The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.

Related Content

Related Overviews


More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Religion


Show Summary Details


adder stone

Quick Reference

The glass balls or amulets possessed by the druids, either for mysteries or for ornament, were known as ‘adder stones’ in several Celtic languages: Bret. glain neidr, ScG gloine nathair, W glain nadredd; but in Cornish it is millpreve. The stones were thought to have been formed during the summer by bubbles, blown from the mouth of the adder and hardened by sliding down the length of its back, forming a crystal ring, worn as an amulet. The adder is the only poisonous snake in the British Isles.

Subjects: Religion

Reference entries