Why did celtic people fight naked?


Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
To prove bravery and by some accounts fight with terrific ferocity as overheating/encumbrance is completely removed. Far as I understand it not all Celts fought this way so not sure what you mean by battles which naked Celts won. Practically any battle that is recorded where Celts won probably had some men fighting naked though the practice seems to have been in decline even in Caesar's day.


Historum Emeritas
Oct 2009
In Continental Europe, it seems to have been the reserve of a mercenary elite called the Gaesati.
Sep 2013
I believe the celts (and some Germans) that did this were early fanatics. They would do it to prove their courage and because they were high on some potent intoxicant.
Most of them would be fighting in their trousers and tunics. Maybe a cloak if it was colder. The richer more successful ones would have some early kinds of armour.


Forum Staff
Feb 2009
Eastern PA
My conjecture is that combat without clothes originated with the observation that warriors wounded while clad were much more likely to incur terminal infections, such as sepsis, when their dirty clothing or furs were forced into their wounds.

Just a theory.


Ad Honoris
May 2011
Navan, Ireland
Is there much difference between fighting 'in the nip' (perhaps with 'magic' body paint) and light clothes?

Now fight armoured and unarmoured there is a difference.

Type of weapon and style of fighting comes into consideration and does the ability to buy very expensive armour.