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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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Blood, Thunder and Precious Gifts

Blood, Thunder and Precious Gifts

The Druids and Sacrifice

(p.59) Chapter 4 Blood, Thunder and Precious Gifts
Caesar's Druids

Miranda Aldhouse-Green

Yale University Press

This chapter examines how certain forms of ritual gift-giving seem to have been so elaborate or to have involved such valuable offerings as to be convincingly associated with a powerful, authoritative body of ritualists commensurate with Julius 's Druids. There is sporadic but persistent archaeological evidence for human sacrifice in Iron Age and Roman Europe. It is especially useful to look at such practice both in terms of its resonance with Druidic practice and in the context of recent discoveries and theories. Iron Age and Roman period bog-bodies have been found in most areas of northwest Europe with extensive raised peat-bogs: Ireland, Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark, and North Germany. The archaeological evidence points to the strong probability that human sacrifice was still being perpetrated in a Britain which was fully incorporated into the Roman Empire, where such practices were illegal.

Keywords:   gift-giving, ritual, Caesar's Druids, ritualists, Iron Age, Roman Europe, Druidic practice

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