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This page aims to provide a short critical introduction to Celtic religion(s). We need to jetisson that 'romantic' view that many people have of Celtic religion.
What do we really know about Celtic religion?
We therefore need to start as far back as possible: who are the Celts that Greek and Roman authors talk about and what religious activities can we identify from our ancient evidence.
What are the main features of Celtic religion? Is it the same across Europe, from Portugal to the Danube and from north Italy to the British Isles, wherever we find 'Celtic' people? What is our evidence? And how have Celtic religions been evolving over the past three millenia...?
If we want to know more, we need to forget about fantastic accounts on druids and human sacrifice and focus on the evidence! Evidence is everything! What do we really know about Celtic deities, sanctuaries, temples, cult practises, sacrifices, and so on.
This site is still work-in-progress since Celtic religions are a big and complex subject. So far, you can access the following pages printed below in bold [please click on a link below or use the drop-down menu above]:
For my own studies on ancient Celtic religions, see my list of publications [LINK]. And here is one recent publication that contains a series of fascinating papers by scholars from across Europe and beyond who aim to provide up-to-date studies and approaches on ancient Celtic religions between Iron Age and late Antiquity in a multi-disciplinary approach. The volume was edited by Tony King (Uni Winchester) and myself and came out in 2017:
What is our evidence for Celtic religion(s)...?
An important source for the study of 'Celtic' religious believes are artefacts, notably from the Iron Age and the Roman period. It often seems that Celtic art, notably in pre-Roman times, was very much a religious art, heavily influenced by people's religious understandings?
Here a little quiz for you... Check location and date of the individual object.
A pan-European culture prior to the Roman conquest. General map showing the area considered to be 'Celtic' in antiquity. The main areas of occupation are in modern-day France, S Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, North Italy, Hungary,Bohemia and along the Danube; also. the Galatians in Asia Minor (Turkey) and at least parts of the British Isles. Please ignore the infrmation on this map regarding any 'Celtic expansion'... a topic we need to talk about more critically!