Celtic women were distinct in the ancient world for the liberty and rights they enjoyed and the position they held in society. Compared to their counterparts in Greek, Roman, and other ancient societies, they were allowed much freedom of activity and protection under the law. The Iron Age Celts were nevertheless a patriarchal people and for the most part men had the ultimate power in politics and the home. Despite this, ancient Celtic women remain an inspiring example of womanhood from the past.
Roman author Ammianus Marcellinus wrote (which confirmed by some other Roman authors) that the Gaulish women combined an extraordinary beauty with remarkable courage and great physical force; they participated in armed combat. He gave this description of a Gaulish woman: “A whole band of foreigners will be unable to cope with one Gaul in a fight, if he calls in his wife, stronger than he by far and with flashing eyes; least of all when she swells her neck and gnashes her teeth, and poising her huge white arms, begins to rain blows mingled with kicks, like shots discharged by the twisted cords of a catapult”.