The Military History of the Selkie in the 1st Century BCE is part of the Military History of the Selkie in the Age of the High Kings, as the High Kings Conor the Bard, Lugh the Seafarer and Irereo the Rock ruled.


Availability of Manpower

It is important to understand, that the Selkie of the 1st Century BCE had a smaller pool of manpower available for their campaigns, mainly because society was far less urbanized then in, for example, the Dark Ages. Society and centre of life was rural, within small villages with little militias, which could scare off bandits, but which had little place on a battlefield.

Where the manpower came from was from the more or less professional levies of the Kings and the High King in their core-lands, which were built around a core of professional warriors. Selkie-Mercenaries were yet to play a more organized rule, but Sodarcíoi, Swords for Hire, were a factor, which was not a not be discounted. The majority of these levies came from towns and cities, less from villages. That also meant, that the majority of these levies were light infantry, as exact orders of ordnance prescribed what each soldier had to have with him by the time their King or the High King called upon them.

Warriorhood and War played a more central role in the 1st century as well, especially due to one aspect: The 'easy' acquisition of things one person has, but which another person might like. Raiding, especially for livestock, was a nice way to pass time between the Kings,


Defensive Arms and Armour


Cloth Armour

The most basic armour was padded cloth armour, which was surprisingly effective against a number of attacks, 

Leather Armour

Leather armour was not as far-spread as modern media would make one believe.

Metal Armour

Reserved for the richest of the rich, metal armour was usually scale armour, 

Other protective equipment

Offensive Arms - Close and Personal

Swords and daggers


The most important weapon of the era was the spear, usually combined with a shield.

Axes and other tools

Ribín Gorm

Ribín Gorm with a Bodmin-Battleaxe, after 445 CE.

Especially widespread in the area of Bodmin and the Baile was the Bodmin-Battleaxe, a weapon designed for war.

Offensive Arms - Ranged


Bow and Arrow


Offensive Arms - Artillery

Other Equipment


Selkie rarely, if ever, used chariots in warfare. If they did, they did so in a role, that would liken them to modern APCs, a driver delivering one or two soldiers, who fought dismounted, while the chariot driver either went back to pick up the next one or two men or supported his soldiers in one way or the other. Their use in war, however, had stopped by the 1st century BCE for a few centuries.


Even in those times, Cavalry already played an important role and so did the development of proper saddles for said cavalry. One of the most important developments of that time was the Selkie-Saddle, also known as the Taca Droma-Type Saddle or Backrest-Type Saddle. The name stems from the cantle of the saddle, which was drawn out upwards to give the rider a better seat and, together with two pommels aiding in holding the thighs, allowed for greater movement ability.

Distinctive Types of Soldiers

Heavy Cavalry

Light and Medium Cavalry

Heavy Infantry

Light Infantry, Medium Infantry and Militias


The Nocht

See Main Article: Nocht.

Role of Women on the Battlefield


Although it would still be four centuries until Áed the Hunter would establish the Swordmaidens and the Lancemaidens, Warrior-Women played important roles on the battlefield in a number of applications. However, that was both seen as a last resort - or the woman seen as unmarryable. Most of these women preferred short swords, daggers, bows or slings.

It was not uncommon for a woman of high birth to be able to fight, Princess Macha is known to have been an excellent horsearcher and Princess Tailtiu was known as a very capable axewoman.

As Díosc, Screechers,

Many of the militias also had female-only contingents to defend their towns and cities either if the men were already at war or when the direst of need was upon the city or town.



Organization and Logistics

See also

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