10/25/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall
Photograph of the lecturer: Kimberly Cassibry

Exhibition Lecture: Seeing the Supernatural

Art and Religion in Roman Gaul

Kimberly Cassibry

This talk explores the role of art in Gallic religion before, during, and after Caesar’s conquest. The Gauls themselves left few written documents about their religious beliefs, possibly because the druids insisted on the oral transmission of knowledge. The material record reveals that they had not necessarily imagined their gods in human form before conquest, though they were accustomed to appeasing supernatural forces with gifts of exquisitely crafted metalwork. After annexation, the inscribed and sculpted stone monuments that they began to dedicate bear witness to a fascinating era of experimentation, when their newly imagined gods were represented alongside Greek and Roman ones for the first time. In reassessing the role of art in Gallic religion, this talk sheds new light on the rich cultural heritage of the Roman Empire’s provinces.
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