Horse shoes and horse shoeing: their origin, history, uses, and abuses/Chapter III

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Overthrow of the Roman Empire by the Barbarians. The 'dark ages.' The Emperor Leo, and his 'tactica.' Ferrea Lunatica. the emperor constantine and 'selenaia.' archæology. ancient customs of europe. chifflet's description of king childeric's tomb. Douglas and the abbé cochet. discovery of antique horse-shoes. burial with horses. the ancient Germans and other races; their superstitions. The gauls and britons. rarity of horse-shoes in graves. The celts shod their horses; their history. the gauls as a nation: Warriors and agriculturists. the druids. gallic names. an equestrian nation. horses, waggons, and roads. Alesia and its tombs. Primitive farriery. the druid's workshop and alter. the pontiff blacksmith. the gaulish cavalry. defeat of vercingetorix. napolean III. and his 'Vie de cæsar.' besançon and its relics. small-sized horse-shoes. Gallo-roman shoes; their peculiarities. specimens found with roman remains. vaison and its testimony. crecy. suppression of druidism in gaul. invasion of the franks, and effeminacy of the gaulish nobles. the franks not an equestrian people. levies of cows instead of horses. absence of horse-shoes from merovingian graves. the carlovingian dynasty. advantages of cavalry. charlemagne and revival of equestrianism. traditions. shoeing in france in the ninth and subsequent centuries. the comte de l'etable, and ecuyer. origin of chivalry and its constitution. duties of the knights. the mareschal.

We have now reached a comparatively modern date in the history of the domestication of the horse, without discovering any incontrovertible evidence as to those who employed it having extended its usefulness by a durable armature to its vulnerable hoofs. All the authorities worthy of acceptance have been examined, and their testimony, taken as a whole, would lead to the belief that plates of iron or other metal, securely attached to the feet by nails, were not in use during the period of time over which our inquiry has extended; these authorities have been historians, agricultural and veterinary writers, and sculptors, who would, we may be almost certain, have left us ample testimony in this respect, had they been cognizant of the art. But we appear to have evidence that a very temporary and clumsy defence was resorted to, and which was more or less firmly fixed to the extremity by thongs and bands, or straps and buckles.

Unfortunately, further inquiry is rendered all but nugatory on account of the dearth of historical or other records by which one might be enabled to pursue an uninterrupted investigation towards the period when iron shoes were attached by iron nails to the feet of horses, and that such an artisan as the faber ferrarius was needed to garnish the hoofs with these now indispensable appendages. The third century saw the Roman Empire rapidly declining; successive hordes of barbarians issuing from what are designated 'the frozen loins of the north,' began to disturb the equilibrium of the western world, and to spread confusion and destruction everywhere. The Huns, originally of Tatar or Scythian origin, first made their presence felt in Europe about the middle of the 4th century, and about a hundred years later ravaged the continent far and near, under the leadership of their king, Attila, the ‘Scourge of God.’ With an immense army, the greater portion of which was cavalry, he invaded and laid under tribute the Roman empire, but not before devastating many of its provinces. After his death, this wandering people, who appear to have been largely composed of Kalmuck or Mongol Tatars, were without a leader, and, being broken up, formed themselves into a number of petty states, which continued to maintain their independence until the close of the eighth century, when they were subdued by Charlemagne. During these and subsequent centuries, well termed the ‘Dark Ages,’ learning was at a low ebb, because of the disturbed condition of the civilized world, and the overthrow of kings and dynasties by the irruptions of these strange and less than semi-barbarous nations, who swept away or destroyed in their progress nearly everything valuable to future ages, leaving only the more salient and remarkable historical facts to be imperfectly described by a few monks or refugees. These were, for the most part, buried in cloisters or secluded spots, and had but few opportunities, even if they possessed the inclination or ability, to note the various changes which befell many of the arts, or chronicle those which appeared for the first time. So that it is not to be wondered at that the annalists of those days should be silent with regard to these foot defences, and that the first intimation of their existence should only be given at so late a date as the ninth century.

The change of designation which was formerly employed to indicate the coverings for the feet, χαρβατιναι, εκβαται, soleæ, and ἱπποπεδος, was that which first led investigators to the conclusion that our present method of shoeing was practised in the ninth century. From the ancient terms being much less frequently met with, it was surmised that the old-fashioned solea had gone out of use, and that the new armature, if it was adopted, must have a particular designation of another kind to distinguish it. In the ‘Tactica’ of the Eastern Emperor Leo VI, surnamed the Philosopher (A.D. 886—911), there is a list of everything necessary for the equipment of a cavalry soldier, and amongst other articles are included ‘lunar or crescent-shaped iron shoes and their nails.’[1]

In the ‘Tactica’ of the Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, son of the former, the same passage also occurs,[2] and in a book by this monarch on court ceremonies,[3] iron horse-shoes are mentioned on two occasions: first, when in speaking of the horses to be provided for the imperial stables, he directs that they are to be furnished with everything requisite, and to have σελεηναῖα—selenaia; and, secondly, where it is ordered that a certain weight of iron is to be issued from the imperial magazines for the purpose of making these iron shoes, and other articles of horse necessaries.

These are, so far as is known, the first instances that occur in history of horse-shoes, with their nails; and it is somewhat remarkable, that about this period they are also noticed in the writings of Italian, French, English, and other authors. We will refer to these at another time; at present it is necessary to observe, that this mode of preserving horses' feet must have been in vogue long ages before it is casually alluded to by the Byzantine Emperors; and in all likelihood was even practised by the Romans in the early centuries of our era, though their writers are silent with regard to it.

For some years, the study of the ancient languages and of old monuments has assumed the dignity and position of a science, and has gradually introduced great modifications in the opinions held in regard to the primary phases of humanity; while discoveries, conveniently and reasonably discussed, have brought into view other horizons, and given a novel direction to ethnologic research. This new science, which investigates the unwritten history of our race, and illustrates, in a most unequivocal manner, that which has been written, has been styled 'Ethnological Archæology;' to it the discourse of our subject is already much indebted, as we will see presently.

The researches of archæologists and ethnologists have, in this and other countries, thrown much light on the manners and customs of the ancient inhabitants of Europe, and thus largely compensated for the absence of written documents; and the result has been to carry back the probable date of the introduction of modern shoeing to a generation much beyond that supposed by inquirers, who relied solely on the evidence of Greek and Roman authors, and the creations of the sculptor's chisel.

In the year 1655, Jean Jacques Chifflet published a description of what he supposed to be the tomb of Childeric, father of Clovis discovered at Tournay, in Belgium, in 1623.[4] This king, who lived in the fifth century, was the founder of the French monarchy; and in the grave, with human bones, those of a horse, ornaments and equipments of various kinds, was also found what Chifflet believed to be the remains of an iron horse-shoe. This article was in a state of extreme oxidation, and from the small fragment that could be preserved the author contrived to delineate an ordinary horse-shoe of the seventeeath century. Chifflet, two years after the discovery, published his account of it, in which he says: ‘The remains of his (Childeric's) horse were found: the bones of the head, the teeth, cheek-bones, and an iron shoe; but the latter was so eaten away by rust, that while I was trying to cleanse the nail holes—of which there were four on each side—with a small spike, the rotten iron broke in pieces, and could only be imperfectly restored.'[5] This restored shoe has given rise to much dispute. Bracy Clark thought from its shape and size that it must have belonged to a mule; forgetting that the use of such an animal for riding purposes in the age of the Merovingian kings, and by a king, was possibly as great a degradation as it is now-a-days to the Indians, or to the Bedouins, who sing—

Honourable is the riding of a horse to the rider,
But the mule is a dishonour, and the ass a disgrace.[6]

Douglas, in his ‘Nenia Britannica,’ throws great discredit on Chifflet's description, because of his not being present when the tomb was opened, and also because of the condition the various objects were in. When Douglas visited France in 1787, the shoe and some other articles were not to be found, which caused him to look with yet greater distrust on the whole account.

The Abbé Cochet, an accomplished antiquarian, is also suspicious of this fragment of iron, which was so oxidized that it fell into powder on the slightest touch, and has entirely disappeared, being the remains of a horseshoe; he is more inclined to think it must have been a portion of the iron-mounting of a box, although the skeleton of a horse was found in the tomb. He bases his doubts on the fact, that in no Frankish grave has anything been discovered at all resembling an iron nailed shoe, and he is of opinion that the Franks did not shoe their small and coarse-bred horses.[7]

middle ages, it was not derogatory even for a king to ride a mule. Immediately before the battle of Navarette, he mentions King Henry 'mounted on a handsome and strong mule, according to the custom of his country,' riding through the ranks, paying his compliments to the lords and knights, and entreating them to exert themselves in defending his honour.—Chronicles of England, France, and Spain, vol. iii. p. 302. London, 1806. Montfauçon, however, believed it to be really a horseshoe, and adds, ‘the shoe is small; whence it is conjectured the animal it belonged to was of a diminutive size.’ And in reply to the objection that the Franks did not shoe their horses, he replies: ‘Perhaps only the greatest persons had their horses shod in those times; and afterwards, probably when the practice of shoeing was more general, the Franks only shod their cavalry occasionally, as in frost, for example, in the ninth century.’

In the accompanying copy of this restored, but doubtful, shoe (fig. 5), it will be seen that there was but a slender instalment to base such an outline upon, Montfauçon says, in explanation of the drawing: ‘The horse-shoe of Childeric has been there represented entire, although only a portion of it

intéressante d'Oberflacht, ont rencontré un équipement complet de cheval sans fer . . . . . le fer de Childeric Ier, ainsi que les squelettes de chevaux francs trouvés en Allemagne, prouve que cette race était petite, ce qui est confirmé par Tacite:

Equi (eorum) non forma conspicui.


Namur, rapporteur des fouilles de Dalheim, dit: ‘Il parait étabiì que les chevaux gaulois des premiers siècles de l'ère chrétienne élaient de petits chevaux de selle, demi-sauvages, à petits sabots durs et rétrécis, comme le sont encore aujourd'hui les chevaux demi-sauvages éléves dans l'Ukraine et dans les steppes qui avoisinent la mer Caspienne.’—Le Tombeau de Childeric Ier. Paris, 1862. has been found; but by this piece it is easy (?) to judge of the size of the whole. The horse was a small' one.’[8]

Since Chifflet's publication appeared, relics of races whose history has never been written, and whose story has never been told, have been found in various parts of Europe and in our own country; and among these not unfrequently have appeared horse-shoes of a primitive, peculiar, and somewhat marked form, which plainly indicates that they are of high antiquity. The researches of archæologists, carefully and skilfully conducted, have, in many instances, led us to form an estimate of their age; but in other cases we are left much in doubt, from their not accompanying any remains which can be traced to any race or epoch, and also from their often occurring with relics which mark no particularly definite period.

One source from whence these memorials of an age long passed have been derived, has been the graves, cromlechs, tumuli, barrows, kists, or cairns, as the last resting-places of primitive peoples have been variously named; and their presence there has been due to the prevalence of a custom which shows that the early inhabitants of many parts of Europe were horse-loving nations, from whom the noble creature could not be separated, even by death. I allude to the interment of horses with the mighty dead, the fame of whose deeds was not allowed to pass to our time, and whose bones, fragments of weapons, or adornment, and the silent evidence of their friendship for the horse, alone remain to denote their having once upon a time existed. To a certain extent, the horse-shoes found in graves are trustworthy testimony to the antiquity of nail-shoeing, and the degree to which it prevailed.

The practice of burying the horse with his master is extremely ancient, and general to a most wonderful extent. With the Greeks, as with ourselves, horses served to heighten the solemnity of death. Homer tells us, that when the Greeks were mourning for Patroclus,

Thrice round the dead they drove their sleek-skinn'd steeds'

and the body of that warrior being consigned to the flames,

round the edges of the pyre,
Horses and men commix'd.

In the funeral feasts of his people, which are represented on funeral monuments, the image of a horse's head was usually placed in one corner, as an emblem that death was a journey.

Among the ancient Germans, the body of the dead warrior was consumed in the flames of a particular kind of wood, and only the arms of the deceased, with his horse, were given to the flames with him; then a mound of earth was heaped up over all.[9] Cæsar speaks of Celtic tribes as burying with the dead their most valuable possessions, and sacrificing human beings, probably, also, the horse.

In Celtic, Slavonic, and German graves or cairns, horses' bones are expected to be found. At Mecklenburg the presence of horse-remains is not unfrequent. In a barrow on the Baltic coast, the skeleton of a very tall man was discovered eight feet below the surface or summit of the mound; and beside the skull, on the left side, lay bones of a horse's head, and several flint knives at the top and bottom. More than a dozen human skeletons lay around in a circle, the skulls inwards towards the principal one, and a number of stone weapons. At another place a stone cairn was opened in which were two graves; in both were arms, stone implements and weapons, amber ornaments, and the remains of unburnt horses' bones. Similar remains were found in other stone cairns. At Calbe, near the former place, Wagner discovered the skeleton of a horse, surrounded by at least twenty urns, in a grave marked on the surface by three large stones. Wilhelm mentions a grave in which the skull of a skeleton rested on the cranium of a horse, and the other bones of the animal lay around the grave. In tombs supposed to belong to the Alemannic tribes, this antiquarian discovered similar remains.

At Selzen, on the Rhine, Lindenschmidt found a horses skull in the resting-place of a primitive warrior (fig. 6).[10]

In the vicinity of Hamburg, graves which were supposed to belong to what is termed the ‘iron period’ were opened, and horses' bones were found. At Nienburg, horse and human bones were met with, mingled together, in a cairn belonging to the same period.

The Slavonians sacrificed horses on their graves; for the Arabian traveller, Ibn Fozlan, was a witness to this practice in the 10th century, at the funeral of a Russian prince. The Lithuanians and Samogitians did the same; and the Finn and other Mongolian races, among which may be reckoned the Tschuds, generally buried their horses with the dead. The remains of horses are very often found in the graves of the tribes who formerly tenanted Liefland. Marco Polo, in alluding to the custom of interring the bodies of the chiefs of the race of Ghengis Khan at a certain lofty mountain, no matter where they may have died, adds: 'It is likewise the custom, during the progress of removing the bodies of these princes, for those who form the escort to sacrifice such persons as they may chance to meet on the road, saying to them, "Depart for the next world, and there attend upon your deceased master," being impressed with the belief that all whom they thus slay do actually become his servants in the next life. They do the same also with respect to horses, killing the best of the stud, in order that he may have the use of them.' This was in the 13th century.

Tumuli containing the remains of horses and men are met with in Central Asia and Siberia. The vast plains of these regions have ever been nurseries for horse-loving nations. This sacrifice and burial of horses, was particularly practised by the early northern nations, but especially by the Scandinavians. When a hero or chief fell gloriously in battle, his funeral obsequies were honoured with all possible magnificence. His arms, his gold and silver, his war-horse, and whatever else he held most dear, were placed with him on the pile. His dependents and friends frequently made it a point of honour to die with their leader, in order to attend on his shade in the palace of Odin; for nothing seemed to them more grand and noble than to enter Valhalla with a numerous retinue, all in their finest armour and richest apparel. The princes and nobles never failed of such attendants. The warrior and his horse were to salute the god in the regions of everlasting war and feasting. They believed, because Odin himself had assured them, that whatever was buried or consumed with the dead, accompanied them to his palace. And another reason why the horse was buried with them was, that they durst not approach the palace of Odin on foot.[11] Probably this was a wise feature introduced into their religion, to impress upon them the value of cavalry, and a high regard for the services of the horse. At the funerals of Harold Hildetand and Skalagrim, horses were sacrificed to accompany these doughty warriors.

Balder, the beautiful and youthful god of eloquence and just decision, the innocent who appears brilliant as the lily, and in honour of whom the whitest flower received the name of Baldrian, was slain with a spear of the misletoe by the blind god Hoder, whose violent deeds the gods never forget, but whose name they never hear pronounced. The Prose Edda thus refers to his funeral: ‘Balder's body was then borne to the funeral pile on board the ship, and this ceremony had such an effect on Nana, the daughter of Nep, that her heart broke with grief, and her body was burnt on the same pile as her husband's Balder's horse was led to the pile fully caparisoned, and consumed in the same flames with the body of his master.’ Longfellow has beautifully described this scene:

‘They laid him in his ship
With horse and harness.
As on a funeral pyre.
Odin placed
A ring upon his finger,
And whisper'd in his ear.’

They launch'd the burning ship,
It floated far away
O'er the misty sea,
Till like the moon it seem'd,
Sinking beneath the waves.
Balder returned no more!'

It is curious to note, that among the Sea Dyaks of Borneo, the dead chief is placed in his canoe, with his favourite weapons and principal property, and is then turned adrift.

In the Scandinavian barrows, great quantities of horses' bones are found with human skeletons. The only pleasure and business of life with these old turbulent spirits, was war; and their political, domestic, and religious institutions were all founded on this characteristic. A warrior, therefore, could not but fight well when the pleasures after death were, as his religion taught him, those which he most relished during life. ‘The heroes who are received into the palace of Odin,’ says the Edda, ‘have every day the pleasure of arming themselves, of passing in review, of ranging themselves in order of battle, and of cutting one another in pieces; but as soon as the hour of repast approaches, they return on horseback all safe and sound to the hall of Odin, and fall to eating and drinking.’

With the Danes the age of tumuli or hillocks was styled Hoigold and Hoielse-tüde. The corpse was buried with all the arms he had wielded or worn during life, and all his ornaments; and his horse was killed and laid beside him.

The Patagonians, to whom the horse is, comparatively speaking, a novelty, also inter it in their burial-places, and the stories about the immense size of these people probably originated from the circumstance that this animal's bones were mistaken for those of the Patagonians. And the Red Indian desires the company of his steed, when the Great Spirit calls him to the hunting-grounds beyond the setting sun. Longfellow has celebrated the burial of the Minnisink, an Indian chief, in some of his happiest verses.

'Behind, the long procession came
 Of hoary men and chiefs of fame,
 With heavy hearts, and eyes of grief,
Leading the war-horse of their chief.
 Stripp'd of his proud and martial dress,
 Uncurb'd, unrein'd, and riderless,
 With darting eye, and nostril spread,
 And heavy and impatient tread,
 He came; and oft that eye so proud
 Ask'd for his master in the crowd.
 They buried the dark chief; they freed
 Beside the grave his battle steed;
 And swift an arrow cleaved its way
 To his stern heart! One piercing neigh
 Arose—and, on the dead man's plain,
The rider grasps his steed again.'

In Central Africa, for lack of horses, other creatures accompany the deceased, if he be a wealthy individual.[12]

In France, as we have already mentioned, and as will be again referred to, this mode of sepulture was common among the ancient Gauls, and horses and other creatures were sacrificed. ‘When they have conquered,’ writes Cæsar, ‘they sacrifice whatever captured animals may have survived the conflict.’ ‘Their funerals, considering the state of civilization among the Gauls, are magnificent and costly; and they cast into the fire all things, including living creatures, which they suppose to have been dear to them when alive; and a little before this period, slaves and dependents who were ascertained to have been beloved by them, were, after the regular funeral rites were completed, burnt together with them.’[13]

With regard to Britain, Sir John Lubbock[14] remarks, that the very frequent presence of the bones of animals in tumuli appears to show that, with prehistoric man, sepulchral feasts were generally held in honour of the dead; and the numerous cases in which interments were accompanied by burnt human bones, tend to prove the prevalence of still more dreadful customs, and that not only horses and dogs, but slaves also, were frequently sacrificed at their masters' graves.

All the remains of horses found in prehistoric barrows

‘The chiefs of Unyamwezi generally are interred by alarge assemblage of their subjects with cruel rites. A deep pit is sunk, with a kind of vault or recess projecting from it; in this the corpse, clothed with skin and hide, and holding a bow in the right hand, is placed sitting, with a pot of pombe, upon a dwarf stool, while sometimes one, but more generally three female slaves, one on each side and the third in front, are buried alive to preserve their lord from the horrors of solitude.’ — Burton. The Lake Regions of Central Africa, vol. ii.
According to Crantz, the Esquimaux lay a dog's head by the grave of a child, for the soul of a dog, say they, can find its way everywhere, and will show the ignorant babe the way to the land of souls. are probably those belonging to a domesticated race. The antiquity of the horse in England is yet doubtful; and if we are to place any reliance on the results of researches in these barrows, we might conclude that horses were very rare, if not altogether unknown, during that period styled the stone age; but during the metallic period his remains are frequently met with.

Mr Bateman[15] concludes, from his researches among the most ancient burial-places, that he does not know in what light the primitive inhabitants of our country may have looked upon the horse, viewed as a creature of sufficient importance to be necessary for their use and happiness in a future state, but certain it is, that however rude and degraded this belief in another world may have been, the teeth, if not some of the bones, of horses have been found in primitive British tumuli, particularly those of Derbyshire; and which have no history but their strange contents.

Two Celtic graves opened in Yorkshire contained skeletons of horses; and in graves of the Anglo-Saxon period they have also been found.[16] The Hon. C. Neville, describing the remains found in a cemetery near Little Wilbraham, Cambridgeshire, in 1851, remarks: 'Mention should here be made of an instance similar to one described by Sir Henry Dryden (Archæologia, vol. xxxiii.), viz.: the entire body of a horse, interred by the side of his rider, with a perfect iron bit still remaining on its head, and some small stud nails, with fragments of a leather head-stall.'[17] With the Celts, it appears that it was not unfrequently the custom to place in the warrior's tomb, besides his horse, one or two wheels of the chariot, and sometimes the whole carriage and harness. At Alaise, in France, and among the tombs of Anet, Switzerland, this has been noticed.[18]

If my memory serves me right, the remains of a chariot found in a tomb are now in the York Museum.

Unfortunately, as Mr Knowles observes, these remains of horses in graves do not constitute any distinguishing mark of time or race, as the slaughter and burial of horses appear to have belonged to almost all nations and all ages; the custom extending from the Tschuds of the Altai and the Crim Tartars to the Franks and Saxons; even in the sarcophagi of Christian knights, buried in churches during the Middle Ages, besides their own weapons and bones, the less perishable parts of their steeds are there. So late as the eighteenth century the custom was in vogue, for a martial and Christian order of knighthood, in 1781, laid Frederick Casimir in his grave with his slaughtered horse beside him. In 1866, Her Majesty Queen Victoria's huntsman died; his old and favourite horse was destroyed, and the animal's ears were deposited on his late master's coffin before the earth had shut him out from the world.

And still more unfortunately for our subject, these remains of the gentle soliped do but seldom testify to the existence of nail-pierced hoofs and a metallic mounting. From shoes being nearly always manufactured of iron, that metal oxidizes so rapidly, that in the presence of moisture a thin plate would not be long in rusting to powder. And those who have had the superintendence of these disinterments have not, it is to be feared, been always careful enough to direct their attention to such an insignificant matter as the condition of the hoofs, when these were yet intact.

From their situation, and the remains accompanying the horse-shoes found in certain regions, as well as from their later history, there is every reason to believe that the Celts or Celtæ, and their chief branch, the Gauls or Gaël, were cognizant of the art of shoeing with metal and nails at a very remote period, and before they were conquered by the Romans under Cæsar.

The early history of this great nation is lost in the thick haze of antiquity. Originally a section of the Aryan family, at some very distant period they left Asia and spread themselves over various parts of Europe in their descent from the Caucasus and along the south side of the Danube. Several Celtic tribes took possession of different countries under various names; others settled on the shores of the Adriatic, along the banks of the Danube, and in the southern part of Germany; while the principal branch of the nation located itself between the Pyrenees and the Alps, the ocean and the Rhine, in the country which received its name from them; from thence they passed into Albion and Ierne (Great Britain and Ireland). Everything relating to their history at this time is so obscure, that we have sometimes little but conjecture to aid us in tracing their migrations. It would appear, nevertheless, that the eastern Gauls or Celts who passed along the Danube occasioned the migrations of whole nations, and that about B.C. 300 they had already absorbed a part of the German race named the Cimri, or Cimbri. Defeated, however, in Greece, at an attack on the temple of Apollo at Delphi, destruction awaited them, and with the exception of several tribes who passed into Asia Minor, and assumed the name of Galatians, we hear little or nothing of the Celts on the Danube or the south of Germany. Tribes of German origin occupied the whole country as far as the Rhine, and even beyond that river. But the Cimbri, a mixed race of Gauls and Germans, whom the Gauls themselves designated Belgæ, occupied the whole northern part of Gaul, from the Seine and Marne to the British Channel, from whence they passed over into Britain. Here they drove back those Gauls who had made themselves masters of the country at an earlier period, to North Britain (Scotland), where the latter afterwards appear under the name of Caledonians or Highland Gaels, and still later as the Picts and Scots.[19] These Belgæ or Gallo-Cimbri are, in fact, the ancient Britons, the inhabitants of the land of the Cymry.

The Emperor Napoleon[20] concisely sums up their history in the following words: 'There are peoples whose existence in the past only reveals itself by certain brilliant apparitions, unequivocal proofs of an energy which had been previously unknown. During the interval their history is involved in obscurity, and they resemble those long silent volcanoes, which we should take to be extinct but for the eruptions which, at periods far apart, occur and expose to view the fire which smoulders in their bosom. Such had been the Gauls. The accounts of their ancient expeditions bear witness to an organization already powerful, and to an ardent spirit of enterprise. Not to speak of migrations which date back perhaps nine or ten centuries before our era, we see at the moment when Rome was beginning to aim at greatness, the Celts spreading themselves beyond their frontiers. In the time of Tarquin the Elder (Years of Rome, 138 to 176), two expeditions started from Celtic Gaul: one proceeded across the Rhine and Southern Germany, to descend upon Illyria and Pannonia (now Western Hungary); the other, scaling the Alps, established itself in Italy, in the country lying between those mountains and the Po. The invaders soon transferred themselves to the right bank of that river, and nearly the whole of the territory comprised between the Alps and the Apennines took the name of Cisalpine Gaul. More than two centuries afterwards, the descendants of those Gauls marched upon Rome and burnt it all but the Capitol. Still a century later (475), we see new bands issuing from Gaul, reaching Thrace by the valley of the Danube, ravaging Northern Greece, and bringing back to Toulouse the gold plundered from the Temple of Delphi. Others, arriving at Byzantium, pass into Asia, establish their dominions over the whole region on this side Mount Taurus, since called Gallo-Græcia, or Galatia, and maintain in it a sort of military feudalism until the time of the war of Antiochus.

'These facts, obscure as they may be in history, prove the spirit of adventure and the warlike genius of the Gaulish race, which thus, in fact, inspired a general terror. During nearly two centuries, from 364 to 531, Rome struggled against the Cisalpine Gauls, and more than once the defeat of her armies placed her existence in danger.'

Cicero says: 'From the beginning of our Republic, all our wise men have looked upon Gaul as the most redoubtable enemy of Rome.'

'The Romans,' says Sallust, 'held then, as in our days, the opinion that all other peoples must yield to their courage; but that with the Gauls it was no longer for glory, but for safety, that they had to fight.'

When the nations we term classical first became acquainted with the northern races, German and Celt had long been in possession of iron, and formed all their warlike weapons of that metal. Indeed, they were far from being the barbarians historians have often represented them. M. Fournet remarks: 'The Gauls were no more savages than the Germans; the Romans found with these people arts hitherto unknown to them, and the barbarism only existed with the sworn calumniators of other nations.'[21]

Among the Gauls, in the north, the breeding of cattle was the principal occupation,[22] and the pastures of Belgic Gaul produced a race of excellent horses.[23] In the centre and in the south the richness of the soil was augmented by productive mines of gold, silver, copper, iron, and lead.[24] The country was, without doubt, intersected by carriage roads, since the Gauls possessed a great number of all sorts of waggons,[25] since there still remain traces of Celtic roads, and since Cæsar makes known the existence of bridges on the Aisne, the Rhine, the Loire, the Allier, and the Seine.

Their skill in agriculture appears to have astonished the Romans. While the latter were using a most primitive plough, Pliny writes of the Gauls: ' here has been invented, at a comparatively recent period, in that part of Gaul known as Rhastia (Gallia Togata), a plough with the addition of two small wheels, and known by the name of "plaumorati" (supposed to be derived from the Belgic ploum, a plough, and rat or radt, a wheel).. . . . . The Gauls have invented a method of carrying their plough on small wheels. Their ploughshare, which is flat like a shovel, ploughs very well through the soil. A pair of oxen suffice. After sowing the seed, they harrow with a kind of iron hurdle with spikes or teeth, and which is dragged over the ground.' From the various notices of Gaulish agriculture given by ancient writers, we are led to believe that this people were the most skilled in tilling the soil of all the Western nations.

They were naturally agriculturists, and we may suppose that the institution of private property existed among them, because, on the one hand, all the citizens paid the tax, except the Druids, and, on the other, the latter were

M. Varronis quarto decimo Rerum Divinarum; quo in loco Varro, quum de petorrito dixisset, esse id verbum Gallicum dixit' (Aulus Gellius, XV. 30.)—'Petoritum et Gallicum vehiculum est, et nomen ejus dictum esse existimant a numero quatuor rotarum. Alii Osce, quod hie quoque petora quatuor vocent. Alii Græce sed αἰολικῶς dictum.' (Festus, voc. Petoritum, p. 206, edit, Müller.)—'Belgica esseda, Gallicana vehiculae. Nam Belga civitas est Galliæ in qua hujusmodi vehiculi repertus est usus,' (Servius, Commentaries on the Georgics of Virgil, lib. iii. v. 204.) judges of questions of boundaries. They were not unacquainted with certain manufactures. In some countries they fabricated serges, which were in great repute, and cloths or felts; in others they worked the mines with skill, and employed themselves in the fabrication of metals. The Bituriges worked in iron, and were acquainted with the art of tinning. The artificers of Alesia plated copper with silver leaf to ornament horses' bits and trappings.[26]

They were also excellent workers in gold, of which they made bracelets, leg-rings, collars, and even breastplates.[27]

In the time of Cæsar, the greater part of the peoples of Gaul were armed with long iron swords, two-edged (σπάθη), sheathed in scabbards similarly of iron, suspended to the side by chains. These swords were generally made to strike with the edge rather than to stab. The Gauls had also spears, the iron of which, very long and very broad, presented sometimes an undulated form (materis, σαύνιον). Their helmets were of metal, more or less precious, ornamented with the horns of animals, and with a crest representing some figures of birds or savage beasts. They carried a great buckler, a breast-plate of iron or bronze, or a coat of mail—the latter a Gaulish invention.

Diodorus Siculus[28] says that the Gauls had iron coats of mail. He adds: 'Instead of glaive (ξιφος), they have long swords (σπάθη), which they carry suspended to their right side by chains of iron or bronze. Some bind their tunics with gilt or silvered girdles. They have spears (λόγχη or λογχίς) having an iron blade a cubit long, and sometimes more. The breadth is almost two palms, for the blade of these saunions (the Gaulish dart) is not less than that of our glaive, and it is a little longer. Of these blades, some are forged straight, others present undulated curves, so that they not only cut in striking, but in addition they tear the wound when they are drawn out.'[29]

Polybius informs us, that in the battle in which the Gauls were defeated by the Consul Æmilius, when the Romans used swords of bronze, those of the Gauls were long, but so badly tempered that they bent when the Gallic warriors struck a hard blow against the Roman armour. It would appear from this observation that the Gaulish swords were made of iron, but that the art of tempering them was unknown.

The priests of the Celts were the learned men and philosophers of these people. Besides their other important functions, and attending to their mysterious rites, they alone afforded instruction in religious matters and all other kinds of knowledge, the art of war excepted. There can scarcely be any doubt as to their possessing an extensive knowledge of metallurgy, particularly with regard to iron, the more valuable secrets being closely retained by these priests. 'The Druids,' says M. Eckstein, 'forged a double kind of sword and lance, the religious arms—the glaive of honour, and the deadly weapons—the sword and lance of combat.'[30]

As before mentioned, the Romans were not an equestrian people, and for a long period had but few cavalry; indeed, not until Numidia and Gaul had become Roman provinces had they a respectable cavalry force. The Gauls were fond of the horse, and were good horsemen; their cavalry was much superior to their infantry, being composed of nobles, followed by their own people.[31] The cavalry was styled 'Trimarkisiæ' (tri-march-kesec, Celtic for three horses combined), in consequence of each soldier having the attendance of three horses. Pausanias, mentioning that every Celtic horseman was followed to battle by two attendants, says that this custom was in their language called 'Trimarkisian,' because the name of a horse among them is markan.[32] Mark or march is also a horse, tri is three, and trimarkwys is literally three horsemen in the ancient British and present Welsh.

The same writer, speaking of those who had reached Delphi, says that 'each of the horsemen had with him two esquires, who were also mounted on horses; when the cavalry was engaged in combat, these esquires were posted behind the main body of the army, either to replace the horsemen who were killed, or to give their horse to their companion if he lost his own, or to take his place in case he were wounded, while the other esquire carried him out of the battle.'

These equestrian habits of the Celtic Gauls are confirmed by a large number of proofs, historic and archæeologic. Not only does the Celtic name for the horse, 'march,' form the root of a long list of districts, towns, nations, and individuals, but also all the terms employed in cavalry or the manége, and even those hippiatric expressions employed by the Greeks and Romans, were Celtic.[33]

All the Gaulish medals bear the figure of a horse, often accompanied by that of a boar. The sacrifice of a white horse was the greatest oblation that could be offered to the gods of these people; and the many statuettes of horses found in various places would tend to prove that a mysterious importance was attached to this noble creature. The Gauls, as before noticed, buried their chiefs and warriors with their weapons, their dogs, and their warhorses, for on their steeds they were to ride when they entered the abode of everlasting felicity.

The numerous cairns, or Celtic tombs, which abound in Brittany and Franche-Comte, show that this custom widely prevailed. 'The Gauls,' Cæsar writes, 'were so fond of their horses, and valued them so highly, that the German allies could not procure them for their service.'[34] The horses of Trèves and the country of the Soutiates (Bigorre) were the most renowned in the time of Cæsar, and those also of Franche-Comté bore a high reputation. 'Under the Romans,' says Clerc,[35] 'Sequani, the most fertile part of Gaul, according to Cæsar, had large fine towns noted for their commerce and wealth. In the country, although covered in great part by forests, there were, chiefly along the rivers' banks and public roads, villages, hamlets, and cottages, the robust and industrious inhabitants of which grew barley, reared flocks of sheep and droves of pigs, and especially fine horses, the best in Gaul . . . . . In the midst of the Roman customs and institutions, I do not know if, in Sequani, anything more national predominated than the ever-ruling passion of the people for horses, which figure on all their medals, and their horsemanship, from which the town of Mandeure (now a little village on the Doubs near Besançon; it was destroyed in the tenth century by the Hungarians) took its name, "Epomanduodurum," signifying the town where they managed horses well, Epona being the Celtic goddess of horses.'

It is, then, very evident that when the Romans came in contact with the Gauls, the horse was largely and widely employed in that country for riding and draught purposes. The 'petoritum ' (Celtic petoar, four, and rot, wheel) was evidently a native vehicle, but the 'esseda' was the chariot most used in warfare, immense numbers always figuring in every Celtic army; and these armies dragged after them a multitude of waggons and other conveyances, even in the less important expeditions.'[36]

From the extensive employment of chariots, roads must necessarily have existed in Gaul,—and, as we have seen, this was the case; only these roads, instead of being like those of the Romans, which were substantial works of masonry, were formed, it would appear, by the neverceasing passage of carriages over the same track. The traces of these, however, only exist in rocky situations, which have preserved the imprint of wheels, and even of horses' feet. These impressions are sometimes so deep, in consequence of the long and oft-repeated action of the carriages during centuries, that, in certain places, the road is literally channeled or trenched; and on the stony sides of these passes, marks can be plainly seen which have been caused by the axletrees scraping them in passing through. These marks testify to the height of the nave, and consequently of the wheels.

MM. Delacroix and Castan, with Captain Bial of the French artillery, have lately discovered good specimens of these Celtic roads in the Jura, at Trochatay, Moutier-Granval, and Alaise. 'At the latter place the road is most characteristic, where it leads from the valley to the summit of a hill on which stood this old Gallic city. How can the extraordinary effects produced on the living rock by horses' feet be explained, if we do not admit that from remote antiquity iron shoes were in use?' So asks M. Megnin, and apparently with good cause. We have before remarked, that not the faintest trace of wear which could be attributed to horses' feet has been found on any of the Roman roads, and probably for the simple reason that horn is softer than stone. Never, M. Megnin adds, could the horn of the hoofs alone of ever so many generations of horses, passing and repassing, produce any notable furrowing on the rock, and particularly as seen in the imprints at the staircase-like Languetine of Alaise. 'To wear the rock in such a manner iron horse-shoes were necessary.'[37] In a country so rocky and mountainous as Brittany or Franche-Comté, the employment of the horse on anything like a large scale was simply impossible without efficient shoeing, and this attrition of the living rock goes a long way to prove that the Celtic Gauls of this region armed the hoofs of their horses with metal. But the exertions of French archæologists have afforded us additional and incontestable evidence of this fact in their researches in the Celtic graves, particularly those which abound in the vicinity of Alesia.[38] This large hill, covered with the ruins of the Celtic city, amid which have grown the secular pines, displays on its surface, on the banks of the Lison, and on the neighbouring plateau of Amançay, so large a collection of tombs (more than twenty thousand have been counted), that only an awful slaughter, like that which decided the fate of Gaul, can explain their presence in such numbers. All the graves which the Archælogical Society of Besançon has carefully explored since 1858, contain the skeletons of Gaulish warriors (the Romans burned their dead) in variable numbers, who had been buried with their horses, and sometimes even with their chariots, of which no more remain than the iron-work.

M. Castan, who has examined many of them, gives the following account of the contents of one of these resting-places. Above two skeletons (surrounding them were

 sides abrupt, between the rivers Ope and Operain, rendered an attack impossible. Vercingetorix, after making several furious but unsuccessful sallies, called all the Gauls to arms, and in a short time 250,000 men appeared before the place, Cæsar had, in the mean time, completed his line of circumvallation, protecting himself against any attack from without by a breast-work, a ditch with palisadoes, and several rows of pit-falls, to keep off the dauntless cavalry. These defences enabled him to repel the desperate attack of 330,000 Gauls against the 60,000 Romans attacked in front and rear. The Gauls were unable to force his lines at any point, and Vercingetorix, reduced to extremity by hunger, was compelled to surrender, without having carried into execution his design of murdering all the people in the town who were unfit for battle. But the whole tribe of the Mandubii, which had been expelled from the city by the Gauls, and were not allowed by the Romans to pass into the open country, died of famine between the two camps.

It must not be forgotten that some time afterwards it attained a flourishing condition, but was finally destroyed in 864, by the Normans. twelve more), one of which was furnished with a short iron sword (figure 7) and bronze scabbard, and which were probably the remains of the chariot driver and the warrior, the principal iron-work of an 'essedum' was found. This consisted of eight cylindrical iron boxes with their nails yet adhering, and which had served as mountings to the ends of the axletrees;
four iron hoops almost entire, one of which was found in a perpendicular position in the ground. From the traces of wood yet remaining on their entire inner surface, there is reason to believe that they were fixed on the massive wooden wheel the ancients called a tympanum, from its resemblance to a drum-head. The imprints of wheels on the Celtic roads corresponded exactly with the appearance presented by the débris of the chariots exhumed from these tumuli. Taking the maximum of the diameter of the wheels, this was supposed to be about 37 inches, minim. 31 inches for the wide wooden ones; the thickness of the felloes was from 1 to 1½ inches. These remains of the car showed workmanship not coarse and heavy, as we might suppose, but fine, light, and very advanced. Most important, however, was the discovery, beside the relics of a horse, of two pieces of a bronze horse-shoe which had been worn through at the toe (fig. 8).
fig. 8

M. Megnin, a competent judge, and from whose, description I have freely translated, saw these fragments at the Besançon Archæological Museum.

Many other tombs have furnished, with the débris of arms, cuirasses, girdles, and collars of boars' teeth, various articles similar to the preceding, and among them the characteristic 'kelt' (fig. 9), together with iron nails with a flat head (clef de violon), which had served to attach horseshoes, as in fig. 10, of the same origin, and in which three similar nails are yet fixed.

fig. 9 fig. 10
But the most curious discovery made in the tumuli of Alesia was that of a complete Celtic forge, which M. Castan, who presided at the exhumation, thus describes: 'The heights of Alesia terminate towards the north in three promontories, which are parallel and overhang the Lison. One of these promontories, situated in the central axis of the heights, is covered with tumuli and ruins. This place is called the Châteleys, and is an immense tongue of land, which rests on a gigantic perpendicular basement, 164 yards elevation. On the margin of this region, at a place called the Champs-Mottets, are seen three Celtic tumuli built of pebbles, and about 33 to 40 feet in length. Two of these were opened simultaneouslv, and were found completely empty. The third contained a certain number of thick and short bones, which the osteologists have pronounced to be the remains of a bear of the largest species. In the same collection was found the half of a cloven foot belonging to a stag or buck. These remains of what had no doubt been sacrifices, no less than the vicinity of the place designated Ban-du-Prêtre (priest's ban), were, in our opinion, indications that we were touching on sacred soil. Pursuing our exploration, we reached the extreme point of the promontory of Châteleys, which was occupied by one of those heaps of stones the English archæologists term cairns. The traditions of buried treasure, which had always haunted this mound, had induced a farmer in the neighbourhood to open it. Quickly deceived in his expectations (he had only taken away, we were told, the foot of a bronze pot), this gold-hunter abandoned the spot, leaving the mound pierced with a large hole at its summit. This opening, which had been made about sixty years before, and about the origin of which nearly every one had forgotten, caused the ruin of the Châteleys to be looked upon as the base of a tower or circular habitation. In its primitive condition, the cairn or hillock of Châteleys had the figure of a cone with an oval base, and was 98 feet in length, and about 66 feet in width. The neck of land which served for its foundation was naturally in the form of an amphitheatre; and the covering of stones, formed of large pieces, contained absolutely nothing, and appeared to have been constructed solely with a view to protect the bed of débris covering the floor of the interior, against the effects of time and the cupidity of mankind. All around the stone which formed the altar, were spread long tracks of cinders mixed with charcoal, fragments of vases, and the calcined bones of men and horses. To one side of these extinguished fires, lay scattered on the ground the maxillary bones of pigs and the skeleton of a bear.

fig. 11

fig. 12

In the middle of the hearth, which occupied the north side, were found successively a little triangular file, 2½ inches in length (fig. 11); the fragment of a thick flat file, nearly an inch in width; a small chisel 1¼ inch long, intended to be fixed in a wooden handle (fig. 12); three iron cinders or scoriæ; two morsels of bronze castings about ⅓ inch thick, one of which was ornamented with round points, executed with the graving tool; a large iron hammer weighing 5 pounds, and still retaining six iron wedges which had been used to fix the handle (fig. 13). Not far from this hammer-head, under the heap of cinders that extended to the north-west, lay an iron buckle, composed of two rings tied together by a flap, through which passed a tongue of metal (fig. 14). Then came a fragment of a horseshoe (fig. 15), furnished with a flat oblong-headed nail (fig. 16); afterwards the blade of an iron knife which had lost its point, and was yet 5 inches long (fig. 17).
The numerous bits of pottery collected from among the cinders and the charcoal were of grey clay full of siliceous particles, but better tempered and more solid than Celtic pottery in general. Some fragments had acquired, from prolonged baking, the hardness of stoneware; others, more friable, were covered with a black varnish and very salient mouldings. The vases to which these belonged appeared to have been broken, and their pieces scattered on the ground designedly, for the scraps gathered over a wide surface, and which have been put together, form the neck of a jar (fig. 18).
fig. 18

From all this it will be seen that the cairn of Châteleys was not an ordinary tomb. I do not hesitate to assert that it was more than a tomb. This forgehammer; these implements for working in iron; these horses and pigs, emblems of Gaulish nationality, lying pêle-mêle on the sacrificial hearth, beside an altar built by nature—all this composed a page of antique symbolism curious to decipher. The Druidical traditions of Ireland tell us that each of the great regions of the Gallo-Cimbric race had a centre, a sacred rallying-place, to which all parts of the confederate territory resorted.[39] In this centre burned, on an altar of rough stones, a perpetual fire, which was designated the parent flame. The guarding of this sanctuary, and the maintenance of the sacred fire, were entrusted to a school or college of pontiff-artists, commanded or directed by a smith. This Druidical college combined with the exercise of the pontificate, the teaching of mysteries and the industrial arts. 'It forged two kinds of swords and lances:—religious arms—the glaive of honour and death-dealing weapons—the sword and lance for fight.' In this way is the mystery which shrouded the promontory of Alesia cleared up. Instead of being a hill devoted to graves, we have discovered the sanctuary of Alesia, the oppidum which Diodorus termed the primitive metropolis of the Celts. Nothing is wanting to complete the picture; neither the altar, which the hand of man has not fashioned, nor the insignia of the pontiff-blacksmith, nor the buckle of his magical leather apron, nor yet the sacrificing knife, or the bones of boars, horses, and bears mingled with the remains of human victims consumed by the flames. More able men than ourselves had fanned these embers eighteen centuries ago, and from them had attempted to wring out lamentable secrets. They carry us back to distant ages, and show us the chiefs of Gaul deliberating around this place of worship, and the Druids, the ovates, and the bards seeking to gain, by sacrifices and supplications, the countenance of the tutelary genii of their nation; then, when all hope has disappeared, when the fates have pronounced the fatal decree, the worshipping priests have broken the sacred instruments, and have covered over their holy place to conceal it from the profanation of their vanquishers.'[40]

The publication of this discovery gave rise to much discussion. Col. Coinard denied the accuracy of the conclusions arrived at by the Besançon archæologists, and clung to the written history of the Greeks and Romans. M. Quicherat, however, replied to his attacks in a very direct manner. 'M. de Coinard exults because we admit that the Gaulish horses were shod; he overwhelms us with citations to prove that shoeing was not practised, neither in the Roman cavalry nor yet in that of Mithridates, when we speak of the cavalry of Gaul. Horseshoes are discovered with Gaulish pottery; in two of the tumuli of Alesia they are embedded in the floor of the graves, in the midst of cinders, under a thick pavement. M. Castan has mentioned this discovery in his reports on the tombs of Alesia. I was present, and I can certify that there was a well-alloyed bed (gisement). The authority of the compiler Beckmann, quoted by M. de Coinard, cannot prevail against a fact of which Beckmann was ignorant, and of which M. de Coinard cannot speak.'[41]

M. Troyon, the celebrated Swiss archæologist, in noticing these discoveries, and the dispute as to which of the Alesias Cæsar had to contend with, remarks of this one: 'This is not the place to enter into the discussion raised as to whether this Alesia is the place of which Cæsar speaks. Whatever may be the opinion of savans on the subject, it cannot be doubted that the majority of the objects discovered in these later years characterize the first age of iron. It is evident that this locality has been the seat of a Gaulish establishment of great importance. The numerous tumuli of Alesia no doubt cover the remains of diverse generations interred in the age of bronze, and during the Roman period. However this may be, the intermediate epoch is largely represented; the majority of the specimens collected belong to the space between these two periods, and give rise to important relations with the Helvetic antiquities.'[42]

Lest it be supposed that this haunt of Druidism was only destroyed in A.D. 864, it may be useful to recollect, that the Druids were banished from Gaul by Tiberius and Claudius in the first half of the first century of our era.

This holy blacksmith, the pontiff of the Druids, will be alluded to hereafter, when we come to speak of the discoveries of horse-shoes in Britain; in the mean time we must not forget to mention, that these researches and speculations on the treasures found in the tumuli surrounding the ruins of the ancient city of Alesia, are supplemented by similar discoveries in the neighbourhood, of articles which may be referred to the same period.

During the war in Gaul, Cæsar had often to encounter the brave and numerous cavalry of Vercingetorix, the Gaulish general. Before the blockade of Alesia, a severe cavalry engagement took place on the Vingeanne, near Longeau, which resulted in the defeat of the Gaulish horse. The Emperor Napoleon thus alludes to the historical proofs of this event:—'The field of battle of the Vingeanne, which M. H. Defay, of Langres, first pointed out, answers perfectly to all the requirements of the Latin narrative, and moreover, material proofs exist which are undeniable evidences of the struggle. We allude to the tumuli which are found, some at Prauthoy, others on the banks of the Vingeanne, at Dardenay, and Cusey, and those which, at Pressant, Rivières-les-Fosses, Chamberceau, and Vesores, mark, as it were, the line of retreat of the Gaulish army, to a distance of twelve kilomètres. Two of these tumuli are situated near each other, between Prauthoy and Montsaugeon. There is one near Dardenay, three to the west of Cusey, one at Rivières-les-Fosses, another at Chamberceau. We will not mention those which have been destroyed by agriculture, but which are still remembered by the inhabitants. Researches lately made in these tumuli have brought to light skeletons, many of which had bronze bracelets round the arms and legs, calcined bones of men and horses, thirty-six bracelets, severa iron circles which were worn round the neck, iron rings, fibulæ, fragments of metal plates, pieces of Celtic pottery, an iron sword, &c. It is a fact worthy of remark, that the objects found in the tumuli at Rivières-les-Fosses and Chamberceau bear so close a resemblance to those of the tumuli on the banks of the Vingeanne, that we might think they had come from the hand of the same workman. Hence there can be no doubt that all these tumuli refer to one and the same incident of war.

'We must add that the agricultural labourers of Montsaugeon, Isomes, and Cusey have found during many years, when they make trenches for drainage, horse-shoes buried a foot or two deep under the soil. In 1860, at the dredging of the Vingeanne, hundreds of horse-shoes, the inhabitants say, of excellent metal, were extracted from the gravel of the river, at a depth of two or three feet. They are generally small, and bear a groove all round, in which the heads of the nails were lodged. A great number of these horse-shoes have preserved their nails, which are flat, have a head in the form of a T, and still have their rivet—that is, the point which is folded back over the hoof (the clench)—which proves that they are not shoes that have been lost, but shoes of dead horses, the hoofs of which have rotted away in the soil or in the gravel. Thirty-two of these horse-shoes have been collected. One of them is stamped in the middle of the curve with a mark, sometimes found on Celtic objects, and which has a certain analogy with the stamp on a plate of copper found in one of the tumuli of Montsaugeon. When we consider that the action between the Roman and Gaulish armies was merely a cavalry battle, in which were engaged from 20,000 to 25,000 horses, the facts just stated cannot but appear interesting, although they may possibly belong to a battle of a later date.'[43]

I have not been able to find any more detailed mention of these grooved shoes than in this brief notice, and it would be important to ascertain if the groove be really continuous in any, or all of them. If the fact be as is stated, then they probably belonged to the horses of the German cavalry which we know Caesar largely employed to subdue the Gauls. These German shoes we will speak of hereafter. A very careful inspection of the Vingeanne shoes would be most interesting in various ways.

According to M. Mathieu,[44] in the neighbourhood of Alesia, and in the valley of Brenne, the ground can scarcely be dug to the depth of 3 to 6 feet without discovering shoes of small dimensions, and the cover so wide that only a small triangular space is left for the frog. The excavations for the railway between Paris and Lyons, in the valleys of Armançon and Brenne, have exposed thousands even in the brief space separating Ancy-le-Franc from Alesia; while some have been found below the Roman road leading from Alesia to Agedincum (Sens). This road is supposed to belong to the Augustan era. M. Mathieu considers them to be of two sizes—a very small one, and a larger; a circumstance which may be accounted for by supposing that the German auxiliaries drew their supply of horses from different parts of Germany. The form of the nail-head in the Vingeanne specimens is that always found with the Gaulish or Celtic shoe.

The museum of Besançon is very rich in specimens of Celtic horse-shoes, as well as those of the Gallo-Roman and middle-age, according to M. Megnin. This may be explained by the importance which always attached to Besançon; at one time it ranked as the chief town of the Celtic Mandubians (Man Dubis=Man of Doubs); under the Romans it was the capital of Sequanian Gaul, Visontiuni; later, it was the principal city of the kingdom of Burgundy; as Bisanz, it was a part of the German empire; then it became the metropolis of the Bisontine archbishops, potent individuals in the middle ages; and lastly, it was the capital of Spanish Franche-Comté.

Its sub-soil offers traces of the industry and the arts of each of these epochs. More than a hundred pieces of antique farriery figure in its museum. Twenty of these are from the tumuli of Alesia; others have been found at variable depths in the sub-soil of the town in digging sewers, or excavating foundations for houses, and often side by side with mutilated marble statues, indicating that they belong to the Gallo-Roman period. Other shoes, apparently belonging to this epoch, have been met with by M. Delacroix in the clayey soil of Beaune and Candar; and some have been found at Montbéliard and Mandeure. At Besançon, but at a less considerable depth, shoes of better workmanship are encountered, but they are much heavier and clumsier than the Gallic and Gallo-Roman shoes, and may be allotted to the middle ages.

M. Delacroix reports in 1863: 'Excavations are actually in progress in many streets of the town, for the formation of new sewers. The depth of the cuttings has not been so great as could, in the interests of archæology, have been desired; they have generally penetrated only to the 4th-century layer: that is, to the same level as the débris of the first Gallo-Roman villa destroyed by the Emperor Constantine, the veritable barbarian of those days, whose wish it was to raze systematically all the dwellings on the left bank of the Rhine to a distance of forty leagues, and to convert Sequania into a desert. This 4th-century ground is characterized by a layer of debris which rests on the admirable paved road so well preserved, and immediately beneath the middle-age strata. From the day of commencing this work, the labourers have been asked to collect carefully all rusty fragments denoting the presence of iron, and to note the level. As since the Gallo-Roman times, and even the Celtic period, the Grand-Rue of Besançon and the Rue Battant have not ceased to be the lines of thoroughfare, the strata, deposited, it might be said, century after century, have each in their turn rendered testimony to the manner in which animals have been shod during, perhaps, eighteen centuries. Indeed, in the Rue Battant, the roadway has been cut down to the living rock, which is here found grooved by ruts, and lies at least two mètres[45] beneath the great layer of Roman tiles, cinders, and antique remains by which we at Besançon recognize the ruins of the 4th century. But everywhere is found, with differences in details only, the horse-shoe as at present known . . . . . The following are the most notable characteristics of these shoes: three holes on each side, each hole having a kind of groove, twice as long as it is wide, to receive the similarly elongated head of the nail, and to protect it from wear, at the same time that it permits it to project considerably; the outline of the shoe is wavy (festonné), and its contour marks the situation of every hole; each branch terminates in a calkin (éponge à crampon), the whole of the projecting nail-heads and the calkins forming a level bearing-surface. The wavy outline seems to disappear quickly after the period of the destruction of ancient Besançon; five to six specimens, all having the holes counter-sunk in an oblong manner, resemble more the even margin of modern shoes. One of these pieces, the bed of which was not so accurately determined, terminates by two rapidly tapering branches, on the under surface of which the calkin was represented by a protuberance a little way from the points of the heels. Two very small shoes were pierced by only four holes each. These may have belonged to asses or mules. The metal is extremely ductile, like that of all antique horse-shoes, and very white. Some nails remaining in the holes had been curved round in the hoof, so as to form more than a circle. . . . . The number of shoes collected has been one hundred; many escaped our possession, and yet it was in an excavation of 4 feet wide that so large a quantity of these objects was found. From this numerous collection, an important fact relating to the ancient breed of horses in Sequania was immediately recognized. It is, that towards the 4th century, the size of the shoes indicate excessively small feet; not a shoe exceeds a total width of 4¾ inches. These belonged to the fine breeds of which the various provinces of France boasted in all ages. A superior officer of cavalry, who is much more occupied with the varieties of horses than antiquities, exclaimed, on seeing this lot of shoes, that they had all belonged to Arab horses. Their width varies from 3⅓ to 4⅓ inches; their length from toe to heels 4 to 4¾ inches.'[46]

The Celtic or Gallic, and the Gallo-Roman shoes, as we may then fairly designate them, possess a remarkable identity, and their special features it may be here convenient to notice a little more closely than in the report furnished by M. Delacroix of the interesting and valuable collection made in Besançon, where shoeing appears to have been largely practised at a remote epoch. Their most noteworthy characters are four in number: 1. The general shape of the shoe with regard to size, weight, and width of cover; 2. The shape of the nail-holes; 3. The outer border; 4. The nails. In shape, the Celtic and Romano-Celtic shoes are extremely primitive. 1. Their form is irregular and deficient in outline; the majority of the specimens I have seen give one the idea that the Druid smiths and their immediate successors (if they were really the workmen) did not possess an anvil with a bick-horn, or beak, to fashion them to the proper shape. The width of their surface is irregular, but in no instance have I observed it to be anything like that noted in shoes of the middle ages; and their thickness is inconsiderable. The size varies, but is always small, and such as would suit diminutive round-footed horses, or little horses with long, mule-shaped hoofs. None of the shoes have toe or other clips, so far as I am aware, to aid in retaining them on the feet. The great majority of them have calkins or catches at the extremities, 2. The nail-holes are certainly peculiar. They are six in number in all, save very exceptional, instances. For each hole there is a long and wide oval cavity, evidently intended to give partial lodgment to the head of the nail, and through the middle of this socket the opening is made. 3. The disproportionate size of these cavities, and perhaps the absence of a suitable anvil, has left these primitive defences with an irregular bulging or undulating outer margin, and not unfrequently the inner one also, like the undulated 'saunions' these people fought with. 4. The nails are also curious. The head is very large and flat, so that it must have projected much beyond the shoe, even when imbedded in the ovoid groove, and generally approaches the letter T in shape. Their appearance will be more particularly noticed when we speak of individual specimens of shoes.

The shoes of a later date, as will be seen hereafter, are larger, wider across their face, and thicker; they are also more regularly formed, and the holes are square, or 'counter-sunk;' their borders are very rarely, if ever, undulated; or they have a continuous groove running along their ground surface into which the nail-heads fit.

The Abbé Cochet[47] reports that, in 1844, a discovery was made which was all the more interesting because it appeared to carry with it a determined date. At Yèbleron, near Yvetot (not far from Rouen), a wooden bucket, mounted with an iron handle and hoops, was found, and inside it were three bronze chandeliers, one of which, borne by a goat, bore the stamp of antiquity; also the coulter of a plough, a hammer, a horse-shoe, and a spur—these latter were of iron. Founding an opinion on the style of the chandeliers, this group of objects was supposed to belong to the Gallo-Roman or Gallo-Frankish period. The shoe (fig. 19) has six nail-holes, and its border is

fig. 19 fig. 20

markedly undulated; the nail-head is also of the Celtic pattern. The length of the shoe, according to the scale, is about 4½ inches, and the width 3 inches. The spur is undoubtedly very antique (fig. 20).

M. Castan has seen the half of a horse-shoe, which had the sinuous border and the usual number of holes, as well as a calkin, extracted from a Gallo-Roman villa at Egliseries, in the Jura, on the same level from which a coin of Marcus Aurelius (a.d. 161) was gathered. This villa appears to have been destroyed in the second century. Many articles in bronze and iron accompanied it, and all were covered by a thick bed of rubbish, consisting chiefly of tiles and Roman pottery.

In 1842, M. de Widranges met with an iron horseshoe in the ruins of a Gallo-Roman habitation, in Sauvoy (Meuse), amongst a heap of tiles with the characteristic border of the period, pottery, cinders, and fuel (fig. 21).

fig. 21

This shoe had eight holes, the wavy margin, and one of its sides so greatly expanded as to cover one-half the sole. This was no doubt a pathological shoe, intended to cover and protect an injured part of the foot, and perhaps also to retain some healing application. Its length is 5¼ inches, and width 4 inches.

In 1848, a shoe identical with the primitive model was found beside a coin of Trajan, in the foundation of a new hospital at Tonnerre, by M. Dormois, a distinguished archaeologist. And the Calvet museum contains a small, wide-covered shoe, with a triangular space between its branches. It was found in clearing away the theatre of Orange, in 1834, on a Roman pavement.

The remains of Celtic farriery have also been found in Switzerland. In the Canton Vaud, at Chavannes, is a mound named the hillock of Chatelard (motte de Chatelard), which M. Troyon, a learned Swiss antiquarian, believed to be a place for sacrifices, for on examining it he found nearly five hundred bones of animals. Among the iron articles discovered in this mound, there were spurs, bridle-bits, and horse-shoes. These last, five in number, are of small dimensions and very primitive workmanship. They have no calkins, and the holes, three on each side, have, as with the shoes of Alesia and elsewhere, distorted the sides of the metal. The nails are thicker in the stalks or bodies than those now in use, and have the high, flat head which for a long time would serve the purpose of a calkin (fig. 22).

fig. 22

The museum of Nantes contains nine shoes with wavy borders. Two of these were found in the river Erdre, near Nantes, in 1827, during the construction of the Orleans bridge; the others have been extracted from the bed of the Vilaine, in the neighbourhood of Rennes, and from a tumulus near Pousanges.

The museum of Troyes, near Paris, possesses three shoes, two with undulated edges and six nail-holes. The third shoe is evidently more modern, and is very peculiar and fanciful in shape; being a modification, or rather exaggeration, of our 'bar-shoe.' in cutting the canal, and were described by M. Thiollet at the French Archæological Congress assembled at Troyes in 1853.

fig. 23

In the museum of Cluny, near Lyons, there is, says M. Megnin,[48] an undulated, very light, and very elegant shoe, which was found at Vassimont, at the chateau of the Counts of Champagne (fig. 24). It is catalogued as being of the sixteenth century; but this is evidently an error; it does not belong to that, nor yet to very many previous centuries.

fig. 24

In a French antiquarian publication,[49] it is mentioned that when destroying a fig. 24 Roman bridge to construct the Canal de Bourgogne 'there was found in the joints of the stones forming the body of the chaussee, a horse-shoe. Unfortunately no description is given.

The Abbé Cochet mentions a small shoe with six nail-holes and uneven border, which was obtained from the marshes of Dompierre-sur-la-Somme. It resembled that found at Chavannes by M. Troyon. The collection of M. Houbigant, at Nogent-les-Vierges, contains several antique shoes, but the Abbé says nothing of their origin, save that one of them, belonging to a mule (?), and with six nail-holes, was fished up in the river Oise, in 1842, not far from Creil, where the same antiquarian had fixed the Roman station of Litanobriga. The other shoes were collected, to the number of one hundred and fifty, not far from a Roman road at Nogent-les-Vierges. They had a fullering or groove around their circumference, and were so small that it was supposed they were intended rather for mules than horses. M. Traullé, an antiquarian of Abbeville, who died in 1828, stated that he had seen a large number of mules' shoes extracted from the battle-field of Saucourt, where Louis III. defeated the Normans in 881 or 882.[50]

M. J. Long, author of a memoir on the Roman antiquities of Vocontia, which appeared in the transactions of the Academic des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, states:— 'I possess a horse-shoe slightly different from that now in use, and in perfect preservation. It was found in the neighbourhood of Monte-Chalençon, among cinders, with lachrymatories and burnt bones. Its preservation ought to be attributed to the cinders and animal charcoal. The branches of this shoe are very narrow; the stamping of the nail-holes has produced bulgings. These stampings are elongated apertures; those of modern shoes are square. The ancient shoe has no ajusture, or concave form, which facilitates support. The freshness of the stampings and the state of the toe, leads to the presumption that it has been little worn. It therefore appears that, contrary to the opinion of several authors, horseshoeing was known to the ancients.' The remains accompanying this article were pronounced to be Gallo-Roman.

At Prémeaux, arrondissement of Nuits, a quantity of horse-shoes were exhumed in the vicinity of a road of Roman construction by the pickaxe of a labourer. Many of them were found buried beneath the strata, of the road. 'This circumstance is worthy of notice, because it has been asserted that the ancients were not in the habit of shoeing their horses. Found in such a bed, these shoes can belong to no other than the Roman, if not an earlier, period.'[51]

In the Liverpool Museum, two shoes belonging to the Rolfe collection, and said to have been found by M. Boucher de Perthes on the battle-field of Crêcy, near Abbeville, in 1851, are of the Gaulish or Roman period in shape. I can scarcely believe that they belong to the age in which the famous battle was fought. All my researches lead me to think that this form of shoe was out of use even long before the tenth century. It must not be forgotten, that the district in which the famous battle was fought, has been the scene of conflicts from the earliest times.

The sub-curator of this museum remarks in his notes to me on these specimens, that they 'are remarkable from the nails used to secure them being oblong throughout the shank, and with oblong and narrow flat heads, as is evidenced by the socketed holes.' The size of the first (fig. 25) is 4½ inches long by 4 inches wide; and the second is the same length, but only 3½ inches wide (fig. 26).

fig. 25 fig. 26
If any other evidence was needed to prove that the ancient people of Gaul shod their horses, beyond that furnished by the discovery of these articles in situations, and accompanied by relics, which cannot leave a doubt as to the fact, it would be supplied in a most conclusive and satisfactory manner by the monument which has been, it may be said, re-discovered in the public museum of Avignon, by that most indefatigable and typical archæologist, Mr C. Roach Smith. This most interesting piece of sculpture was found at Vaison, in the department of Vaucluse, on the Ouvèse, a tributary of the Rhone; a place retaining almost unchanged the ancient name, Vasio, and described by Pomponius Mela and Ptolemy as one of the wealthiest cities of Gallia Narbonensis. It was the capital of the Vocontii, and the vast quantities of antiquities which have at times been recovered from the ancient site, covering, as it did, a large extent of ground, bears witness to its opulence in ancient times. 'All we know of this monument is the meagre assertion that it was found at Vaison. The structure, to which the portions about to be described originally belonged, appears to have been of large dimensions, erected probably upon a quadrilateral basement. The summit is wanting, and two of the sides; but the two which remain are in fine preservation, and covered with sculptures in a good style of art. The inscription is lost, so that we have no clue whatever to the name or history of the persons to whom such a costly memorial was erected, except so far as the two principal subjects, in the central compartments, may be accepted as referring to the public offices he held, the usual object of such representations. One of those subjects is a travelling scene (plate 2). In a four-wheeled vehicle, drawn by two mules, are no less than four persons, exclusive of the driver. Two of these are seated, face to face, in the inside; and two, back to back, on the roof. The passengers upon the top of the vehicle are all provided with hoods which fall down upon the back; and the driver wears the Gaulish braccæ or trowsers. The centre figure of the upper group is seated in what resembles, in some degree, the body of the common chariot, or biga, while the personage in the rear is seated upon what seems to be a chest, perhaps containing luggage. He carries what appears to be a securis, or long-handled axe, which is, unluckily, broken; but I think may be nevertheless recognized as an axe. The whole gives a striking and interesting picture of the equipment and arrangement of a travelling party in Gaul, not to be found, in all probability, elsewhere; and it may doubtless be depended upon as a very faithful representation.' Mr Smith believes the carriage to be the rheda or petorritum, of which Cicero,[52] Ausonius,[53] Isidore,[54] Quintilian,[55] Juvenal, and Martial speak. He then adds: 'The custom of shoeing horses among the ancients has been much discussed pro and con. If it could remain an unsettled question after the repeated discovery of iron horseshoes themselves, among unquestionable Roman remains, the indications of the nails are so decidedly marked in the feet of the mules in the Vaison monument, as to leave no doubt that the artist intended to show that the mules were shod; and we may conclude that the shoeing of horses, as well as very many more inventions in the useful arts,
commonly supposed of comparatively modern origin, are really of a remote antiquity. Spurs and saddles are in this category: of the former we can produce ancient examples; the latter are indicated in monuments.'[56]

This discovery by the talented English antiquarian (to whom I am indebted for the two illustrations of this relic) is a most important one for our subject, as it is the only monument of the Romano-Gallic period, and is indeed the first of any ancient sculpture, exhibiting horses really shod. I use the term 'horses,' as it is evident Mr Smith has overlooked the specific differences between them and mules. The heads, ears, and general physiognomy are those of horses, and the tails, which in mules have but little more than a tuft of hair at the ends, are here truly equine. The limbs and feet are also widely different from those of the hybrid, which are light, the hoofs being particularly small in proportion to the size of the animal. Here we have the hoofs enormously large—amounting almost to a deformity, and such as no mule ever could have. The horses, altogether, are extremely coarse, lymphatic-looking animals—ungainly and clumsy to a marked degree. The hoofs undoubtedly exhibit traces of shoeing in this copy, which Mr Smith, who drew it, asserts is absolutely correct. It must be confessed that the number of nails on each side exceeds those in any of the specimens of shoes we have seen of that age: there are six on each side of the fore-foot, and five in the hind, making twelve and ten nails for each hoof. But the artist, in his anxiety to demonstrate that these heavy, unwieldy creatures were so completed in their equipment, has perhaps not scrupled to add a few nails more than were really present. The monument possesses many points of interest besides that pertaining to our subject, particularly in the curious hornlike appendages to the collars, which are worn on mules in the south of France at the present day.

Having called M. Megnin's attention to this monument, he obtained two delineations of the subject from Avignon, and in a paper referring to these, which was read in Paris in October last, he says that the most superficial fore-foot in the group is undoubtedly shod, three clenches being very visible, and that these stand at unequal heights on the wall of the hoof.[57] This number exactly agrees with that observed in the shoes found in the ground, and surmised to belong to these early days. Of course, in copying details, unless the artist is also well acquainted with the subject of shoeing, he is apt to show a clench or two more or less.

M. Megnin, than whom there could not be a better authority, entertains no doubts whatever as to this chariot team being shod. Like myself, he has for some years examined all the equestrian statues and bas-reliefs within reach, but without discovering anything to prove that the Romans or Greeks shod their quadrupeds. The only approach to this he could perceive, was in a galvano-plastic copy of Trajan's column, in the Louvre, in which, at the top of the ensign of a Roman cohort, was an object resembling a horse-shoe with seven nail-holes. He

V A I S O N.

confesses to some doubts as to its real character, however, and says he would rather have seen it on the foot of a horse.[58]

It appears that this Vaison monument was found in the sixteenth century, in building the Château de Marodi, and was kept in that building as an ornament until recently. French archaeologists are of opinion, that it has been sculptured towards the second century of our era, at the time of the Roman decadence.

The sacrificial scene (plate 3) on this grand memento of Gallic history lends additional evidence as to its antiquity. 'The chief personage is, I believe, one of the inside passengers in the rheda, who, as ƒlamen, or chief sacerdotal magistrate of the province, or district, is journeying to superintend some important religious ceremony. The attendant carrying the securis is as significant of this office as the eagle, vexillum, or other standard would have been in denoting a military office; while the whole details of this second scene are so carefully rendered, as to determine a connection between the two, allusive to one of the chief offices which the deceased object of the monument held. Provincial inscriptions prove that distinguished persons commonly held the highest sacerdotal offices in connection with the first civil appointments.'[59]

Shortly after their conquest of Gaul, the Romans appear to have commenced the suppression of Druidism, and the priests shared the fate of the vanquished nation in being doomed to slavery, or at best were permitted to enjoy the scanty privileges of freemen.[60] Many of the most devoted Druids doubtless fled to remote places, and exercised their arts in secret, in order to maintain a precarious living; so that the sound of the anvil in caves and forest fastnesses, would alone denote the dwelling-place of those Druid priests, who had become fugitives to avoid the degradation of slavery. The Druidical monopoly in the arts was abolished by the Romans, who established large manufactories of arms in eight different parts of Gaul, and in them the slaves fabricated weapons for their conquerors. When these bondsmen contrived to obtain their liberty, they then worked on their own account, and with the trading class formed a bourgeoisie who dwelt in the towns; but they were so heavily taxed and kept under that they never attained any position.[61] Only the nobles who had given in their adherence to the Roman rule, and in everything, even to their names, had become Roman, became senators, gained a high rank, and in becoming rich became also effeminate, like the Romans themselves. Thus was extinguished the valorous Gallic nation; and, with its decadence, disappeared its love for the horse. During the Gallo-Roman period the cavalry became so scarce, that at the invasion of the barbarous hordes it can scarcely be traced.

That the barbarians who overthrew the Roman empire shod their horses we have no proof whatever; though it has been maintained by eminent authorities that they introduced this art. The Sarmatians appear not to have known the use of iron, for they had armour of horn plates sewn on cloth and overlapping each other; and their horses, so extremely hardy, but which were so numerous that every horseman had two or three to select from when the one he rode was fatigued (as with the Mongol Tartars, who do not shoe their horses), were also covered in the same manner.[62]

The confederacy of German tribes who conquered the Lombards, assumed the name of Franks (the Free), and finally obtained possession of Gaul, were not an equestrian people; their battles were chiefly, if not altogether, fought by infantry.[63] The Franks had no cavalry, and up to the time of Charles Mattel, no evidence of it is to be found in their armies. The nobles alone were mounted on horses, and with the descendants of Clovis the Great a most valuable present consisted of a few horses. At the reception of Theodebert by his uncle Childebert, king of Paris, among all the considerable gifts he received, none excited so much admiration as six horses;[64] and when Theodebert entered Italy in 539, with an army of 100,000 combatants, the only mounted men were a few armed with lances who formed his body-guard. All the others were footmen.[65]

The renowned Clovis himself, after defeating the Visigoths at Vouglé, went to the tomb of Saint Martin to return thanks for his victory, and presented the monastery with the horse he rode at the battle. But so scarce were good horses, that in a very short time he repented having bestowed his courser, and offered to buy it again for fifty marks of silver. The monks, however, sent an answer that Saint Martin was very tenacious of the present made to him; so that Clovis was obliged to double the amount in order to overcome the defunct Saint's scruples. This crafty stratagem caused the impious Sicambre to murmur in his beard, 'Saint Martin does his friends good service, but he sells it somewhat dear.'

When the nobles or their families travelled it was either on foot, or in carriages (basterne) drawn by oxen; kings even journeyed in this manner, and the possession of horses did not denote nobility or wealth. Martin, alluding to this period, gives us an example of this undignified mode of progression. 'Clodowig hastened to send an official ambassador to Gondebald, who, not without hesitation, permitted the deputies to espouse Clotilde in the name of Clodowig, by the sou d'or and the denier d'argent, according to the Salic custom, and after a plaid (court) held at Chalons, between the knights of Burgundy and the French envoys. These last led away Clotilde in a basterne, a covered chariot drawn by oxen.'[66] The same author describing the entry of the young chief Sighismer into Lyons when about to marry the daughter of the King of Burgundy, writes: 'His hair resembled the gold of his vestments; his complexion was as dazzling as the scarlet of his dress; his skin equalled in whiteness the silk with which his robes were trimmed. He came on foot, surrounded by a troop of chiefs of tribes and a cortège of companions terrible to look upon, even in time of peace. Their feet were covered by velvet boots; their limbs were naked, and their vestments were so short and narrow that they scarcely reached the knee. They wore gowns of green silk bordered with scarlet, and carried glaives suspended from their shoulders by rich baldricks, curved lances, throwing hatchets (haches de jet), and double bucklers of iron and copper beautifully polished.'[67]

When the Frankish kings imposed tribute on the Saxons, whom they had vanquished, the impost levied was cows. 'In 632, the Saxon deputies took the oath on their weapons, according to the custom of their nation, to defend the Austrasian frontier until such time as the king (Dagobert) should abolish the tribute imposed upon them and their ancestors by the Frankish kings since the reign of Clotaire I.; then the army would be disbanded. This annual tribute, which the Saxons considered so onerous, was 500 cows.'[68]

Pepin the Short was the first who sought to substitute the five hundred cows thus levied for three hundred horses. In a campaign against that people, he thoroughly subdued them. 'The battle was very sanguinary, but Pepin gained the victory. He advanced to the Weser, and destroyed the fortresses or fertés built by the Saxons. The West Saxons submitted, and were compelled to pay a tribute of 300 horses a year, and to permit the preachers to preach among them in the name of the Lord.'[69] This was also considered a very severe punishment.

This indifference of the Merovingians to horses may have had everything to do with the absence of horse-shoes from their graves and other remains, which have been explored in France within the last few years. The Abbé Cochet remarks, in reference to this fact: 'It ought to be mentioned that, up to the present time, nothing has proved more rare in Frankish graves than the shoes of horses. With the three or four horses we discovered at Envermeu no shoes were found, although all the limbs were present. But buckles and bits of a very characteristic shape were there. Lindenschmidt, who found the skeleton of a horse lying beside a warrior, at Selzen, positively asserts that it was without shoes. Of all its harness there was only found a bit and some small bronze rings. This archæologist adds, that it has been the same at Sinsheim, Ascherade, Langweid, and Heidesheim. At Nordendorf three skeletons of horses were discovered, but they were also without shoes, and had only their bits.[70]MM. Durrich and Menzel, in their interesting search at Oberflacht, found an almost complete equipment of a horse, but no shoes.[71] . . . . . Thus nothing is more common than the bridle bit, and nothing so scarce as shoes.'[72] It was the extreme rarity of these articles that led the Abbé to doubt Chifflet's reported discovery of one in the grave of Childeric.

It would also appear that with the second or Carlovingian dynasty, shoeing, and indeed the value of cavalry, was still held in little esteem. The war with the Moors began during the reign of Charles Martel, but every engagement only showed the advantages of cavalry on the one side, and infantry on the other. This monarch would have gained a far more decisive battle at Tours, had the solidity of his infantry been supplemented by cavalry to crush the defeated and retreating Moors, who got away undisturbed; and though the world was saved from Mahommedanism, yet this equestrian people, by their courage and rapidity of movement, harassed the Franks long afterwards.

Charlemagne seems to have become aware of the necessity for mounted troops, and to have organized a large body of cavalry, to which he owed many of his victories. His army appears to have been extensively horsed from Spain, the successes of his lieutenants in that country, in their contentions with the Moors, giving them an opportunity for making captures.[73] From this source he was able to present the King of Persia with a number of Spanish horses and mules.[74]

In his expedition against the Avares of Hungary, he had a very strong force of cavalry; but at Ems the horses were attacked with a contagious disorder, which destroyed nearly the whole of them. So great a reliance did he place upon cavalry, and so severe was this infliction, that he preferred waiting for three years, until this arm could be recruited by horses from Spain and elsewhere; notwithstanding the greatest possible provocations offered him by the enemy in the interval.[75]

An ordinance, or capitulary, published at Aix la Chapelle in 807 (De villis imperialibus), is curiously illustrative of the manners of this time. Among other things it is enacted that the 'Judex,' or steward of each villa, was to provide stallions (C. 13); that care was to be taken of the stud mares, and the colts were to be separated at the proper season; the stables were to be thoroughly prepared; there were to be good artificers, particularly blacksmiths; and at Christmas, in giving an account of their administrations, with many other items, mention was to be made of what profit was derived from the labours of the blacksmith, as well as from colts and fillies. In peace everything was to be prepared for war: 'Our cars for war to be litters well made, covered with hides so closely sewed, that if necessity occurs for swimming rivers, they may pass through (after being lightened of their contents), without water entering.' His cavalry was always kept on a war footing.

The 'Chroniques de Saint-Denis' recite some wonderful stories of Charlemagne's strength, such as his cleaving a warrior in two with a blow of his sword, and carrying a heavily-armed man by one hand. Shoeing must have been practised in his day, for tradition says of him that he bent, and even broke, with his hands alone, a shoe that had been made by a smith for his horse. He was, however, outdone by the farrier, who, to show his strength, broke in like manner the piece of gold paid him by the Emperor for his shoeing.

The revival of Celtic legends and traditions may have operated largely in infusing into Charlemagne and his successors a love of the horse and equestrian exercises—a revival due, perhaps, to the arrival of St Columbanus and his followers from Ireland.[76] The historian Nitard is particularly careful in informing us how the two kings, Charles and Ludewig, arranged troops of cavalry, consisting of Saxons, Wascons, Austrasians, and Bretons, and manœuvred them against each other, causing them to gallop their horses fiercely, and brandish their arms.

Shoeing would therefore appear to have been practised, though perhaps only occasionally; indeed, there is some ground for believing that the Celts, Gauls, and Franks (when the latter began to avail themselves of this defence for their horses' feet), only resorted to iron plates for the hoofs of their steeds when the horn had been considerably worn way. No implements have been discovered which one might infer were employed to remove the superfluous growth consequent on the wearing of shoes, and it is not at all unlikely that the hoofs were allowed to be worn down to their natural size when they had attained an undue length, instead of being shortened by instruments as at present. Shoes would, of course, be more particularly required during wet and frosty weather; and such is indicated in the description given by Père Daniel,[77] when speaking of the difficulties surrounding Louis I., the Debonnaire (832): 'La gelée qui avoit suivi (les pluyes de l'automne) avoit gasté les pieds de la plupart des chevaux, qu'on ne pouvoit faire ferrer dans un pais devenu tout d'un coup ennemi, lorsq'on y pensoit le moins.' From this passage we might conclude that horses were but seldom shod, though the art of shoeing was known and practised; and that it was only on particular occasions that the hoofs were so protected, as in winter, when ice and frozen roads damaged them, or during war. In some parts of Germany at the present day, agricultural horses are only shod in winter.

Towards the termination of the Carlovingian reign, and the beginning of the Capet dynasty, shoeing became more general. Lobineau, in his History of Brittany, gives many copies of seals of the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries, on which are depicted knights whose horses are shod with iron shoes fastened by nails. Those who had the care and management of horses became men of high rank, and the Comte de l'Étable soon became the commander of armies.[78] The shoer of horses not unfrequently bore this honourable distinction, and when the era of chivalry developed itself from the usages of the feudal system, we find him on a different footing, and uniting with his handicraft those functions which the Comte de l'Étable had relinquished—such as the government of the stables and studs, and assuming the title of 'écuyer,' or officer of the feudal lord to whom he was attached. This shows a return to the Celtic customs, and testifies that the Roman and barbarian usages were rapidly disappearing.

'In so far as it was a military institution,' writes M. Martin,[79] 'chivalry descended in a direct line from the Celtic customs. The fashion of receiving young men among the warriors fell into disuse with the Gallo-Romans, but was preserved among the purely Celtic people. Feudality revived it, and gave it the significant title of "chivalry," which indicated that the possession of a war-horse—of a destrier,[80] was the distinctive sign of a

Charles quickly despatched three officers to check them: these were Adalgiste, Cubiculare or Chamberlain, Gellar, Comte de l'étable, and Worad, Comte du palais; for already the servile functions which belonged even to the person of the monarch, were regarded as honourable distinctions and gave a title to commanders of armies.'—Eginhard. Annales, p. 205. This Comte de l'étable was the origin of 'Constable,' an honourable designation which has been in use for many centuries. nobleman. The young noble, before attaining the rank of chevalier, or complete warrior, had to serve many years' apprenticeship under the designations of page, varlet, damoiseau, and écuyer. . . . . It was in the name of Saint George or Saint Michael that he was armed as a chevalier.[81] The young nobles filled in the castles of their lords all kinds of domestic offices, to which the feudal system, the conservator of Celtic traditions, did not attach any idea of servility.'[82] The Gauls and Bretons had already afforded an example of this servitude. The popular ballads of Brittany, collected by M. la Villemarque, and which are supposed to have been sung by the bards of the fifth and sixth centuries, contain allusions to it. One ballad says: 'And all the castles he saw were full of men-at-arms and horses, and each warrior furbished his helmet, sharpened his sword, cleaned his armour, and shod his horsed'. Another song, entitled 'Le Barde Merlin,' recounts the success of a young noble in a horse-race, the prize for which was to be Leonora, the king's daughter, and says: 'He has equipped his red steed, he has shod it with polished steel, he has put on its bridle.'[83]

In connection with this greatly increasing importance

The bards of the 6th century, however, use the word eddestr for a charger, which was of Celtic derivation. of the horse, the office of maréchal, or farrier, also assumed a higher rank; but of this notice will be taken hereafter.

In the tenth and eleventh centuries, the horse-shoe formed a part of every horse's armour, and, in fact, constituted his state of belligerency. This is manifest in a curious passage occurring in the oath administered to the nobles of Franche Comté by Archbishop Burhard, in the trêve or Paix de Dieu (A.D. 1027), where it is said: 'I shall neither assail the clerk nor the unarmed monk, nor those who accompany them without arms; I will not seize upon any ox, cow, goat, ass, nor their burdens; I will also respect birds, cocks and hens, that is, if I do not require them, when I will buy them for two deniers; neither will I carry away the "unshod mare" (jument non ferrée), nor the untrained colt.'[84]

Megnin thinks the designation 'auferrand,' sometimes given to war-horses, probably arose from this state of the hoofs. It may be remarked, however, that so far as I have been able to trace it, this name has been always applied to grey, or, as we term them, ' iron-coloured horses.' The ferrant, auferrant, and blancferrant, were only different shades of this hue; which was probably due to the early admixture of African and Barbary blood with the indigenous or Gothic race of horses—a breed soon renowned throughout Navarre to the Garonne; and in consequence of the preponderance of greys in it, it received the above names.

The 'ferrant' at a later date is as frequently met with in history as the 'auferrant;' and in one instance we have a curious play upon the word. In the reign of Philip Augustus, King of France, Count Ferrand of Flanders was taken prisoner at the battle of Bovines (1214), and carried in chains behind four shod horses into Paris. The populace improvised a song for the occasion, the refrain of which was founded upon horse-shoes (fers), horses (ferrants), the Count's title (Ferrand), and his ignominious condition.

Et quatre ferrants bien ferrés,
Trainent Ferrand bien enferré.

  1. Tactica Imperatoris Leonis, vol. v. cap. 4, p. 51. Leyden, 1612. ‘πέδικλα σεηναῖα σιδηρά κασφίων —Ferra lunatico cum clavis eorum.’
  2. ‘Calceos lunatos ferreos cum ipsis corphiis, id est, clavis.’ Maffei, who translated an edition of this work, attributed it to Constantine, son of the Emperor Romanus Lecapenus.
  3. De Ceremoniis Aulæ Byzantinæ. Leipzig, 1754.
  4. Anastasis Childerici. Auctore J. S. Chiffletio. Antwerp, 1655.
  5. Op. cit. ‘Inventae sunt ejus equi reliquiæ, capitis ossa, dentes, maxillæ et ferrea solea, sed ita rubigine absumpta, ut dum veruculo clavorum foramina (quæ utrinque quaterna erant) purgare leviter tentarem, ferrum putre in fragmenta dissiluert, et ex parte duntaxat hic representari patuerit.’ Page 223.
  6. Froissart, however, would appear to indicate that in Spain, in the middle ages, it was not derogatory even for a king to ride a mule. Immediately before the battle of Navarette, he mentions King Henry 'mounted on a handsome and strong mule, according to the custom of his country,' riding through the ranks, paying his compliments to the lords and knights, and entreating them to exert themselves in defending his honour.—Chronicles of England, France, and Spain, vol. iii. p. 302. London, 1806.
  7. Jusqu'ici, rien ne s'est montré plus rare dans les sépultures franques que les sabots ou les fers de chevaux. En effet, sur les trois ou quatre chevaux que nous avons trouvés à Euvermeu, nous n'avons jamais rencontre de fers et pourtant les jambes ne manquaient pas. En revanche, nous avons trouvé des boucles et des mors bien caractérisés. M. Lindenschmit, à Selsen, a rencontré un squelette de cheval, mais sans fer. Il en a été de même a Sinsheim, à Ascherade, à Langweid, à Nordendorf; dans cette dernière localité, on a trouvé trois squelettes avec brides, mais toujours sans fers. MM. Durrich et Menzel, dans la fouille si intéressante d'Oberflacht, ont rencontré un équipement complet de cheval sans fer . . . . . le fer de Childeric Ier, ainsi que les squelettes de chevaux francs trouvés en Allemagne, prouve que cette race était petite, ce qui est confirmé par Tacite:

    Equi (eorum) non forma conspicui.


    Namur, rapporteur des fouilles de Dalheim, dit: ‘Il parait étabiì que les chevaux gaulois des premiers siècles de l'ère chrétienne élaient de petits chevaux de selle, demi-sauvages, à petits sabots durs et rétrécis, comme le sont encore aujourd'hui les chevaux demi-sauvages éléves dans l'Ukraine et dans les steppes qui avoisinent la mer Caspienne.’—Le Tombeau de Childeric Ier. Paris, 1862.

  8. Op. Cit. ‘Solea ferrea equi regii hic tota repræsentatur, etsi pars ejus tautum reperta sit; sed ex ilia parte totius formam excipere haud difficile fuit. Modicæ magnitudinis equus erat, ut jam diximus.’
    Elsewhere he says: ‘Parmi les pièces que nous venous de décrire se trouverent aussi le crâne, la mâchoire et les dens du cheval de Childeric avec une partie du fer d'un pied, qui faisoit juger que ce cheval étoit assez petit. On voit souvent des chevaux de médiocre taille, qui pour la vigueur, la forme et la gentillesse, passent les plus grands. On y mit apparemment celui que Childeric aimoit le plus. La contume de ces anciens peuples étoit d'enterrer avec les hommes les chevaux et les autres animaux qui étoient à leur usage, et qu'ils aimoient le plus.’—Les Monumens de la Monanrchie Françoise', p. 235.
  9. Tacitus. Chap. 27.
  10. Das Germanische Todtenlager Bei Selzeii. Plate 8. Mainz, 1848.
  11. Mallet. Northern Antiquities. 1847.
  12. 'When a Wanyamwezi dies in a strange country, and his comrades take the trouble to inter him, they turn the face of the corpse towards the mother's village, a proceeding which shows more sentiment than might be expected from them. The body is buried standing, or tightly bound in a heap, or placed in a sitting position with the arms clasping the knees; if the deceased be a great man, a sheep and a bullock are slaughtered for a funeral feast, the skin is placed over his face, and the hide is bound to his back.
    ‘The chiefs of Unyamwezi generally are interred by alarge assemblage of their subjects with cruel rites. A deep pit is sunk, with a kind of vault or recess projecting from it; in this the corpse, clothed with skin and hide, and holding a bow in the right hand, is placed sitting, with a pot of pombe, upon a dwarf stool, while sometimes one, but more generally three female slaves, one on each side and the third in front, are buried alive to preserve their lord from the horrors of solitude.’ — Burton. The Lake Regions of Central Africa, vol. ii.
    According to Crantz, the Esquimaux lay a dog's head by the grave of a child, for the soul of a dog, say they, can find its way everywhere, and will show the ignorant babe the way to the land of souls.
  13. Bell. Gallic, lib. vi. cap. 17, 19.
  14. Prehistoric Times, p. 115.
  15. Ten Years' Diggings.
  16. Knowles. Horæ Ferales, p. 65.
  17. Saxon Obsequies, p. 9.
  18. Troyon. Habitations Lacustres, p. 334. Lausanne, 1860.
  19. Popular Encvclopædia, pt. 5.
  20. Vié de Cæsar, vol. ii. p. 1.
  21. Le Mineur. Lyons, 1863.
  22. Strabo, p. 163; edit. Didot.
  23. De Bello Gallico, lib. iv. 2.
  24. Strabo, pp. 121, 155, 170.
  25. 'Carpenta Gallorum.' (Florus, i. 13.)—'Plurima Gallica (verba) valuerunt, ut reda petorritum.' (Quintilian, De Institutione Oratoria, lib. i. cap. V. 57.)—'Petorritum enim est non ex Græcia dimidiatum, sed totum trausalpibus, nam est vox Gallica. Id scriptum est in libro M. Varronis quarto decimo Rerum Divinarum; quo in loco Varro, quum de petorrito dixisset, esse id verbum Gallicum dixit' (Aulus Gellius, XV. 30.)—'Petoritum et Gallicum vehiculum est, et nomen ejus dictum esse existimant a numero quatuor rotarum. Alii Osce, quod hie quoque petora quatuor vocent. Alii Græce sed αἰολικῶς dictum.' (Festus, voc. Petoritum, p. 206, edit, Müller.)—'Belgica esseda, Gallicana vehiculae. Nam Belga civitas est Galliæ in qua hujusmodi vehiculi repertus est usus,' (Servius, Commentaries on the Georgics of Virgil, lib. iii. v. 204.)
  26. Pliny, xxxiv. 17. Delude et argentum incoquere simili modo cœpere, equorum maxime ornamentis, jumentorumque ac jugorum, in Alesia oppido.
  27. Diodorus Siculus, v. 27.
  28. Ibid. v. 30.
  29. Vié de Cæsar, vol. ii. pp. 36, 39.
  30. Eckstein. Anciennes Poésies des Gaëls, p. 152.
  31. Strabo, iv. p. 163.
  32. Phocid. x. 545.
  33. Megnin. Op. cit. p. 14. As illustrative of this fact, we may give the following examples. Names of countries: Denmark; of people: Marsi, Marcomanni; names of places: Penmark, Markhausen, Kœnigsmark, Mark of Brandenburg, Marca, Marca Trevisana, Kurmark, Mittlemark, Neumark, Altmark, Vormark, Ukermark, and Stiermark. Marches, or frontiers, such as the Welsh and Scotch marches, the Marche de Limousin in France, and Marchfield in Austria; the places where the standards of the northern people were arrested, and represented by a horse. The term also signifies a market for horses, and the German jahr-marckt, or annual fair, always denoted one where horses were sold. Individuals: French Marquis, German Markgraf. Cavalry terms: Polemark, commander of a body of troops; maréchal (qui equorum gerit curam, qui proest stabulo); merchant, marchand, horsedealer. For the Celtic etymology of terms used by the hippiatrists, see Recueil de Médecine Velerinaire, 1858.
  34. Megnin. At the great battle before Alesia, the Roman cavalry was composed exclusively of German allies.—Cæsar, Commentaries.
  35. Essai sur l'Histoire de la Franche-Comté.
  36. Cæsar. De Bello Gallica, viii. 14.
  37. Megnin. Op. cit. p. 17. Bial. Chemins, Habitations, et Oppidum de la Gaule au Temps de Cæsar. Paris, 1864.
  38.  Alesia, now perhaps Alise-Sainte-Reine, in the department Côte d'Or, was the capital of the Mandubii, a Gallic people, who dwelt in what is now Burgundy. Much discussion has lately taken place as to which Alesia—for there are several—Cæsar refers. Smith (Classical Dictionary) gives it as an ancient town of the Mandubii in Gallia Lugdunensis, said to have been founded by Hercules, and situated on a high hill (now Auxois), which was washed by the two rivers Lutosa (Oze) and Osera (Ozerain). It was an important fortress, the siege and capture of which was, undoubtedly, the greatest military achievement of Cæsar. All Gaul had risen against the Romans, even the Ædui, the-old allies of the oppressors; but Cæsar conquered them under Vercingetorix, and besieged them in Alesia. No less than 80,000 men were shut up in this town or fort; while Cæsar, with 60,000 troops, lay before it. The Roman General immediately erected a line of contravallation, extending for four leagues, in order to reduce the place by famine, since its situation on a hill, 1500 feet high, and on all  sides abrupt, between the rivers Ope and Operain, rendered an attack impossible. Vercingetorix, after making several furious but unsuccessful sallies, called all the Gauls to arms, and in a short time 250,000 men appeared before the place, Cæsar had, in the mean time, completed his line of circumvallation, protecting himself against any attack from without by a breast-work, a ditch with palisadoes, and several rows of pit-falls, to keep off the dauntless cavalry. These defences enabled him to repel the desperate attack of 330,000 Gauls against the 60,000 Romans attacked in front and rear. The Gauls were unable to force his lines at any point, and Vercingetorix, reduced to extremity by hunger, was compelled to surrender, without having carried into execution his design of murdering all the people in the town who were unfit for battle. But the whole tribe of the Mandubii, which had been expelled from the city by the Gauls, and were not allowed by the Romans to pass into the open country, died of famine between the two camps. It must not be forgotten that some time afterwards it attained a flourishing condition, but was finally destroyed in 864, by the Normans.
  39. Henri Martin. Histoire de France, vol. i. p. 71.
  40. Caston. Les Tombelles Celtiques. Besançon, 1858. Megnin.
  41. Moniteur de l'Armée, April 16, 1864.
  42. Habitations Lacustres, p. 334.
  43. Vie de Cæsar, vol. ii. p. 362.
  44. Recueil de Med. Vétérinaire. November, 1868.
  45. The mètre is equivalent to nearly 39⅜ inches.
  46. Delacroix. Mémoires de la Soc. d'Emulation du Doubs, 1863, p. 205-220.
  47. Le Tombeau de Childeric I., p. 161.
  48. Megnin, Op. cir. p. 26. To this veterinary surgeon's able but brief treatise, I am indebted for much of the foregoing description of the contents of several French museums.
  49. Mem. des Antiq. de la Soc. de France, vol. xii. p. 47
  50. Le Tombeau de Childeric.
  51. Constitutionnel, May 31, 1865.
  52. Oratio pro Milone; Philippica Secunda; Attico Epist.
  53. Epist. vii.
  54. Originum, 1. XX., c. xii.
  55. Instit. i. 5.
  56. Collectanea Antiqua, vol. vi. p. 18.
  57. Recueil de Méd. Vétérinaire, November, 1868, p. 242. 'On voit très distinctement dans les deux dessins le pied de devant le plus en dehors ferré avec trois rivets très visibles, et, entre parenthèses, passablement en musique.’
  58. C. Roach Smith. Op. cit.
  59. Ibid. p. 23.
  60. Megnin. 'The freemen were a very numerous class in Gaul, who derived their origin from the various nations against which the Romans had carried their arms. And the most numerous class at the time of the invasion of the barbarians was that of the slaves. . . . All the Gauls invested with the title of citizen had to renounce Druidism. The edicts of Augustus proscribed it, and the other Celtic notions, together with the language, were consigned to the lower classes . . . . The freedmen were in possession of nearly all the arts and handicrafts, and they laboured at them unceasingly; but they enjoyed no consideration or authority, and had to submit to vexatious laws.'—Sismondi. Hist. des Françis, vol. i. pp. 6, 58, 104.
  61. The tradespeople and artisans were responsible for the industrial impost, as the Curials were for the land-tax. An iron hand stifled free trade and prevented its competing with slave labour, which was devoted to the imperial exchequer. . . . . This oppression gave rise to such a degree of despair, that they abandoned their homes to live in the forests and deserts with the Bagauds and fugitive slaves.'—H. Martin. Hist. de France, p. 327.
  62. Amm. Marcell. Lib. xvii. cap. 23, p. 506.
  63. H. Martin. Hist, de France, vol. i. p. 377. Sismondi. Hist. de Français, vol. i. p. 340.
  64. Gregor. Turon. Lib. iii. pp. 24, 198.
  65. Sisimondi. Op. cit. vol. i. p. 275.
  66. Hist, de France, vol. i. p. 416.
  67. Hist, de France, p. 406, note.
  68. Frédégarius. Cap. Ixxiv. p. 441.
  69. Ibid. Annal. Metz. ap. Scrip. Rerum Francic. V. 336.
  70. Das Germanische Todtenlager, bei Selzen, pp. 6, 28.
  71. Die Heidengräber am Lupfen, p. 31.
  72. Le Tombeau de Childeric, p. 154.
  73. Eginhard. Annales, p. 213.
  74. The Monk of Saint-Gall. Hist, des Gaules.
  75. Poet. Saxon, iii., apud Scrip. Rer. Franc. V. 155.
  76. Martin. Hist, de France, vol. ii. p. 114.
  77. Histoire de France, vol. i. p. 556
  78. But Witikind had reappeared, and the Saxons took to their arms again. The Saraves, a Sclavonic people living between the Elbe and Sorba, had invaded the neighbouring frontiers of Saxony and Thuringia.Charles quickly despatched three officers to check them: these were Adalgiste, Cubiculare or Chamberlain, Gellar, Comte de l'étable, and Worad, Comte du palais; for already the servile functions which belonged even to the person of the monarch, were regarded as honourable distinctions and gave a title to commanders of armies.'—Eginhard. Annales, p. 205. This Comte de l'étable was the origin of 'Constable,' an honourable designation which has been in use for many centuries.
  79. Hist. de France, vol. iii. p. 335.
  80. Destrier was the name given to a war-horse, which was also the Latin destrarius, or dextrarius, of the middle ages; derived, we are told, from dextra, because the horsemen handled their steeds only with the right hand; or more likely because the war-horse was led by a groom or squire until required for battle. The Troubadours often mention it:

    Chacuns d'eux broche sou auferrant Gascon.
    La peust on voir maint auferrant d'Espagne.
    D'Estriers, auferrant et Gascon.

    The bards of the 6th century, however, use the word eddestr for a charger, which was of Celtic derivation.

  81. Varlet, vaslet, vasselet, under-servant. Damoiseau, from domicellus, diminutive of dominus, an inferior lord. Ecuyer, scutifer, or shieldbearer. He carried the buckler of his lord, and attended him in combat, like the Gaulish 'trimarkisia.'

    Saint Michael was the chief of celestial chivalry, and Saint George of the terrestrial.

  82. Hist. France, p. 108.
  83. Megnin. La Maréchalerie Française, p. 72.
  84. Castan. Origines de la Commune de Besançon, p. 42. Fragmentum Concilii Verdunensis, apud Chifflet.