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<   No. 1054   2005-12-15   >

Comic #1054

1 Marcus: {singing} You take the via supernam, I'll take the via inferam, and I'll be in Caledonia afore ye!
2 Julius: Is that another thing you picked up from your trip to Britannia?
3 Marcus: Yes. The Celts play some very catchy tunes on instruments called bagpipes. They travel the land with an entourage of warriors who wear blue body paint.
4 Julius: Oh?
4 Marcus: They call them "woadies".

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If you've ever seen Braveheart you'll know the ancient Celtic bards were proud of their woadies and their blue dyed skin.


2015-03-12 Rerun commentary: Interestingly, there is reasonably good evidence that bagpipes existed in the Roman Empire, with suggestions that the Emperor Nero played an early version of them. They were certainly present by the time of the descendent Byzantine Empire based around Constantinople, in the early centuries AD.

On the other hand, there is no good evidence at all for bagpipes existing in the British Isles before the 14th century. It's possible that they were there, but leaving behind no documented evidence - and it has even been suggested that bagpipes were introduced to Britain by the Romans during the Roman conquest from the year AD 43.

So this strip is highly anachronistic and ahistorical. For that reason and that reason alone, mind you!

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