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Animals in Celtic Life and Myth

PDF For the Celts, a rural people whose survival depended so greatly upon their environment, the sanctity of natural phenomenon and of the elements led to extreme respect and veneration of animals. Both wild and domesticated species became the subject of elaborate rituals and formed the basis of profound religious beliefs. This work examines the intimate relationship which developed between humans and animals, in a society in which animals were special and central to all aspects of life. 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, in religion and ritiual.

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