Animals in Celtic Life and Myth
Miranda Green draws on evidence from a variety of early Celtic documents, as well as archaeology and iconography, to reveal that the Celts believed many animals to be sacred, either possessing divine status in their own right or acting as mediators between gods and humans. She covers the crucial role of animals in the Celtic economy, in hunting and warfare, in Celtic art and literature, and in religion and ritual. The attitude of the Celts toward animals closely connected the cult and the everyday: warfare was bound up with religion; the killing of animals was associated with ritual; in stories, heroes talk to animals in their own language and gods change at will from human to animal form. The author covers the important period between 800 BC and AD 400, during which much of Europe was turning to Christianity, and examples range from Ireland to Czechoslovakia. Animals in Celtic Life and Myth will be invaluable to students of archaeology, anthropology and history.