UD: September 2016
The popular image of naked barbarians rushing headlong into battle depicted by ancient and neo-classical historians, and encapsulated in classical works of art such as ‘The Dying Gaul’ or ‘The Galatian Suicide’ may have fitted the preferred stereotype of the Celts as naked savages in the eyes of the ‘civilized’ Greco-Roman world, but archaeological evidence indicates that the real Iron Age Celtic warrior was a much more formidable figure.
Diodorus (v,30:3), Strabo (II, 3:6), Appianus (Syriaca 32, 1-3), Livy (37:40) and Varro (De Ling. Lat. V, 24:116) all mention that the Celts used chainmail, with the latter explicitly stating that they invented it. However, what does the available archaeological evidence tell us of the chronological development of this technology?…