Ancient British cult of Totatis

in Lincolnshire:

For many years metal detectorists have been finding gold, silver and bronze Roman finger rings that all bear an enigmatic inscription containing three letters, reading ‘ToT’, and the majority of these come from Lincolnshire. Roman finger rings are sometimes inscribed with the name of a god who the wearer was devoted to, such as Mars, Minerva and Jupiter. The identity of the deity only known as ‘ToT’ remained a mystery to scholars however, because there was no Roman or Celtic deity whose name began with the letters Tot, although scholars presumed that it was an mis-spelt abbreviation of the god Toutates, who was one of the principal deities of the Celtic world.The rings are very Roman in style but contain a native inscription, which shows that the Romans were tolerant of native religion and allowed tribes to continue to worship them.

A Roman poet Lucan, who wrote from between AD39-65, and refers to Toutates as the ‘dreaded Toutates’. A document in the ninth century also describes worshipers of Toutates offering human sacrifices to him.According to a document written in the 9th century, Worshippers of Toutatis used to plunge his victims headfirst into a vat of liquid until drowned.

Update: article:-Daubney, A., 2011, ‘The Lord of the Rings: Roman rings and the cult of Toutatis,’ Current Archaeology, Volume XXII(2), issue 254: 36-39.

Human Rights through the eyes of history: a new online exhibition

Although the concept of human rights as we understand it today was unknown until modern times, people in Britain have fought since the medieval period to gain the rights, freedoms and liberties we all enjoy today. To illustrate this essential part of history, The National Archives has launched a new online exhibition tracing the evolution of our human, social and civil rights from Magna Carta to the establishment of the Welfare State.

Starting with the limits placed on the Crown by Magna Carta in 1215, further rights and liberties were achieved through the abolition of the slave trade, the right to relief for the poor, various extensions of the vote and the creation of the Welfare State. The most recent development came in 1998, with the implementation of the Human Rights Act.

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