TORCs

Forging, smelting, bronze, silver, gold smithing....

Postby Dan Crowther on March 9th, 2008, 8:20 am

Have iron torcs like that been found? Because that's wicked easy to make and I'd love for our group members to wear something like that.
User avatar
Dan Crowther
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 278
Joined: July 13, 2005
My Location: Valley Falls, NY - USA
Tribe: DalRiadan
Time period: 400CE
aka: Cormac McInnean

Postby Heather Smith on May 16th, 2008, 9:03 am

I have seen a ton of torcs in my research. It is noted of the Bog People by P.V. Glob that there may be some similarities between the strangulation sacrifices and torcs. It's a little earlier date, but may give us some clues towards their meaning, if any. I still believe that the weight of the torc alone may have been a constant reminder that while you may be free here in life the Gods had ultimate power and in the end you still answered to them. Circles seemed to hold religious importance as well and behind the value of the head as almost a cult item, who knows there may be some importance behind the torc protecting the neck- or maybe cut here as it may have been. If we are to believe that with out your head you may not enter the after life the torc may have symbolized your ticket in more ways than one.

Glass bracelets....my guys in our group wear glass arm bands. I don't honestly know if this is significantly female. Roman bracelets tend to be small and I suspect that they were not popular with men. I can speak of beads however, and they have been found more often in female graves, but men valued them as well. From what I've read, the Celts were a proud almost gaudy people and it would not surprise me if in fact the men wore some type of glass arm band or bracelet....for dressing up purposes. Glass rarely survives all that stuff men do so keep that in mind.

Making bracelets. Working with glass requires you to slowly heat the glass or it will explode. This is the case as well when you are cooling it. Bracelets tend to be much larger and would require a constant and fairly equal temp for the whole product. Basic modern day glass torches for bead working are too small. A glass blowers furnace or larger torch may work. In some cases I think they probably used a pre-form to wind the glass over probably similar to ancient vial making techniques. I've read that you could produce such vials (tiny) using modern bead torches by wrapping steel wool around a mandrel, dipping it in bead release and winding your glass around this pre-form into a vial. Haven't tried it, but it might work as well on a larger scale. Using Jacqui Woods' ancient 'Bunsen burner' technique (mentioned under glass bead thread I believe) you may be able to produce such bracelets. Great subject which I would like to know more.
"A whole troop of foreigners would not be able to withstand a single Gual if he called his wife to his assistance" -Ammianus Marcellinus
User avatar
Heather Smith
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 320
Joined: September 5, 2005
My Location: TN
Region: South Germany, Heuneburg hillfort region
Time period: 300 BC
aka: Brecca

Postby Heather Smith on May 16th, 2008, 9:05 am

Oh yeah, Iron torcs have been found. As my husband states, even the poorist Celt could wear his torc...as if iron was cheep!
"A whole troop of foreigners would not be able to withstand a single Gual if he called his wife to his assistance" -Ammianus Marcellinus
User avatar
Heather Smith
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 320
Joined: September 5, 2005
My Location: TN
Region: South Germany, Heuneburg hillfort region
Time period: 300 BC
aka: Brecca

Postby Andrew Malcolm on June 23rd, 2008, 9:56 am

Check these silver torcs from Britain

Image
Image
Image
A brave man is a free man.
User avatar
Andrew Malcolm
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 296
Joined: February 26, 2006
My Location: Natimuk, Victoria, Australia
Tribe: Island of Rhodes
Region: Biblical Christianity
Time period: 490BC Greece
aka: Ikaros

Postby Jeff Scharp on June 23rd, 2008, 6:23 pm

Hi Andrew, Do you know where in Britain these are from? Are they Iron Age or something later?
User avatar
Jeff Scharp
Site Admin
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 823
Joined: June 26, 2005
My Location: Temple, Texas
Tribe: Corieltauvi
Region: East Midlands, UK
Time period: Late Iron Age Britain
aka: Lugorix

torcs

Postby Will Marshall-Hall on July 13th, 2008, 6:24 pm

Hi Andrew,

Nice torcs, where in UK are they from? Do they have a bonefide time period associated to them?

Will
User avatar
Will Marshall-Hall
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 651
Joined: March 9, 2007
My Location: Wales, UK
Tribe: Ordovician
Region: North Wales
Time period: 250BC - 80AD
aka: Cwnogenus

Postby Andrew Malcolm on July 14th, 2008, 5:21 pm

I stumbled accross these doing some google searches, theyre from a museum but stupidly I forgot to get the information. I'm trying to locate the site so keep watching :) At this stage I know they are silver and British, location and date as of yet unknown.
A brave man is a free man.
User avatar
Andrew Malcolm
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 296
Joined: February 26, 2006
My Location: Natimuk, Victoria, Australia
Tribe: Island of Rhodes
Region: Biblical Christianity
Time period: 490BC Greece
aka: Ikaros

Re: TORCs

Postby Pat Leppan on April 3rd, 2010, 1:57 pm

I came to this topic a bit late. I've posted my 2 torcs that I had made on commission. The Ipswich I ordered back in Dec 2002 just before deploying to Iraq. The Ipswich was shipped Feb 10 2003, incidentally the exact date my Marine unit deployed to Iraq for the invasion. With all the customs and our unit moving around between combat it took 3 months to arrive to me over there. I couldn't help the inner Gaul in me and I wore it on every posting, patrol, and mission. Our unit flew back from Iraq Sept 11 2003 and I wore it on our departure flight all the way back stateside. So that particular torc has some history with me. And I'd hazard a bet that it was probably the only Torc worn in actual combat by anyone in the last millenia. For anyone wanting more info on this particular torc and where to get one here it is. I paid about $260.00 for it and it was made by Dave Chapman from England. http://www.bronzeagefoundry.com/#/shop- ... 4531979835 He has other bronze age items and probably could do commission work as well. Mine has a Bronze core and 22k gold plating. Its withstood the wear and tear test for use. Only a small bit on the terminals are showing some of the plating wearing off. Probably due to me wearing it on almost every chance I can get. (maybe Im weird that way) The other torc I purchased from Nix Imperial http://www.niximperial.com/ Terry was pretty cool with me on a payment plan so I was able to get the Snettisham torc in about 6 months. It was about $270.00 including shipping. It has a brass core with gold plating. So there are some cost effective sources online that could get someone into a gold torc if they are saving up for it. I hope the links help as well. Both are still active. Dont hesitate to tell either that Charles Patrick Leppan III / viridovix.aeduus@gmail sent ya.

Image
Pat Leppan
Aka
Viridovix Aeduus
Following the wheel of knowledge
User avatar
Pat Leppan
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 157
Joined: March 28, 2009
My Location: Michigan, United States
Tribe: Aedui
Time period: 600 b.c. - 100 a.d.
aka: Viridovix Aeduus

Re: TORCs

Postby Alex Hovorka on April 3rd, 2010, 6:31 pm

What an amazing story.
Alex Hovorka
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 1016
Joined: August 21, 2009
My Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA
Tribe: Boii
Time period: 300 - 200 BC
aka: Alex Hovorka

Re: TORCs

Postby Dru Durman on April 5th, 2010, 12:02 pm

Nice!
Dywow genes!
(Cornish: Gods be with you!)

Drustanos

http://www.dumnonika.com
User avatar
Dru Durman
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 1179
Joined: October 4, 2009
My Location: Devon, UK
Tribe: Dumnonii
Region: South West Britain
Time period: 1st Century AD
aka: Drustanos

Re: TORCs

Postby Howard Major on April 21st, 2010, 10:29 pm

Have read that Iron & Bronze were used along with Gold. Don't remember any references to Silver, but I DON'T "know it all". I think the reference to Iron torcs is in one of the Osprey books. Wear a bronze one myself. Make or get an Iron one to start with, & save up for a Bronze one later.
Howard (haven't got a Celtic name yet!)
Howard Major
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 3
Joined: September 11, 2007

Re: TORCs

Postby Ben Abbott on April 22nd, 2010, 6:43 pm

There were two silver torcs found in the Snetisham Hoard. Here's the site for one of them: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pe_prb/s/silver_torc_from_snettisham.aspx
-Otuell
Ben Abbott
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 40
Joined: August 21, 2007
My Location: Pasadena, CA
Tribe: Dobunni
Time period: 43AD
aka: Otuell

Re: TORCs

Postby Alex Hovorka on April 22nd, 2010, 7:13 pm

Does anyone know about the Boii, from the Bavarian/Bohemian area, not wearing torcs? I remember this from somewhere but I can't remember if it was a literary find or just a lack of torc finds in the area.

Also, does anyone have any pictures or illustrations of some iron torcs? Locations, dates, things like that.
Alex Hovorka
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 1016
Joined: August 21, 2009
My Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA
Tribe: Boii
Time period: 300 - 200 BC
aka: Alex Hovorka

Re: TORCs

Postby M_McClure on June 12th, 2010, 4:56 am

oh yeah, I forgot to answer this question when I saw it originally!

There have been torcs found in Hungary (or of Hungarian origin); ones in Budapest, and the Scordisci areas; many have been found in adjacent Moravia; and torques/torcs have been found in Bohemia, but in burials it seems that women favored being buried with them the most. Warriors may have wore them, but did not always have them buried when they died. I have not personally read the the Boii did not use torcs, but it's an interesting question none-the-less!
User avatar
M_McClure
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 153
Joined: February 22, 2009
Tribe: Uolkanom Textosagis
Time period: 150 B.C. - 50 B.C.
aka: Konuiktolitauis

Re: TORCs

Postby Jeff Scharp on June 15th, 2010, 8:33 pm

Alex Hovorka wrote:Also, does anyone have any pictures or illustrations of some iron torcs? Locations, dates, things like that.


Some of the "iron torcs" that were originally described when found have turned out to be bucket handles. But there are a few from Britain that are shaped like the Ipswich torcs that convincing enough to be accepted as torcs.

This one from Dorset:



There are more iron torcs out there, I just have to look more. I have a copy of a German article with an in-depth look at torcs that probably has answers to lots of my questions if I could just read it!
User avatar
Jeff Scharp
Site Admin
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 823
Joined: June 26, 2005
My Location: Temple, Texas
Tribe: Corieltauvi
Region: East Midlands, UK
Time period: Late Iron Age Britain
aka: Lugorix

Re: TORCs

Postby Terry Sebolt on June 15th, 2010, 9:14 pm

How long is the article? If it's not too long, you could post it up here. Cindy and I could do our best, and there are some native speakers. Maybe we could break it up and translate it, a couple of pages for each of us.

Redg
User avatar
Terry Sebolt
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 405
Joined: September 1, 2007
My Location: San Antonio, TX
Tribe: Corieltauvi & Batavi
Time period: 1 C BC - 1 C AD & Hallstatt
aka: Red the Leatherselle

Re: TORCs

Postby Jeff Scharp on June 15th, 2010, 9:19 pm

It's pretty long. I'll get it scanned in and make it available to anyone who'd like to see it. Thanks!
User avatar
Jeff Scharp
Site Admin
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 823
Joined: June 26, 2005
My Location: Temple, Texas
Tribe: Corieltauvi
Region: East Midlands, UK
Time period: Late Iron Age Britain
aka: Lugorix

Re: TORCs

Postby Joshua MacCready on May 19th, 2011, 1:18 pm

There were many torcs forged in Iron, the Celts were rich historically, but this was not the case for all Celts, here is a link to a custom made $14 iron forged torc that I have ordered for myself, I am also getting a nifty "perk" as I will be the editor of the new English site to be launched in the fall.

http://www.wulflund.com/smithy-works/fo ... -torc.html
Joshua MacCready
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 23
Joined: May 19, 2011
My Location: Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States
Tribe: Pict
Region: Caledonia
Time period: 5,000 B.C.E.- 700 C.E.
aka: Aonghus MacCready

Re: TORCs

Postby Denis Grabow on May 19th, 2011, 4:38 pm

I only saw this thread right now. If anyone wants an article translated from german to english, or vice versa, I would volunteer.
User avatar
Denis Grabow
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 215
Joined: May 19, 2009
My Location: Sentiacum in Germania Inferior. (or the modern town at the same place)
Tribe: Eburone
Region: Germany, middle Rhine valley
Time period: first century b.c
aka: Brannos

Re: TORCs

Postby PetrusBosman on June 19th, 2011, 5:59 am

I have put two book references about torcs in a topic om marketplace.

Torcs started out as something purely religuous; nót being worn. It is very much analogue to the cross in christianity.

It was adopted over an amazingly large area spanning most of eurasia. Examples are found on the iberian peninsula, in scadinavia, all over the central asian planes.

On the continent they are often found in a burial mound whereas in Britain most have been found in hoards.
This in itself lead to interpretative complications as hoards are associated with periods of great unrest, wheras rich burial mounds are rather the opposite.
Also the examples from britain are relatively late in the picture. Some are even ´Made in Italy´ roman gifts that can be seen as the US secretary of State presenting a valuable Koran to an Afghani warlord/religuous leader.

If a ´devine warrior´ wore a golden torc into battle this thing would either have been taken as a trophy or brought back. No way such an object would have been left on a battle field.
It is not untill the romans meet the torc wearing warriors that we learn about thís aspect. The famous happening of the Roman consul Titus Manlius in 361 BC battling with a Gaul in single combat, killing him and then toking his torc is telling. It settled a whole battle.
Because he always wore it, he received the nickname Torquatus (the one who wears a torc) and it started the custom of the torc as a Roman token of special battle performance.

We do not knów but it seems likely that for a long time they represented something devine connected with the warrior wearer.
Like the role of druids/shamans and how they were represented in society, maybe even were the ones wearing the torc during some period, we do not know.
The above mentioned Gaul might have been a warrior priest for all we know.
The ´typical´ barbarian European however would NOT have worn one.

The torc has a clear connection to religion and war. The húge span of geography and time makes evolution of the significance and role over time and space logical.
It is cause and effect that it disappears as the cross appears. A symbol of the shifting balance of power to different spiritual leaders and the eartly leaders joining up with thóse.
The torc; a symbol for men and gods *idea*

An interesting context is the trial by combat/ judicial duel (wager of battle in britain) that was deeply rooted in germanic culture. Devine power deciding about justice.
Since the independence no court in the United States has addressed the issue of whether this remains a valid alternative to a civil action under the law *eek*
PetrusBosman
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 13
Joined: June 17, 2011

Re: TORCs

Postby PetrusBosman on June 20th, 2011, 3:16 am

At the battle of Telamon in 225 bc the romans fought a Gaullic alliance.

The romans killed some 40.000 and took 10.000 prisoner.
This resulted in 1471 torcs harvested, making 1 in 35 a torc wearer.

As to the actual numbers we have to rely on Roman accounts so can propably safely assume that they were exagerated but for the issue it makes not much difference.

As the torc was a highly rated measure of success, making the wearers special targets, made easier by those being the boldest fighters, the ratio is likely to have been a dimension larger but it in any case shows that the torc was something only an elite bestowed by the gods wore.

It is interesting to look into the term Gaesatae, according to Rom,an sources meaning "mercenaries" which matches Old Irish gaiscedach "champion, armed person", from gaisced "weapons", itself from gáe "spear, javelin".
These warriors fought at the front, attacking naked, with a spear and small shield. They are represented in the famous statue of the dying Gaul.
PetrusBosman
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 13
Joined: June 17, 2011

Re: TORCs

Postby Edwin Deady on June 20th, 2011, 4:43 pm

<Torcs started out as something purely religuous; nót being worn. It is very much analogue to the cross in christianity.>

The fish was the first Christian symbol but they went off quite quickly.


Equally possible they were a development of assorted necklace, lunulae etc. No reason a "typical" barbarian wouldn't have worn one if he fancied doing so.

Have we any evidence that the torc was any sort of measure of success. Don't see how them being worn by the boldest fighters, if they were, could possibly make them easier targets because they were worn by the best fighters and thus more difficult to collect.
User avatar
Edwin Deady
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 1492
Joined: July 28, 2005
My Location: Cornwall
Tribe: Ingaevolc
aka: Aeduin O' Déadaigh

Re: TORCs

Postby Dru Durman on June 20th, 2011, 5:13 pm

Edwin Deady wrote:Don't see how them being worn by the boldest fighters, if they were, could possibly make them easier targets because they were worn by the best fighters and thus more difficult to collect.


Yes, but the boldest (and best) fighters would have been in the front rank, and therefore, however good they were were more likely to be killed than the slightly less bold guys hiding at the back of the battlefield.

I've heard as torcs being the equivalent of a crown (despite a couple of IA 'crown' type head-dresses being discovered, one in the Deal Grave in Kent, the other the Petrie Crown in Ireland); i.e. that the torc denoted a ruler. Obviously with the associations of kings and divine power this doesn't detach them from a religious link, but perhaps would suggest that the warrior was not a warrior priest but rather a ruler of sorts. Given the differing qualities of torcs (compare the range of torcs found at Snettisham, let alone the difference between them and those found elsewhere, such as the Polden Hill Hoard, the Wraxall torc etc) is it possible that the lower quality ones of simple iron or bronze, might be the symbol of a minor king or chieftain (say a cattle lord of a single dun) while the better ones might be the symbol of higher ranking kings? In Irish culture certainly we see different ranks of kings, from the Ri Tuatha or An Ri up to Ard Ri. Is it possible then that the Eceni for instance would have been divided into smaller chiefdoms all tied to the king (or queen) of the whole tribe/kingdom?

In Dumnonia at least we see the area being classed as belonging to the Dumnonii tribe by Rome, but the archaeology suggests no central government and indeed seems to suggest a loose confederation of smaller tribes with noticeable groupings of hillforts. Modern references to the Brigantes see them as a large confederation of tribes under one name and as I understand it one of the reasons for the Atrebates inviting the Romans in was that the Catuvellauni were expanding somewhat. Perhaps Cunobelinos was at the head of a small tribal empire and the Catuvellauni as much a confederation of tribes as the Brigantes or Dumnonii?

I'm not arguing against torcs holding religious significance by any stretch of the imagination, just considering what the different standards of them might mean. Obviously it could just be that you didn't have the money to make a gold torc to offer to the gods, and so a cheaper one had to do... Shame, since I personally love wearing them!
Dywow genes!
(Cornish: Gods be with you!)

Drustanos

http://www.dumnonika.com
User avatar
Dru Durman
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 1179
Joined: October 4, 2009
My Location: Devon, UK
Tribe: Dumnonii
Region: South West Britain
Time period: 1st Century AD
aka: Drustanos

Re: TORCs

Postby Edwin Deady on June 21st, 2011, 1:50 am

Loose confederation might well be it in many aspects of IA life. Certainly what there was of their religion suggests this as does the spacing and positioning of hillforts or "independent" raths and other settlements. What High King could compel he who held Danebury, for example, to obedience?

As to Torcs of differing quality, remember the choices in the Merchant of Venice or the prayer to "make my enemies swords of gold". Iron could be THE metal to wear rather than flashy gold if you were hard enough. But then perhaps if you were really really hard you wore the price of many cattle round your neck almost as a challenge to the world to come and take it.
User avatar
Edwin Deady
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 1492
Joined: July 28, 2005
My Location: Cornwall
Tribe: Ingaevolc
aka: Aeduin O' Déadaigh

Re: TORCs

Postby Dylan Wilburn on May 17th, 2014, 9:18 am

I've have been wondering if the torc was only worn by a certain group within Celtic society, if it was worn as a symbol that their lives were service to the gods?
Dylan Wilburn
 
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
 
Posts: 39
Joined: May 1, 2014
My Location: North Wales
Tribe: Ordovices
Region: North Wales
Time period: Pre-Roman Iron Age to Roman invasion

PreviousNext

Return to Ancient crafts: Working with Metals

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest