Bronze 4th-century BC buffer-type torc from France

A torc, also spelled torq or torque, is a large rigid or stiff neck ring in metal, made either as a single piece or from strands twisted together. The great majority are open at the front, although some had hook and ring closures and a few had mortice and tenon locking catches to close them. Many seem designed for near-permanent wear and would have been difficult to remove. Torcs are found in the Scythian, Illyrian,[1] Thracian, Celtic, and other cultures of the European Iron Age from around the 8th century BC to the 3rd century AD. For the Iron Age Celts the gold torc seems to have been a key object, identifying the wearer as a person of high rank, and many of the finest works of ancient Celtic art are torcs. The Celtic torc disappears in the Migration Period, but during the Viking Age torc-style metal necklaces, now mainly in silver, came back into fashion.[2] Torc styles of neck-ring are found as part of the jewellery styles of various other cultures and periods.

Terminology and definition

The word comes from Latin torquis (or torques), from torqueo, "to twist", because of the twisted shape many of the rings have. Typically, neck-rings that open at the front when worn are called "torcs" and those that open at the back "collars". Smaller bracelets and armlets worn around the wrist or on the upper arm sometimes share very similar forms. Torcs were made from single or multiple intertwined metal rods, or "ropes" of twisted wire. Most of those that have been found are made from gold or bronze, less often silver, iron or other metals (gold, bronze and silver survive better than other metals when buried for long periods). Elaborate examples, sometimes hollow, used a variety of techniques but complex decoration was usually begun by casting and then worked by further techniques. The Ipswich Hoard includes unfinished torcs that give clear evidence of the stages of work.[3] Flat-ended terminals are called "buffers", and in types like the "fused-buffer" shape, where what resemble two terminals are actually a single piece, the element is called a "muff".[4]

Other Languages
беларуская: Шыйная грыўня
български: Торква
brezhoneg: Torc'h
català: Torca
čeština: Torques
Cymraeg: Torch
Deutsch: Torques
Ελληνικά: Τορκ
Esperanto: Torko
français: Torque (collier)
Bahasa Indonesia: Cincin leher
italiano: Torque
lietuvių: Antkaklė
magyar: Torques
Nederlands: Torque
norsk nynorsk: Torque
polski: Torkwes
svenska: Torques
українська: Гривна (прикраса)