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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

The Druids' Toolkit

The Druids' Toolkit

Regalia and Ritual Equipment

(p.146) Chapter 8 The Druids' Toolkit
Caesar's Druids

Miranda Aldhouse-Green

Yale University Press

This chapter outlines that apart from the enactment of soul flight to the realms of the supernatural to rescue stolen souls, the shaman used divinatory techniques to liaise with the spirits for curative purposes. Thus, healing and divination are closely associated in ritual practice. Ethnographic evidence helps to provide a framework for understanding how the Druids may have acted in similar capacities to modern traditionalist advocates and healers. Druidism was a nationalist movement in which symbolic and actual healing might well have been associated with authority. The unequivocally sacred contexts in which several of the Romano-British headdresses occur are strongly suggestive of their possession by professional, perhaps sometimes resident, clergy. In his account of the Druids and other Gallic priests, Julius Caesar gives only the barest outline of their appearance and their ritual duties. The study of archaeological evidence for sacred regalia allows us a glimpse of how holy men presented themselves and how they operated within their communities.

Keywords:   soul flight, supernatural, stolen souls, shaman, divinatory techniques, healing, Romano-British headdresses, Julius Caesar

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