THE CELTS and the Romans were never bosom buddies. The Celts sacked Rome in 390 AD and Caesar conquered Gaul in the Fifties BC.
Yet music was a passion both peoples had in common, and Roman writers have left stirring descriptions of battles between Romans and Gauls, highlighting horns being sounded, chants being recited, and rhythmic clashing of weapons on shields as part of psychological warfare and pre-battle tactics.
While neither the Romans nor Celts left us musical notation, they did leave behind their instruments and reproductions of such instruments will be played at a concert this weekend as part of the Galway Early Music Festival.
Romans & Celts: War & Peace, featuring performances from Ludi Scaenici and Ancient Music Ireland, takes place in St Nicholas Collegiate Church, this Saturday at 8pm.
Ancient Music Ireland will play Iron Age trumpets, carnyx, great sea shells, animal horns, the bodhrán, and flute; while Ludi Scaenici will play tibiae, syrinx, bucina, tympanum, lyra, cornu, cymbala, oblicuum calamum, and crotala.
Tickets are €15/12/5 and available through galwayearlymusic.com/book-tickets/