1. Wolvenmoon
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    Wolvenmoon New Member

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    Celtic, Germanic, and Gallic religions?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Wolvenmoon, Jul 20, 2011.

    So I'm still world building (and having fun doing it).

    In a brilliant flash of insight I realized that I did not have religion integrated into the societies I was working on, and that a large gaping hole in my characters' motivation - their religious and political beliefs - needed to be fixed.

    Currently I'm using what I know about European societies (and some far eastern influences) as a template for the ones I create. Religion has been neglected entirely and I think involving it would greatly enhance the depth of my characters. So I kind of want to do some research on Roman and Greek Pantheons alongside Celtic, Germanic, and Gallic religious practices.

    I don't know where to start reading that would be comprehensive. Does anyone have any recommendations?

    Edit: While I'm at it, what about Mayan and Incan stuff? Pile it on! :)
     
  2. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    Wikipedia and google are good enough to give you a general idea, even if they might not be so reliable. If you're looking into something more serious, I would recommend looking up some books on mythology/religion in general for many different religious and spiritual beliefs from different cultures. There are many of these "reference" books, that provide a lot of general and useful information about these sorts of things. I have several of them at home, in fact, but I'm pretty sure there're tons of them around.

    I know this is kind of vague, but if you look around amazon for something to buy, or even your local library, I'm pretty sure you can find books like these.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto the above... you need to do the seeking on your own, not depend on others to do it for you... google is the best place to start and will give you much quicker results than asking here and waiting to see if anyone just happens to have titles to offer...
     
  4. GoldenFleece
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    GoldenFleece New Member

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    Just to warn you, I'm researching about Irish druidic religion, where there is very little recordings. Celtic and Gallic druid religions have no recordings except for Roman and Greek writings, whose propaganda goal is to make them look like barbarians, so be careful. Druid religion traditions kept no writing of their religion, which is why so little records remain.

    Have no idea about Germanic religions, although the Saxons might be worth a look.
     
  5. PenandPencil
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    PenandPencil Member

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    Hi,

    What GoldenFleece said is most certainly true. The Romans created a very biased view of the dear Celts, but we still do know a lot about thier life and culture. I've researched A LOT on the Celts; their brehon laws and Aos Dána Hierarchy, and it is all very interesting, especially if you come from then :p

    But as others said above, wikipedia and reading books is the best way to find out about anything really. :)

    Good Luck!
     
  6. Alex W
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    Alex W Contributing Member

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    Hello there,

    I'm Pagan myself and also have taken a keen interest in atleast the Celtic side of Paganism as part of my book and general interest anyway. If you want to PM me about anything I might be able to help you.

    Hope it all goes well!
     
  7. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do not look into modern paganism for an insight into ancient practices. It was originally the creation of a romanticist Welshman in the 1700s and has no bearing on antiquated religions. A lot has been done to make it more authentic in recent years, but, still, if you're out for historical value, use it merely to enhance your understanding of your knowledge, not as the basis of it.

    There is no 'Celtic paganism.' There are two main types of Celt: Brythonic (British) and Goidelic (Gaelic). Both of them had their own religions, with some local variations, and there are literally hundreds of gods and deified figures in both. A few major themes that come up time and time again are the existence of a physical Otherworld - Tir nan Og in Goidelic, Avalon in Brythonic - and triple goddesses, as well as the deities being actual people who once walked the earth rather than mystical beings.

    The best source of information is the ancient texts themselves. The Cattle Raid of Cooley is one I particularly recommend. Not only is it vaguely entertaining, but it is also readily available on the Internet and is (or was) part of the Irish national curriculum. Thousands of pages have been written about it.
     
  8. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    Yes the roman sources were biased, but many gallic tribes were their own allies so I tend to believe to a certain extent to thir writings, in particular Cornelius Nepotis and Caesar had a kind of sociologic interest in them, and they are the only primary sources, these people didn't write and most of their religion was reased by the Christians after the fall of the Roman Empire.

    For the germanic tribes, they were very different from the "Keltos" (this is the word Caesar said they used for themselves) but we now more because they wrote runes and in the end they won against the romans, started to write their own historias: basically they all believed in what today we call the nordic religion, Wotan (Oden), Tyr etc...

    I read Historia Longobardorum in latin and there's a good esposure of their original religion:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historia_Langobardorum

    That was way different from anything the celtic people had.
     

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