Essay about Druids and Druidism: A Study of Their Real Identity

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When interpreting history it is almost akin to separating the wheat from the chaff in farming. Close attention has to be paid to every historical detail that is given. In many cases when studying a historical description the reader can find a particular bias that the author has written with. The writings of Julius Caesar and Pliny are not exempt from being written with a bias when they describe the druids. Both authors are considered to be valid sources on historical events which make the assertions and observations that they noted more reliable than other authors. Upon a cursory observation of the text it seems that Caesar tended to find fewer faults in the druids customs compared to Pliny. This paper will argue and prove that although…show more content…
Caesar makes no comment on this difference but instead keeps relaying the facts. Another part that ties into the religious description that Caesar gives is the druid’s rights to enact punishment. For instance, “if a private person or the public does not yield to their decision they are prohibited from sacrifices” these people are regarded “as godless and wicked and they are cut off from all.” (Caesar, 21) This shows that the druids were very powerful not only when it came to religious matters but also matters that dealt with the public. They had the power to ostracize entire clans from the rest of the Celts for any type of religious misconduct by a particular clan. The position of druid was coveted by the Celt people, so much so that many men were sent by “parents and relatives” to try to become one.(Caesar, 21) This was not an easy task though. “They are said to commit to memory a great number of verses… and remain some twenty years in training.” (Caesar, 21) Part of the reason for the extensive training that went on is that the druids refused to commit “things to writing.” (Caesar, 21) One can only imagine the great mental capacity that each one of these individuals had to have. The huge amounts of information that had to be memorized did two things for the druids. One it deterred anyone who did not really have the

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