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Thread: Question about Goidelic Ireland

  1. #1

    Default Question about Goidelic Ireland

    Greetings all.

    I am interested in understanding early Irish history. I wanted some info from the many knowledgeable heads here about Iron age weaponry. Did the Goidelic Irish use the Theuros shield?(even in small numbers). I want to own the weapons of a Goidelic warrior and am considering ordering this sword http://www.ironagearmoury.com/lisnacrogher.html.

    I want a shield to accompany it which I will craft myself. EB1 Goidelic warriors have square or large circular shields like the Scottish Targe but did they use continental Theuros shields?

    Regarding javelins I have read about the Irish "dart". Does anyone have info on this weapon. I am lead to believe it is a broad heavy headed iron javelin?

    I appreciate any help with these questions.

  2. #2
    Uergobretos Senior Member Brennus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Goidelic Ireland

    Will respond shortly.



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  3. #3
    master of the wierd people Member Ibrahim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Goidelic Ireland

    the sword looks like someone cut up and partly gilded a baseball ball....

    jokes aside, is there any archaeological evidence for such a strange decoration?
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  4. #4
    Uergobretos Senior Member Brennus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Goidelic Ireland

    Response coming tomorrow morning (GMT)! I promise.



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  5. #5
    Uergobretos Senior Member Brennus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Goidelic Ireland

    The sword itself is acceptable, the Ballykilmurry sword, although wooden, is Iron Age in date. The blade is in keeping with other Goidelic blades from the period; short, stabbing weapons. I'm not entirely sure about the hilt decoration and would need to double check if holly is native to Ireland, but in overall appearance the sword is acceptable.

    As for shields, there is a paucity of evidence and we only have two examples. One is a bronze shield boss from Lambay Island off the coast of Dublin. This shield boss is itself of limited use as we cannot tell what shape the shield it was attached to was. Furthermore Lambay Island is theorised, by some, to be a site which was occupied by Britons; a variety of metalwork, such as torques of a type common in the territory of the Brigantes, which appear to be British in origin has been recovered. We do, however, have a complete example of shield which is almost certainly Irish; the Clonoura shield. Here is the page from Raftery (1997) which provides a good description:



    Also some images to help:



    With regards to spears and darts, the few spears which have been recovered from Ireland (and supposedly Iron Age in date) tend to be medium sized blades; their shape, being slender, suggest that they were melee weapons, not projectiles. Finney (2006) has convincingly theorised, based on contemporary Germanic weapons, Irish insular literature and the species of plant which are native Ireland, that organic weapons would have been used as projectiles. Considering there is no evidence for the Iron Age Irish having used body armour, a hazel dart/javellin could have been an effective weapon.



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  6. #6
    Ancient Briton Member Edorix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question about Goidelic Ireland

    Might I recommend this forum if you are interested in Iron Age re-enactment. :)
    ~ Edorix
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Question about Goidelic Ireland

    Thank you for the reply Brennus, that answers my questions, I appreciate the time taken.

    Edorix, I have looked at the Kelticos group before. It does not seem to have any active members from Ireland. For now my re-enactment and living history hobby will have to remain myself and my sling on the sea shore!

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