Druids: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
The Druids have been known and discussed for at least 2400 years, first by Greek writers and later by the Romans, who came in contact with them in Gaul and Britain. According to these sources, they were a learned caste who officiated in religious ceremonies, taught the ancient wisdoms, and were revered as philosophers. But few figures flit so elusively through history, and...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by "Oxford University Press"
(first published May 27th 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 132)
Short book, short on details. Apparently the Romans wrote about the Celts as they moved through Gaul into Britain. Writers including Julius Caesar recorded accounts of mysterious rights observed by the holy men/mystics of these people who are identified separately as Druids. Everything else we think we know about them is probably an invention of the 19th century romantics reaching for an idealized mystic ancestor who would give the modern British an ancient heritage equal to that of the Greeks a...more
Cunliffe takes an interesting approach to the vast and complex history of Druidism. He attempts to separate fact from fiction and succeeds quite well, unfolding the traditions and myths with discussion of history, geographical changes, technological advances, and more. His contextual understanding of the Druids and where they came from is extremely helpful and clearly-written. A great introduction for anyone who is unfamiliar with Druidism aside from the fantastical stories, and an interesting l...more
Concise and brilliant. An excellent synopsis of the most interesting and most often quoted(and misquoted)source material. Also covers the romanticising of 'Celtic' culture during the 18th & 19tyh centuries. Highly recommended to anyone researching the subject.
Sir Barrington Windsor Cunliffe taught archaeology in the Universities of Bristol and Southampton and was Professor of European Archaeology at the University of Oxford from 1972 to 2008, thereafter becoming Emeritus Professor. He has excavated widely in Britain (Fishbourne, Bath, Danebury, Hengistbury Head, Brading) and in the Channel Islands, Brittany, and Spain, and has been President of the Cou...moreMore about Barry W. Cunliffe...