings, so strong and firm, as compleatly to guard and defend their Bodies. In Fights they manage these, so nimbly whirling them about here and there, that with a great deal of Art they avoid and repel every Dart that's cast at them.

They use hookt Saunians made all of Iron, and wear Swords and Helmets like to those of the Celtiberians. They throw their Darts at a great distance, and yet are sure to hit their Mark, and wound deeply: Being of active and nimble Bodies,

Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books