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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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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 21 October 2021

Gender Matters

Gender Matters

Druids, Druidesses and Gender-Crossers

(p.210) Chapter 11 Gender Matters
Caesar's Druids

Miranda Aldhouse-Green

Yale University Press

This chapter explains that many of the Classical writers who mention Druids are silent on the matter of Druidesses, although persistent references to Gallic female priests are contained within the texts. The exclusivity of female involvement with the cult of Demeter is explicable in terms of the fertility connection, but in ancient Greek society, women also played central roles in other aspects of cult and religious festivals. The Larzac plaque refers specifically to defixiones, curses for which there is abundant archaeological evidence in Roman Gaul and Britain, and which were traditionally written on lead sheets, presumably by professional clergy. The multiple gender systems present in the shamanistic traditions of many native North American peoples enable an understanding of the important role that can be played by perceptions of fluid and several genders in symbolic traditions wherein biological sex was and is frequently overridden by social structures.

Keywords:   Classical writers, Druids, Druidesses, Gallic female priests, Demeter, Greek society, Larzac plaque, defixiones

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