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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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The Time Lords: Calendars, Festivals and Sacred Knowledge

The Time Lords: Calendars, Festivals and Sacred Knowledge

(p.105) Chapter 6 The Time Lords: Calendars, Festivals and Sacred Knowledge
Caesar's Druids

Miranda Aldhouse-Green

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on the fact that there is little literary evidence for indigenous cult-practices in Iron Age and Roman Celtiberia, and a caution should be practiced in accepting the Greek geographer's testimony. Cyclical time is easier to measure because it relies on the natural world; the phases of the moon, the seasons, and the position of the sun in the sky are not affected by human behaviour, although the meaning of such natural, rhythmical phenomena varies according to their interpreters. The Roman and Athenian calendars situate evidence for the Gaulish calendars within a cognate system. Knowledge of time was one of the central focuses of Druidic power. The Druids' mastery of the heavenly bodies as they moved around the sky, of the seasons and the rhythms of the natural world, were part of their store of esoteric erudition that made them so indispensable to the prosperity, or very survival, of their people.

Keywords:   Iron Age, Roman Celtiberia, Greek geographer, cyclical time, Gaulish calendars, Druidic power

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