Celts and Germans - A Roman's Definition

Romans, Gauls, Greeks and Egyptians - our well documented early history

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Re: Celts and Germans - A Roman's Definition

Postby Nerva on Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:56 pm

Leinsterman wrote:I came accross a reference recently that suggests that the Gauls may have introduced mail armour to the Romans. Early finds of mail include a 'Celtic' chieftain burial in Romania from 4th century BC. Could this be true?


Oh yes. Mail was not a Roman invention at all. Current thinking is that is was picked up from the Gauls as eastern metal armour was primarily scale.
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Re: Celts and Germans - A Roman's Definition

Postby the_power on Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:17 pm

Um, Greek mercenaries in 7thC BC Egypt were wearing bronze mail. It's quite old. Though, I don't think any survives :(

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Re: Celts and Germans - A Roman's Definition

Postby Nerva on Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:04 pm

the_power wrote:Um, Greek mercenaries in 7thC BC Egypt were wearing bronze mail. It's quite old. Though, I don't think any survives :(

John


Wow! Where did you get that from? Don't get me wrong, I'm not doubting you. I ask only because I'm only aware of the use of plate metal armour at that time.

Image

And the bronze Cuirass

Image

I'm sure laminar linen armour was also used but I never heard of Greeks with Bronze mail :shock:

BUT :!: I just read you post again John "Greek mercenaries in 7thC BC Egypt", so who knows where they got thier armour from?
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Re: Celts and Germans - A Roman's Definition

Postby the_power on Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:52 am

Well, usually doubt unless someone mentions something else.

Xenophon's treatise on Darius' army certainly mentions armour-of-mail in the english translation I have. The mention of the Greek Mercenaries in 7thC BCE Egypt I came across in Oakeschott's 'an archeology of weapons' - unfortunately Martyn Merhlehan has my copy of that for a few years, so I don't know what source he cited. Anyone else got that book ?

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Re: Celts and Germans - A Roman's Definition

Postby Nerva on Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:59 am

the_power wrote:Well, usually doubt unless someone mentions something else.

Xenophon's treatise on Darius' army certainly mentions armour-of-mail in the english translation I have.
John


Actually, it was just light grey wool knitted to look like mail :D

Seriously though, have you seen the documentary on the History Channel recently about Salahadin and Richard the Lionheart? There's two of them doing the rounds at the moment. One is pretty good with fairly authentic kit but in the other the Crusaders are wearing woolen 'mail' suits and cois's :o
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Re: Celts and Germans - A Roman's Definition

Postby Freebeard on Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:25 pm

i saw that show. the woolen maille was fairly hilarious - worse than that in monty python's hile grail.

but one thing i might bring up for ancient sources is translations.
not all translations are purely satisfactory - the vast majority of translations are given as ok, unless it can be proved otherwise. by this i mean, one person's translation of a certain text/word/phrase can be accepted as proper merely by being the closest (if it is not entirely accurate) and until someone can provide a better translation, this will be the accepted.
this is appening alot in Irish manuscripts these days, where many scholars are editing old translations of texts and try to provide better translations. so maybe the translation of "armour of maille" may not be wholly accurate but acepted as the best translation. saying this though it could be an entirely accurate translation.
but i think people need to be weary of the fact that a translation of a text is going to be based on someone's interpretation of the language, especially with older translations.

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Re: Celts and Germans - A Roman's Definition

Postby Nerva on Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:31 pm

Salve Andrew!

Your dead right. I have two translations of Tacitus Argicola and there are some differencs between the two. Why the bloody hell could they not be considerate enough to write in English :P
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Re: Celts and Germans - A Roman's Definition

Postby Marcus Aurelius on Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:55 am

The so called Celts did not I repeat not call themselves that, thats a later misconseption due to the fact that the Greeks callthed the tribes Keltoi
The origin of the various names used since classical times for the people known today as the Celts is obscure and has been controversial. The Latin name Celtus (pl. Celti or Celtae) seems to have been borrowed from Greek (; Greek Κέλτης pl. Κέλται or Κελτός pl. Κελτοί, Keltai or Keltoi), itself taken from a native Celtic tribal name (cf. Celtici).
the whole deate on this is being revisited especially in Ireland.
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Re: Celts and Germans - A Roman's Definition

Postby Nerva on Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:31 pm

Marcus Aurelius wrote:the whole deate on this is being revisited especially in Ireland.


Indeed, and it's well overdue. We debated this very subject on this forum some time ago, see here viewtopic.php?f=6&t=138, anything new would be most welcome.

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