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Boudicca's torc

2 CommentsWednesday, 16 December 2015  |  Admin

One of the things I love about copper bracelets is the way they look like something out of the days of antiquity. This might sound strange from someone who also loves futuristic-looking stainless steel and chrome-plated bracelets. But the fact is, I absolutely love the archaic looking bangles and bracelets too! Perhaps this is related to my growing interest in history - as I get older.

When I was young, I was interested, mainly, in science. I thought history was rubbish and couldn't understand why my parents and older sister were interested in it. Now I know. At least, I think I do. In fact, science and history are not by any means total opposites. There is, after all, a science of history - and certainly a history of science.

My latent interest in history started off when I read about the Saxons in the pre-Norman period before the Battle of Hastings. But then I ventured further afield. My interest went backward in time rather than forward. I wasn't interested in the Tudors and Stuarts - that had been rammed down my throat in school. I can't even say that I was interested in ancient Rome or Greece - as these were overworked and well-worn themes.

But I was interested in the ancient world - like ancient Egypt - and in cultural anthropology, focussing on the period when the rudiments of civilization were first laid down. Thus, I have an ongoing fascination with Stonehenge, wondering what sort of culture spawned such a grand and labour-intensive creation. And what motivated the people who built it? Fear of punishment? Or reward? Earthly reward? Or it's heavenly alternative? In other words, were they slaves working under the threat of the lash? Employees paid in gold or silver? Or religious devotees, erecting a great edifice to the glory of their deity?

Alas we will probably never know.

Another of my burgeoning interests is Boudicca, wife of Prasutagus and queen of the Iceni - or Icheni if you want to get technical with the probable pronunciation of the proto-Brythonic language.  When Prasutagus died and bequeathed half his kingdom to Rome and the other half to his wife and daughters, the patriarchal Romans were incensed. A vassal not leaving his ENTIRE Kingdom to Rome? And leaving the other half to WOMEN? In their anger (and psychological castration?), they retaliated by flogging Boudicca and raping her daughters. This was possibly a prelude to killing the daughters, as it was considered wicked - or, at least, unlucky - to kill a virgin.

However, the story didn't end there. Enraged by her humiliation and the violation of her daughters, she raised an army from the ranks of the irate people and - showing those patriarchal Romans what a woman was capable of - she destroyed three of their cities (Colchester, London and St. Albans) before making the mistake of confronting the Roman's in a pitched battle on unsuitable ground.

It was said that she had flaming red hair and wore a golden torc around her neck. But what is a torc? According to Wikipedia, a torc (sometimes spelled torq or torque) is "a large rigid or at least stiff neck ring in metal, made either as a single piece or from strands twisted together." The one above left is an example of this. But the other two are copper bangles that remind me of Boudicca's torc. The COPPER ROPES MAGNETIC BANGLE, is the one that looks most like it. But the TWO TONE MAGNETIC BANGLE is also strangely reminiscent of what the great Brythonic queen might have worn.

Anyway, they are both beautiful. And if you have a beautiful woman in your life, then remember this: even if you can't bequeath an entire kingdom to her, at least you can give her a nice bangle or bracelet.


Saturday, 23 January 2016  |  13:51

Very persuasive article. I'll send it to Barry and hope he gets the hint.

Monday, 8 February 2016  |  12:19

I hope so to;-)