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Carynx

Updated: Nov 20, 2023


Image credit: Flash Dantz

The Carynx was a Celtic war horn (c. 200 B.C. - A.D. 200). The design is that of a long, straight bronze trumpet with a snake or boar head. The instrument could be heard over battle cries to inspire allies and intimidate opponents. The first written record of the Carynx was of Greek origin in 273 B.C.E. after an unsucccessful raid on Delphi. Alhtough the Celts did not win the battle, the Greeks noted these strange instruments that were confusing and frightening with their loud, barbaric sounds. Later records were found on Roman coins, tomb reliefs, art, the Gundestrup cauldron and Trajans column. Carynx fragments have been found from the UK, through western Europe into Romania.


Carynx players depicted on Gundestrup Cauldron (bloodofox)

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