ANST - Celtic History Question

C. L. Ward gunnora at
Wed Mar 14 22:09:47 PST 2001

Lady Maria de Vasquez asked:
>Did the Celts use armour?

The problem here is the word "Celts".  It's like saying "Europeans" -- it's
not a specific term.  Properly used, "Celtic" refers to a language group in
broad use across a huge group of related peoples, ranging from Continental
Celts (remember the ones Caesar was talking about in his Gallic Wars, "Omnia
Gallia est divisa in tres partes...") to Bretons to the Irish to the Welsh
etc.  And the Celtic languages, though clearly related to the linguist, were
*very* different.  Welsh and Irish are so different (p-Celtic vs. q-Celtic)
as to seem completely unrelated to the casual observer.

And, to further complicate matters, the timespan of "Celts" is likewise
enormous - prehistory until the present day.  *Which* Celts do you mean,
exactly, wher, and when?

Caesar and the Romans wrote about the Celts going naked into battle.  The
Heroic Age of Ireland seems to have had some similar customs.  But we also
have treasures such as the Battersea shield, ornate helmets, the massive
neckrings (torques) which guarded the neck, all of which constitute "armor"
to some degree.  And of course since "Celtic" has such an enormous
time-range, we even have Celts in full plate armor by the end of the SCA's
period, since Ireland and Scotland and Wales were a part of the commerce and
exchange of Europe.

For more good information on the vastness and imprecision of the word "Celt"

For more information, I suggest contacting Mistress Mari ferch Rathyen
<karenmoon at>.  Another good person who has done a lot of research is
Sir Richard ap Morgan, who has email but I can't locate his address right
off -- Mari will have his email if you write her.


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