Page:Historical characteristics of the Celtic race.djvu/20

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Along with the bravery, these eastern Gauls seem to have carried "with them a full measure of the impulsiveness of the western Celt. Their descendants, as we know, came in contact with the Apostle Paul, and though by his time largely Grecised, they seem to have retained somewhat of the Celtic enthusiasm, showing itself in fitful outbursts in a way very memorable. In the presence of this emotional race, the apostle is himself swayed by emotions such as he feels or expresses nowhere else. While he censures them for being so soon turned away to false teachers, he speaks of the emotion with which they received him: they received him, he says, as an angel of God, and in their enthusiasm, "if it had been possible, they would have plucked out their own eyes and given them to him". Does St. Paul use language like this of any other race? Has he expressed himself so regarding any other people? We feel in such a case the pulse of a peculiar enthusiasm there throbbing, a true indication of the Celtic origin of the Galatian people.

We have seen how the Gauls just brushed the wings of the victorious Alexander: we all know how they came under the chariot of Imperial Cæsar, but we are apt to forget that they came into association with the third great warrior of antiquity, whose name alone can be matched with these—the Punic Hannibal The Gauls were largely confederate with the Carthaginians, and it was the levies in Cisalpine Gaul that reinforced the depleted ranks of the Punic army. Again the claymore, or, as Livy calls it, the gladius prælongus Gallorum, wielded cæsim magis quam punctim (with slash rather than stab), did terrible service on the side of Hannibal, not without disaster to themselves. At Cannæ, we are told, he had to lament the loss of 4000 Gauls, two-thirds of the loss by which he purchased his most brilliant victory. Unfortunately for his ultimate success he had shifted his base too far away from his recruiting ground in Cisalpine Gaul; if he had leant more on Gaul and less on Magna Græcia and Carthage, as his base of operations, the odds are that Rome might not have been the capital of the ancient world, and, perhaps, that instead of Latin you might now be studying Punic or Celtic, as the classic language in the schools of the Western World.

After Hannibal, the next gleam of light upon the Gauls is the incident connected with a Roman consul about 122 B.C. in the valley