Celtic Warfare Essay

1400 words - 6 pages

The Celtic WarriorTo start with, the typical Celtic warrior was male. Even hints that armed females existed are extremely rare. Not a single instance of a female burial containing a shield or a sword has yet been uncovered. About 50 percent of the males, about 25% of the total population, were buried with weapons. Caesar, in his report about the Helvetian census, tells us that of about 350,000 people about 90,000 carried arms, which amounts to about 25% of the Helvetian population that decided to move into Gaul.A Celtic warrior's basic equipment consisted of a set of one to four spears. One was a 1.8 meters long fighting spear called a "lancea" that sometimes had very large spearheads of up to 50 centimetres in length. The others were shorter throwing spears called "gaesum" with relatively small, normally shorter than 10 centimetres long spearheads. A warrior also had a large--about 1.2 meter high and 0.5 meters wide--leather-covered, wooden shield with a metal shield-boss. This was likely to have been decorated with painting and sometimes metal ornamentation. With this basic equipment, the average warrior usually wore his everyday clothing consisting of trousers, a shirt, and a mantle.A must for the Celtic noble, besides his torc (neck ring), was a long-sword with a blade-length of about 0.8 to 1 meter. Those from the early period had definite swordpoints, enabling them to be used for slashing and piercing. In the later period, these swords often had rounded points that allowed only slashing attacks. In rare cases, especially in finds from the eastern Celtic world, such swords had anthropomorphic handles, the pommel most often cast from bronze in the form of a human head. Additionally, the typical noble warrior probably wore armor and helmet, all made from leather. Depending on how rich they were, nobles might have equipment such as helmets, made from bronze or iron, often elaborately decorated with ornamentation and inlays of coral or even gold. Occasionally, the helmet might have additional embellishments such as the one from the famous find at Ciumesti, Romania, which has a figure of a raven with mobile wings fixed to its crest. That helmet must have been an impressive sight when the owner moved down the battlefield. Chainmail suits, covering the body down to the knees and, most often, leaving the arms free, were very rare, and, obviously affordable by only the wealthiest nobles.The Celtic Battle-ChariotEven though it was not used always and everywhere in the Celtic world, the battle-chariot is considered a very typical part of Celtic warfare. It was called a "carpentom" or similar term, and was a light, two-wheeled vehicle drawn by a pair of yoked horses, little more than four meters in length and less than two meters wide. The chariot consisted almost exclusively of organic material; the main metal parts were the iron tires and the iron fittings to strengthen the hubs. In some cases, metal rings and connectors were used to strengthen joints...

Find Another Essay On Celtic warfare

The Ancient Celts Essay

691 words - 3 pages people were skilled in farming, metalworking and made fine jewelry. They cared very much about their appearance and had a favor for cleanliness and it is even rumored that they went to battle without their clothes, all naked, not only to scare their enemies but to keep their clothing clean and tidy. The Celtic women enjoyed emancipation in their society; they had the right to own property, choose their husbands and participate both in warfare and

Origin Myths and Identity in Brittany

2411 words - 10 pages For many people, it may be troubling to think of national identity as anything but some dogmatic ideal, innate to them. After analysis of these identities, however, it becomes clear that frequently they exist as the result of centuries of almost clinical calculation. The region of France known as Brittany comes as no exception, with its separate Celtic identity, depends on royal court historians and linguists alike. The modern understanding of

Boudicca's Revolt against Roman Rule in Britain

2194 words - 9 pages , and lead them in battle to free themselves from Roman rule. Many of the Celtic tribes in Britain were often involve in internecine warfare well before the Roman occupation. So to unite many Celtic tribes firstly showed how much respect the Celtic people had for Boudicca. As well as their discontent and anger towards the Romans, and the way they had been treated. Boudicca’s main support came from her own tribe the Iceni and neighboring tribe the

The Legendary Queen Boudica And The Iceni Tribe

1672 words - 7 pages swords and light chariots they possessed. This gave them the advantage of being superior in warfare then anything ever seen in Britain. The Iceni were also very flashy with what they wore to battle; although it was common for warriors of a Celtic tribe to fight naked, most were adorned with gold torques and amulets.Like all Celtic Tribes, the Iceni were physically strong. They were also very fond of quarrelling and fighting. At times, members of


805 words - 3 pages Perhaps the view of the U.S. entering WWI turned into most promising after the ripple effect of events after the sinking of the Lusitania. Each event made the United States weaker for entering the war and lastly there was no proper way to stay neutral. The instant cause of America's entry into World War I in April 1917 was the German announcement of unrestricted submarine warfare, and the following sinking of ships with Americans on board the

King Arthur in Literature and History

1396 words - 6 pages say that a real Arthur even existed, for the records of his existence go back to the fifth, sixth and seventh centuries AD, when the Welsh and English kingdoms which were to replace Roman government were only beginning (Hero and Legend, 1). Chroniclers tell us that the fifth century in Britain was a morbid time of slaughter and death. The Britons then were the Celtic people, the modern ancestors of the Welsh. They were on the island for a

European Barbarians

526 words - 2 pages The European BarbariansEven though when we hear the word barbarian, we tend to envision a people with clubs, and hatchets of enormous size that would pillage the surrounding country and all that lived therein. Some of that may be true, but there was much more to it than that. Some of the main features of the barbarian lifestyle were farming, metalworking, and warfare. The thing that surprised me the most was how the barbarian lifestyle changed

The Effects of Gunpowder on Warfare

1644 words - 7 pages than catapults. Gunpowder weapons changed war because they are stronger, more accurate, have a greater range and are able to be reloaded faster than medieval weaponry. Gunpowder was invented long before the Europeans were introduced to it. Gunpowder was invented by the Chinese in the ninth century . They were actually trying to make an elixir of eternal life, but ended up making one of the most important artifacts of warfare . The Chinese did not

Impact of Irish Culture on U.S. Military Operations

3433 words - 14 pages Thesis: Understanding the ideology of a nation’s way of life is fundamental to successful military operations. Ireland has endured fighting, famine, and struggle for centuries, making the people of Ireland both tough and rugged. Era after era of invasions of Ireland created a culture that is resilient, comprehends survival, and fully understands guerrilla warfare. 1. The meaning of culture. 2. Major characteristics that define Irish

Roman Army's Superiority to the Celts

3338 words - 13 pages greeted by the native Celts who were 'one of the four great barbarian people (Ephorus 405-330 bc).' The Celtic tactics and fighting techniques were a stark contrast to the Roman military and the Celtic philosophy on weaponry and armour was also different. The battles that emerged were some of the most intriguing in the history of Great Britain and its people. In my essay I will be focusing on why the Celts were eventually

Honor and the Celtic Heroes

1335 words - 5 pages ) Underlining all of the heroes of the Celtic stories is how human they are. Even Taliesin, the divinely inspired poet did not become who he was without stealing the three drops of wisdom. (The Mabinogi, p.163) The Celtic stories not only depict their successes and failures in warfare, discernment, and love, but also their painful sacrifices in attempting to keep the admiration and trust of their kingdoms.

Similar Essays

The Celts Essay

4110 words - 17 pages these sources are decidedly unfriendly to the Gauls.We know that the early Celtic societies were organized around warfare--this structure would commonly characterize cultures in the process of migration: the Celts, the Huns, and later the Germans. Although classical Greek and Roman writers considered the Celts to be violently insane, warfare was not an organized process of territorial conquest. Among the Celts, warfare seems to have mainly been a

Celtic Warriors Essay

1965 words - 8 pages the Romans called it “the Furor Celtica “, was devastating and could quickly overpower opponents with the devastating impact of the rushing Celtic warriors and their vicious attacks. The Celts also used guerilla warfare attacking from forests or raids and ambushes because they knew the terrain and used their strength and speed to their favor. (“Celtic Warriors”) At one point during Caesars campaign an army of Celts ambushed Caesars army while

Celtic Life Essay

1155 words - 5 pages Upon hearing the term ‘Celtic,’ the first things that come to mind are the awe of their intricately patterned jewelry, lively music, and the flowing tunics they wore. These people are also known for being fierce warriors and for their superstitious, nature-centered religion. Celtic customs are still alive and well in places like Ireland and the western reaches of Britain, but within this essay I shall explore their origins and traditions. To

Druids Essay

1874 words - 7 pages years previously. As a university professor who has written a book on Druids, this information is probably quite accurate. The author’s own interpretations and opinions however, need to be taken into account. Julius Caesar Julius Caesar’s writings are a main source of information modern historians have on Celtic society. Julius Caesar however, was most probably prejudiced against the Celts because of their continual warfare with the Romans. In