Check all the Clans that have DNA Projects. If your Clan is not in the list there's a way for it to be listed.
Glenora Single Malt Whisky

Electric Scotland's Classified Directory An amazing collection of unique holiday cottages, castles and apartments, all over Scotland in truly amazing locations.
Scottish Review

Click here to get a Printer Friendly Page

History Of The Scottish Nation
Vol 1, Chapter 8 - The Druids: Their Religion, Deities, Hierarchy, Doctrines


It is delightful to watch the first budding of art and the first kindling of patriotism, and see in these the great imperishable elements in man—in even savage man—asserting themselves, and fighting their way upward through the darkness of savage life into the light of civilisation. But there is a power which is still more potential as regards the development of society than either art or liberty, for it is the nurse of both. Its divine touch awakens them into life, and not only puts them in motion, but guides them along the road that leads to their supreme goal. To watch the expanding sphere and the growing influence of this power is a truly delightful and profitable study. Religion is the glory of man and the crown of the State. This can be said, however, of but one religion, that even which, having its origin neither in man nor on the world on which he dwells, but descending from a sphere infinitely above both, sits apart, and refuses to own either equality or kindred with the crowd of spurious faiths that surround it. These others, though classed in the category of religions, may blast rather than bless society. Their power in this respect will depend on the degree in which they retain the essential elements of that one religion which is divine. Had the Caledonians a religion, and what was it? A history of Scotland with this great question left out would be a husk with the kernel lacking—a skeleton of dry facts but with no soul under "the cold ribs of death."

We have already said that the Caledonians had a religion, and that the religion was Druidism. It must, however, be acknowledged that the religion of early Caledonia is a point on which all are not agreed. Some go the length of maintaining that the Caledonian had no religion at all: that altar he never set up, and that god he never worshipped, but all life long went onward, never once lifting his eye to heaven, in a night of black atheism. A dismal past, truly! But happily we are under no necessity to accept it as the actual past of our country. To maintain, as some have done, that the Druids are an entirely fabulous class of men, like the Fairies, Kelpies, and similar beings with which superstition peopled our moors and lochs, is a bold position in the presence of the numerous and palpable footprints which the Druid has left behind him. In truth, the Druidic age is as plainly written on the face of Scotland as the stone age, and the bronze age, and the iron age. Our cairns and cists do not furnish more convincing evidence as to the tools with which the Caledonian worked, and the weapons with which he fought, than the stone fanes, the ruins of which dot the moors and hills of our country, testify to a time when the creed of the Druid was dominant in our land, and the Caledonian worshipped accordingly. Besides the names attached to numerous localities clearly connecting them with the Druidic religion, the traces of its ancient rites still lingering in the social customs of the people, and keeping their place though all knowledge of their origin and meaning has been lost, present us with indisputable proofs of the former existence of a powerful but now fallen Druidic hierarchy. These footprints of the Druid will come more fully under our notice at a subsequent stage.

But farther, we hold, on the fundamental principles of man’s nature, that the profession of downright atheism is impossible to a savage or barbarous people. Such a thing can only take place in a nation that has made certain advances in what it deems enlightenment, and has so far cultivated the faculty of reason as to be able to make this woeful abuse of it. One must have eyes before he can be subject to the illusion of the mirage, and in like manner one must have considerable practice in the science of sophistry before he can be able to reason himself into a position so irrational as that there is no God. Atheists are not born, but made.

Did Druidism spring up on the soil of Scotland, or was it imported from some other and remote region? This is the first question. We have already more than hinted our belief that Druidism—we mean the system, not the name—arose in a very early age, and had its birth in the primeval seat of mankind. Druidism is a more venerable system than the paganism of Italy, or the polytheism of Greece. It had a less gross admixture of nature worship, and it was more abstract and spiritual. Druidism was an elder branch of sun-worship which arose in Chaldea. Leaving its eastern birthplace at an early period, and travelling northward, where for ages it occupied an isolated position, it had no opportunity of studying the newest fashions of sun-worship, and it consequently retained till a late period its comparative simplicity and purity. Such is our idea, and that idea has of late received strong corroboration from the inscribed tablets and hieroglyphic records which have been dug up in the buried cities of Assyria and Chaldea. And to the same conclusion do all the recent philosophical investigations which have been made into this creed tend. Reynaud, in France maintains that "the ancient Druids were the first clearly to teach the doctrine of the soul’s immortality, and that they had originally as high conceptions of the Deity as the Jews themselves. If they afterwards encouraged the worship of subordinate deities, it was," he says, "for the purpose of reconciling Druidism to that class of uneducated minds of which the cultus of demi-gods and angels has more attraction than the worship of the Unseen One."1

The countryman of Reynaud, M. Amedee Thierry, who has subjected the religions of ancient Gaul to analytical and philosophical inquiry, comes to substantially the same conclusion. He finds traces of two distinct religions in ancient Gaul. One resembled the polytheism of the Greeks. The other was a kind of metaphysical pantheism, resembling the religions of some eastern nations. The latter appeared to him to be the foundation of Druidism, and has been brought into the country by the Cymric Gauls when they entered it under their leader Hu or Hesus, defied after his death.2 In other words, this writer, with whom agrees the historian Martin, finds, as the result of his enquiries, that Druidism comes from the East, that in its earlier stages it was a comparatively abstract and spiritual system, but ion its later days became mixed in the West with the nature worship of the Greeks, its votaries adorning deified heroes as representing the sun, as also storms, groves, fountains, and streams; taking the natural agencies for the action of the invisible spirits that resided in them. Pinkerton, though he wrote before the polytheisms had been tracked to their original birthplace, could not help being struck with the oriental features borne by Druidism, and ascribed to it an eastern origin. He says briefly but emphatically, "Druidism was palpably Phoenician."3 Had he gone farther east he would have become still nearer the truth.

BEL (sun-worship) was, in sooth, the prodigal son who left his father’s house and travelled into far countries, under various disguises and amid great diversity of fortune. The wanderer changed his name and his garb to suit the genius of every people, and aspired to be accepted as the true son of the Great Father over all the earth. As he passed from land to land, he accommodated himself to the predominating tastes and passions of the peoples among whom he successively found a home. Idolatry was philosophical and abstract among the Orientals. It was darkly mysterious, but boundlessly voluptuous among the Egyptians. It came to the Greeks in the garb of poetry and beauty. Among the warlike Romans it marched at the head of their armies, delighting in the clash of arms and the shout of them that overcome. Among the Caledonians it affected a severe simplicity and majesty, as befitted the people and the cloud capped mountains which were their dwelling. It was the real Proteus who assumed a new name and a new shape in each new land. And as the consequence of these endless transformations, its votaries in one country strove with its votaries in another for the supremacy of their several deities, blindly mistaking for rivals those who all the while were in truth but one. "Religion," says James, "assumed almost in every country a different name, in consequence of the difference of language which everywhere prevailed. Among the ancient Hindoos it was called ‘Brachmanism,’ and its ministers ‘Brachmans’: among the Chaldeans ‘Wisdom,’ and its ministers ‘wisemen’; among the Persians ‘Magism,’ and its ministers ‘Magi’; among the Greeks ‘Priesthood,’ and its ministers ‘priests’; among the ancient Gauls and Britons ’Druidism,’ and its ministers ‘Druids’;—all synonymous terms, implying ‘wisdom and wise men, priesthood and priests.’" 4 This was the link which united the Scotland of those ages with the far-off Chaldea, this overshadowing idolatry, to wit, which made its deities, though under different names, be adored all round the earth—in the temples of Babylon and the fanes of Egypt, in the shrines of Greece and the Pantheon of Rome, in the woods of Germany and the oak forests of Scotland.

This essential oneness of the false religions accounts for the fact, otherwise inexplicable, that in all of them we find more than mere naturalism. The idolatries are not, out and out, the institution of man, they all embody conceptions above man, and like man himself, exhibit amid the ruins of their fall some of the grand uneffaced features of their glorious original. They all contain, though to no real practical purpose, the ideas of sin, of expiation, of forgiveness, and of purification. This is owning to no unanimous consent or happy coincidence of thought on the part of widely dispersed tribes; the fact is soluble only on the theory of the origination of all the idolatries in a common source, and their propagation from a common centre. These doctrines could no way have grown up in the field of naturalism; they are, as history and etymology attest, the traces, sadly obscured, of what was once more clearly seen, and more firmly grasped by the race. They are at once the twilight lights of a departing day; and are the morning tints of a coming one.

Were the gods of Druidism one or many? This is the next question, and the answer to it must depend upon the stage of Druidism to which it applies. In the course of its existence from one to two thousand years, Druidism must have undergone not a few modifications, and all of them for the worse. In its early stage it had but one Deity, doubtless, whom, however, it worshipped through the Sun as His symbol, or through Baal, the Chaldean representative of the Sun. In its latter stages it aspired to be like the nations with whom it had now begun to mingle. Caesar, the first to describe the Druids, paints their pantheon in a way that makes it bear no distant resemblance to the Olympus of the Greeks. The Druidic gods, it is true, have other names than those under which the Greek deities were known, but they have the same attributes and functions, and we have but little difficulty in recognising the same deity under his Celtic appellative, who figures in the Greek pantheon under a more classic cognomen. In the Teutates of the Druids Caesar found Mercury, the god of letters and eloquence. In Belenus or Bel he saw a likeness to Apollo, the god of the sun. In Taranis, which is Celtic for thunder, he found Jupiter the thunderer. And in Hu or Hesus he thought he could detect Mars.5 The Caledonians had no Olympus, lifting its head above the clouds, on which to enthrone their deities; they could offer them only their bare moors, and their dark oak forests. There they built them temples of unhewn stone, and bowed down in adoration unto them.

The hierarchy of the Druids formed a numerous and powerful body. The priests were divided, Caesar tells us, into three classes. There was, first, the Chroniclers, who registered events and, in especial, gave attention to the king, that his worthy acts might be handed down with lustre unimpaired to the ages to come. There was, second, the Bards, who celebrated in verse the exploits of the battlefield, and sang in fitting strains the praises of heroes. Then, third, came the Priests, the most numerous and influential of the Druidic body. They presided over the sacrifices, but to this main function they added a host of multifarious pursuits and duties.6 They were the depositories of letters and learning, and had a great reputation for vast and profound knowledge. The estimate of that age, however, our own may not be prepared to accept, unless with very considerable modification, They were students of science, more especially of astronomy and geometry, in which they were said to have been deeply versed. The astronomy of those days was mainly judicial astrology: though there can be no question that the early Chaldeans made great attainments in pure astronomy, and recent discoveries in Babylonia have given back to the Chaldean astronomers an honour which has hitherto been assigned to the Egyptians, that, even, of determining and naming the constellations of the zodiac. In geometry the Druids were so greatly skilled as to be able, it is said, to measure the magnitude of the earth. At least they had enough geometry to settle disputes touching the boundaries of properties. They searched into the virtues of herbs, and by this useful study qualified themselves for the practice of the healing art. They were the interpreters of omens—a branch of knowledge so seductive that their class in no land has been able to refrain from meddling with it. Their divination was founded mainly on their sacrifices. They narrowly watched the victim, sometimes a human one, as he received the blow from the sacrificial knife, and drew their auguries from the direction in which he fell, to the right or to the left, the squirting of his blood, and the contortions of his limbs.

At the head of the priesthood was an arch-Druid.7 The post was one of high dignity and great authority. Being an object of ambition and of emolument, the office was eagerly sought after. It was decided by a plurality of votes, and the person chosen to fill it held it for life. The rivalships and quarrels to which the election to this great post gave rise were sometimes so violent and furious that the sword had to be called in before the priest on whom the choice had fallen could mount the Druidic throne. The official dress of the arch-Druid was of special magnificence and splendour. "He was clothed in a stole of virgin-white, over a closer robe of the same fastened by a girdle on which appeared the crystal of augury cased in gold. Round his neck was the breastplate of judgment. Below the breast plate was suspended the Glain Neidr, or serpent’s jewel. On his head he had a tiara of gold. On each of two fingers of his right hand he wore a ring; one plain, and the other the chain ring of divination."8

The Druids acted as judges. By this union of the Judicial and the sacerdotal offices they vastly increased their influence and authority. A tumulus, closely adjoining their stone circle, or even within it, served for their tribunal. At other times they would erect their judgment seat beneath the boughs of some great oak, and when the people came up to sacrifice, or gathered to the festivals, they had the farther privilege, if so they wished, of having their causes heard and decided. The Druids were also, to a large extent, the legislatures of the nation. Their position, their character, and above all, their superior intelligence, enabled them easily to monopolise the direction of public affairs, and to become the virtual rulers of the country. No great measure could be undertaken without their approval. They were the counsellors of the king. With their advice he made peace or he made war. If he chose to act contrary to their counsel it was at his own peril. It behooved him to be wary in all his dealings with a class of men who enjoyed such consideration in the eyes of the vulgar, and whose power was believed to stretch into the supernatural sphere, and might, if their pride was wounded or their interests touched, visit the country with plague, or tempest, or famine, or other calamity. So powerful was the control which the Druids wielded, Caesar informs us, that they would arrest armies on their march to the battlefield. Nay, even when rank stood confronting rank with levelled spears and swords unsheathed, if the Druids stepped in betwixt the hostile lines, and commanded peace, the combatants, though burning to engage, instantly sheathed their weapons and left the field.

The Druids held an annual general assembly for the regulation of their affairs. This convocation, Caesar informs us, was held in the territory of the Carnutes in Gaul, by which Dreux, north of the Loire, is most probably meant. Their place of rendezvous was a consecrated grove. Whether delegates attended from Caledonia we are not informed.

It is not likely that they did, seeing the Scottish Druids regarded themselves as an earlier and purer branch of the great Druidic family, and were not likely to own submission to a body meeting beyond seas. They had their own covocation doubtless on their own soil, and framed their own laws for the guidance of their affairs. The convention at Dreux, besides enacting general decrees binding on all their confraternities throughout Gaul, gave audience to any who had private suits and controversies to prosecute before them. It was understood that all who submitted their quarrels to their arbitrament bound themselves to bow to their decision. The court was armed with terrible powers for enforcing its judgment. If any resisted he was smitten with excommunication. This penalty stript the man of everything. It placed him beyond the pale of all natural and social as well as ecclesiastical rights. No one durst speak to him or render him the least help, even to the extent of giving him a morsel of bread, or a cup of water, or even a light. His extremity was dire, and alternative he had none, save to submit to Druidic authority, or be crushed by Druidic vengeance.

This powerful class enjoyed, moreover, large and special immunities. Whether a national provision was made for them does not appear. They hardly needed such, considering the wealth which must have flowed in upon them from a variety of sources. "Their endowment," says Yeowell, 9 "was five free acres of land," without making it clear whether it was each individual Druid or each fraternity that was so endowed. They are said to have imposed a tax on each plough in the parish in which they officiated as priests."10 They were the judges, physicians, and teachers of their nation, besides being the dispensers of the sacred rites; and it is not easy to believer that all these functions were void of emolument. The Druids enjoyed, besides, other and very special privileges. Their persons were held inviolable. They could pass through the territories of hostile tribes without dreading or receiving harm. His white robe was protection enough to the Druid. When he journeyed he was welcomed at every table, and when night fell he could enter any door and sleep under any roof. He was exempt from land tax. He was never required to grid himself with sword or risk life on the battlefield. He was not obliged to toil at the plough, or the spade, or the loom. He left these necessary labours to others. "They contributed," says Toland, though the sentence, after what we have said, will be felt to be too sweeping—"They contributed nothing to the State but charms.

It is a question not less important than any of the preceding, What were the doctrines that formed the creed of Druidism? We can answer only doubtfully. Not a scrap of writing has come down to us from hand of Druid; and in the absence of all information at first hand touching their tenets, we are compelled to be content with the fragmentary notices which Caesar and Pliny and Tacitus and Pomponius Mela and others have been pleased to give us. These are not exactly the pens from which we would expect a full and accurate account of Druidic theology. These writers but pause in the midst of weightier matters to bestow a glance on what they deemed a curious if not barbarous subject. With every disposition to be accurate, we may well doubt their ability to be so. But we must accept their statements or confess that we know nothing of the creed of Druidism. On the more prominent doctrines—especially those discussed in the schools of their own country—these writers could hardly be mistaken, and with their hints we may venture on an attempt to reconstruct the framework, or rather, we ought to say exhume the skeleton of Druidic theology from its grave of two thousand years.

Philosophy begins at MAN; the starting point of the theology is God. What were the notions of the Druids respecting the first and highest of all Beings? From all we can gather, they cherished worthier and more exalted ideas of the Supreme than the other peoples of their day. They brought with them from the East, and would seem to have long preserved, the great idea of one Supreme Being, infinite, eternal, and omnipotent, the maker of all things, and the disposer of all events, who might be conceived of by the mine, but of whom no likeness could be fashioned by the hand. Such is the account transmitted to us by Pliny,11 and his statement is corroborated by Tacitus, who says, that "they do not confine their deities within buildings, nor represent them by any likeness to the human form. There merely consecrate bowers and groves, and designate by the names of gods that mysterious essence which they behold only in the spirit of adoration."12 it is further authenticated by the negative testimony of our cairns and cists. In these, as we have already said, no image of God, no likeness of the Invisible has hitherto been found. This fact is striking, especially when the state of things in Egypt and Greece is taken into account, and is explicable only on the supposition that the Caledonians abstained from making images of the object of their worship, and cling to the nobler and more spiritual concepts of their early ancestors.

Some doubt is thrown on this, however, by the statement of Caesar already quoted, that the Druids worshipped a plurality of gods. His words were spoken with an immediate reference to the Druids in Gaul. The Druidism of Britain, he admits, was not exactly of the same type; it was purer. Nor does it follow from Caesar’s statement that the British Druids made images of their gods, even granting that they had now come to worship the Supreme under a variety of names. In Caesar’s day the more abstract and spiritual Druidism of an early time had come to be mixed and debased both in Gaul and Britain with the polytheistic notions of the Greeks. The light of primeval revelation which the first immigrants brought with them, imperfect from the first, had faded age after age, as was inevitable where there was no written record, and where the memorials of the primitive faith were committed solely to tradition. And though preserved longer in a state of purity in Britain than anywhere else, those who now inhabited our island cherished less worthy notions of the Deity, and were more polytheistic in their worship than the men whom the transport fleet of canoes had carrier across to its shore.

That they believed in the immortality of the soul, and consequently in a state of existence beyond the grave, we have the explicit testimony of Pomponius Mela. And he assigns the motive which led the priests to inculcate this doctrine on the people, the hope even that it would inspire them with courage on the battlefield. His words are, "There is one thing they teach their disciples, which also has been disclosed to the common people, in order to render them more brave and fearless; even that the soul is immortal, and that there is another life after death."12 The testimony of Caesar on the point is to the same effect. The soul’s immortality, and a life to come, in which every worthy and valorous deed shall receive reward, forms, he tells us, part of the teaching of the Druids. And he notes, too, its salutary influence in heightening the courage of the warriors by removing the fear of death as the end of existence. There was no such certain belief on this point in the country of the great Roman, and the teaching of the Athenian sages was, too, less clear and definite touching a life after death. But a doctrine unknown, or but dimly seen in the noon of Greek and Roman civilization, was fully apprehended in the barbaric night of the remote Britain. To this extent the Druidism of Caledonia surpassed the paganisms of classic lands, and to the extent in which it excelled them did it approximate primeval revelation.

The Pythagorean doctrine of the transmigration of souls has been attributed to the Druids, but on no sufficient evidence. Transplanted from the hot valley of the Nile to the scarcely less genial air of Athens, that tenet might flourish in Greece, but hardly in the bleak climate of Caledonia. In fact, the doctrine of the future life as a scene of rewards and punishments, and the doctrine of the transmigration of souls, are hardly compatible, and could scarce be received as articles of belief by the same people. If in the life to come the hero was to receive honour and the coward to meet merited disgrace, was it not essential that both should retain their identity? If they should change their shapes and become, or appear to become, other beings, might not some confusion arise in the allotment of rewards? What was to hinder the coward running off with the honours of the hero, and the hero being subjected to the stigma of the coward? Besides Pomponius Mela, in his few pregnant sentences on the Druids, communicates a piece of information touching a curious burial custom of theirs, which is certainly at variance with the belief that souls, after death migrate into other forms with a total forgetfulness of all that passed in their previous state of existence. He tells us that when they inurned the ashes of their dead they buried along with them their books of account and the hand notes of the moneys they had lent when alive, but which had not been repaid them by their debtors, that they might have the means of prosecuting their claim in the world beyond the grave.14 They were clearly not of opinion that death pays all debts. But if they accepted the doctrine of transmigration as a truth, it was idle to take with time to the grave the accounts of their undischarged acceptances; for, amongst the multitude of shapes into any one of which the debtor might chance to be metamorphosed, how was it possible for the creditor to discover and identify him, so as to compel him to discharge the obligations which he had shirked in the upper world? On the theory of transmigration the thing was hopeless.

This is all that we can with certainty make out as regards to the religious beliefs of the Druid. And, granting that all this is true, how little, after all, does it amount to! He is sure of but two things, a Being, eternal and omnipotent, and an existence beyond the grave, also eternal. But these two awful truths bring crowing into his mind a thousand anxious enquiries, not one of which he can answer. He has no means of knowing with what dispositions the great Being above him regards him, and so he cannot tell what his own eternal lot and destiny shall be. The two lights in his sky are enough, and only enough, to show him the fathomless night that encompasses him on all sides, but not his way through it. Travel in thought, or strain his vision as he may through the appalling succession of ages, eternity rising behind eternity, it is still night, black night, and he never comes to streak of morning, or to golden gleams as from the half opened gates of a world beyond these ages of darkness. Such was Druidism in its best days.

In what an air of mystery and wisdom did the Druid wrap up the little that he knew! He abstained from putting his system into writing, and communicated it only orally to select disciples, whom he with drew into caves and the solitude of dark forests; and there, only after long years of study, in the course of which their minds were prepared for the sublime revelation to be imparted to them did he initiate them into the highest mysteries of his system.15 This retreat and secrecy he affected, doubtless, not only to guard his sacred tenets from the knowledge of the vulgar, but to aid the imagination in representing to itself how awful and sublime a thing Druidism was, when its last and profoundest doctrines could be whispered only in the bowels of the earth, or the deepest shades of the forest, and to none save to minds trained, purified, and strengthened for the final disclosure, and so conducted step by step to those sublime heights which it might have been dangerous and impious to approach more quickly. Had the Druid made the experiment of reducing his system to writing, and stating it in plain words and definite propositions, he would have seen, and others too would have seen, that his vaunted knowledge might have been contained within narrow limits indeed—compressed into a nut shell.

When the intercourse between our island and Phoenicia and Greece sprang up and became more frequent, the golden age of British Druidism began to decline. It was natural that the eastern trader should bring with him the newest fashions from these noted theatres of paganism, and should strive to teach the unsophisticated islanders a more aesthetic ritual. And yet there is no evidence that the change effected was great. The British Druid fought shy of these foreign novelties, and continued to walk in the "old paths;" and Caesar, long after, found the system flourishing here in a purity and perfection unknown to it in other lands, which made it be looked upon as a product peculiar to Britain, and forming a model and standard for Druidism everywhere else. Those in Gaul who wishes to be more perfectly initiated into its mysteries than was possible in their own country, crossed the sea to what they believed to be its birthplace, and there "drank at the well of Druidism undefiled."16


FOOTNOTES

1. Reynaud, L’Esprit de la Gaule; Encyclopeodia Britannica, vol. Vii., 9th Ed., article "Druidsm."

2. Amedee Thierry, Histoire des Gaulois Ency. Brit., vol. Vii., article "Druidism."

3. Pinkerton. Enquiry into the History of Scotland, i. 17.

4. James’ Patriarchal Religion of Britain, p. 34. Lond.,1836.

As regards the etymology of the word Druid, the author, instead of offering any opinion of his own, is glad to be able to quote the high authority of Don. MacKinnon, Esq., Professor of Celtic Languages, History, and Literature in the University of Edinburgh. That gentleman has favoured the author with a note on the subject, which it gives him much pleasure to insert here:—

"I think there is no doubt that ‘Druid’ is connected with and derived from the root that gives opus, oevopov, oopv, in Greek; drus, ‘wood,’ in Sanskrit; tree in English; doire, a ‘grove,’ and darach, ‘oak,’ in Gaelic.

"That the word came, perhaps after the fall of the system, to mean a ‘wise man’ is undoubted. Jannes and Jambres (2 Tim. iii. 8) are called ‘Druids’ in an Irish gloss of the 8th century; in an old hymn our Saviour is called a Druid; in the early translation of the Scriptures the ‘wise men’ are Druids (Matt. ii. 1).

"In our modern language ‘Druidheachd,’ i.e., ‘Druidism’ means is magic, sorcery, witchcraft. Instead of saying ‘Druid’ means ‘wise man,’ I would say the word is derived from the word for ‘an oak,’ which as you point out, figured so largely in their worship. It came in Celtic literature to mean a ‘wise man,’ an ‘magus,’ a ‘sorcerer.’"

5. Caesar, Bell, Gall. vi. 17.

6. These three orders are said to have been distinguished by the different colours of their dresses: the chroniclers wore blue, the bards green, and the priests white—none but a priest durst appear in white. See Myurick’s Costumes of the Ancient Britons; Dr. Giles’s History of the Ancient Britons; Wood’s Ancient British Church.

7. Caesar, Bell. Gall., vi. 14.

8. Nash, Taliesin: the Bards and Druids of Britain, p. 15. London., 1858.

9. Yeowell, Chronicles of the British Church, London, 1847.

10. Ibid.

11. Plinii, Nat. Hist., lib. xvi. Cap. 44.

12. Tac. Trib. Ger. c. 9.

13. Unum ex iis quae praecipiunt, in vulgus effuxit, videlicet ut forent ad bella meliores, oeternas esse animas, vitamque alteram ad manes. Pomponii Melae, De Situ Orbis, Libri Tres, cap. 2, Ludg. Batav., 1696.

14.Itaque cum mortius cremant ac defodiunt apta viventibus olim. Negotiorum ratio etiam et exactio crediti deferebatur ad inferos erantque qui se in rogos suorum, velut una victuri, libenter immitterent. Pom. Mel., lib. iii. cap. 2.

15.Docent multa noblissimos gentis clam et diu vicennis annis in specu, ut in abditis saltibus. Pom. Mel., lib. iii cap. 2.

16. De Bello Gallico, lib. vi. cap. 14.


 

 


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus

Quantcast