> Date: Sun, 27 Jul 1997 17:39:26 -0500
> From: Chainmaile By Eric <[log in to unmask]>
> >><< At what time did the Celts wear chainmaile?
> >> Thanks,
> >> The Chainmaile Guy >>
> You are all quite funny. I guess maybe I have gotten on the wrong list for
> real information. Is anyone on the list educated? I am asking about
> chainmaile armor/jewelry/fashion.
> The Chainmaile Guy
Ok, I`ll tell you what I know. However, it is quite the same what
Knud already quoted from Ritchie&Ritchie. Chainmail first appears
in Celtic chieftain's graves in the fifth century BC. However, it
seems to be a very exceptional gravegood, as only the most
"important" of these chieftain's graves carry chainmail. The
first pieces of chainmail (as no complete suit has survived)
appear in graves of the Hunsrück-Eiffel Culture in middle Germany,
in famous graves like the Hochdorf or the Glauberg burials. The most
famous piece, as it is the most complete one from the earlier ones,
however, is the one from the chieftain's grave of Ciumesti in
Rumania, which not only has the chainmail suit but from which also
the famous helmet with the raven crest with movable wings comes,
which dates to the late 4th century or early 3rd century BC.
Findings of chainmail stay rare through the rest of the continental
La Tene period, even though Chainmail relativly frequently appears on
the statues of Celtic gods/heroes from the latest La Tene and early
In the free parts of the Celtic world after the Roman conquest,
chainmail seems to have been used the same way it was before: Only
very exceptionally rich persons could afford a suit of chainmail.
Notable is also that the German word for Chainmail, Brünne (also in
other Germanic languages like Gothic "brunjo", Anglosaxon "byrne",
old high German "brunja", old Nordic "brynja") is derived from the
Celtic word *brunnio-, which probably was the Celtic name for it (see
also old Irish "bruinne, middle Cymric "bryn(n)" - "breast, hill").
From this it is reasonable to assume that the early Germans got the
chainmail from the Celts.
Hope this is information
RAY (Raimund Karl,University of Vienna,Dep.of Prehistory)
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