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Caesar's Druids: An Ancient Priesthood
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Caesar's Druids: An Ancient Priesthood (Hardback)
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Synopsis

Ancient chroniclers, including Julius Caesar himself, made the Druids and their sacred rituals infamous throughout the Western world. But in fact, as Miranda Aldhouse-Green shows in this fascinating book, the Druids' day-to-day lives were far less lurid and much more significant. Exploring the various roles that Druids played in British and Gallic society during the first centuries B.C. and A.D.-not just as priests but as judges, healers, scientists, and power brokers-Aldhouse-Green argues that they were a highly complex, intellectual, and sophisticated group whose influence transcended religion and reached into the realms of secular power and politics. With deep analysis, fresh interpretations, and critical discussions, she gives the Druids a voice that resonates in our own time.

Miranda Aldhouse-Green is professor of archaeology, Cardiff University. A world expert on Druids, her publications include Exploring the World of the Druids, Dying for the Gods, The Celtic World, and Boudica Britannia.

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Staff Choice

Miranda Aldhouse-Green, currently a professor of archaeology at Cardiff University, is a world-renowned expert on ancient religion and ritual. With her extensive background in archaeology as well as anthropology, one would expect that a book by Aldhouse-Green examining the Druids in minute detail would be insightful and sympathetic, as well as heavily grounded in what archaeology can actually recover of their day-to-day lives.

This is entirely the case – the book is crammed with material evidence that debunks much of the speculation created by ancient sensationalist accounts of Druidic rituals, and brings to light the more complex and lesser-known aspects of their society. Aldhouse-Green’s portrait of the Druids reveals them as much more than the bogeymen of classical accounts, and highlights a culture that lived with great focus on their roles as leaders of society. Mainly focussing on the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD, the book concludes with an examination of the rebirth of ‘Druidomania’, drawing a parallel between contemporary misunderstandings and those that have misled opinion since Caesar’s time.

Reprinted with permission by www.archaeology.co.uk

Charing Cross Rd Bookshop - 22/02/2011

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