First 496 words of the document:
Latin prose text: The druids and their religion
The whole nation of the Gauls is greatly devoted to the religions and for
Omnes natio Gallorum est magnopere dedita religionibus atque ob
that reason those who are afflicted with more serious illness and those who are
eam causam ei qui sunt affecti gravioribus morbis quique
engaged in battles of dangers either sacrifice people as victims
versantur in proeliis periculisque aut immolant hominess pro victimis
or vow that they are going to sacrifice them and use the druids as assistance for these
aut vovent se esse immolaturos utuntur Druidibus administrique as ea
sacrifices because unless the life of a human is exchanged for the life of a human they
sacrificia quod nisi pro vita hominis reddature vita hominis
do not think that the divine power of the immortal Gods can be appeased and they
non arbitrantur numem Immortalium deorum posse placari
have established sacrifices of this kind in the name of the state.
Habent institute sacrificia eiusdem generis publiceque
Others have figures of huge size whose bodies woven with branches
Alii habent simulacra igenti magnitudini quorum membra contexta viminbus
they fill with live people. When the images are set alight the people die surrounded by
complent vivis hominbus. Simulacris incenses hominess pereunt circumventi
flames. The executions of those who are caught in theft or in robbery or in some
flamma. Supplica eorum qui comprehensi in furto aut in latrocinio aut aliquia
offence are thought to be more pleasing of the immortal Gods but when a supply of
noxia sint arbitrantur esse gratioria Immorlalibus Deis sed cum copia
that way fails they even stoop to the execution of the innocent.
Euis generic defecit etiam descendunt ad supplicia innocentium
Interpretation of the Druids and their religion
There is evidence that the Celts were animists. Bogs, springs, rivers, groves and many
other natural features were regarded as sacred and the homes of their Gods. An
immense number of local and Tribal Gods appeared to have existed throughout the
Celtic world, often reflected in the Roman coupling/replicating of Native and Roman
Many ancient authors mention the Druids practice of human sacrifice and it is widely
believed that this was why the Druids were targeted for extermination by the Romans.
In addition to the wickerwork cadges there is mention of ritual sacrifice by artery and
crucifixion. There is however no direct archaeological evidence to prove this practice.
Decapitated bodies discovered at several sites are more probably to be explained a
trophies resulting from warfare. An alternative reason for the persecution of the
Druids by the Romans if there effective opposition to Roman rule. Allegation of
Human sacrifice whether well founded or not offered the Romans a convenient
pretext for persecution.
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Caesar is quite vague for example when he says "alii" meaning others. He
gives no indication of who these others are and so they may not exists.
o The Isle of Anglesey was the Druids main strong hold in Britain. The Latin
word for Anglesey is Mona, it's near Wales.
Notes on the style of the text
Firstly "omnis gallorum" are concerned with religion. They are all "Dedita" devoted
Caesar desribed these people as a "natio" nation, not very barbaric.…read more
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The word vivis, meaning alive, emphasizes the people are not dead when they are put in the
Caesar uses a Polysyndetic (lots of joining words) Tricolon (three similar words) to describe
the type of people the Gods like to see punished, Thieves (furto) or robbery (latrocinio) and
other offences (noxia) It is more pleasing (gratiore) for Gods to punish criminals. Suggesting
the Gods has morals.…read more