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Caesar's DruidsStory of an Ancient Priesthood$
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Miranda Aldhouse-Green

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780300124422

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300124422.001.0001

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Images and Tombs

Images and Tombs

Druids Face to Face?

(p.186) Chapter 10 Images and Tombs
Caesar's Druids

Miranda Aldhouse-Green

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on a recent study which suggested a possible link between the religious tonsure spoken of by Bede and others and the singular hairstyles identified on Iron Age iconographic human representations from central Europe that appear to show parts of the head deliberately shaved. In the second century ad, the Greek author Arrian wrote the Cynegetica, a treatise on hunting in which he describes its practice among the Gauls not only as an elite sport, but also as having a close link with religion, remarking that the Gauls never engaged in hunting without first seeking the blessing of the gods. An amazing Iron Age site, High Pasture Cave, on the Island of Skye, has revealed evidence for the special, ritual treatment of a musical instrument very similar to the one depicted at Paule. Characteristic of many Iron Age and Roman-period bog-bodies are signs of physical abnormality, particularly associated with malnutrition.

Keywords:   religious tonsure, Iron Age, iconographic human representations, Arrian, Cynegetica, Gauls, Paule

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