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cl-Celts-msg - 6/5/96


Clothing of the early Celtic peoples.


NOTE: See also the files: clothing-msg, cl-Scotland-msg, cl-Ireland-msg, cl-Scot-fem-art, cl-Scot-male-art, clothing-MN-msg, underwear-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the individual authors.


Please respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear  at this time. If information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



From: jerryn at crl.com (Kati Norris)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Celtic Dress (F) - long!

Date: 9 Apr 1995 17:33:18 GMT

Organization: Cathlin ban Gerald / Stargate / Ansteorra


Someone (my system rebooted and I lost the message) wanted to know

what 11th cent. Celtic Ladies wore.  Here goes:


The Emergence of Man: The Celts

True Life Books 1975 ISBN: 7054-00891


This recorded in 8th Century AD, of Edain, 'loveliest girl in Ireland'

'Her upper arms were as white as the snow of a single night, and they were

soft and straight; and her clear and lovely cheeks were as red as the

foxglove of the moor.

...The bright blush of the moon was in her noble face; the lifting of pride

in her smooth brows; the ray of love-making in both her royal eyes; a

dimple of sport in both her cheeks.

  She was the fairest and loveliest and most perfect of the women of the

world that the eyes of men had ever seen; they thought she must be of the





'Celtic women seemed flamboyantly uninhibited. Though they twisted their

long hair into braids, and sometimes piled it high upon their heads in

elaborate coiffures, they were generally too fond of ornaments. They moved

to the sounds of tinkling necklaces and bracelets, and there were little

bells sewn to the fringed ends of their tunics. Over the tunics went gaudy

cloaks with bright coloured stripes and checks, and often elaborately

decorated with embroidery of silver or gold.

  The Celtic women were also described as preoccupied with make-up. They

painted their fingernails, reddened their cheeks with 'ruan', an herb, and

darkened their eyebrows with berry juice. But they were as war-like as

their husbands - a trait one Roman warned his countrymen to beware - "A

whole troop of foreigners would not be able to withstand a single Gaul if

he called his wife to his assistance. Swelling her neck, gnashing her

teeth, and and brandishing her sallow arms of enormous size, she begins to

strike blows mingled with kicks as if they were so many missiles sent from

the string of a catapult." (This attributed to Ammanius Marcellinus)'




'from Dio Cassius; of a Celtic wife to a Roman matron: "We fulfill the

demands of nature in a much better way than do you Roman women, for we

consort openly with the best men, wheras you let yourselves be debauched in

secret by the vilest." '


also - Celtic women were sometimes permitted to have more than one mate


Exploring the world of the Celts  

Simon James - Thames and Hudson ISBN: 0-500-05067-8


Celtic women, particularly noblewomen, had a more prominent role than their

Roman or Greek sisters.


on clothing:

dress - 'peplos' - consisted of two rectangles of fabric, fastened up at

the sides, and typically held together at the shoulders by a pair of

'fibulae', sometimes linked by swags of decorative chain.

skirt - checked wrap-around, calf or ankle length to avoid mud, and to show

off anklets

cloaks - woll, linen or sometimes imported silk

hair - worn long (hairpins often found at burial sites), some evidence of

headcloths or scarves

necklaces - coral, amber or glass beads


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org