ANST - Celtic History Question

Spatsman at Spatsman at
Wed Mar 14 22:06:47 PST 2001

In a message dated 3/14/01 10:41:41 PM Central Standard Time, 
maria_elfsea at writes:

<< Did the Celts use armour? I would have thought that they did. My reasoning 
 (this is just a guess, as I am not familiar with Celtic history)? There were 
 plenty of Anglo/ Saxons to steal armour from once they were killed. Why 
 wouldn't they have stolen it from the dead bodies? I find it very difficult 
 to believe that someone would deliberatley go into a war un armoured.
 Can anyone answer this question and give me some docs on it to prove my 
 point (and that I'm not making it up)??
 In Service,
 Lady Maria de Vasquez
The "Cattle Raid of Cooley" specifically gives attention to Ferdia's 
appearance when he girds for the river battle with Cuchulainn...
"He put on his most effective battle-dress,seven layers of silk, leather and 
stone covered by an apron of beaten iron and on his head an impregnable 
helmet encrusted with jewels and crystals."
Granted, this being the lore of the Irish and subject to interpretation, I 
offer Diodorus Siculus' description of the Celt-Iberians...
"..Some have iron breastplates of chainmail while others fight naked, and for 
them the breastplate given by Nature suffices."
"Some wear gold-plated or silver-plated belts around their tunics.."
Helmets from the La Tene period are existant, some quite extraordinary pieces 
of art, some simple cones of bronze or iron to protect the skull.
Heavy arm and neck torcs were worn not just for status or wealth, but for 
protection, as some hoards have torcs easily thick enough to hinder a blade.
Jackets of boiled leather are mentioned in various sources.
Of particular interest to the island Gaels is the cotun, a knee-length 
full-sleeved garment, quilted vertically, seen in early Irish and Scottish 
carvings, which may have been worn alone or under a leather jacket or a 
chainmail shirt.
Later period Scots in particular are noted for coating their linen shirts, or 
liene, with several layers of pitch for protection.
I'll see if I can find some more specific info...what era and race are you 
looking for?
'Celt' has been used to describe the Irish, Manx, Scots, Picts, Welsh, 
Cornish, Iberians, Gauls, Visigoths, Iceni and Angles, just to name a few.
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