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This is the first popular account of the Celts of Italy and the land known as Cisalpine Gaul--a much neglected area in the history of Rome's rise to dominance. In 390 BC, a Celtic army captured Rome and occupied it for seven months until the Roman senate paid them off. For the next fifty years, Celtic armies remained nearby, and for two centuries the Celts of Italy resisted Rome with a stubborn defiance, often annihilating entire consular armies sent against them. Rome could not claim to be master of the Po Valley Celts until 191 BC. This much-needed book explains the historical factors behind Rome's overt racial prejudice against the Celts and shows at the same time the important Celtic contribution to the development of Roman culture--in weaponry and warfare, in transport technology and, above all, in the Celtic contribution to early Latin literature.