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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Rethinking The Ancient Druids

An Archaeological Perspective

Dispels misconceptions about the ancient Druids through a careful study of their material culture.

Ancient authors have painted the Druids in a negative light, defining them as a barbaric cult that perpetrated savage and blood rites in ancient Britain and Gaul. Archaeology tells a more complicated story of this enigmatic priesthood, revealing a theocracy of immense political and sacred power. This book explores the tangible “footprint” the Druids have left behind in sacred spaces, art, ritual equipment, images of the gods, strange burial rites, and human sacrifice. In this careful study of Druid material culture, Miranda Aldhouse-Green uncovers compelling new findings about ancient religious beliefs and practices.
 

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Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Preface
PROLOGUE: The untouched Cave
CH. 1: Time and Space: contextualizing Druids in the ancient world
CH. 2: Barbarians and Wise Men: rethinking Classical texts
CH. 3: Spiritual Spaces: rites and beliefs in Iron Age Britain and Gaul
CH. 4: Images and Symbols: sacred art and the Druids
CH. 5: Welsh Connections: spotlight on Druidic Wales
CH. 6: A Holy War: Boudica and the Druids against Rome
CH. 7: Reading Runes and Telling Spoons: divining the divine
CH. 8: Druids and Deities: changing spirits in Roman Gaul and Britain
CH. 9: Ideas of Afterlife: death, burial and reincarnation
EPILOGUE: The Untouched Cave Revisited
BIBLIOGRAPHY

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