Rethinking the Ancient Druids

An Archaeological Perspective

Author(s): Miranda Aldhouse-Green

Language: English

Genre(s): Archaeology

Series: New Approaches to Celtic Religion and Mythology

  • September 2021 · 224pages · 216x138mm

  • ·Paperback - 9781786837974
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786837998
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786837981

About The Book

Ancient Classical authors have painted the Druids in a bad light, defining them as a barbaric priesthood, who 2,000 years ago perpetrated savage and blood rites in ancient Britain and Gaul in the name of their gods. Archaeology tells a different and more complicated story of this enigmatic priesthood, a theocracy with 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. Their material culture indicates how close was the relationship between Druids and the spirit-world, which evidence suggests they accessed through drug-induced trance.


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

About the Author(s)

Miranda Aldhouse-Green

Miranda Aldhouse-Green is Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University.

Read more