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The Osterby Head with Suebian knot.
A battle scene from Tropaeum Traiani: a Roman legionnaire battles a Dacian warrior wielding a falx, while a Buri warrior sporting a Suebian knot lies injured on the ground.

The Suebian knot (German: Suebenknoten) is a historical male hairstyle ascribed to the tribe of the Germanic Suebi. The knot is attested by Tacitus in his 1st century CE work Germania, found on art by and depictions of the Germanic peoples, and worn by bog bodies.



According to Germania by Tacitus, the Suebian warriors combed their hair back or sideways and tied it into a knot, allegedly with the purpose of appearing taller and more awe-inspiring on the battlefield. Tacitus also reports that the fashion had spread to neighboring Germanic tribes among the younger warriors, while among the Suebians, the knot was sported even by old men as a status symbol, which "distinguishes the freeman from the slave", with the most artful knots worn by the noble.

Archaeological record

Suebian knots were found to be worn by the bog bodies of Osterby and Dätgen, towns near Rendsburg-Eckernförde, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. In 2000, near Lębork, Pomerania, on the Polish Baltic Sea coast, a bronze kettle was found depicting males wearing the Suebian knot hairstyle.[1]


Historical depictions are found on the Trajan column, the cauldron of Musov, the Tropaeum Traiani relief, and a bronze sculpture of a kneeling German in the Bibliothèque nationale de France.


See also


  1. ^ M. Macynska, D. Rudnicka, Abstract: A grave with Roman imports from Czarnówko, Lębork district, Pomerania, Poland [1]


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