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The Ancient Celtic religion was a polytheistic one, with numerous gods with sometimes overlapping responsibilities. The ancient Celts, who occupied parts of western and central Europe during the Late Bronze Age and through to the Iron Age, believed in a polytheistic religion for which we are lacking in written sources. What we do know comes from the archaeological remains of the culture, and writings of classical authors which has helped us piece together some key gods, sacred sites, and ritual practices of the Celts.
The burial practices, votive inscriptions, and rituals that we know of tell us that the gods were believed to either control humanity in some way or that they at the very least had a strong influence on the welfare of the Celtic people. The god most commonly depicted though was Cernunnos, the horned god, most famously depicted on the Gundestrup Cauldron. He is a fairly mysterious figure who was often shown seated and wearing horns or antlers. Other major deities included the goddess Epona who was associated with horses, Sequana who was a healing goddess and particularly venerated in central France, Brigantia who the Romans equated with Nike and Victory and who was an important goddess in Britain, Esuss who was perhaps a patron of crafts with his hammer-like staff and Rhenus who was the god of the Rhine river.
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— CHAPTERS —
0:34 Travel with us!
1:12 The Ancient Celtic Religion
3:44 The Ancient Celtic Pantheon
6:25 The Ancient Celtic Druids
8:24 Rituals and Sacrifices
10:35 The Afterlife and Burial
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The Ancient Celtic Pantheon https://www.worldhistory.org/article/1715/the-ancient-celtic-pantheon/
Ancient Celtic Religion https://www.worldhistory.org/Ancient_Celtic_Religion/
Death, Burial & the Afterlife in the Ancient Celtic Religion https://www.worldhistory.org/article/1707/death-burial–the-afterlife-in-the-ancient-celtic/
Sacred Sites & Rituals in the Ancient Celtic Religion https://www.worldhistory.org/article/1710/sacred-sites–rituals-in-the-ancient-celtic-religi/
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The music used in this recording is the intellectual copyright of Michael Levy, a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, and used with the creator's permission. Michael Levy's music is available to stream at all the major digital music platforms. Find out more on:
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Cite This Work
Macquire, K. (2022, June 21). Ancient Celtic Religion, Druids and Funerary Beliefs. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/video/2790/ancient-celtic-religion-druids-and-funerary-belief/
Macquire, Kelly. "Ancient Celtic Religion, Druids and Funerary Beliefs." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified June 21, 2022. https://www.worldhistory.org/video/2790/ancient-celtic-religion-druids-and-funerary-belief/.
Macquire, Kelly. "Ancient Celtic Religion, Druids and Funerary Beliefs." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 21 Jun 2022. Web. 04 Feb 2023.