Who were the Druids?

Actually, we know very little about the Druids they never wrote anything down so that when the order died out, everything they taught and had learnt passed away with them. Many of the popular misconceptions about them date from the fertile Imagination of john Aubrey, an historian of the late seventeenth century. Aubrey was fascinated by Stonehenge and he believed that is was the Druids who built it and worshiped there.

As very little was known about them at the time and Aubrey has no scientific aids to help him date Stonehenge, it seemed the obvious answer to the mystery. The order of Druids was started up again, and special ceremonies were invented to be performed at Stonehenge on Midsummer Day.

We do know, from the Roman Historian Pliny and from Julius Caesar’s, account of the Gallic Wars, that, as early as 200 B.C., the Druids were very influential in Celtic society their authority was unquestioned in matters of law and religion history and natural sciences.

Pliny tells as of religious significance of mistletoe and the importance of the oak tree. Julius Caesar, who was thoroughly aware of their influence in Britain, naturally enough, was anxious to discredit them: so he is more inclined to tell us of their practice of human sacrifice in times of great disaster and little of their wisdom and learning.

Under Roman rule, the Druids were forced to flay farther and farther west, until they finally settled on the Island of Anglesey. Here, they religion finally died out but not quite. Because we still pick mistletoe at Christmas!

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