Talk:Ancient Celtic religion

Note on reconstructed Celtic pantheonEdit


The purpose of the table is to provide a synopsis of the sources cited with regard to the intrinsic nature and the plausible Romanised Brythonic name-forms and semantics of Celtic gods and goddesses likely to have been known to and recognised by Iron Age British tribes. Much is uncertain with regard to Celtic deities.

Note on syncretism and definitionEdit

Only in instances where the cited sources assert in certitude that several names referred to the same deity, have deities been allotted more than one reconstructed name. For example, in the case of the name Rhiannon ( from *Rigantona ‘Great Queen.’ ), the Encyclopaedia Britannica maintains that the epithet was used in Welsh mythology for the Welsh manifestations of both the Gaulish Epona and the goddess Macha of Irish mythology. Otherwise, a separate name has been allotted a separate entry.

Note on orthographyEdit

In accordance with classical Roman transcriptions of Celtic names, Proto-Brythonic [*k] has been written as ‘c,’ [*j] as ‘i,’ (except in initial and intervocalic positions) and initial and intervocalic [*w] has been shown as ‘v,’ while post-consonantal [*w] has been written as ‘u.’ To denote the remnant position of a former Proto-Indo-European [**p] in the morphology of these names, ‘h’ has been used, because ‘h’ appears in some classical transcriptions of Celtic words apparently denoting this remnant, as with the toponym Hercynia, presumably from Proto-Indo-European **PérkōwnjeH2 , ‘Land of Pigs’ (cf. pork). In other respects, accepted Proto-Celtic reconstructions, including diphthongs, have been rigidly followed. Since Proto-Brythonic was a P-Celtic language, ‘p’ has been written where Proto-Celtic would have had [*kw]. In keeping with the conventions of proto-linguistics, the asterisk * denotes an unattested, reconstructed form. Here follows a reconstruction of the Iron Age British pantheon, with the head names of the deities given in their likely Proto-Brythonic form. Sincerely, GeoffMGleadall 01:08, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Celtic pantheonEdit

External SourcesEdit

could someone (ideally the person who entered them, as s/he is more aware of what those pages are) please go through these and provide titles to the links? Whateley23 04:02, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Belenos, Beli Mawr, BileEdit

this is a very contested etymology at this time. see, for instance, Peter Schrijver "On Henbane and Early European Narcotics", Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie vol. 51, pp.17-45, especially secs. 2.3 and 4.1-4.2. Whateley23 04:16, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Cult of the Power of Boggy TerrainEdit

i hesistate to remove it immediately, but i'd like to see a reference to northern Europeans executing people for homosexuality. i don't recall running across such a reference among classical authors, and archaeology probably can't be the source of this. in fact, i seem to recall classical authors accusing Celtic warriors of homosexuality in the field, not saying that anyone was executed for it. Whateley23 07:57, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

It doesn't appear that it was even frequent enough to actually merit being addressed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Solificus (talkcontribs) 20:55, 28 May 2008 (UTC)


Is the large table needed in the article when it is duplicated at Proto-Celtic theonyms? The theonym page is an orphan adrift in the harsh wiki world and should be united with this article or... Well you know the rest, it is a tragic fate for any article, I will delete the table and make a link to the orphan if nobody objects. MeltBanana 14:23, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing out the duplication. I made Proto-Celtic theonyms redirect to this article. Otherwise the notes above and the sources and other things get duplicated in both places or misplaced. 15:12, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure this is the best solution as the table is also in Neo-druidism, I found afterwards, a seperate article for the table is maybe warranted so that it can be taken out of both articles. MeltBanana 19:53, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

The problem with this merger is that one page was about proto-Celtic (ie, reconstructed precursor) deities and the other about Celtic (ie attested) deities. Those are not the same thing. --Nantonos 20:44, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

Accuracy of linguistics in theonyms tableEdit

I'd appreciate it if somebody with the appropriate linguistic knowledge could review the reconstructions of the Proto-Celtic theonyms in the table- several of them seem highly unlikely. Just the few that I've picked up on:

  • Eremon is has *Arjoman-es as an etymon, defined as "noble ploughman". Not only is this definition more appropriate for Amaethon, the Irish Eremon is clearly an o-stem, and the etymon should have the termination *-os.
  • Speaking of whom, Amaethon is definately from *Ambaxtonos- "great ploughman", an augmentive of *ambaxtos "farmer, ploughman". (trivia: the same word gives English "ambassador").
  • Boann is given the rather unweildy etymon *Bou-han-d(e)wā "cattle-fen-dew", in preference to the generally accepted *Bovindā "white cow" (c.f. 197 Google hits for "Bovinda" vs. only 47 for "Bovanda", all of which are either Wikipedia mirrors or unrelated).
  • Pwca is most likely unrelated to *bukka, which actually gives Welsh bwch. A chance similarity in form does not necessarily indicate a genetic relationship.
  • Both Deva and Devona are simply Romanisations of *dēwā "goddess" (and its augmentive form *dēwonā), and probably have no connection to "dew".
  • Morrigan possibly comes from *māro-rīganā "great-queen" rather than *moro-rīganā.
  • Gwydion is highly unlikely to come from *Weid-ī-kondos- which would rather have produced something like **Gwytgon.
  • 'Gwen Teir Bron simply means "white three-breasts", which is totally transparent in Modern Welsh, coming from *windā tisres brundā
  • In addition, I see no reason for the common augmentive infix *-on- to be translated as spirit.

If the above are only the ones I've noticed, it might be an idea to re-examine the whole table (and related entries). Dewrad 21:34, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

I agree about the need for checking. The translation of -on-, which often indicates divinity but is also found in personal names, as 'spirit' is unusual and I have not found a reference. I think this comes from the person who adds links to the University of Wales proto-Celtic lexicon without citing the actual etymology - it seems to be widespread in Wikipedia articles. --Nantonos 03:51, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

'onen'(kw) = 'One' [IMO 'onos' _might_ mean the same in Gaulish]. 'Cernonos' then translates literally as 'the horned one'. I suspect that these forms are all titular descriptions of archetypal (PIE) deities rather than actual names. Tim flatus (talk) 08:00, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

i also agree on the need for checking. i'll comment only a bit, though, and only on Morrígan - my own feeling is that both etymologies are correct, and the name is the result of a semantic confluence. Whateley23 07:48, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

Morrígan surely translates as 'Great Queen' in Gaelic. Tim flatus (talk) 08:00, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
it needs to have sources, above all, otherwise it is pure Original Research. dab () 12:47, 19 December 2005 (UTC)


there is at least a collection of literature and external links here, but it is entirely unclear which statements are from which source. It is pointless to link to as an external link. If is the source of one particular statement, it should have a footnote with the link. As it is, the statements in the article are essentially unsourced. dab () 12:47, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Invented(?) deity namesEdit

An anonymous user just provided reconstructed Welsh-language equivalents for a lot of the names in the deities table – or at least, those with asterisks are clearly reconstructions. The rest may be attested. (I do wonder at Braint rather than Ffraid, however...) What do people think of these? Personally, I find such linguistic exercises very interesting and appealing; but I wonder whether they belong on Wikipedia. In particular, I think we cannot include them if they involve original scholarship. QuartierLatin1968   19:25, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Cults sectionEdit

I think this whole section is highly problematic. Somebody's gone through and tried to schematize a cult of X, Y, and Z in the abstract, in a way that (A) smells strongly of original research and (B) draws together themes and motifs that are either separate in the form we find them, or worse, deduced from shoddy DIY etymologies. The section on the cult of the power of the boggy terrain is particularly dreadful in this respect. I think it would be very hard to edit this section so that it's much good; it may be necessary to rewrite the section from scratch. Any discussion of cults must also pay attention to the geographic and temporal distribution of those cults... QuartierLatin1968 19:32, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Its a different point to the above by why do the Celtic gods named here have Roman names eg Mercury and Jupiter? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

We don't know the Celtic names in all cases. In other cases, we know Celtic names that were used regionally (e.g. Visucius in the Rhineland), but it's more convenient to use the name that was used supra-regionally (e.g. Mercurius), even if the latter is in Latin. The assumption is that patterns of worship in the Romano-Celtic areas owed a lot to their pre-Roman precursors, Latin names notwithstanding. Q·L·1968 19:51, 17 December 2006 (UTC)


Celtic polytheism is an okay name, but there seems to be no standardization among Germanic paganism/Norse paganism, ancient Greek religion, religion in ancient Rome, Egyptian mythology, and so on. Most of these should theoretically be comparable things, so I'd expect they could have comparable article names. I'd prefer a move to Celtic paganism or (best of all) religion among the ancient Celts. QuartierLatin1968   19:32, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Standardization is ofte a good thing. However, it can also have a negative side. For example, many religious systems could be standardized under XXX Mythology (where XXX is Greek, Roman, Norse, Irish, etc etc). Which is fine for those religions primarily defined b a written mythology but not, for example, Continental Celtic reigion (which has no extant mythology, but does have epigraphy and archaeology). So, I would rather see Celtic polytheism than, say, Celtic mythology. --Nantonos 21:45, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the first entry as far as using the title Celtic Paganism. This just seems a more accurate word for the Celtic religion than polytheism, which is more general. But this isn't that big of a deal to me. More importantly, I am responding to the question in the text re merging the Celtic Nature Worship article with the Celtic Polytheism article. That really makes sense to me. I see no reason for having 2 different articles. And if one goes to one or the other, they miss a lot of good information from the other article. So I think this should be done. Kris Wood, March 4, 2011. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kristinamwood (talkcontribs) 01:00, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Cleanup or Re-write?Edit

This article is a mess. A big, huge mess. It's not even close to a decent article:

  • The prose is stuffy and rather impenetrable, particularly to non-specialists.
  • It includes no images.
  • It contains way too much original research.
  • It's about as engaging as the extended commentary to the Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch. In the original German.

The whole article is riddled with a certain user's unsubstantiated original research about the etymologies of deity names which betray a lack of familiarity with Celtic linguistics, which also infects pretty much all other articles about Celtic deities.

As mentioned above by someone else, I have difficulty swallowing the information about cults. So what's to do? Completely re-write it or clean it up? If the latter, how? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I disagree in some respects. Be fair; the article is 67 kb long, and there's really good material stretching across (shall we say) 25 kb of it. True, we could definitely use some images, and the "cults" section is, I agree, pure original research. And too much material is superfluous to that on other articles, such as druid or Celtic mythology. I'm going to take it home to do a bunch of rewriting to see what I can do, but afterwards I'd appreciate help from a layperson in making the material accessible. I've been reading far too much Old Irish mythology recently to have any sense left! QuartierLatin1968   01:33, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
(PS: I've been on an extended campaign lately to decontaminate the Celtic deity articles from GeoffMGleadall's well-intended but over-ebullient theorizing. Let me know if you find any more areas in need of de-GeoffMGleadalling.)
I see that Neo-druidism has a copy of the same table, presumably by the same author. --Nantonos 09:06, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Learned comrades, please find before you a partial clean-up and a partial re-write. As you can see, much more remains to be done: (1) I haven't completely finished the cleanup of the revised 'cults' section. (2) Many citations are still needed. (3) We want more pictures. (4) The language may still be inaccessible to the lay reader.

(By the way, you may wonder where I have drawn the categories for the new 'cults' section: Wherever two out of the three of Green, Duval, and Jufer & Luginbühl agreed on a major heading, it became one of mine. A rough-and-ready solution, but it was the only one I could think of. As for the 'deities' table, I have pared it back dramatically so as to remove the purported etymologies and suggest 'associations' between gods only in a few cases where this is most widespread.) Solidarity, QuartierLatin1968   22:00, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Good job, QL, it sure needed this.--Cúchullain t/c 00:13, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Cosmology and eschatologyEdit

Statements such as the following:

"They believed in a life after death, as they buried food, weapons, and ornaments with the dead.”


"The Celts provided their dead with weapons and other accoutrements, which indicates that they believed in an afterlife."

should never find their way into a scholarly discussion. Equating the burial of objects with the dead to a belief in an afterlife is not the same as saying that 2 + 2 = 4. Such statements are assumptions only and are 100% reflective of the author's personal beliefs and zero % grounded in fact.
This is not to say that these statements are categorically false. They may well be true but if so, it would be indicative of sheer luck, not actual science. Too frequently, the writings of self-proclaimed scientists are taken as the truth when they are in fact only the opinions of said individuals. Sadly, this tendency seems especially rampant in the field of archeology.
Perhaps because of the scarcity of factual evidence in the archeological world, archeologists feel compelled to "fill in the gaps" to justify their work. However, sometimes the discipline as well as science and, indeed, the world, are better served by simply saying, "I don't know".


That's quite true (although I'm not qualified to say much about your categorization of the archaeological world). However, what we can do is to say that "it is scholar X's assessment that archaeological fact Y means Z" (whilst adding, where appropriate, that "scholar W feels that scholar X came up with conclusion Z under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs"). This is why I think an appeal for citations is appropriate for such statements. Q·L·1968 20:06, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
IMO 'Afterlife' is a rather Christian-sounding term. If the Druids, as attested by Caesar, believed in reincarnation, what would be the purpose of an afterlife? Besides, there is reasonable evidence that the Celts cremated their dead in the majority of cases and disposed of weapons and other metal goods in watery places. Tim flatus (talk) 08:17, 11 April 2009 (UTC)


Wow. I had no idea how much work this needed. I guess I'd only skimmed it, and a long time ago. Uh, I did rather a lot, but it still needs work. It's really biased towards Gaulish, even after everything I added in. The article still has an overall tone that Gaulish and PIE are the standard, and all other Celtic cultures merely manifestations of that overall pattern and structure. I have serious disagreements with that assumption, and am in Sjoestedt's camp that it is really inappropriate to try to fit the Insular deities into a Roman or Romano-Celtic template. Argh. Tired now. --Kathryn NicDhàna 05:28, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

The Problematic ChartEdit

i could've sworn that there was some discussion here of why different names were added to the current chart. i definitely remember discussing the "Lamiae = Morrigan" equation with someone, for instance. it's possible that was done on personal talk pages, though. in any case, that specific equation comes from medieval sources, which can be referenced in, e.g., Epstein's comprehensive thesis regarding Irish "war goddesses". i'm not sure what happened to the references in the wiki article, either. it's possible that they were overlooked. now, as for the basic value of that table, i would be interested to see arguments in both directions. me, i don't care much either way, but am inclined to let it stand. Whateley23 05:00, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Yup, it was with me – Q·L·1968 19:46, 5 February 2007 (UTC). I'll take the liberty of copying your explanation:

firstly, let me say that you're right to question the source of that. after writing it, to be fair, i started questioning it, since it wasn't so glossed by Romans, but by Irish monks commenting on Latin texts.

the very first instance of the word "morrigan" in an Irish text is in "manuscript Regina No. 215 in a gloss of Isaiah 34.14, a passage which recounts the desolation of Edom. Lamia is there glossed monstrum in femine figura .i. morigain ‘monster in female form, that is, a morrígan’ (Stokes and Strachan 1901: I.2.6). The codex was written in 876 or 877 A.D.." (as cited in Angelique Gulermovich Epstein, War Goddess electronic edition (1998), Chapter One "The Morrígan in Mythological Tradition", page 2). Epstein goes on to document a number of other instances in which "Lamia" or "Lamiae" is glossed as "Morrígan" or vice versa.

also, apparently i forgot to include the signature, so i'll do that now: Whateley23 11:53, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

thank you. Whateley23 06:31, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Page move and massive, unsourced changesEdit

I'm sorry, but this is a mess. Changes this huge have to be discussed here first, and sourced. I'm rolling this way back. Discuss it here first. This has so many problems I hardly know where to start. - Kathryn NicDhàna 04:35, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Hello. I was the one who made the changes. The reason; they were most definately needed. I am perfectly willing to accept that I am no expert in the subject, but this page was a complete mess, it was way, way, way too long, ridiculously messy with sections splashed about here and there, irrelevant information in certain sections, and it just wasn't upto scratch. What really needs to happen is to have someone who is an expert in the area help to make this a better article, because if not, people like me will have to make the changes, and they won't be perfect. We need to work together to sort this out. (Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:37, 11 October 2008 (UTC))

How Will We Make This Article Better ???Edit

Hello. I have recently been responsible for the drastic edits to this article. What I did was necessary to create a better layout and make this article clearer to the average reader. What I did not do was include enough expert information, simply because I am not an expert. To make this article better, we need two key things:

  • Factual information provided by experts in the subject, but written in language so that non-experts (like myself), and basic viewers can understand what on Earth is going on.
  • A clear layout, such as those featured in the pages for any religion, such as Christianity, Religion in ancient Greece etc. The former page was in drastic need for this.

Can we achieve this together, or is this going to end up turning up into a sticky edit war! (Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:46, 11 October 2008 (UTC))

Yikes! Midnightblueowl, you're not the only one helping to write this article! If you've been planning to do a complete reorganization, including forking off new articles such as Celtic animism and Celtic theology, you might as well explain your plan on the talk page first and hear what others have to say. There actually are some experts watching. In my own opinion (and I cannot claim to be one of those experts), the term "Celtic theology" is vacuous. Nothing in the way of actual theology has come down to us from the ancient Celts; a title like "Gods (or divinities) in Celtic polytheism" might have been more apt. Although the old page may have needed simplification, we can't automatically apply the same categories to the Celts as we can for "any religion". Pending the firming up of our ideas, perhaps we can do a rewrite at a temporary page like Celtic polytheism/1?
Speaking of external links, among the best online resources I have found on the Celts, including their religion, is l'Arbre celtique. This is in French. Another one with much decent information, Bifröst, is in Italian. Well-illustrated and good for beginners is jfbradu's Celtes site, also in French. The problem is that so much of the information on the web in English on this subject is absolute drivel. What is the English WP policy on foreign-language external links, I wonder? Cheers, Q·L·1968 21:13, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Hey. I forked off things into Celtic theology and Celtic animism pages simply because the article was too long. They either had to be forked off or deleted, and i didn't want to delete them. I really agree with the idea that we should create the temporary page of [[Celtic polytheism/1, it's a good idea. I think that firstly we should tackle the opening paragraph. (Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:06, 12 October 2008 (UTC))

First paragraphEdit

This article has had constant changes (not just from me) to it's opening section. The purpose of these sections is to both introduce and summarise the rest of the article. I have here produced a plan for an idea, but it is by no means definitive, it is merely a first draft for what I believe that we should produce. It does however have many things necessary for an opening section on a religion, such as a very brief description of beliefs, a short history, and a mention of the current status of it.

Celtic polytheism, sometimes known as Celtic paganism or Druidism, refers to the religious beliefs and practises of the ancient Celtic peoples of western Europe prior to Christianisation.

Celtic polytheism, as it’s name suggests, was polytheistic, believing in a number of different deities, and was also animistic, believing in local deities existing in natural objects such as trees and rocks.

Religious beliefs and practises of the Celts varied throughout the different Celtic lands, which included Ireland, Britain, Celtiberia, Gaul, areas along the Danube river, and Galatia, however there were commonalities shared by all.

Celtic religious practices bear the marks of Romanization following the Roman Empire's conquest of certain Celtic lands such as Gaul (58–51 BCE) and Britain (43 CE), although the depth and significance of Romanization is a subject of scholarly disagreement.

Celtic polytheism began to decline from the 5th century onwards due to Christianisation, however it has seen a revival in the 20th century through the various Celtic Neopagan movements.

Now, what does everybody think ? (Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:31, 12 October 2008 (UTC))

Well, apart from the obvious points that "it’s" should be "its" and that "however" should be preceded by semicolons rather than commas, I think this sounds basically fine. To say that "Celtic polytheism [...] was polytheistic" is tautological, so we might substitute the word "religion" for "polytheism". Q·L·1968 23:33, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Right, so with those corrections, we have this:

Celtic polytheism, sometimes known as Celtic paganism or Druidism, refers to the religious beliefs and practises of the ancient Celtic peoples of western Europe prior to Christianisation.

Celtic polytheism, as its name suggests, was polytheistic, believing in a number of different deities, and was also animistic, believing in local deities existing in natural objects such as trees and rocks.

Religious beliefs and practises of the Celts varied throughout the different Celtic lands, which included Ireland, Britain, Celtiberia, Gaul, areas along the Danube river, and Galatia; however there were commonalities shared by all.

Celtic religious practices bear the marks of Romanization following the Roman Empire's conquest of certain Celtic lands such as Gaul (58–51 BCE) and Britain (43 CE), although the depth and significance of Romanization is a subject of scholarly disagreement.

Celtic polytheism began to decline from the 5th century onwards due to Christianisation, however it has been the inspiration behind the 20th century Celtic Neopagan movements.

I don't know quite if "Celtic polytheism" should be substituted for "Celtic religion" as this could also refer to "Celtic Christianity". Maybe, "Celtic paganism" would be a better term, though that is for another discussion. Anyone else have any comments or should I implement this now? (Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:20, 16 October 2008 (UTC))


It occurs to me that it might be important to foreground the section "The evidence for Celtic religion" – perhaps just under the heading "Sources" – so that people know what we're actually talking about a little. That is, mediaeval Irish and Welsh literary sources present a very different type of evidence – and perhaps evidence for a very different type of thing – from archaeological (and scant literary) remains from antiquity, primarily in Gaul.

The subsections on animism and polytheism must be compressed into one (and partly rewritten). The notion that Celtic religion can be comprehended in such pat terms is dubious, and the insistence that Celtic religion was animistic stems nearly purely from Romantic preconceptions. This section cannot be headed by the word "theology", as there is (lamentably) none that comes down to us from our sources.

The subsection on festivals might be bumped down the list. Festivals are surely more akin to practices than beliefs, but arguably worthy of a section of their own co-ordinate to beliefs and practices.

Regarding practices, The ritual of the oak and the mistletoe should probably be merged back into the present article. In my opinion, forking this section off was a less happy decision than judicious editing would be. This section (now article) reads like an essay and should be reworded.

The history section must imperatively mention Romanization as well as Christianization. Over the historically documented centuries of antiquity, numerous phases can be readily distinguished: pre-Roman religion, early Augustan religion (featuring many non-Classical anthropomorphic representations of deities, such as the Pillar of the Boatmen), mature Romano-Celtic synthesis, late Oriental (and other) influences, and finally Christian predominance. Q·L·1968 23:33, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Hey. I wholeheartely agree that the term "Sources" is far better than "evidence for Celtic religion", and is the title used in other pages on historical "pagan" faiths. If we don't refer to the section as "Theology", what do you believe is a better title, maybe something like "Deities"? I agree with foregrounding the section on "Sources".(Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:25, 16 October 2008 (UTC))

As a basic layout, I think we should lay out the page along the same lines as those for other religions, like Christianity, Shinto etc. So I would suggest organising the page in this way to aid navigation and make the whole page much easier to understand:

Sources :

  • Literary
  • Archaeological

Beliefs :

  • Deities
    • Pan-Celtic deities > a description of gods like Lugh etc.
    • Localised deities
  • Afterlife
  • Cosmology
  • Mythology

Practises :

  • Worship
  • Religious Vocations & Castes > Druids, bards etc
  • Festivals > Samhain, Beltaine etc

History :

  • Origins
  • Romanisation
  • Christianisation
  • Revival > by which I mean Neopaganism

Any suggestions on how to improve this ? (Midnightblueowl (talk) 17:49, 16 October 2008 (UTC))

"Celtic polytheism" or "Celtic paganism"Edit

Greetings all. Currently this page is titled "Celtic polytheism", with "Celtic paganism" also mentioned in the first paragraph. But is this best? Norse paganism, Anglo-Saxon paganism and Finnish paganism all use "paganism" over "polytheism", so why not this Celtic page? I understand that the term "polytheism" is used to distinguish the historical faith to from the neopagan movement, but surely the terms "paganism" and "neopaganism" are not going to get mixed up. As the user Philip Baird Shearer summarised Wikipedia:Naming conventions,

Generally, article naming should prefer what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature.

Thereby, examining the data available, I have found that whilst searchin =g on the following sites:


  • about 176,000 pages for Celtic polytheism
  • about 1,890,000 pages for Celtic pagannism


  • about 66,200 pages for Celtic polytheism
  • about 344,000 pages for Celtic paganism

Google Scholar:

  • about 930 pages for Celtic polytheism
  • about 13,600 pages for Celtic paganism

Google books:

  • 709 on Celtic polytheism
  • 2,990 on Celtic paganism

This would appear that both common usage, and the majority of scholarly usage favours "Celtic paganism". I think that this needs discussion. (Midnightblueowl (talk) 19:21, 30 October 2008 (UTC))

I don't necesarily object to the move, but note that your count is way off.

Find sources: Google (books · news · newspapers · scholar · free images · WP refs· FENS · JSTOR · NYT · TWL
Find sources: Google (books · news · newspapers · scholar · free images · WP refs· FENS · JSTOR · NYT · TWL

With google, you need to use quotes when searching for a phrase. Now you will note that the count for google books is 634 to 35 for "Celtic paganism", but you will also note that the sources inflating the larger number is pop literature ("Druid Shaman Priest", "Women's Spirituality", "Celtic Myth & Magick" etc.) We need to discount such sources. The actual most common term is "Celtic religion", but this is within the context "pre-Christian", i.e. "Ancient Celtic religion" or "pre-Christian Celtic religion" (and variants), since of course Celtic Christianity is just as much a "Celtic religion". --dab (𒁳) 16:39, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

in fact, if we are to follow WP:NAME, I would support a move, if any, to Celtic religion (plus addition of a disambiguation headnote "See Celtic Christianity". Google scholar shows that this likely the most common term in scholarly literature. --dab (𒁳) 18:39, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree that Celtic religion is a good title, but I would be concerned at any confusion that may arise, because Celtic religion can mean many different things, as the disambiguation page shows. If the concensus is that "Celtic religion" should be introduced then i'll happily support it, though i'm just racking my brains to see if anything else could possibly be more suitable. (Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:46, 1 November 2008 (UTC))
Moving to something with 'religion' in the title would probably be best. I note that we currently have religion in ancient Rome and religion in ancient Greece (but these names are geographically problematic, as ancient Greek religion could be found everywhere from modern-day Provence to Afghanistan, and ancient Roman religion from Aelia Jerusalem to Hadrian's Wall). Would ancient Celtic religion, religion of the ancient Celts, or Celtic religion (ancient) find favour? Q·L·1968 14:15, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm fine with either "polytheism" or some form of "religion." My only !vote is against using "Paganism" in the title; because then we get people continually trying to add Neopagan content and links. - Kathryn NicDhàna 03:23, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Ancient Celtic religion is okay with me, i'd still prefer "Celtic paganism", a lot of scholarly works (A History of Pagan Europe by Jones and Pennick, The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles by Ronald Hutton) all use the term 'Celtic paganism'. I'm sure Neopagan content and links could be kept out, if we left a warning or just stayed vigilant, but if not then what are we going for? (Midnightblueowl (talk) 17:55, 4 January 2009 (UTC))

article structureEdit

The article as it stands is a huge hodge-podge. It should distinguish

  • reconstructed Pan-Celtic items (based on Irish-Gaulish etymologies etc.)
  • Gaulish religion
  • Gallo-Roman religion
  • Irish and Welsh mythology

Otherwise the reader will walk away with an image of "Celtic religion" inspired by a wild mixture of Gaulish religion, Gallo-Roman syncretism, and medieval Irish literature.

These can be compared, to be sure, but they need to be compared in scholarly literature, by experts, and it needs to be made clear that a speculative comparison is being made.

I have tried to push article structure in this direction, but much work is still needed. --dab (𒁳) 17:54, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Dbachmann is right. He's also right to use the term "Celtic religion," since "paganism" was an invention of Christian polemics that sought to characterize the various religious traditions of antiquity as one big -ism that could be dispensed with at one go. Distinctions among these are interesting and informative, and the word "pagan" and "paganism" gets in the way of sorting out the distinctions dab's pointing to. Before the spread of Christianity, there were no "Celtic pagans," only Celts who practiced their traditional religions and who during the Roman Imperial period adopted several new or syncretized ones. There were no "pagan priests," only priests devoted to whichever religious practices they were devoted to. There were no "pagan temples," only temples that were dedicated to a particular god. The wide range of theonyms on the continent makes it clear that while some Celtic deities enjoyed wide dispersion, many more were localized. No -ism there, except for druidism, about which some things are known, but not enough to give a very systematic picture. So I've edited away some of the "pagan" delirium. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:29, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Additionally, I don't think "Celtic polytheism" is the best name for the article. "Polytheism" is a belief, and religion contains not just beliefs about deities but practices, rituals etc. In fact, a sizable portion of the article is currently devoted to those things. I'd suggest that a better title would be "Celtic religion", or if we really want to cover our backs, "religion among the Celts".--Cúchullain t/c 18:53, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
I see this was discussed two years ago, but the article was not moved. Perhaps it's time for a new discussion.--Cúchullain t/c 18:55, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Agree in principle with "Celtic religion" or "Religion among the Celts", but I think it returns us to dab's objections. The solution to this with the ancient Greeks and Romans was Religion in ancient Greece and Religion in ancient Rome (also Greek mythology and Roman mythology). The lack of a definitive geographical or political entity keeps us from using the "Religion in" formula, and "Religion among the Celts" addresses that — except that we get into the "which Celts" business. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:42, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

This article is terribleEdit

Seriously "Celtic" polytheism? This article claims apparently without any doubt that there are certain traits defining the "Celtic" peoples as a distinct cultural group like their religion. "Celtic" religion, like "Celtic" peoples, is strongly unified and deeply rooted in the peace-loving, spiritualistic femininity of the great "Celtic" peoples. Seriously...this article is trash. No decent scholar of the past thirty years still believes in a "Celtic" unity. In fact, most doubt that there was much "Celtic" at all about Britain and Ireland. In both regions, ethnically and culturally the vast majority of the population is descended from pre-Aryan Neolithic hunter-gatherers. No racist bullcrap about this glorious "Celtic" people. Notice that I'm putting the term "Celtic" in quotes? That's because it is an awful and annoying term. It's been the bane of serious and objective historians for decades, since it has been so attached to the idiotic belief in a cultural unity between several northern European peoples. Yet overwhelming evidence suggests that the ancient Irish had no more similarities in culture or religion to continental "Celts" than they did to Germans or Scandinavians! Yet pop-schlockers like Peter Ellis continue to milk the cash cow with modern fairy-tales about "Celtic Christianity" of my least favorite terms on Earth. In reality the people we call the Celts were extremely diverse culturally; what little survives of their religious beliefs indicate that religion in Ireland for instance was very tribal and shamanistic, while in Gaul it was more conventional and formal. The "Celts" were not more feminine and mystical than others...commentators on Irish historical documents sometimes remark on the irony that the "land of saints and scholars" was crawling with low-lives and runaway fian who thought little about religion and who believed it was perfectly fine to sack monasteries. Fynes Moryson comments that in the 16th century the Irish looked upon death with despair and sought to fend it off as long as possible, while the English accepted it believing they would go to Heaven. An interesting story given the dominant Universalist theme that runs through most modern "Celtic mysticism". The whole matriarchal mother-goddess-priestess crap has been utterly disproven by recent archaeological records, which indicate that a more accurate picture of the role of women in ancient "Celtic" religion was "sacrificial victim". Of course there are some traits that seem to unite all "Celtic" societies -- all were quite warlike and violent to an extent that contemporary commentators found barbarous. All treated their poor and their tenants like slaves and bondmen. But of course you won't hear about that in a study of "Celtic" religion and society.

I'm not saying I think this arcticle should be deleted, or even renamed; but I think it should be rewritten in such a way that readers realize the complete inaccuracy of using the term "Celtic" as a blanket for a whole range of very diverse societies and cultures as well as acknowledging the extremely limited sources concerning this matter. As it is, much of the article is built on romanticism, speculation, or both. (talk) 05:18, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Move discussion in progressEdit

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Anglo-Saxon religion which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. olderwiser 19:34, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

Move discussion in progressEdit

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Anglo-Saxon religion which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 07:16, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

NPOV: Human SacrificeEdit

The article sounds like it was written by someone with a neo-pagan agenda. Chief among its faults is the minimization of human sacrifice in pagan Ireland, which is well established by archeology. Here are some example links turned up by a brief web search:

Celtic vs Gaulish poly/Britonic poly/Pictish poly etc.Edit

I think this page is absolutely ridiculous to try to lump various Celtic societies & religions together under one topic. I can maybe see if this page were to give separate sections dedicated to what we know about each group, but to say that Gauls worshiped the same as the Picts is a bunch of new age nonsense. This article needs a serious re-haul. JanderVK (talk) 03:13, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Assessment commentEdit

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Ancient Celtic religion/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

B - this article needs a lot of work, particularly in adding academic, specialised references and fleshing out the article. (Midnightblueowl (talk) 09:04, 25 July 2010 (UTC)).

Last edited at 09:04, 25 July 2010 (UTC). Substituted at 11:08, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

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Evidence for Human SacrificeEdit

A small sampling of RELIABLE sources that discuss the archaeological evidence for human sacrifice among the ancient Celts:

  • Miranda Jane Green, Dying for the Gods: Human Sacrifice in Iron Age & Roman Europe, Tempus, 2002.
  • Barry W. Cunliffe, The Ancient Celts, Oxford University Press, 1997.
  • Jean-Louis Brunaux, The Celtic Gauls: Gods, Rites and Sanctuaries. Translated by Daphne Nash, Seaby, 1988.
  • Jean-Louis Brunaux, Gallic Blood Rites, Archaeology 54(2), 2001; pp. 54-57.
  • Jeremiah R. Dandoy, Page Selinsky, and Mary M. Voigt, "Celtic Sacrifice"; Archaeology,Volume 55 Number 1, January/February 2002.
  • Page Selinsky, "A Preliminary Report on the Human Skeletal Material from Gordion's Lower Town Area", in: Lisa Kealhofer (ed.), The Archaeology of Midas and the Phrygians: Recent Work at Gordion, UPenn Museum of Archaeology, 2005, pp. 117-136.
  • Ian Armit, Headhunting and the Body in Iron Age Europe, Cambridge University Press, Mar 19, 2012
  • John Koch, Celtic Culture: a historical encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, 2006, pp. 856, 1070, 1073, 1510, 1541, 1549-1552, 1751-1752,
  • Philip Freeman, St. Patrick of Ireland: A Biography, Simon and Schuster, 2005, pp. 100-101.

Please consult these before undoing my edit to remove nonsense that there is no archaeological evidence for Celtic human sacrifice! Cagwinn (talk) 00:20, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

Requested move 14 February 2019Edit

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved to Ancient Celtic religion. I think given the agreement over the past week since it was proposed, there is now a consensus for this option. Well done to participants for finding a compromise consensus.  — Amakuru (talk) 07:15, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

Celtic polytheismCeltic paganism – Per WP:COMMONNAME and WP:CONSISTENCY with similar articles such as Slavic paganism, Germanic paganism, and Gothic paganism. "Celtic paganism" gets 500,000 Google search results while "Celtic polytheism" only gets 50,000. Rreagan007 (talk) 06:14, 14 February 2019 (UTC)--Relisting. B dash (talk) 09:05, 21 February 2019 (UTC) --Relisting. В²C 21:07, 28 February 2019 (UTC) --Relisting.  — Amakuru (talk) 21:54, 8 March 2019 (UTC)

True, but if you start checking on those results you will find that most of those links refer to modern day neo-paganism, which is a completely different subject area. Mediatech492 (talk) 01:40, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. The word "paganism" is not disparaging, which I presume was the original rationale. Srnec (talk) 23:17, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
  • I could possibly be persuaded, but oppose. If we rename this article "Celtic paganism", it will be even harder to keep non-encyclopedic material out of it. It will be less historically focussed, and attract more contributions inspired by contemporary Wicca and similar traditions. Q·L·1968 05:44, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose The proposal states no reason for the change. Mediatech492 (talk) 10:39, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
    • @Mediatech492: I don't understand your opposed. The proposal gives clear reasons for the change. You haven't given a reason to oppose. Doug Weller talk 15:56, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
@Doug Weller What clear reason? The proposal above says absolutely nothing other than stating the proposed name change. It gives no reason for it at all. Give a reason and it might be considered. Mediatech492 (talk) 16:24, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
@Mediatech492: I'm even more confused by your statement no reason has been given. The reason is explicit, I'll quote what it sasy: "

Celtic polytheismCeltic paganism – Per WP:COMMONNAME and WP:CONSISTENCY with similar articles such as Slavic paganism, Germanic paganism, and Gothic paganism. "Celtic paganism" gets 500,000 Google search results while "Celtic polytheism" only gets 50,000." Why do you say that's not a reason and what's your policy or guideline reason for opposing? Doug Weller talk 16:34, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

And if you'll bother to continue reading below that you will see where I refuted that misleading statement. Mediatech492 (talk) 19:14, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
You're right. No need to insult me, you're that said, incorrectly, that no reason was given. A clear reason was given and you disagreed. That should have been given as your reason when you opposed. Doug Weller talk 19:47, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
As their article explains, only Hallstatt C onwards, from c. 800 BC, is "Iron Age", otherwise, yes, I suppose so. In fact the little evidence we have is mostly from Romano-Celtic contexts, or later myths from the British Isles. Johnbod (talk) 14:30, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
Which makes the scope simple to determine - in real life, more or less everything not Christian would be included. Richard Keatinge (talk) 22:35, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
For the reason that Johnbod points out (i.e. that much of the evidence is from Romano-Celtic contexts), "Iron Age" would be inappropriate. I'd float Religion among the ancient Celts or something similar as an alternate suggestion. Q·L·1968 05:19, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
Yes, Religion among the ancient Celts would be better - "ancient" has the right degree of (im)precision for our purpose. Richard Keatinge (talk) 12:22, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
I can't say I like it much - article names try to strike a note of precision (however misleading) which "among" somehow undercuts. Plus the article is all about paganism/polytheism, when plenty of ancient Celts no doubt were Christian by the end of the "ancient Celts". Sorry. Johnbod (talk) 03:17, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree, this isn't specific enough and readers would expect to read about Celtic Christianity, an important subject. Doug Weller talk 15:04, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
Polytheistic religion among the ancient Celts? Or Pre-Christian religion among the ancient Celts? Richard Keatinge (talk) 15:39, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
Ancient Celtic religion would be a little tighter as well as losing the "among"...? And as you see, it's so close that it's already a redirect to this page :) ——SerialNumber54129 15:58, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
But what about Johnbod's objection above? "plenty of ancient Celts no doubt were Christian by the end of the 'ancient Celts'"? --В²C 17:55, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
True; I was only addressing the precision aspect. Perhaps Pre-Christian celtic religion then, or someting. ——SerialNumber54129 20:43, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
It may be convenient, for this article, to define "ancient" as "pre-Christian"? Ot to use Pre-Christian religion among the ancient Celts? Richard Keatinge (talk) 20:33, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
Okay, but how about "of the" instead of "among the" to address Johnbod's other objection? Thus, Pre-Christian religion of the ancient Celts? Or... Pre-Christian Celtic religion? --В²C 20:57, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
I'd also support pre-Christian Celtic religion (brevity being the soul of wit). Q·L·1968 21:01, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Pre-Christian Celtic religion per discussion above. Apologies, but this one seems to be taking several rounds... Re-pinging: @QuartierLatin1968:, @Richard Keatinge:, @Dimadick:, @Rreagan007:, @Mediatech492:, @Doug Weller:, @Johnbod:. --В²C 22:18, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
    I wasn't pinged, but I'd oppose. There is a simple, elegant way of referring to the pre-Christian Celtic religion. I'll let you guess. Srnec (talk) 02:54, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
    Pre-Christian Celtic religion seems good. Or, per Srnec, just keep Celtic polytheism? Failing that, anything above except for "paganism"; I really think we should have an article clearly separate from the modern revival. Richard Keatinge (talk) 09:11, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
    I support the original proposal: Celtic paganism. It is the Celtic form of paganism, not of Modern Paganism. I do not believe confusion is a serious problem. After all, the proposed title redirects here and nobody has even bothered to put a hatnote to Celtic neopaganism. Srnec (talk) 16:33, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
    And those are exactly the waters that will be muddied with a name change to Celtic paganism. If that's the title, we'll certainly need such a hatnote, and the content of this article will probably become more unfocused as well—we'll have new sections on Celtic shamanism, the Wheel of the Year, and Maiden, Mother, and Crone... And how can we argue that these aren't Celtic paganism, when they're part of the religious practice of thousands of people today who consider themselves Celtic pagans? If this article is to be historically focused, it should have a title that makes it historic focus clear: something with "ancient" or "pre-Christian" or the like in it would do nicely. (Polytheism has worked too because of its historic connotations, though it might not be the best in theory.) Q·L·1968 17:24, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Change to Pre-Christian Celtic religion or retain the original title. I have reservations about both, but they are better than the other suggestions. Mediatech492 (talk) 10:53, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
  • More "paganism" articles (or at least redirects), not mentioned at top: Anglo-Saxon paganism, Frankish paganism, Norse paganism. It certainly does seem the standard term, and these don't seem to have much difficulty avoiding revivalism taking over. I admit the Celtic one might be tougher. But the lead defines the topic clearly, and has a link to Celtic neopaganism at the end, with a small section lower down. Johnbod (talk) 17:55, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
    But most modern practitioners of Germanic paganism (including Anglo-Saxon, Norse, Frankish, and Gothic) call themselves something else, typically Heathens but also Ásatrúar, Vanatrúar, etc., as the case might be. Likewise with Slavic paganism and Rodnovery. By contrast, modern Celtic pagans often do call themselves Celtic pagans. Q·L·1968 19:51, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Not an improvement. - CorbieV 21:18, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Stop. Not an improvement. The current situation is terrible. This article, Celtic polytheism and Celtic mythology are forked and scrambled. Fiddling with the titling is much more likely to create more mud than clarity. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:40, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
They seem to have about the correct, small, amount of overlap to me, and the right stuff is in each article. The overlap between Celtic deities and Celtic mythology is far larger. Johnbod (talk) 05:45, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
Oh dear. I was working through my impression that this article should be retitled and rescoped as Celtic gods, as a sub-article of Celtic mythology. I didn't even notice Celtic deities. I'm currently reading this article as a mix of Celtic archaeology, Celtic deities, and Celtic culture. Maybe I haven't got my head around it, but changing to polytheism to paganism doesn't seem to be fixing a deeper problem. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:03, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
It has the right, fairly small, amount on both deities and (later) mythology as far as I'm concerned. What's good about it is that it stays focused on ancient Celts, as the lead promises, and that's why I can support reflecting this in the title. Not sure what you are looking for. You might compare it with Ancient Greek religion, bearing in mind we have vastly more certain knowledge on that. I just added the specific stuff to the archaeology, which before was too much too short and vague - that reflects Celtic art rather than Celtic archaeology, & I'm happy with the resulting balance myself. This gets nearly 3 times the views of Celtic deities btw. We don't actually have an article on ancient Celtic culture, which is a pity, but it (sh/)wouldn't resemble this at all. We have Hallstatt culture and La Tene culture, and other bits and pieces. Johnbod (talk) 12:56, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm not opposed to "Ancient Celtic religion" if that's the compromise people want to go with, but I still prefer my original proposal. Ancient Greek religion is named that because it's the religion of Ancient Greece. But Ancient Celts does redirect to Celts, so "Ancient Celtic religion" would probably be an okay name for this article, and it's definitely better than the current title. So I guess that means I support move to Ancient Celtic religion. Rreagan007 (talk) 20:04, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support move to Ancient Celtic religion per QuartierLatin1968 and Rreagan007 above. bd2412 T 18:29, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Relisting comment I wouldn't normally do a third relist, but in this case there was a brand new suggestion made just a day ago, so it's probably worth giving this one more week to see if any sort of consensus can be formed. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 21:54, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. The current title focuses on the number of gods that the Celts had, which is not a focus of the article itself. I'm fine with either "Celtic paganism" or "ancient Celtic religion." FineStructure137 (talk) 12:04, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as badly failing WP:PRECISE and WP:COMMONNAME/WP:PRIMARYREDIRECT. "Celtic paganism" almost exclusively refers to Celtic-themed neo-paganism, which is it's own separate topic. (If you don't believe me, go to Amazon and put in Celtic paganism as your books search term; you'll find that roughly 95% of the books on the topic are neo-pagan twaddle.) While the actual topic of this article doesn't clearly have a common name (and thus we are using a neutral, descriptive title with terms found in pertinent reliable sources, per policy), the primary-redirect target for "Celtic paganism" is obviously and provably Celtic neopaganism, and the phrase may actually be the commonnest name for it, though one we should not use because it fails PRECISE.

    Even more strongly opposed to the obtusely long-winded suggestions above; they fail all three of WP:RECOGNIZABLE, WP:CONCISE, and WP:CONSISTENCY. It's not like we're going to move Greek mythology or Old Norse religion to "Ancient Greek pre-Christian religion of the Iron Age", or "Paganism in Iron Age Norse cultures". People would laugh in your face if you suggested suggested such a thing.

    In short, we have disambiguation, including hatnotes, for a reason, we're already using them, and this article already branches to the neo-paganism topic per WP:SUMMARY. The present title is perfectly adequate under WP:NTITLE and almost certainly the best choice. This RM is a "solution" in search of a problem.
     — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  21:55, 9 March 2019 (UTC)

    Just so I'm understanding your position, do you consider ancient Celtic religion (the most recent proposal) to fail WP:RECOGNIZABLE, WP:CONCISE, and/or WP:CONSISTENCY? (Your comments seem primarily directed at pre-Christian religion of the ancient Celts, etc., but I could be misunderstanding you.) Q·L·1968 05:13, 10 March 2019 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


Can someone set up an archive box please? Not an automated one I think. I doubt anything up to 2016 wil be missed. Johnbod (talk) 04:15, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

WP:ERA styleEdit

This article was established, a long time ago, using "BC/AD". Completely against WP:ERA it was changed to BCE/CE in 2008, without any discussion, and with the misleading summary of "cleanup". I don't like to see such illegal changes surviving, in particular in popular non-specialist articles like this. We should follow the big museums and keep BC/AD, which we can be confident all our readers will understand. And we should normally support the choice of the main and initial editor, where there is one, rather than drive-bys. Here the article began with a 25k blast, all using BC. Unless anyone objects, I will return it to BC/AD in a few days. Johnbod (talk) 14:14, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

I'm not sure that retention per WP:ERA still applies in this case. Considering that more than decade has passed with no other objection to the AD/BC to CE/BCE change, the consensus of editors clearly seems to favour the current format. However, I welcome other opinions. Mediatech492 (talk) 16:03, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
There's nothing on talk, but there have been attempts to change the style by editing - I'm not suggesting it's worth analysing these. Personally I'm not much of a believer in WP:SILENCE, which suggests that our editors "favour" a vast number of spelling mistakes. We know that most of them just read what's in front of them. Johnbod (talk) 16:50, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Johnbod knows I object because I reverted him. I also raised the issue a couple of days ago at WT:DATE#If an era style was changed in 2012 with no discussion can it be reverted as not established? and it's part of the discussion at WP:ANI#Rapid era style changes to fast to be guideline compliant, all BCE-BC. In fact, @Johnbod: there you say "I don't quite think "no matter how long ago", but I do think for several years, depending I suppose on the busyness of the article.". Are you now saying that 11 years is the same as "several years" and that this isn't a busy article? Doug Weller talk 16:32, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
I didn't quite know that - I thought I was reverting to an established style. This isn't a very busy article I think. I think I asked you first how long it takes to make a illegally-changed style established, which you haven't answered. Johnbod (talk) 16:50, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
I don't recall that, but my answer is still that it depends on a combination of activity and how long ago the style was changed, and I think that's probably always going to be a judgement call. I'd like to see something better than that and hope that wiser minds can figure something out. In any case, this article has had a lot of edits over the last 11 years, enough I think that according to your criteria above BCE is established. I also think that era styles grab people's attention more than spelling errors, particularly when the style is BCE/CE. Doug Weller talk 17:37, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
As far as I'm concerned one format is just as good as another, since they essentially meant exactly the same thing. If you can provide some rationale to show that the AD/BC format is better for this article then it is certainly worth consideration. As of now the CE/BCE format is established, and hold precedent until shown otherwise. Mediatech492 (talk) 16:39, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
Return to "Ancient Celtic religion" page.