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Druids





rainmaker
Hello everyone...

I was just wondering if per chance there might be an expert on ancient Europe. More specifically, I would like to know more about the druids that existed during this time period.

I understand that not much is known about them, except that they were a priestly class with the authority to carry out judgments and the like. On the other hand, however, I cannot understand why no written texts have been recovered.

Anyone with some input would definitely make my day, as my college has NO books on the topic; thanks!

--rainmaker
Lord Klorel
I saw your question and i am looking for a few links and these are coming out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druids

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_polytheism

I hope that this links gives you more information about your topic.
rainmaker
Thank you so much. I knew about the first link but not the second one. I will now have some reading to do!

--rainmaker
Tiger
rainmaker wrote:
Hello everyone...

I was just wondering if per chance there might be an expert on ancient Europe. More specifically, I would like to know more about the druids that existed during this time period.

I understand that not much is known about them, except that they were a priestly class with the authority to carry out judgments and the like. On the other hand, however, I cannot understand why no written texts have been recovered.

--rainmaker


The reason that they left no written records themselves is because they passed on their traditions orally. They were very secretive and did not pass their knowledge or power on to just anybody. To become a Druid was a long process stretching over decades.

They had an arsenal of useful skills, for example they could tell the weather from the flight pattern of birds and so on. The Romans viewed them as a serious threat. Julius Caesar employed spies to get information on them and he wrote about them. Eventually the Romans practically wiped them out.
rainmaker
Interesting...

Was it true that they studied certain forms of magic as well? Is this perhaps why the Romans would view them as a threat?

Thanks for your input!

--rainmaker
Shewolf
Magic?
Sure, if you want to call it that. I guess they were shamans, priests of nature. And the funny thing is that you can actually find paralells between sanskirt and old celtic names, for the same half-mysitcial things. Quite fasinating.
rainmaker
I wish our college would offer some subject that would cover this fascinating topic in greater detail. I seem to have a penchant for ancient world history of this type. It certainly does not help matters that our library doesn't even carry books on the topic. Razz

--rainmaker
nunu
Smile
rainmaker
I know. Tragic, isn't it?
johanfh
Marion Bradley wrote books about ancient England, including the druids. Most of the time she writes about women and most druids where male, but for example 'Lady of Avalon' is about a young druid.
It is a novell however, so not all true, but she builds her books around historical facts.

JohanFH
Slash
rainmaker wrote:
I wish our college would offer some subject that would cover this fascinating topic in greater detail. I seem to have a penchant for ancient world history of this type. It certainly does not help matters that our library doesn't even carry books on the topic. Razz

--rainmaker


College teaches you eurocentric history... Particular CHRISTIAN.

Yuck!
Moonspider
Slash wrote:
rainmaker wrote:
I wish our college would offer some subject that would cover this fascinating topic in greater detail. I seem to have a penchant for ancient world history of this type. It certainly does not help matters that our library doesn't even carry books on the topic. Razz

--rainmaker


College teaches you eurocentric history... Particular CHRISTIAN.

Yuck!


Depends. If you're studying engineering or physics, then yes that may be all you get in the few hours of history you are required to take. If you major in history or anthropology it will depend upon the classes that you elect to take.

Graduate level courses are naturally even more specialized.

There is very little euro-centrism if one decides to become an anthropologist specializing in the ancient americas, for example.

Respectfully,
M
rainmaker
The good news is that I'm at the University of South Carolina for the summer, and they have a plethora of books. Fortunately, a bulk of these include druids! Yay! It's too bad that my college doesn't have this much information on them.

--rainmaker
Shike
From what I've read on the topic (which isn't as much as it could be), the Druids were the "Legal" authority, Priesthood, Philosophers, Healers, etc. The training for a druid took approximately 20 years which included intensive memory training.

Even though the Celts did have a "written" language using Greek Letters the druids passed along their knowledge orally. According to Ceaser the druids committed human sacrifices for religious purposes, other sources debate this.

But over all, there is little confirmed fact about the druids.

Also, even though, most druids were male, women weren't excluded from joining, as a matter of fact women had a greater role and were more greatly respected in celtic society in general than the rest of the world at the time.

I cannot cite any of the information I have given you at this point in time as I don't remember exactally which books or websites I got the info from, but most of it is in my personal library.
rainmaker
You mention that the information was primarily passed down orally, and I have read this also. I also read somewhere (possibly even on this forum), though, that certain writings may have been in existence prior to the Christian movement. The Christians, apparently, destroyed these writings on account of them being blasphemous. What is your take on this?

Thanks!

--rainmaker
Shike
It wouldn't surprise me, as they did use a writing system. It also doesn't surprise me that the christian church would destroy them as they were, at the time, trying to convert everyone they could to christianity and bring them under the roman empire.

The church used many such strategies to try to convert "pagans". They even adopted pagan holidays, gods, rituals, etc. The Celtic Goddess Brigid became the Catholic Saint Bridgit and she is celebrated at the beginning of February (which is also the time of the Holiday Imbolc which was a celebration dedicated to Brigid).
rainmaker
Yes, and they also built churches right on top of the old pagan sites. My guess is that they were trying to facilitate the transition in any way.
Shike
Yup, that was their plan.
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