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Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions

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Author Topic: Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions  (Read 5750 times)
Crissy Herrell
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Posts: 3407

« Reply #240 on: February 22, 2009, 12:48:00 am »

WITHOUT entering upon a description of these ancient and graceful architectural objects, it may properly be

p. 264

asked, "Do they throw any light upon the question of religion in Ireland?"

The first inquiry will be as to their age. If, as some authorities declare, they date from Christian times, they may be regarded as silent, so far as prior heathenism is concerned. If, however, as others contend, their structure and arrangements indicate a period of greater antiquity, they may tell a tale of pagan symbolism.

As writers of the twelfth century assure us that there were then no stone churches in Ireland, these buildings must, if Christian, have been raised since the Norman conquest of that Island. And yet, as Marcus Keane informs us--"more than eighty of the supposed sites of towers are associated with the names of fifth and sixth century Saints, or of heathen divinities."

One has affirmed that a celebrated tower was built by the devil in one night. To this, Latocnaye says, "If the devil built it, he is a good mason." Others may still as "Who erected the rest?" While over a hundred a known to us now, their number must have been much greater formerly, if, as that ancient chronicle, the Ulster Annals, declares, 75 fell in the great Irish earthquake of 448.

We have been told that they were fire-towers, belfries, watch towers, granaries, sepulchres, forts, hermit dwellings, purgatorial pillars, phallic objects of worship, astronomical marks, depositories of Buddhist relics, Baal fire-places, observatories, sanctuaries of the sacred fire, Freemason lodges, &c., &c. They were Pagan and Christian, built long before Christ, or a thousand years after.

As showing the diversity of opinion, we place before reader some of the views,--especially where they bear upon the subject of Irish religion.

Most Christian writers of the Island, jealous alike for

p. 265
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