A group of western European peoples emerging about 500 BC, probably from the Rhine region of Europe, and including the pre-Roman inhabitants of Britain and Gaul and their descendants, esp. in Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, Brittany, and the Isle of Man.
Known especially for their distinctive art styles, including spirals, key patterns, knot work forms and animal patterns. Originally pagan and spiritually led by the powerful Druids, the Celts began to be converted to Christianity by around the 1st Century AD. At the Synod of Whitby in 664, they broke away from the Roman Church to form their native Celtic Church.