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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: 16 September 2021

Holy Ground

Holy Ground

Sanctuaries and Sacred Landscapes

Chapter:
(p.124) Chapter 7 Holy Ground
Source:
Caesar's Druids
Author(s):

Miranda Aldhouse-Green

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300124422.003.0007

This chapter explores how the sacred space is important, as it is the arena wherein the world of the spirits touches that of humans. Holy ground belongs to the gods and it was here that ancient priests were able to access the supernatural world. No Classical writer makes a direct link between the Druids and headhunting. Nonetheless, the severing and ritual use of enemy heads among the Gauls is a persistent theme in many ancient sources. Both shrines are located in East Anglia, Great Chesterford in Essex, and Haddenham in Cambridgeshire; the first was built in what became a substantial Roman town, the second in a rural fenland environment. Each shows signs of complex ceremonial activity both before and following the Roman conquest. Many holy places were long-lived, with evidence of episodes of use, closure, and reinvestment, sometimes with significant pauses inbetween phases of active life.

Keywords:   sacred space, spirits, holy ground, classical writer, Druids, ritual use, enemy heads, Gauls, Roman conquest

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