GRÁN CRUITHNECHTA 'wheat-grain' and GRÁN EÓRNA 'barley-grain' regularly occur in medieval Irish in agricultural and domestic references, but GRÁN could be used also in a military context. GRÁIN CHATHA, literally 'battle-grains', is still the accepted Modern Irish term for caltrops, the spiked devices which are strewn on the ground to slow the advance of men, horses and vehicles. In the Irish version of the 'Historia Britonum' of Nennius it is claimed that the Romans were hampered by iron caltrops (tres na grainib catha) placed in a ford in the River Thames (Todd Nenn. 60).
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