Posted on 29 November 2017
This coming Friday will see the launch of a major international Celtic Studies publication at the Lampeter Campus of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD).
Celtic Religions in The Roman Period: Personal, Local and Global by Associate-Professor Ralph Haeussler (UWTSD) and Professor Anthony King (University of Winchester) is the output of the thirteenth international workshop of the F.E.R.C.AN. project (fontes epigraphici religionum Celticarum antiquarum) which was held in Lampeter in October 2014.
This multi-authored book brings together new work, from a wide range of disciplinary vantages, on pre-Christian religion in the Celtic-speaking provinces of the Roman Empire, from Britain and Portugal to Italy and the Balkan provinces. The twenty-six chapters are the work of international experts in the fields of ancient history, archaeology, linguistics, and Celtic studies from across Europe.
Speaking about the book and the launch event, Associate-Professor Ralph Haeussler, Senior Lecturer in Roman history and archaeology on UWTSD’s Lampeter campus, said:
“We’re delighted with the interest shown in our new publication and we’re very much looking forward to the official launch event of the book. New discoveries and new research mean that our knowledge of pre-Christian religions, deities and sanctuaries across Rome’s Celtic-speaking provinces is constantly growing and evolving. The various chapters show how indigenous religious understandings of the Iron Age were both preserved and changing within the globalising world of the Roman Empire and how these developments even impacted on Welsh identity and mythology. This book reveals the unity and diversity of Celtic religions, the regional particularities as well as pan-Celtic concepts. The book, with more than 500 pages, is fully illustrated with many colour maps, site plans, photographs and drawings of images of Romano-Celtic gods. Both Tony and myself are very proud of the final output and we’d like to thank everybody who has contributed to the book for their commitment and support.”
Amongst the contributing authors is Professor John Koch, a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies (CAWCS) and also the Director of Celtic Studies Publishers, the book’s publisher. Since its establishment in 1994, Celtic Studies Publications has published scholarly monographs, book series and edited essay collections primarily focused on the languages, literatures and civilizations of the early Celtic peoples. Its over-riding concern is to promote the development of Celtic Studies in a contemporary interdisciplinary context.
Speaking about the importance of this new publication to the field of Celtic Studies and about his own contribution, both as author and publisher, Professor Koch said:
“Holding the thirteenth F.E.R.C.AN. workshop in Wales and publishing these collected studies here created a special opportunity to bring together cutting-edge research on pre-Christian Celtic beliefs across Europe and the medieval mythological tales of Ireland and Wales. The contribution of Fernando Fernández and myself revisits the ‘Pan-Celtic god Lugus’, whose name is the exact equivalent of that of the Welsh Lleu in the Mabinogi and the figure Lugh, who figures as the king of the gods in Irish tradition. Researchers have long been aware of this comparative evidence, but many more dedications to Celtic gods are known today, and early approaches to Celtic mythology and religion are now seen as out of date. So it is time for a new understanding of the Celtic antecedents of Welsh tradition”
The book launch event will be held at 6pm on December 1st in the Founders Library, Lampeter campus. The launch will include talks by Professor John Koch, Ralph Haeussler, and Tony King.
Further information about the book can be found here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Celtic-Religions-Roman-Period-Publications/dp/1891271253 or https://celticstudies.wales/shop/celtic-religions-in-the-roman-period