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Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions

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Author Topic: Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions  (Read 5741 times)
Crissy Herrell
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Posts: 3407

« Reply #45 on: February 19, 2009, 01:22:34 pm »

that in the time of Pliny tradition pretended to be the product of the foam of a quantity of serpents, grouped and interlaced together. This egg has been the origin of a crowd of superstitions, which, up to a century ago, were in vogue in Cornwall, Wales, and the mountains of Scotland; they continued to carry these balls of glass, called serpent stones, to which they attributed particular virtues."

Druidesses of Gaul had a sanctuary on the Isle of Sena, Finisterre. Druidism in France was condemned as late as 658, by the Council of Nantes; and, later on, by the Capitularies of Charlemagne. Renan supposed that Druidism remained a form exclusively national. Justin's remark, that "the Greek colony of Marseilles civilized the Gauls," may help to explain how Gaulish Druids knew Greek, and how some French writers traced Druidism to the Phocians of Southern Gaul. Then, again, we have Ammianus Marcellinus saying, "The Druids were formed into fraternities as the authority of Pythagoras decreed." Cæsar, in his account of Gaulish Druids, had clearly in his mind his own country's faith. They were like his own augurs, and their Archdruid was his pontifex maximus.

D'Arbois de Jubainville, in his account of Irish Mythology, has, of course, references to the Druids. He lays emphasis on the difference between those of Gaul and those of our islands. The judicial authority was vested in the Filé. These need not, like the Druids proper celebrate sacrifices. He traces the word file, a seer, from the same root as the Breton givelout, to see.

The French author records that Polyhistor, Timagenus, Valerius Maximus, and others wrote of the north-western men holding Pythagorean doctrines; but he adds, that while a second birth was regarded by the Pythagoreans as a punishment of evil, it was esteemed by the others as a privilege of heroes.

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