I'm forwarding the below on behalf of Gil:
>Ray's interpretations still worry me, and I do think he and his peers
>need to rethink their model of the Celtic as a warrior society.
>The evidence is swords, and scarred skeletal remains, yes?
>There are no warrior societies on earth regularly equipped with swords,
>or the massive shields typical of Europe. The weapons are spears and
>clubs, or knobkerries, shillelaghs, and the like. What passes for a
>shield is usually a slim volume, used to deflect a shaft or blow, not
>protect the body as such.
>Swords and shields are for show. Even then, there is an Irish saying
>about never giving a sword to a man who can't dance. The weapon is in
>fact the body; the striking and/or deflecting tool is merely extension
>of the body.
>Even Musashi, the great Japanese sword-master who introduced the "two
>swords against massed attack" method, finally beat his chief rival by
>donging him on the head with a broken oar. He was able to do that by
>distracting the man from his masterly sword-play for the split second required.
>The Celts, further, went naked into battle.
>The archaeological evidence on Celtic Europe speaks not of warfare,
>but of rituals and tournaments, designed to produce a short-list for
>the chieftaincy from among the aristocrats.
>Sword mastery speaks of profoundly spiritual discipline.
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