The Dress Of The British Females

may be ascertained from Dion Cassius's account of the appearance ofBoadicea, Queen of the Iceni. Her light hair fell down her shoulders. She wore a torque of gold, a tunic of several colours, all in folds, and over it, fastened by a fibula or brooch, a robe of coarse stuffc" Necklaces, armlets, and other ornaments of bone or ivory, and of a substance known by the name of Kimmeridge Coal, are continually discovered in the early British barrows. Some, found in Derbyshire in 1846, have been engraved by the British Archaeological Society in their Journal) No. 7.

Necklace of bone and Kimmeridge cöäl, found in Derbyshire.

THE COMMONALTY and the less civilized tribes that inhabited the interior, as we have already stated on the authority of Caesar, went simply clad in skins.28 The hide of the brindled or spotted ox was generally preferred ;

82 Xiphilin,Abridg. of Dion Cassias.

but some wore the ysgyn, which was the name for the skin of any wild beast, but more particularly the bear; while others assumed the sheepskin cloak, according as thpy were herdsmen, hunters, or shepherds.*4 That, in the absence of more valuable fastenings, the cloak was secured, as amongst the ancient Germans, by a thorn, we have tolerable evidence in the fact of this primitive brooch being still used in Wal^s. There rerpains another class to be considered—

the priesthood.

It was divided into three orders—the Druids, the Bards, and the Ovates. The dress of the druidical or sacerdotal order was white, the emblem of holiness and peculiarly of truth. The Welsh bard Taliesin calls it " the proud white garment which separated the elders from the youth."*5

The bards wore a one-coloured robe of sky-blue, being emblematical of peace ; thus another bard,«6 in his Ode on the death of Cad^allon, calls them 61 wearers of long blue robes.'*

The Ovate or Ovydd, professing astronomy, medicine, &c., wore green, the symbol of learning, as being the colour of the clothing of nature. Taliesin makes an ovate say, "With my robe'of bright green, possessing a place in the assembly."*7

84 Meyrick, Orig. Inhab.

85 Owen's Elegies of Llywarch Hen.

86 Cynddelw. Owen's Elegies of Llywarch H6n.

Mic. Dimbych. Owen's Elegies.

The disciples of ihe orders wore variegated dresses of the three colours, blue, green, and white."

The arch-druid or high-priest wore an oaken garland, surmounted sometimes by a tiara of gold. A bas-relief, found at Autun, represents two Druids in long tunics and mantles ; one crowned with an oaken garland, and bearing a sceptre ; the other with a crescent in his hand, one of the sacred symbols. They are both engraved below, with a crescent and other articles, supposed druidical, all of gold, and found in various parts of Ireland.**

Baa-relief found at Autun, engraved in Montfaucon.

*» Or blue, green, and red. A disciple, about to be admitted a graduate, is called by the banls "a dog with spots of red, blue, and green." Merrick, Orig. Inhab. £l Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicis, vol. iv.; Archseologta,

Baa-relief found at Autun, engraved in Montfaucon.

*» Or blue, green, and red. A disciple, about to be admitted a graduate, is called by the banls "a dog with spots of red, blue, and green." Merrick, Orig. Inhab. £l Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicis, vol. iv.; Archseologta,

The mantle of one of the Druids, it will be observed, is fastened on the shoulders by a portion of it being drawn through a ring; and instances of this fashion are met with frequently in Anglo-Saxon illuminations. We believe it has never occurred to any previous writer on this subject that the annular ornaments resembling bracelets (vide fig. e?, page 17), so constantly discovered both here and on the Continent, and presumed to be merely votive, from the circumstance of their being too small to wear on the arm or the wrist, may have been used in this manner as a sort of brooch by the Gaulish and Teutonic tribes.

vol. iv.; Meyrick's Orig. Inhab. passim ; King's Munimenta Antiqua, &c. The centre ornament is supposed to be a tiara for the arch-druid, and that to the right a golden collar or breast-plate. The wreathed rod of gold, with a hook at each end, is probably a small torque flattened out The other, bent at one ena only, has been described as " a drnidical hook for tearing down the Sacred Mistletoe."

vol. iv.; Meyrick's Orig. Inhab. passim ; King's Munimenta Antiqua, &c. The centre ornament is supposed to be a tiara for the arch-druid, and that to the right a golden collar or breast-plate. The wreathed rod of gold, with a hook at each end, is probably a small torque flattened out The other, bent at one ena only, has been described as " a drnidical hook for tearing down the Sacred Mistletoe."

roman-british period, A.d. 78-400.

Julius Agricola, being appointed to the command in Britain a.d. 78, succeeded in perfectly establish-? ing the Roman dominion, and introducing the Roman manners and language; and, before the close of the first century, the ancient British habit began to be disesteemed by the chiefs, and regarded as a badge of barbarism. " The sons of the British chieftains," says Tacitus, "began to affect our dress."80 The braccce were abandoned by the southern and eastern Britons, and the Roman tunic, reaching to the knee, with the cloak or mantle, still however called the sagum, became the general habit i of the better classes.

The change in the female garb was little, if any ; as it had originally been similar to that of the Roman women. The coins of Carausius and the columns of Trajan and Antonine exhibit the Celtic females in two tunics; the lower one reaching to the ankles, and the upper about half-way down the thigh, with loose sleeves, extending only to the elbows, like those of the German women described by Tacitus 81. This ^ upper garment was sometimes confined by a girdle, and was called in British gwn, the gaunacum of Varro, and the origin of our word gown*

The hair of both sexes was cut and dressed after the Roman fashion.

In the armoury at Goodrich Court is a most interesting relic of this period. It is the metal coating of a shield, such as the Britons fabricated after they had been induced to imitate the Roman fashions. It is modelled upon the scutum, and was called, in consequence, ysgwyd, pronounced esgooyd. It appears originally to have been gilt, a practice continued for a long time by the descendants of the Britons, and is adorned on the umbo or boss with the common red cornelian of the country. u It is impossible," remarks its proprietor, " to contemplate the artistic portions without feeling convinced that there is a mixture of British ornaments with such resemblances to the elegant designs on Roman work as would be produced by a people in a state of less civilization." 38 This unique specimen was found with several broken swords and spear-heads of bronze, in the bed of the river Witham, in Lin>> colnshire.

Metal coating of an ancient Roman-Britiah «hield, found in the bed of the river Witham, and now in the Meyrick collection.

83 Archœologia, vol. xxiii.

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