As a follow-up to Dominic’s post on this subject, here is another image from our Frieze of Trajan’s Column which may add support for the notion that cultic behaviour was tolerated, perhaps even encouraged, by the Roman Army.

Got your hands full? Don't want to lose your trophy? Use your mouth...

This famous image (the soldier just above centre) shows an auxiliary in the thick of battle. With his hands full with shield and sword, he grasps the severed head of an enemy by its hair  –  with his teeth!   The head is something he is obviously keen to keep, and there has to be a good reason behind this extraordinary behaviour – something more than simple blood frenzy, which is the usual explanation.

Are we seeing here evidence of a  Celtic /Gallic head-hunting cult, still thriving within the Army in 100 AD?

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