100 books like English Heritage Book of Shrines & Sacrifice

By Ann Woodward,

Here are 100 books that English Heritage Book of Shrines & Sacrifice fans have personally recommended if you like English Heritage Book of Shrines & Sacrifice. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Druids

Miranda Aldhouse-Green Author Of Sacred Britannia: The Gods and Rituals of Roman Britain

From my list on Roman Britain and its religions.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University. I have been writing books on later prehistoric and Romano-British and Roman provincial cults and customs since the 1980s, and my fascination with this subject remains undimmed. I have travelled all over the world as a visiting lecturer and in 2015 my book Bog Bodies Uncovered won two US Books of the Year awards. I have always been of the view that research is pointless unless it is shared and easily communicated, and so I try to avoid academic jargon and to present my publications both as accessible to general readers and as relevant to people at the cutting edge of their own research.

Miranda's book list on Roman Britain and its religions

Miranda Aldhouse-Green Why did Miranda love this book?

This is a highly readable and fascinating work that collects all known classical references to this mysterious priesthood that flourished in ancient Gaul and Britain, and nearly caused the province of Britannia to be abandoned under the emperor Nero. I go back to it time and time again for reference and simply for interest. The book is compact and easy to negotiate, and readers will find it hard to put down because of its content and the author’s readable style.

By Peter Berresford Ellis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Druids as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Readable and well-researched history and practices of the Druids. Illustrated.


Book cover of The Shaman: Voyages of the Soul - Trance, Ecstasy and Healing from Siberia to the Amazon

Miranda Aldhouse-Green Author Of Sacred Britannia: The Gods and Rituals of Roman Britain

From my list on Roman Britain and its religions.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University. I have been writing books on later prehistoric and Romano-British and Roman provincial cults and customs since the 1980s, and my fascination with this subject remains undimmed. I have travelled all over the world as a visiting lecturer and in 2015 my book Bog Bodies Uncovered won two US Books of the Year awards. I have always been of the view that research is pointless unless it is shared and easily communicated, and so I try to avoid academic jargon and to present my publications both as accessible to general readers and as relevant to people at the cutting edge of their own research.

Miranda's book list on Roman Britain and its religions

Miranda Aldhouse-Green Why did Miranda love this book?

Because of its beautiful presentation of this complex topic, the stunning illustrations and the superb, world-class knowledge the author brings to an enigmatic subject, in which the ability of certain individuals to access the spirit world is discussed. The theatre in which the author performs is worldwide, and, although shamanism differs hugely from the Americas to Siberia, from India to southern Africa, and way beyond, he brilliantly presents a cohesive and totally enthralling picture of the essential ingredients of shamanism: shape-shifting, ‘soul-flight’, healing through contact with the spirits, are just some of the themes covered in this short volume. The book engages academics as a sound starting-point for the understanding of what a shaman is but its concise style and gorgeous colour images will engage anyone remotely interested in world religions.

By Piers Vitebsky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Shaman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A richly illustrated guide to the hidden world of the Shaman through the ages, from the snowscapes of Siberia to the jungles of the Amazon.


Book cover of The Thetford Treasure: Roman Jewellery and Silver

Miranda Aldhouse-Green Author Of Sacred Britannia: The Gods and Rituals of Roman Britain

From my list on Roman Britain and its religions.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University. I have been writing books on later prehistoric and Romano-British and Roman provincial cults and customs since the 1980s, and my fascination with this subject remains undimmed. I have travelled all over the world as a visiting lecturer and in 2015 my book Bog Bodies Uncovered won two US Books of the Year awards. I have always been of the view that research is pointless unless it is shared and easily communicated, and so I try to avoid academic jargon and to present my publications both as accessible to general readers and as relevant to people at the cutting edge of their own research.

Miranda's book list on Roman Britain and its religions

Miranda Aldhouse-Green Why did Miranda love this book?

In 1979 a magnificent hoard of late Romano-British gold and silver objects was discovered at Thetford, Norfolk. This is an incredibly important archaeological find, partly for the beauty and superb workmanship of the treasure but also for the information its presence provides concerning what was going on in the late Roman period in Britain. The hoard dates from the early 4th century AD, and its place of burial is at almost exactly the same location as, three centuries earlier, the tribe of the Iceni built a huge sacred timber structure, at the time of the Boudican rebellion in AD60. This was also a place of tribal assembly and after the Romans defeated Boudica, their army deliberately dismantled it as though it had never been, so as to erase their near-defeat by a British queen. The treasure itself is fascninating: for me the most intriguing objects were the more than thirty…

Book cover of Pagan Celtic Britain

Sharon Paice MacLeod Author Of Celtic Cosmology and the Otherworld: Mythic Origins, Sovereignty and Liminality

From my list on authentic Celtic mythology, religion, and cosmology.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion for Celtic cultures, languages, and traditions comes from my family, where singing and storytelling were common. I worked as a singer and musician, and trained in Celtic Studies through Harvard University. That was an amazing experience, and research in Scotland and Ireland expanded my knowledge tremendously. I taught Celtic literature, mythology, and folklore at numerous colleges, and am Expert Contributor in Iron Age Pagan Celtic Religion for the Database of Religious History at the University of British Columbia, and invited Old Irish translator for the upcoming Global Medieval Sourcebook at Stanford University. I wake up every day excited to share the historical realities of these amazing cultures and beliefs!

Sharon's book list on authentic Celtic mythology, religion, and cosmology

Sharon Paice MacLeod Why did Sharon love this book?

This classic and unsurpassed study of iconography and literature pertaining to deities and various types of symbolism found in Celtic myth, I think has often been overlooked by students... as well as by enthusiasts, who inexplicably prefer trying to discern the veracities of topics related to Celtic paganism through online chat rooms, where many posts (including heated arguments and mind-boggling claims and posturing) rarely seem to culminate in any kind of helpful or accurate conclusions. And readers and seekers deserve better!

I would highly recommend that people step away from the phone, and pick up this book! So many of the questions that never seem to get answered on social media are both answered and clarified in this excellent work (which I use myself!). The chapters talk about a variety of gods and goddesses, and mythic themes (with examples from Britain, Ireland, Gaul, and the Continent) including horned gods, the…

By Anne Ross,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Pagan Celtic Britain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Although some aspects of pre-Roman and pre-Christian beliefs remain shrouded in mystery, the author of this comprehensive, profusely illustrated volume contends that neither the Roman invasion of Britain nor the coming of Christianity eliminated pagan religious practice. Dr Anne Ross, who speaks Gaelic and Welsh, writes from wide experience of living in Celtic speaking communities where she has traced vernacular tradition. She employs archaeological and anthropological evidence, as well as folklore, to provide broad insight into the early Celtic world. She begins by examining Celtic places of worship, the shrines and sanctuaries in which sacred objects were housed and from…


Book cover of The Crow Goddess

Laura Strickland Author Of Daughter of Sherwood

From my list on historical romances with a touch of magic.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I think of the distant past, I imagine it being populated by those who were a bit closer to the magical world than we. The men (or were they wizards?) who raised the standing stones. The druids of the ancient Celtic world. Figures like Arthur, Robin Hood, and the Viking shamans who harbored a kinship with the waters, with the trees, and with the land. The magic of the past is like a song played on a harp, the echoes of which still waft through our world. Some of us can hear those echoes yet, and some of us write about them.

Laura's book list on historical romances with a touch of magic

Laura Strickland Why did Laura love this book?

I picked up this book years ago at my local library by chance, if you believe in chance—which I do not. At that time, I had no idea the narrative of a historical romance could stretch back to Iron Age times, or that I could lose myself in the characters who populated the legends I love. For years, I’d been listening to Celtic music. In Patricia Finney’s wonderful story, I heard that music in the everyday world she created. I discovered how it feels to drive a chariot. Quite possibly, I revisited a past life. I will be forever grateful this book came into my hand.

By Patricia Finney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Crow Goddess as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Roman Britain: A Sourcebook

Ruth Downie Author Of Medicus

From my list on Roman Britain.

Why am I passionate about this?

A family visit to Hadrian’s Wall first sparked my interest in Roman Britain, and since then I’ve written eight novels, one novella, and a couple of short stories featuring Roman Army Medic and reluctant sleuth Gaius Petreius Ruso and his British partner, Tilla. I’m the owner of an archaeological trowel and infinite curiosity, both of which I wield as often as possible in search of the “real” Roman Britain. 

Ruth's book list on Roman Britain

Ruth Downie Why did Ruth love this book?

This is the place to go for the written evidence, conveniently gathered together in one slim paperback: all the way from the distant whispers of early Mediterranean travellers to fifth-century Christian writers. Letters, coins, altars, curses, graffiti and gravestones find a place here beside the scrolls of historians for whom “good writing” was not always synonymous with “sticking to the facts”. 

By Stanley Ireland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Roman Britain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Roman Britain: A Sourcebook has established itself as the only comprehensive collection of source material on the subject. It incorporates literary, numismatic and epigraphic evidence for the history of Britain under Roman rule, as well as translations of major literary sources.

This new edition includes not only recently discovered material, but also the texts of Caesar's commentaries on his expeditions to Britain in 55 and 54 BC, as well as relevant sections of Tacitus' biography of his father-in-law, former governor of Britain. The inclusion of these pivotal texts, which provide the most detailed account of the Romans campaigns in Britain,…


Book cover of Roman Britain

Ruth Downie Author Of Medicus

From my list on Roman Britain.

Why am I passionate about this?

A family visit to Hadrian’s Wall first sparked my interest in Roman Britain, and since then I’ve written eight novels, one novella, and a couple of short stories featuring Roman Army Medic and reluctant sleuth Gaius Petreius Ruso and his British partner, Tilla. I’m the owner of an archaeological trowel and infinite curiosity, both of which I wield as often as possible in search of the “real” Roman Britain. 

Ruth's book list on Roman Britain

Ruth Downie Why did Ruth love this book?

This is the British Museum’s take on Roman Britain and as you’d expect, there are gorgeous photos on every page. If you can drag your eyes away from the visual feast, the text is intelligent and informative and there are suggestions for further reading. Don’t just leave it adorning the coffee table – pick it up and discover a lost world!

By Richard Hobbs, Ralph Jackson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Roman Britain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The British Museum's new introductory guide to Roman Britain combines an informative text with first-class design and is illustrated with plentiful artefacts from the museum's collections. Throughout the book the emphasis is on cultural interaction and change, showing the impact of the Roman presence, but also British survivals; the book starts, perhaps unusually for general guides of this kind, with a section on pre-Roman Britain, and ends with a chapter on Britons after Rome. In between we learn about the military, the new literate culture introduced by Rome, about the impact of Rome on the rural economy, and on life…


Book cover of The Skystone

Catherine Wells Author Of Macbeatha

From my list on legendary characters from the British Isles.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a graduate student in library science, I stumbled across an entry on Macbeth in a biographical dictionary. It stated he was actually a good king who ruled for seventeen years. Furthermore, he claimed the throne in his own name and that of his wife. I was hooked. I did extensive research trying to find the man behind the legend, and how the tale got twisted into what Shakespeare gave us. From Celtic, Norse, and English sources, I extrapolated the culture of 11th-century Scotland, and a man who might well have been the historical high king Macbeatha.

Catherine's book list on legendary characters from the British Isles

Catherine Wells Why did Catherine love this book?

Mentions of the historical Arthur—a war duke, not a king—date him to the late 5th and early 6th centuries. Merlin’s dates are fuzzier. Whyte sets this tale of Merlin’s origins in Roman Britain, consistent with the historical Arthur, as the withdrawal of Rome’s legions leaves the colony subject to invasion and insurrection. Young Publius, nicknamed Merlin, is a soldier and a blacksmith. He and his cousin Uther battle to keep Britannia from crumbling around them as Roman society is beset by external marauders and internal strife. Through it all, Merlin is intrigued by stories of a stone that fell from the sky—an iron-rich meteorite that has rendered steel, and which Merlin can forge into an incredible sword. In this richly developed story, Merlin is not a druid or a sorcerer, but a smith.

By Jack Whyte,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Skystone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a time preceding King Arthur and Camelot, two Roman men, Publius Varrus and Caius Britannicus, Arthur's great-grandfathers, try to preserve the best of Roman life and build a new culture out of the wreckage of the old and, in doing so, create a legend, in a new edition of the first volume in the


Book cover of An Imperial Possession: Britain in the Roman Empire, 54 BC - AD 409

Simon Elliott Author Of Roman Britain's Missing Legion: What Really Happened to IX Hispana?

From my list on Roman Britain.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dr. Simon Elliott is an award-winning and best-selling historian, archaeologist, author, broadcaster, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent, Trustee of the Council for British Archaeology, Ambassador for Museum of London Archaeology, Guide Lecturer for Andante Travels, and President of the Society of Ancients. He frequently appears on broadcast and social media as a presenter and expert regarding the ancient world, and currently has 12 books on sale on similar themes, with three more due later this year. He is also a PR Week award-winning, highly experienced communications practitioner who has advised a wide variety of clients at a senior level on their interaction with the world of the media and politics. 

Simon's book list on Roman Britain

Simon Elliott Why did Simon love this book?

In my opinion the definative, academic standard account of the Roman occupation of Britain. Professor Mattingly’s book is very well organised, with sections which easily engage the reader on specific aspects of the Roman presence here, for example religion, political organisation, the military, agriculture, and industry. It also explains in great detail the various impacts across Britain of the transition from the Late Iron Age to the Roman period.  

By David Mattingly,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked An Imperial Possession as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Part of the Penguin History of Britain series, An Imperial Possession is the first major narrative history of Roman Britain for a generation. David Mattingly draws on a wealth of new findings and knowledge to cut through the myths and misunderstandings that so commonly surround our beliefs about this period. From the rebellious chiefs and druids who led native British resistance, to the experiences of the Roman military leaders in this remote, dangerous outpost of Europe, this book explores the reality of life in occupied Britain within the context of the shifting fortunes of the Roman Empire.


Book cover of Roman Woman: Everyday Life in Hadrian's Britain

Amanda Cockrell Author Of Shadow of the Eagle

From my list on life in the Roman Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

As Damion Hunter, I have written six novels set in the first and second centuries of the Roman Empire, for which I have done extensive research. My picks are all books that I have found most useful and accessible for the writer who wants to ground her fiction in accurate detail and for the reader who just wants to know the little stuff, which is always more interesting than the big stuff.

Amanda's book list on life in the Roman Empire

Amanda Cockrell Why did Amanda love this book?

This follows a British woman who has married a Roman army veteran through a year in Britain during the reign of Hadrian. It is filled with tons of accurate detail about every aspect of daily life. It is written as a novel but because the author is a scholar of Roman British history and archaeology, you can count on her accuracy in a way that I ordinarily don’t rely on with novels.

By Lindsay Allason-Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Roman Woman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Roman Britain is vividly portrayed in this fascinating and authentically detailed story about a year in the life of an ordinary woman and her family.

The year is AD 133. Hadrian is Emperor of Rome and all its vast empire, including Britannia. The greater part of that island has long been under imperial rule and the Roman legions control most of the land, quelling uprisings and building new forts and towns. Around the fortress of Eboracum (now known as York), a bustling garrison settlement is developing, while along the north-west frontier of Hadrian's empire, the legions are completing the construction…


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