EU shipping is temporarily suspended

Sacred Britannia

The Gods and Rituals of Roman Britain

Miranda Aldhouse-Green

Out of stock


A timely and up-to-date new account of religion in Roman Britain

See Inside

Also available as an eBook from iTunes, Amazon


Two thousand years ago, the Romans sought to absorb into their Empire what they regarded as a remote, almost mythical island on the very edge of the known world – Britain. The expeditions of Julius Caesar and the Claudian invasion of AD 43, and the continuing Roman presence up to the 5th century AD, brought fundamental and lasting changes to the island. Not least among these was the introduction of a new pantheon of Classical deities and religious systems, along with a clutch of exotic Eastern cults including Christianity. But what of Britannia and her own home-grown deities? What cults and cosmologies did the Romans encounter, and how did they react to them? Under Roman rule, the old gods and their adherents were challenged, adopted, adapted, absorbed and reconfigured.

In Britain no inscriptions predate the Roman period, apart from brief coin-legends, and the divine imagery that adorned temples in the Roman world was largely lacking. But with the Romans, religion becomes much more visible. In this fresh and innovative new account Miranda Aldhouse-Green balances literary, archaeological and iconographic evidence (and scrutinizes their shortcomings) to illuminate the complexity of religion and belief in Roman Britain, and the two-way traffic of cultural exchange and interplay between imported and indigenous cults.

Despite the remoteness of this period, on the cusp between prehistory and history, many of the forces, tensions, ideologies and issues of identity at work are still relevant today, as Sacred Britannia skilfully reveals.

Read More


'Lively and engaging as ever, Miranda Aldhouse-Green provides a completely fresh picture of the variety of religious life in Roman Britain, using all the resources of recent scholarship and archaeology. This welcome book has a strong contemporary resonance in its challenging insights about cultural identity and religious diversity'
Rowan Williams

'Authoritative … [Aldhouse-Green’s] earnest tone is matched to a seriousness and admirable refusal to oversex the rituals of Roman and pre-Roman Britain'
Catholic Herald

'A riveting account of ancient beliefs'

'You know you’re in good hands when it comes to [Miranda] Aldhouse-Green … 5 stars'
All About History

'A scholarly inquiry into the cults and cosmologies that the Romans encountered'
Church Times

'Rarely has a book about the ancient world felt as relevant to our present times'
Current Archaeology

'A treasure-house of learning and a pleasure to read'
History Today

'A very good overview of religion in the province of Britain'
The Archaeological Journal

'Miranda Aldhouse-Green’s Sacred Britannia casts a huge shadow … I could not possible think of a much better guidebook to take me on a journey into the mysterious yet fascinating world of Romano-British religion'
Open History

Read More

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 23.4 x 15.3 cm

Extent: 256 pp

Illustrations: 125

Publication date: 28 June 2018

ISBN: 9780500252222

About the Author

Miranda Aldhouse-Green is Professor Emeritus at Cardiff University. She is the author of The Celtic Myths, Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend, Exploring the World of the Druids and, with Stephen Aldhouse-Green, The Quest for the Shaman.