By Barry W. Cunliffe
The Druids were identified and mentioned for a minimum of 2400 years, first by way of Greek writers and later by means of the Romans, who got here in touch with them in Gaul and Britain. in line with those resources, they have been a realized caste who officiated in non secular ceremonies, taught the traditional wisdoms, and have been respected as philosophers. yet few figures flit so elusively via heritage, and the Druids stay enigmatic and difficult to this present day.
In this Very brief Introduction, one of many best gurus on British archaeology, Barry Cunliffe, takes the reader on a fast paced examine the ever-fascinating tale of the Druids, as visible within the context of the days and areas during which they practiced. Sifting during the proof, Cunliffe deals an expert's most sensible wager as to what could be acknowledged and what can't be stated in regards to the Druids, discussing the origins of the Druids and the facts for his or her ideals and practices, why the character of the druid caste replaced really dramatically through the years, and the way successive generations have obvious them in very other ways.
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Additional resources for Druids: A Very Short Introduction
36 One of the best known of the northern French temples is the multiperiod structure excavated at Gournay-sur-Aronde (Oise). The sanctuary was situated on a spur overlooking a small stream: it was ﬁrst built in the 4th century bc and rebuilt on a number of occasions thereafter until the 1st century, when it was destroyed by ﬁre and the site levelled, but its memory remained, and in the 4th century ad a Gallo-Roman shrine was built on the same spot. The central focus of the sacred site was a large oval-shaped pit containing the remains of sacriﬁced cattle which was set within a rectangular ditched enclosure.
The simplest response would be to allow that druidism may have been a feature of Celtic 17 The European theatre How can all this be explained? If we accept that the prime characteristic of the Celt is speaking the Celtic language, the simplest view would be to suppose that the Celts emerged in Atlantic Europe in a zone stretching from the Algarve to Britain and Ireland, gaining a degree of cohesion from the fact that intense maritime activity bound the Atlantic-facing communities tightly together.
The sanctuary was situated on a spur overlooking a small stream: it was ﬁrst built in the 4th century bc and rebuilt on a number of occasions thereafter until the 1st century, when it was destroyed by ﬁre and the site levelled, but its memory remained, and in the 4th century ad a Gallo-Roman shrine was built on the same spot. The central focus of the sacred site was a large oval-shaped pit containing the remains of sacriﬁced cattle which was set within a rectangular ditched enclosure. Over the years, the pit was associated with, and later enclosed within, a succession of timber structures, while the outer enclosure was frequently refurbished and enhanced with timber palisades.