Caput Apri Defero

The Boar’s Head at Oxford. The ancient ceremony of serving up a boar’s head in the hall of Queen’s College, Oxford, at Christmas, is still observed with much pomp and ceremony. The boar’s head is borne on the shoulders of two of the college servants, preceded by the Provost and Fellows of the society, and […]


Originally occupied in the Iron Age, the site later became a seat of the kings of Dál Riata. It is known for its stone carvings below the upper enclosure, including the imprint of a foot and a basin thought to have formed part of Dál Riata’s coronation ritual. On the same flat outcrop of rock is an incised boar in Pictish style, and an inscription […]

Witham Shield

The beaten bronze shield was made principally from wood, now perished, to a design later known as a “Gaulish Shield” that originated in the VII century BC. What remains is an almost complete facing that had been made to cover its surface. Originally a leather silhouette of a long-legged wild boar would have been riveted to the shield […]

Measuring the Boar Against the Bristles

I have already referred to a note by Mrs. MacTavish on this subject, vol. ii. 489. She tells how she learned Dan an Dearg (the Song of the Red) more than sixty years ago, from a ploughman who used to chant it at his work; and she adds– “The subject of the song is Diarmaid […]

De Apro Per Ejus Orationem Interempto

Alio in tempore, vir beatus, cum in Scia insula aliquantis demoraretur diebus, paulo longius solus, orationis intuitu, separatus a fratribus, silvam ingressus densem, mirae magnitudinis aprum, quem forte venatici canes persequebantur, obviam habuit. Quo viso eminus, Sanctus aspiciens eum restitit. Tum deinde, invocato Dei nomine, sancta elevata manu, cum intenta dicit ad eum oratione, Ulterius […]