Chapter 35

 

 

GLOSSARY

 

 

 

 

Abergavenny - A Brythonic Welsh word meaning "mouth of the

  blacksmith's river".

 

Aberth - A Brythonic term for sacrifice.

 

Afon {Avon} - A Brythonic word for river.

 

Albainn / Alba / Albain / Alban / Albania / Albany / Albu /

  Alpine / Alps - Old Gaelic names which refer to the

  territory from Caithness, Scotland south to the Humber

  River in northern England.

 

Albion - An old Ligurian-Iberian name for the island of

  Britain in use around BC 4th century.

 

Alps - An Indo-European term for high summer meadows.

 

Amber - Fossilized pine resin, found mainly in the Baltic

  region, highly prized for its ornamental value.

 

Ancestor worship - A system by which ancestors became heroes

  and deities through veneration by a clan or tribe.

 

Animism - The belief that all objects and natural phenomena

  possess life and have souls.

 

Annwn {an-noon, ahn'-noon} / Annfwn {ahn'-foon} / Annwvyn

  {An-wuyn} - Brythonic names for Hades, thought to be the

  Isle of Man.  Also referred to as The Kingdom of the Dead

  and The Bottomless Place.

 

Anthropomorphic - Having human shape.  Many Celtic artifacts

  incorporated human images, especially heads, in their

  ornamentation, whether on vessels or sword-hilts.

 

Ap / App - Brythonic terms for son of or descendant of.

 

Ard Righ / Ar-ri (high chieftain) - Gaelic terms for the

  chieftain who ruled over a territory or for the head

  chieftains of a confederation.  In Ireland the Ard Righ

  Eirinn was responsible for the five provinces of Ireland.

  In Scotland the high chieftain was called the Ard-righ

  Albainn and ruled over all of Scotland and south to the

  Humber river in England.

      The Ard Righ could be elected by the tribes, selected

  by use of the Tarbhfhess, Great Stone, appointed by the

  gods, or the position seized by force.  Unlike that of

  modern-day kings and queens, the position was not a

  hereditary right although family position was important.

  (see also Tarbhfhess / Great Stone)

 

Aremorica - The name derives from the Celtic words Ar Mor

  which means "by the sea" and refers to the land mass in

  France bounded by the Channel, Bay of Biscay, Loir and

  Seine rivers.

 

Arganto - A Celtic name for silver.

 

Artificer - An inventive and highly skilled weapons maker.

 

Ath {ah} - A Gaelic word for a river ford.

 

Bagpipes - Bagpipes are a musical instrument which consist of

  a goatskin air bag kept full by blowing into a pipe or

  pumping a bellows.  The bag is then squeezed to force air

  through one or more double-reed drones and a chanter which

  is used to finger the notes. (see also Gaita / Gaita de

  foles)

 

Baldric - A shoulder belt that crosses the body at an angle

  to hold a sword scabbard on the opposite hip.

 

Barrow - A mound of earth covering a circular or elongated

  grave where one or more people were buried.  Inhumation and

  cremation were both practiced.

 

Beal-agh - a Gaelic term for the sacred fire of the sun god.

 

Bean - A Gaelic term for a woman or a wife.

 

Bean Sidhe (Banshee) (Women of the Sidhe) - Members of a

  druidic order who keened and wailed for the souls of the

  dead heroes who were departing for the Otherworld as their

  bodies were being place in the tumulus. (see also Sidhe)

 

Beannacht / Beannachd - A Gaelic salutation, congratulation,

  or blessing.

 

Beanshith - Fay women who predicted the coming of death.

 

Belec / Bel-eg - A priest of the sun god or servant of Baal.

 

Ben / Beinn - Gaelic words for a mountain.

 

Berla na Filed - A Gaelic name referring to the secret

  language of the filidh order of the druids.

 

Black Banishment - The name given to the exile of the Ulster

  warriors.

 

Blood Covenant - The mixing or drinking of blood to seal an

  agreement.

 

Boarfire - A large fire that would be kindled to warm a

  mighty warrior or a chieftain.  (see also Torcfire)

 

Bodhran - Irish name for the hoop drum which has been used

  throughout the northern hemisphere as a shaman's drum.  The

  diameter of the drum depends on the size of the skin and

  the required pitch.  Goat was a choice skin for many Celtic

  drums but other skins were used depending on the purpose.

       Most drums are covered with a skin on one side and

  tied at the back, but some are covered on both sides and

  have a handle or are held in the two hands and drummed with

  the fingers.  The strikers are usually made from wood, bone

  or antler and have either a single or a double end.

 

Boramha Tribute (Boru/Borumha/Boromean) - A tax of goods

  imposed on the province of Leinster by Tuathal, the Ard

  Righ Eirinn, in AD 2nd century.  The name means "cattle

  counting".

 

Brae - A Gaelic term for a hill.

 

Brain Ball - A small projectile for a sling that was made

  from a mixture of brains and lime.

 

Brandubh (black raven) - A Celtic board game played in

  ancient Ireland.  The board had 7x7 peg holes or squares.

  The high chieftain (Ard Righ Eirinn) had his home seat in

  the center of the board and was surrounded by his 8

  champion warriors.  The attacking force of 12 warriors was

  placed on the outside row of the board.  The Ard Righ must

  make it to one of his four provincial seats or mounds to

  win.

      All players move 1 square at a time except the Ard Righ

  when he or she reaches the outside lane.  The Ard Righ then

  can move any number of unoccupied squares.  The Ard Righ

  must be surrounded on four sides to be captured or

  emobileized against the outside wall.  A worrior need only

  be flanked between 2 enemies or 1 enemy and a seat of the

  high chieftain.  Warriors can pass over the Ard righ's

  seats or mounds of power but can not rest on them.  Players

  can only move up and down or back and forth, no diagnoal

  moves.

      The Viking game seems to have derived from Brandubh.

  Brandubh, the modern Welsh board game Tawlbwrdd and the

  Swedish game of Tablut are all variations on the ancient

  Irish Fidchell. (see also Fidchell)

 

Branfad - A Celtic board game, played in Britain, similar to

  checkers.  (see also Draughts)

 

Breacan (Tartan) / Brecan / Breach / Brycan - Terms that

  evolved from the Gaelic word Breac (partly coloured,

  speckled, stripped or chequered).  The later Scottish

  chieftains were the only persons allowed to wear eight

  colors.  They wove their clothing in stripes, checks and

  combinations of the two. The chieftain colors were black,

  brown, purple, blue, green, red, yellow and white.   From

  this came the idea of clan tartans, those loyal to a

  certain chieftain wore clothing of his or her tartan.

 

Breathing Bronze - A bronze made from a mixture of 90%

  copper, 10-15% tin and a small quantity of arsenic.

 

Brenhines / Breninesav - A Brythonic Welsh title for a female

  head chieftain.

 

Brenin - A Brythonic Welsh title word used to denote a male

  head chieftain.

 

Briga - A Celtic word used predominantly in Portugal and

  Spain to designate a hillfort, usually as a suffix to the

  name of the fort.  The word is Celtic for "mount".  (see

  also Burg / Hillfort)

 

Brithem (judge) / Brehon (English) - The Brithem used ancient

  laws which have their roots in Indo-European law and were

  codified by Ollamh Fodhla in Ireland around BC 714.  Six

  volumes of Irish law were published between 1865-1901 and

  entitled "The Ancient Laws of Ireland".

 

Bronze leaf sword - The Celtic Bronze Age leaf-shaped sword

  was one of the best available duelling weapons of the time.

  It was around 30" (74.9 cm) long and the blade bulged

  toward the end to give it weight for chopping.  Some had a

  point for jabbing.

 

Bruidhean / Bruidhem / Bruidhen / Bruidne - An old Gaelic

  term for a hostel that supplied food, drink and lodging.

 

Bull-roarer - A free aerophone musical instrument, in that it

  creates a sound in unenclosed air.  It was usually made

  from a long thin blade of bone, wood or stone with a hole

  at on end for a cord to be looped through it.

       Holding one end of the cord and twirling it around the

  head causes the cords to twist together and untwist again,

  creating an eerie sound which was thought to evoke the

  spirits.  The pitch is controlled by the length of the cord

  and size of the object: a longer cord produces a lower

  sound.

 

Burg - A German word denoting a fortress from which derived

  the old English suffixes -burgh, - bury, -borough, -brough.

  (see also Briga)

 

Burn - A Scottish Gaelic term for a stream.

 

Caduceus - The messenger staff of Hermes which had two snakes

  winding around it.  The wand of the herald and symbol of

  diplomacy.

 

Caer / Gaer - A Brythonic term designating a fortress.

 

Cailleach - A Gaelic word for an old woman.

 

Cairns / carns - When going into a major battle each warrior

  threw a rock into a pile, and after the battle the

  survivors withdrew their rocks.  The pile left represented

  the number of dead.  It was common for burial sites to be

  covered by mounds of stones.  The number of rocks may also

  have represented the number of mourners or people who came

  to pay their respects.

 

Caledonia - An old name for an area of present-day Scotland

  and northern England.

 

Cambria / Combrog - Brythonic names for that part of present-

  day Wales from the Cambrian range of Mountains to the Irish

  Sea.

 

Canton - A Gaulish term used to define an allotment of land.

 

Cantref - A term used in the Brythonic language to denote two

  commotes (regions).  The word derives from the combination

  of Cant (100) and Tref (farmstead).

 

Carnyx - A Celtic war-horn that was made of metal tubing that

  was turned up from the mouthpiece so that the sound

  bellowed out from high above the warriors.  The heads were

  in the shape of animals and were sometimes fitted with a

  clapper for a tongue.

 

Castro - A term used in Spain and Portugal to designate a

  fortified Celtic settlement.  The defensive walls and the

  round huts were of drystone construction. (see also Briga /

  Citania / Hillfort)

 

Castro Culture - A term used to refer to the Celtic cultures

  in Spain and Portugal. (see also Castro)

 

Caul - Sac of membrane that encloses the foetus.  It was

  considered to have supernatural qualities including

  protection against drowning.

 

Cauldron - A large metal cooking vessel which held deep

  religious significance, magical power and ritual importance

  for the Celts.

       The cauldron was a symbol of the circle of life, in

  that something must be killed and eaten to sustain life. It

  was a symbol of the Otherworld, death, ressurrection and

  abundance.

       The cauldrons of resurrection may have contained

  antidotes to poisons used on the weapons, thus bringing

  back the dead.  The cauldron was used brewed beer and mead,

  both sacred drinks to the Celts.

 

Cave of Cruachan - The cave was thought to be an entrance

  into the Otherworld.

 

Ceann-cath - A Pictish term for a war leader in Scotland.

 

Ceann-Cinnidh - A Pictish term used to designate a male or

  female chieftain in Scotland.

 

Ceilidh {Kay-lee} - A gathering of friends and neighbours

  with music, story-telling and the occasional drink.

 

Celt {Kelt} - The name of a tribe that lived in southern

  France and northern Spain.  The name is now used to denote

  tribes of European people of the Bronze and Iron Ages who

  shared a similar language, religious beliefs and social

  structure.

 

Celtic field - Small rectangular fields enclosed with walls

  of rock, earth and hedges.  Dating from as far back as the

  Bronze Age, they are found mostly in southern England but

  can also be found as far afield as Denmark and Portugal.

 

Celtologist - "A student of, authority on, the archaeology,

  history, art and language of the Celtic peoples." -

  Universal English Dictionary

 

Celtomaniac - "Person obsessed with the importance and

  interest of Celtic language, art, poetry &c." Universal

  English Dictionary

 

Cenel - An Irish word for kin, group or a tribe.

 

Cernyw - The Welsh Brythonic name for Cornwall.

 

Chalcolithic - The time period when Neolithic artisians were

  beginning to experiment with copper.

 

Chariot - The chariots were used as far back as the Bronze

  Age.  The vehicles were first of all a means of transport

  for the elite Celtic warriors who rode to battle dressed in

  their best.  They usually alighted to fight a combat but

  during a battle they would throw spears from their moving

  chariot.

       The war chariot consisted of a platform with sides on

  a 2-wheeled chassis.  The wheel span was 3'6"-3'9" for

  Hallstatt and 4'8½" for La Tène.  The centre pole hooked

  the chariot up to 2 horses and the driver sat on the

  platform to steer the unit while the warrior pranced up and

  down the pole or stood by his or her charioteer.

 

Chibbyrs - A Gaelic Manx word for a well.

 

Cisalpine Gaul - The Celtic area on the Italian side of the

  Alps.

 

Citania - A Portuguese term denoting a large fortified Celtic

  village. (see also Castro)

 

Clan {klan} / Clann / Clanna / Cenedl - A social group

  usually with a common ancestry.  Totem clans had an

  affinity with an animal, bird or fish and had a taboo

  against killing or eating that particular species.

 

Claymore / claidheamb m•r (great sword) - The claymore is a

  two-handed long sword used by the highland Celts of

  Scotland. The use of this type of weapon goes back to the

  early Hallstatt long sword.  The Picts of Scotland drove

  the Romans out of the highlands with a similar long sword.

 

Clochan - A term derived from the Gaelic word for bell.  It

  is the proper name for the so-called beehive hut.  The

  clochan was a circular building made in a drystone

  construction. The walls began to curve in to form a dome

  roof with a smoke hole in the center.  This type of

  building is found in many parts of the world and dates back

  to Neolithic time.  (see also Corbelling / Drystone)

 

Clubs - The clubs were symbols of authority and were made

  from oak, blackthorn, holly etc.  Probably similar to the

  Irish shillelagh. (see Shillelagh)

 

Cog - An Anglicization of the old Norse word Kuggr, an ocean-

  going ship.

 

Coiced [si] / Coiceda [pl] - An Irish term for a province.

  In ancient times there were two different divisions for the

  five coiceda or provinces.  The first divided the island

  into West Munster, East Munster, Connacht, Ulster and

  Leinste.  The later division was Connacht, Ulster,

  Leinster, Munster and Meath.

 

Concubine - A second wife under a one-year trial.

 

Corbelling - A method of drystone roofing in which each

  successive layer is placed closer to the center until the

  roof is complete. (see also Clochan / Drystone)

 

Countenance - The changing expression on a face.

 

Covinus - A type of war chariot used by the Britons and

  Gauls.

 

Crann Bethadh - A Gaelic name for the Tree of Life.

 

Crannog - An artifical or natural island in a lake which

  supported dwellings.  The water acted as a natural defence

  and access was gained by canoe or a causeway which was

  sometimes hidden under water.

 

Cremation - A preparation for burial where the body is burnt

  to ashes.

 

Cromlech - A term with varied meanings such as dolmen,

  tumulus, and stone circle.

 

Crotales - A musical instrument that is hollow bronze ball

  with a metal striker inside.  When the balls are shaken

  they produce musical sounds.

 

Cu - An Irish name for a hunting dog or a hound.

 

Cumal - The unit for measuring monetary or trade value in

  Ireland.  One cumal was equal to a female slave or 3 cows.

 

Curadh-mir - An Irish word for the hero's portion at a feast,

  usually consisting of the right hind thigh.

 

Curragh / Currach - A Gaelic name for water crafts of varying

  sizes and shapes made by shaping branches in the desired

  form, binding each cross branch, then covering the whole

  structure with skins of animals.  The boats were propelled

  by sail, oar or paddle.

 

Curses - Words or phrases used to invoking a deity or spirit

  with the intent of bringing ill fortune to someone who had

  committed a wrong.  Often a filidh was hired to inscribe

  the curse in ogham on wood or lead which was then cast into

  a sacred fire.

 

Cymmer - A Brythonic word designating the confluence of

  rivers. (see also Kemper)

 

Cymry / Combroges - Brythonic terms for tribes who fight on

  the same side.  Cymry is the more recent term and now

  designates the people of Wales who speak an evolved form of

  the Brythonic language called Cymraeg.

 

Danza Prima - An ancient Celtic dance still enjoyed in

  Asturius Spain.  The dancers move in a circle to a rolling

  repetitive rythm.

 

Deas-iul - A circular sun dance that evolved into the reel.

 

Defrobani - A Welsh term that suggests "awakening of the

  banners".

 

Deo-Phaistein - A Scottish Gaelic term for the lawgivers and

  religious instructors of the ancient druidic order.

 

Derwydd (druids) - The Welsh name for the men and women who

  were the wise people of their society. (see also Druii)

 

Dexter - The right half of a shield was denoted the male side

  of the family.  (see also Sinister / Staff)

 

Din / Dinn - Celtic names for a fortress such as Din Eidyn

  which was Anglicized to Edinburgh.

 

Dingles - An Irish Gaelic word meaning fields.

 

Dinnshenchas - The Irish lore of prominent places, a type of

  geomancy. (see also Geomancy)

 

Dirk - A slim thin dagger of varying lengths mostly used for

  stabbing, short slashing or for eating.

 

Disk Barrow - An early Bronze Age burial chamber found mostly

  in Europe but also in North America.  The barrows were used

  mainly for female burials.

 

Distaff [si] / Distave [pl] - A tool made from a wooden stick

  that is used for the spinning of flax or wool.  The distaff

  was an ancient symbol for the female line of the family.

  (see also Staff)

 

Divination - A system for achieving insight by studying

  flights of birds, entrails, randomly-placed bones,

  atmospheric conditions, smoke rising from a fire, animal

  movements and appearance, the cracks in burnt animal bones,

  ogham sticks, etc.

 

Divining rods / Coelbreni (Talking Sticks) - Specially

  prepared sticks from specific trees used to divine

  information. (see also Divination)

 

Dolmen - A Breton word meaning stone table.  The structure

  was built with three or more vertical stones and topped

  with a capstone.  Some of them were originally covered with

  earth that has since eroded away.  The dolmens were

  constructed from Neolithic times through to the Middle

  Ages.

 

Dord Fain - A prolonged low note produced by humming: a

  technique practised by the Fianna.

 

Dowse - To find water by the use of a divining rod. (see also

  Divining Rod)

 

Dragons' Teeth - Small sharp stones embedded in the earth

  around the entranceways of a hillfort or any similar

  strategic position to deter the advance of attackers.

 

Draughts / Checkers - An Irish Celtic board game mentioned in

  the Bo Tain Cualgne which uses 24 disks each for 2 players

  on a checkered colored board of 8x8 squares. (see also

  Taileasg)

 

Drauidht - A Manx word for druid that refers to enchantment.

  (see also Druii)

 

Druid's Foot - The Celtic term used to denote a pentacle

  drawn with a wand of witch hazel on the day and at the hour

  of Lugh (Mercury).  The drawing defined the space for a 9-

  day fast (1 meal of bread and water each day).

 

Druii [si] / Druid [pl] - The Druii were the men and women of

  the Celtic religion who had completed their many years of

  training.

 

Drystone - The construction of a stone structure without the

  use of mortar, relying for solidity on the careful

  selection and placement of the stones.  Neolithic tumuli,

  Celtic hillforts and clochan were normally built in

  drystone.  The Celts were exceptionally fine drystone

  masons. (see also Clochan / Corbelling / Hillfort)

 

Dun / Dunum - Gaelic terms for a fortress.

 

Dugout Canoe - A boat made by hollowing out a log.

 

Dyn - A Cornish word for a fortress.

 

Easc - the name of the new moon in Irish and Manx.

 

Edbart - An old Irish Gaelic term for sacrifice.

 

Eior - An aristocratic warrior of the lowlands who travelled

  by chariot.

 

Eirinn / Eriu - Ancient names for the island of Ireland,

  preserved in the modern Gaelic name Eire.

 

Eisteddfod - A Brythonic Welsh name for a meeting-place of

  bards.

 

English Highlands - A line of hill running from Cornwall up

  the west side of England.  It was the first area settled

  because the forest was not as dense on the thin soil.

 

English Lowlands - The flattish southeastern area of England

  which has thick lime soil and was heavily forested in early

  times.

 

Epithet - A descriptive or significant name that emphasizes

  an attribute.

 

Eponym - The person who gives their name to a clan, tribe,

  nation, etc.

 

Faience beads - Beads of various geometric shapes made of

  silicate colored blue or green by the addition of copper

  salts and highly valued in trade.  They were produced in

  Egypt and copied by the Mycenaean and Wessex cultures.

 

Falcata - An extremely effective weapon and probably the best

  iron short-sword the Celts ever used.  It had a curved

  single edge that was heavy at the front for chopping and

  was 7"-20" (18-51 cm) long.  It was pointed for stabbing

  and had a hand guard.  It was mostly used by the Celts of

  Spain and Portugal, but Ferdiad of Ireland carried a curved

  battle-sword called a Falchion Almedinilla.

 

Fay - An Irish Gaelic word for people of the sidhe who could

  perform supernatural deeds.  It later became a name for

  elves.  (see also Sidhe)

 

Feats (clessa) - English name given to a clessa which was a

  well praticed movement of combat, such as the Salmon Leap

  or the Edge Feat performed with a shield.

 

Fenian Cycle - A group of stories revolving around the heroes

  Fionn mac Cumhaill and his sons Oscar, Oisin and the Fianna

  of Ireland.

 

Fibula - A clasp with a safety-pin closure used to fasten

  cloaks or other garments.  The Celts invested great

  artistic workmanship in their construction, often

  incorporating precious metals and gems into intricate

  abstract or zoomorphic designs.

 

Fidchell (wooden wisdom) / Gwyddbwyll - A board game said to

  have been introduced into Ireland by Lugh.   It was also

  played by Goidel throught their history and Conchobar set

  aside ¬ of his day for playing this game.  The chieftain

  and his 4 warriors defended themselves against the 12

  attacking warriors of the Sidhe (Danann).  The idea of the

  game was to keep the chieftain from reaching the outside

  edge of the board.  The pieces can move over any number of

  unoccupied squares in a straight line.  Players are taken

  when they are flanked.  The chieftain must be surrounded on

  4 sides to be captured.  Players can only move up and down

  or back and forth, no diagnoal moves. (see also Brandubh)

 

Fidnemed - An Irish word for a sacred grove or a shrine that

  was located in the depth of the forest. (see also Nemed)

 

Fine - An Irish Gaelic word designating a household or

  several households.

 

First Fruit - The first products picked, cut or born were

  considered to be sacred and were offered to the deities.

  They were then either ceremoniously eaten or sacrificed by

  destruction.

 

Fogou / Souterrain - An underground passageway, sometimes

  with rooms, lined with stone and covered with a stone slab

  roof. They were built as part of a dwelling, fortress or

  village and offered refuge or a way of escape during battle

  and a cold storage area during peacetime.

 

Fulacht Fiadh - The system of heating water for cooking

  purposes by placing hot stones into a metal or leather

  cauldron, stone or wood trough, or tub filled with water.

 

Gae Bulga / Gae Bolga - A small dart with hinged barbs on its

  head.  It was the supreme weapon of Cu Chulainn.  Because

  many combats were fought at fords and the Gae Bulga was

  thrown with the foot from underwater it was a desirable

  weapon.  When the head went in the the barbs would open,

  causing multiple wounds.

 

Gaelic (English) / Goielic (Irish) / Gaighlig (Scottish) -The

  present-day languages spoken by the Irish and Scottish

  Celts.  It evolved from the language spoken by the Goidel

  Celts who came out of the Rhineland around BC 2200. (see

  also Q-Celt)

 

Gaesum / Gesum - The names of the javelin used by the

  Gaesatae warriors of the Belgae culture.  Many of the heads

  were personalized with designs of flames, broad leaves,

  long barbs and crimped edges.  The heads were either

  socketed or tanged heads and some were covered with holes

  to reduce the weight.  A number of all-iron javelins have

  been found and others had wooden shafts with heads on both

  ends.

 

Gaiscedach - A Celtic foot soldier who was armed with a sword

  and shield.

 

Gaita (Span) / Gaita de foles (Port) - Bagpipes, the favorite

  instrument of the Celtic northwestern area of the Iberian

  peninsula. (see also Bagpipes)

 

Gallery Grave - A prehistoric grave in the shape of a long

  passage with slabs of rock forming the walls and roof.

  These graves often have a number of chambers the same

  height and width of the passage.  Some have engravings on

  the stones. (see also Passage Grave).

 

Gaul - Gaul was an ancient name for the Celtic territory

  bounded by its western coastline on the Atlantic, the Rhine

  river to the north and east, the Alps in the southeast, and

  by the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees mountains to the

  south.  Gaul consisted of part of present-day Netherlands,

  Germany and Switzerland, and all of Belgium, Luxembourg and

  France.

 

Geis [si] / gessa [pl] / geas / geise / geiss / geissi /

  gessi - A taboo that prohibits or obliges someone to act or

  respond in a particular way.

 

Geomancy - A Greek word meaning "earth-divination", a system

  used to discover the ley of the land.  (see also Ley Lines)

 

Goad - A stick used to urge on horses or other animals.

 

Gobha - A Scottish Gaelic term for smith.  A Gobannium

  (smithy) is the place in which they work.

 

Great Fal (Lia Fail) / The Stone of Knowledge - One of the

  four treasures that the Danann brought from Denmark to

  Ireland. It was the stone of sovereignty in the shape of a

  penis. The Great Fal was accompanied by 3 other stones:

  Moel (Maol) to the east, Bluicne to the north, and Blocc to

  the south.  They bear the same names as Conn's druids.

  Blocc and Bluigne were two flagstones that were only a

  hand's-width apart but would open to allow a candidate to

  enter in a chariot.  If the candidate was the right person,

  the stone of Fal would screech against the chariot's axle.

 

Guerrilla warfare  (guerilla) - A hit-and-hide method of

  warfare used against a better-armed and larger force.  It

  is also a type of warfare often used by freedom fighters

  against an occupying army.  Offences are often quick

  strategic attacks, made to demoralize and to keep fear

  alive in the enemy.

 

Gundestrup Cauldron - The cauldron is about 14" (35 cm) high

  with a diameter of about 27" (70 cm) and a liquid capacity

  of around 28 gallons (125 l).  There are 5 inner plates and

  7 outer plates of gilded silver, weighing around 20 lbs (9

  kg).  The plates on the inside depict mythical scenes and

  the plates on the outside depict deities.  It was

  constructed by the Scordisci and was sacrificed by the

  Cimbri in a lake in Denmark at Raevemose, Jutland around BC

  113.

 

Gutuater [si] / Gutuatri [pl] (Master of voice) - A Brythonic

  title for the person who is responsible for a particular

  sanctuary.

 

Gwledig - A Welsh name for the war leader who was put in

  temporary charge of the chieftains and warriors from

  different tribes.

 

Gwyddon Ganherbon - The Welsh stone from which the Arts and

  Sciences of the world were spoken.

 

Halberd - A short- or long-handled axe with a dagger blade at

  the end of the axe-head so the weapon can be used to jab or

  chop.

 

Harp (clarsach / clarischoe) - The oldest harps were made

  from the skull of an animal with its horns or antlers

  intact.  The horns were strung with brass or cat gut

  strings and the skull acted as a sounding box.  Harps were

  also constructed from the wood of trees that were shaped as

  they grew.

 

Hen - The Brythonic Welsh word for ancient or old.

 

Henge - A prehistoric monument of stone or wood uprights

  constructed in a circular format and surrounded by a ditch

  and rampart.  It has been suggested that the ditches may

  have been filled with water during battle or ceremonies.

 

Hercynian Forest - A huge ancient forest of Europe.  It was

  north of the Danube and stretched from the Swiss Alps to

  modern-day Russia.

 

Heroic Cycle / Ulster Cycle - The Irish tales of heroic deed

  revolving around the many conflicts between Ulster and

  Connacht.

 

Hy-Breasail / Hy-Brasil / Hi-Brasil / O-Brisal - An ancient

  island of the Otherworld named after Bresal Etarlam and

  believed to be off the west coast of Ireland.  The island

  was usually invisible and has in more modern times been

  identified with a mirage that appears off the west coast of

  Ireland when atmospheric conditions are favorable.  The

  belief in the existance of Hy-Breasail was so profound that

  explorers gave its name to present-day Brazil.

 

Hibernia - A name given by the Romans to present-day Ireland.

 

Hillfort - A general name for any defended Celtic settlement

  situated on or near the summit of a hill.  Hillforts

  usually had groupings of stone-walled circular thatched

  huts surrounded by defensive walls.  The walls were often

  solid stone, sometimes timber-laced or rubble-filled and

  faced with stone.  There were often two or three sets of

  walls with staggered entrances and protective earthworks

  (ditches and embankments), and the sites were chosen to

  take advantage of the natural defences such as cliff-faces.

  Cattle would be taken inside the walls in times of danger.

  Springs were a common feature, either within or outside the

  inner walls.  (see also Drystone)

 

Hoodoo - A natural column formed in sandstone by the result

  of wind and water erosion.

 

Horns - Musical instruments or drinking vessels were made

  from the hollow horns of bulls and goats.

 

Hostage - When individuals or tribes made an agreement,

  hostages were exchanged.  The hostages were honored guests,

  mostly sons and daughters of a chieftain, but their well-

  being depended on the agreement being upheld.

 

Hurley / Hurly / Hurling / Iomain (Gaelic) - An ancient Irish

  game of field hockey which may originally have been played

  by only two opponents.  The game is now played with two

  teams of 15 players using sticks to manoeuver a leather

  ball through the air or over the ground into the opponents'

  nets. (see also Shinty)

 

Hyperborian - A name used by the Greeks to describe the Celts

  of Britain.

 

Inber - A gaelic word meaning estuary of a river.

 

Inhumation - The custom of burying an intact body in the

  ground or chamber.

 

Inghean audagha (virgin daughters of the fire) - A sect of

  druids who guarded the sacred fires.

 

Javelin - A Celtic word that means a light spear or dart for

  throwing long distances.  They often had a 16"-30" (40-75

  cm) hazel-wood shaft with a bronze or iron head.  The La

  Tene javelin was approximately 16"-20" (40-50 cm) in length

  with a head shaped like a willow leaf.

 

Javelin Thrower - A wooden stick, long bone or leather thong

  that was used to throw a javelin.  The use of a thrower

  would send the javelin or dart a greater distance.  The

  leather thong had an extra advantage of adding spin for

  accuracy.

 

Kemper - A Brythonic Breton word indicating a confluence of

  rivers. (see also Cymmer)

 

Kine / Kye - A Gaelic term used to define a herd of cows.

 

Knife - A sacred weapon to the Celts as it was the main tool

  used for gutting an animal, skinning it, deboning the meat

  and eating the meal.  The short blade was sharpened on one

  or two sides and was also important for in-house fighting.

 

Lance (lancea) - A light spear with a long slender head.  The

  etymology of the name suggests "to fling the long thing".

 

Laighin (Leinster) - A Gaelic name for a warrior whose main

  weapon was a spear.

 

Lembi - A long, narrow fast boat used by coastal Illyrians.

 

Ley Lines - Alignments of megaliths, cairns and other ancient

  sites across large tracts of territory, thought to indicate

  ancient trackways and possibly relating to particular

  energy currents of the earth. (see also Geomancy)

 

Lirites - worshippers or devotees to sacred water.

 

Lloegr / Lloegyr / Loegria - Names given to the part of

  England from Cornwall in the south to the Humber River in

  the north and including the eastern part of Wales.

 

Llydaw - The Brythonic name for Brittany.

 

Llyn - A Brythonic Welsh name for a lake.

 

Loch - A Scottish term for a lake or inlet of the sea.  In

  Irish Gaelic it is a lake only.

 

Lough - An Irish term for an inlet of the sea.

 

Lunula - A crescent-shaped chest ornament made from gold,

  found mostly in Ireland and Cornwall.

 

Mac / macc / maq / maqq / maqi / maqos - Gaelic words meaning

   "descendant of" (male/female).

 

Magh Mell (Field of Happiness) -  The place where the Danann

  buried their dead after the battle of Taillcenn with the

  Goidels.

 

Magh Tuireadh {Moy Too-ra} (Plain of Towers) - The First

   Battle of Magh Tuireadh was fought between the Danann and

   the Firbolg in southern county Mayo (South Moytura).  The

   Second Battle of Magh Tuireadh was fought between the

   Danann and the Fomorii in northern county Sligo.

 

Magic - The harnessing of supernatural force to produce a

  desired effect.  The term derives from the Persian magus.

 

Mantle - A loose sleeveless hooded cloak that covers the head

  and shoulders only.

 

Marrow Bath - The bath was made from the bone marrow of

  cattle.  A badly-wounded warrior would sometimes soak in it

  for a day.

 

Matriarchal - A clan, tribe or social organization in which

  the position of head of the family is passed on through the

  females. (see also Patriarchal)

 

Matron - The first wife in a Gallic marriage.

 

Maypole - A large tree that was ritually killed and cleaned

  of its limbs and bark.  Any rough parts were smoothed and

  eight ropes were attached to the top of the pole.  It was

  the focus of fertility rites associated with the sun.

       The pole was also used in initiation rites where the

  participants dressed in costumes of feathers and attached

  themselves to the ropes which they wound up on the pole

  then simulated the flight of birds as the ropes unwound.

 

Megalith - Large ("mega-") stone ("lith") used for building

  graves or for being set in a specific place or

  configuration, such as menhirs, dolmens and henges.

 

Megalithic Chamber - A site built from large stones for

  burials and religious ceremonies.

 

Menhir (Longstone) - A single standing stone which marks a

  significant spot.

 

Merin Iodeo "Sea of Iudeu" - The Brythonic name for the Firth

  of Forth in Scotland.

 

Merry Dancers / Perry Dancers - Terms used for the Aurora

  Borealis phenomenon.  In North America they are called the

  Northern Lights.

 

Metempsychosis - The passing of the soul from one form to

  another at death, whether human, animal or inanimate.

 

Mor - A Gaelic word that signifies "large" or "grand".

 

Mor - A Brythonic Welsh word for an ocean or a sea.

 

Morris Dances - Ancient Celtic dances reminiscent of ritual

  sword dances, incorporating the hobby horse, the shaman

  (Betty), line and circle formations, accompanied by pipes,

  fiddle and hoop drum as well as jangly instruments

  (sistrums, bells) held or worn by the dancers themselves.

  (see also Pauliteiros)

 

Murchrech - Gaelic term for a unit of measurement used at

  sea.

 

Mysticism - The practice of entering a particular state of

  mind with the intention of uniting with a deity in order to

  gain insight.  This was achieved by putting the conscious

  mind to rest and surrendering oneself to the subconscious

  or super-subconscious.  The ancients used contemplation,

  meditation, frenzied dancing or chanting, sometimes

  accompanied by hallucinogenic stimulants.

 

Myth - A story of supernatural beings sometimes based on

  facts, but altered to fit into the proper sequences of

  events.  The stories were also used to explain natural

  events and the role of humans in nature and their conduct

  in society.

 

Mythological Cycle - A term used to denote the early period

  of invasions in old Ireland.

 

Necromancy - Predicting the future by communicating with the

  dead.

 

Needfire (Tein-eigen) - A sacred fire lit by rubbing two

  pieces of sacred wood together.  All the chieftain fires

  were lit from a needfire.

 

Nemed - An old Irish word for sanctuary.

 

Nemeton - A Brythonic word for a sacred place, grove or

  ritual site.

 

Netherworld - The world of the subconscious.

 

Nia / Gnia - Gaelic words meaning "sister's son" or

  "champion".

 

Numerology - The use of numbers to divine and influence

  future events.  (see also Divination)

 

Nwywre - Term used by the druids to refer to the essence of

  life that links the spiritual world to the physical.

 

Oblation - The rite of making offerrings to the deities.

 

Obsidian - A glassy black to dark-grey acid lava rock with

  occasional green or brown.  It is extremely hard and

  brittle and was used in the Stone Age to make arrow heads,

  spear points and knives.  It was also incorporated into

  jewelry and because it could take a high shine it was used

  to make mirrors.

 

Ogham - A Gaelic name for ancient alphabets using strokes

  grouped in numbers between one and five.  It may have been

  originally a sign language using the fingers.

 

Okeano - An island in the Atlantic where women paid homage to

  a male fertility god.

 

Ollamh - The highest order of bard.  It could take 12 years

  to memorize the required 250 principal stories and 100

  secondary stories.

 

Oppidum [si] / oppida [pl] - A large fortified settlement of

  the La Tène period that was usually the center for a tribe.

 

Oracular incubation - Spending the night beside the ashes of

  a sacrifice, practiced by filidhs for divination.

 

Oral knowledge / Sword of Knowledge / Tongue of Knowledge -

  The double-edged sword was the Bronze Age symbol for

  knowledge.  The opinions of which is the mightier, the

  sword (oral) or the pen (written), is an old argument.

 

Orthostat - A vertical stone column that supports the lintels

  of the entrance to an underground megalithic chamber.

 

Otherworld / Netherworld - Terms used to signify a magical

  place where things were different from the normal everyday

  world. The terms were also used for territories controlled

  by a different culture.  Some of these places were referred

  to with specific names:

   Annwn - Underworld / Hades / western Island / Isle of Man

   Caer Loyw - Loyw's fortress

   Faylinn - Pond of the Fay

   Hy-Breasail - Island of the Dead / Island of the Blessed

   Inis na Manannan - Isle of Man

   Inis na mBan - Isle of Women

   Inis na n-Og - Isle of Youth

   Iwerddon - Ireland / Underworld / Western Island / Hades

   Llychlyn / Lochlann - Lake of Fish Scales (Scandinavia)

   Llyn y Fan -  The Lake of Fan

   Llyntegid -  Lake Tegid

   Loch Uath -  Uath's Lake

   Lochlinners - Lake of Pools

   Magh Da Cheo - Plain of Two Mists

   Magh nInnis -  Plain of Meadows

   Magh Mell - Field of Happiness / Plain of Delight /

               Pleasant Plain

   Plant yr Isddwfn - Children of The Netherworld

   Plant Rhi Is-Dwfn - Young Lords of The Netherworld

   Tech nDuind / Teach Dhoinn - House of Donn

   Tir fo Thuinn - Land Under the Waves

   Tir na Fathach - Land of Giants

   Tir na Iontas - Land of Wonder

   Tir na Mairbh - Land of the Dead

   Tir na mBan - Land of Women

   Tir na mBeo / Tir Inna Beo - Land of the Living

   Tir na nOg {Teer nahn Ock} / Tir na h-Oige - Land of Youth

   Tir na Scath - Land of Shadows

   Tir na Sorcha - Land of Light

   Tir na tSamhraidh - Land of Summer

   Tir na Tairngire - Land of Promise

 

Oxytiocin - A chemical in the womb water which some believe

  deletes the memory of previous lives.

 

P-Celt - The Brythonic Celts spoke a language that like Latin

  and Greek went through a change around BC 1200 when the Q

  sound was modified to P.  The languages of Wales, Cornwall,

  Brittany all evolved from P-Celt. (see also Q-Celt)

 

Pallozas - A Spanish word for Celtic-style circular stone

  dwellings with thatched roofs.

 

Paragon - Model of excellence: a supremely excellent person,

  value or thing.

 

Passage Grave - An earth-covered stone passage with a larger

  burial chamber at one end.  The Neolithic passage graves

  were revered as the home of the gods to the Celts. (see

  also Gallery Grave)

 

Patriarchal - A clan, tribe or social organization where the

  leadership passes through the male line.  (see also

  Matriarchal)

 

Pauliteiros - Morris dancers from Miranda do Duero in

  northern Portugal who perform dances similar to some in

  Britain, eastern Europe and Canada.

 

Pen - A Welsh term used to denote a mountain or a chieftain.

 

Pentacle - A sacred five-cornered star called a druid's foot.

  (see Druid's Foot)

 

Phalanx - The Battle Line warriors of Gauls and Germans both

  used the phalanx formation.  The phalanx was formed by

  lining up close order ranks one behind the other.  The back

  ranks used longer spears that would project beyond the

  front rank.  The phalanx was hard to penetrate whether it

  was in use in the offensive or the defensive.

 

Phallus - The representation of an engorged penis of

  supernatural proportions used as a male fertility symbol.

 

Philabeg (kilt) - Gaelic name meaning the belted plaid.

 

Pictland - A name used to describe the territory bounded by

  the Forth, the Clyde and the Spay until the 10th century.

 

Plant yr Isddwfn (Children of The Netherworld) / Plant Rhi

  Is-Dwfn (Young Lords of The Netherworld) - The Island of

  Youth off the coast of Dyfed.  The island could be made

  invisible except for a small part closest to Dyfed.

 

Polygamy - The practice of having more than one partner in

  marriage.

 

Potlatch - Term derived from the Nootka "Patshatl" (giving)

  used to describe a feast at which lavish gifts were given

  by the host to the guests.

 

Promontory fort - A Celtic defended settlement situated on a

  promontory, usually jutting into the sea but sometimes on

  the bend of a river.  The steep banks going into the water

  would protect the fort on three sides, and one or more

  walls would be constructed across the fourth, protecting it

  from land access. (see also Hillfort)

 

Prydain / Prydein - Brythonic names for the Picts.

 

Q-Celt - The term used to denote people who spoke the oldest

  Celtic language which was called Goidelic (Irish), Gaighlig

  (Scottish) or Gaelic (English) and is the language from

  which the modern Irish, Scottish and Manx languages

  derived. (see also Gaelic / P-Celt)

 

Quoits / Koits / Horse Shoes - A field game played with an

  upright post and circles of wood, metal or rope of 6"-7"

  (15-18 cm) in diameter, or horseshoes.  The object of the

  game is to throw the hoop or shoe around the post from a

  distance. The game can be played by singles or doubles.

 

Raith / Rath - Gaelic names for a ring-fort. (see Ring-fort)

 

Rampart - A broad earthen wall used as a defence for a

  fortress. (see Hillfort)

 

Rapier - The weapon was a long thin stabbing sword of the

  middle Bronze Age.

 

Rebirth (reincarnation) - The Celts believed that when the

  body died, the soul lived on and was reborn again in

  another body.  They believed that the soul could be reborn

  for instance in the form of an animal, fish, bird, insect,

  plant, rock or volcano. (see also Metempsychosis)

 

Rhain - Brythonic term for a woman of the noble class.

 

Ri / Righ - A Gaelic name for a chieftain.  The term was also

  used more loosely to signify the best hunter or the "Ri" of

  charioteers.

 

Ri Ruirech - A Gaelic term for a head chieftain or chief of

   chiefs.

 

Riastarthae - The distorted form taken by a warrior's

   body as he or she became overwhelmed by battle fury.

 

Rigbean - The Gaelic term for a woman of the noble class.

 

Ring-fort - A small settlement or large farmstead defended by

  a wooden palisade banked by earth and usually surrounded by

  a ditch. (see also Rath)

 

Ritual combat - Mock combats fought by Celtic champions

  during the funerals of great heroes or chieftains.

 

Rix - The Brythonic name for the person who was elected to

  the position of high chieftain.  The Rix could have been

  elected by the tribes, chosen by the gods or could have

  taken the position by force.  Unlike the royal families of

  modern times, the position was not hereditary. (see also

  Ard Righ)

 

Runes (Runa) - The alphabet used by the Nordic shamans for

  divination, writing messages and preserving information.

  (see also Divination)

 

Samhoklanach (Samildanach) - A Gaelic term for a person who

  is a master of all arts.

 

Satire - A poem created to ridicule a person or situation.

 

Schematic Art - Forms drawn with a minimal use of line that

  would allow the images to be recognized.

 

Score - A term given to denote a quantity 20, as in a tally

  system where every 20th mark was scored into the tally

  stick.

 

Scrying - The use of crystals, liquids or mirrors to enhance

  clairvoyance.

 

Scurvy - A debilitating disease caused by the lack of vitamin

  C.  The symptoms are swelling gums, loosening teeth and

  hemorrhaging under the skin, giving the appearance of early

  aging.

 

Seer - A person who can see into another time or place.

 

Shaman [M] / Shamanka [F] - The word derives from the hunting

  society of the Siberian Tungus people.  The Shaman/ka is

  the individual who interacts between the hunter and the

  hunted.  The Shaman/ka also protects the tribe from harm on

  both spiritual and physical levels.

 

Shape-changing - Changing from one form to another, such as

  from a human to an eagle, was common in Celtic mythology.

 

Shillelagh / shillelah (fighting stick) - A walking stick

  used by the Irish.  It was usually made from blackthorn or

  oak and had a knobby end.  It regained popularity during

  the English occupation of Ireland.

 

Shield - The shield was mostly a defensive tool used to

  deflect the force of a sword, axe, spear, etc.  Shields

  were made from different materials such as wicker, hide,

  wood or bronze or a combination of materials and different

  shapes such as round, oval, rectangular, etc.  depending on

  the type of defence needed.

       A small round leather shield was made by first

  softening the leather with cow dung, then pressing it

  against a mold of concentric rings.  The shield could then

  be strengthened using a copper or iron boss.  This type of

  shield was used during sword-play.  The battle line soldier

  preferred the larger heavier retangular shield that could

  be used to push as well as to stop a heavy spear.

 

Shinty {Shinny} / Camanchd - A Scottish field game played

  with 12 players to a team.  The players used curved sticks

  to manouver a leather ball into a goal (hail) which is 10

  ft (3 m) high and 12 ft (3.5 m) wide.  The field varies in

  size from 100-70 yds (90-65 m) in width to 250-140 yds

  (230-130 m) in length.

       The game is the forerunner of Canadian ice hockey and

  probably came over to the new world with the Scots during

  the ethnic cleansing of the Highlands in AD 18th century.

  (see also Hurley)

 

Sidhe {Shee} - The Celtic name for the Neolithic tumuli or

  mounds where the Danann retired after they were defeated by

  the Gaels.  The Danann built their raiths near or on top of

  them and buried their most important people in them.  The

  Goidels considered them to be doors to the Otherworld.

 

Sinister - The left half of the shield denoted the female of

  the family.  (see also Dexter / Distaff)

 

Sling - A weapon made with a leather pouch and a thong at

  either end (44"/110 cm) in total length.  A finger or wrist

  loop held one end to the hand, the other thong was held

  with the fingers.  The sling was swung around the head and

  thrown with a snap.  The sling was a very useful weapon and

  could be supplied at very little cost.  Cu Chulainn used it

  very effectively.

 

Soldurii - The term denotes a group of warriors who pledged

  their life to their leader.  If he or she died a violent

  death, the rest fought to the death as well or committed

  suicide.

 

Sorcier - A French word used to denote a water diviner.

 

Sortilege - The practice of divining by drawing lots.

 

Souterrain - see Fogou

 

Staff [si] / staves [pl] - A long stick that was a symbol of

  authority for the male line of a family.  It was of a

  specific length and was used for measuring, walking and

  climbing. (see also Distaff)

 

Spear - The spear was a heavy version of the lance with a

  long wooden handle 9-18 ft (2.7-5.5 m) and with a heavy

  head up to 18" (45 cm) long and 6" (15 cm) wide.  A short

  powerful thrust of the spear could pierce armor or the hide

  of a boar.  The heads sometimes had a wavy edge for easier

  penetration. (see also Lance)

 

Sporran - A purse worn at the front of the body.  It was made

  from the pelt of an animal with the head pulled up under a

  belt then folded over the opening which leads to the in the

  belly of the animal.

 

Stone of Destiny - A carved stone upon which the leaders were

  sworn into position.  The origional stone is thought to be

  hidden away in Scotland.

 

Suicide - A Celtic warrior considered taking one's own life

  an honorable means to avoid being dominated, or a way to

  escape the consequence of a defeat.

 

Surety -  A person responsibe for the good behavior of

  another.

 

Swan Boat - A special curragh built in the shape of a swan

  used to ferry the dead to the Otherworld. (see also

  Curragh)

 

Taileasg - A board game that is alternately called draughts

  (checkers) and backgammon.  (see also Draughts / Checkers)

 

Tamhlorgaibh fileadh / Taibhli-filidh (filidh staves) /

  Tabhall-lorg (tablet staff) / Fleasc filidh (filidh's wand)

  / Tamlorga filidh (trance shin of the filidh) - A headless

  square staff made up of thin sticks of birch, yew, alder,

  apple, oak etc.  and attached at one end so that it could

  be opened into a fan.  The poets wrote the basic outlines

  of stories into the sticks in ogham.  The filidh and druids

  also used them for record-keeping.  The reference to the

  shin reinforces the idea that the shin and the nose were

  both used as the stem line for two-handed ogham.  They were

  commonly called ogham wands and sometimes the sticks were

  tied into bundles and stored.

 

Tang - The continuation of the blade of a sword or knife over

  which the handle is fitted.

 

Tarbhfhess (bullfeast) / Tarbfeis - A sacred feast where a

  selected filidh would gorge on the flesh of a sacrificed

  bull. Sometimes they would soak in the broth or marrow fat

  of the animal, or wrap themselves in the animal's hide.

  The filidh would then have a prophetic dream to discover a

  new Ard Righ.

 

Teamhair (Tara's Halls) - The abode of the Ard Righ Eirinn

  and meeting halls of the people of Ireland.

 

Tech Screpta - A library at Tara where information and

  history were kept written on ogham sticks.  A story may

  have any number of sticks tied in a bundle.

       Patrick was credited with having burned the library of

  Tara as well as instigating the burning of caves full of

  ogham wands in an attempt to destroy the old religion. This

  may have been the reference to driving the snakes out of

  Ireland because there never were any real snakes.

 

Teulv - A Welsh term for one or more households.

 

Tutelary - Protector deity of the tribe.

 

Tifinag - A type of alphabet used by the Berbers and Tuaregs

  of North Africa which uses only consonants.

 

Totem - The symbol with which a person, clan or tribe had an

  affinity.  It might have been a type of bird, animal or

  fish and they would have a taboo against killing or eating

  that particular species.

 

Tor Innis - Island of Towers - An island off the coast of

  Ireland which was controlled the Fomorii.

 

Torc - The neck piece worn by Celtic warriors.  They were

  usually made of gold but some were of copper, bronze and

  iron.  The word was also used to denote a boar, hero or

  chieftain.

 

Torc fire (Torc Caille) - A large fire to warm a chieftain or

  hero. (see also Boarfire)

 

Transalpine Gaul - A term used in Caesar's time to designate

  present-day central France.

 

Tribe - A number of clans who are kinsmen and have banded

  together under one leader.

 

Trilithon - A type of megalith made from two upright stones

  with a horizontal stone on top.

 

Trimarkisia - The term used for a Gallic horse warriors and

  his or her 2 servants.

 

Tryst  - Agreement to meet at a particular time and place.

 

Tuatha - A Gaelic term for tribe.

 

Turoe Stone - An ancient boundary marker in Ireland that is

  covered in leaf motif patterns.

 

Uisce Bea Tha (Water of Life) - Irish Gaelic name for

  whiskey.

 

Uisge Beatha (Water of Life) - Scottish Gaelic name for

  whiskey.

 

Umbo (boss) - The round or conical protusion of a shield that

  protects the holder's hand and strengthens the shield. They

  were made of hardened leather or metal.

 

Vergobret / Vergobrete / Vergobrate - An elected magistrate

  with the executive power of life or death over his or her

  people. The position was similar to a chieftain but the

  term of office was defined.  They sometimes served as war

  leaders after their term of office.  The term derives from

  Vergo, "effective" and breto, "judgment".

 

Vernemeton - A Celtic term meaning great shrine or special

  sacred place.

 

Vitrified fort - A term used to describe the remains of a

  fortress wall made of wood and stone that had been set

  ablaze and now has a molten glassy look.

 

Warrior's Yell - A blood-curdling scream that is loud and

  prolonged.

 

Wagons - A 2-, 4- and sometimes 6-wheeled vehicle used for

  hauling goods.  The wheels were spoked with metal rims and

  the back wheels were usually larger than those on the

  front.  The wagon was also a part of the burial grave goods

  and was used to haul the deceased to the Otherworld along

  with his or her possessions.

 

Welsh - A Saxon word meaning foreigner.

 

Wether - The term for a castrated male sheep.

 

Withe - Flexible band of twisted willow or similar pliable

  twigs, used for tying up faggots, etc.

 

Year and a day - The phrase was used by the Celts to signify

  forever.

 

Zoomorphic - In the shape of an animal.  Many Celtic

  artifacts, from bucket handles to torcs, had zoomorphic

  designs incorporated into them.