Carl A. P. Ruck  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Carl A. P. Ruck (born December 8 1935, Bridgeport, Connecticut), is a professor in the Classical Studies department at Boston University. He received his B.A. at Yale University, his M.A. at the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. at Harvard University.

Entheogen Theory

Carl Ruck is best known for his work along with other scholars in mythology and religion on the sacred role of entheogens, or psychoactive plants that induce an altered state of consciousness, as used in religious or shamanistic rituals. His focus has been on the use of entheogens in classical western culture, as well as their historical influence on modern western religions. He currently teaches a mythology class at Boston University that presents this theory in depth. He lives in Hull, Massachusetts.


  • Hidden World: Survival of Pagan Shamanic Themes in European Fairytales, with Blaise Daniel Staples, Jose Alfredo Gonzalez Celdran, Mark Alwin Hoffman (2007)
  • Sacred Mushrooms: The Secrets of Eleusis (2006)
  • The Apples of Apollo: Pagan and Christian Mysteries of the Eucharist, with Clark Heinrich and Blaise Daniel Staples (2000)
  • Intensive Latin: First Year and Review (1997)
  • The World of Classical Myth: Gods and Goddesses, Heroines and Heroes, with Blaise Daniel Staples (1994)
  • (with R. Gordon Wasson, Stella Kramrisch and Jonathan Ott) Persephone's Quest: Entheogens and the Origins of Religion (1988) Three essays by Ruck
  • Latin: A Concise Structural Course (1987)
  • Ancient Greek: A New Approach (1972, 2nd ed. 1979)
  • The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries (1978)
  • Pindar: Selected Odes (1967)
  • The List of Victors in Comedy at the Dionysia (1967)

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