Druids

  • Created by: alijen
  • Created on: 29-01-18 20:51
THE POWER OF THE DRUIDS The Druids are concerned with divine matters, they look after public and private sacrifices, and they explain religious questions: A large number of young men flock to these Druids in order to learn, and they are held in great
honor by them. For they decide on almost all public and private disputes and, if any crime has been committed, if a murder has occurred, if there is an argument about inheritance or boundaries, the Druids settle the matter and they decide on the
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rewards and punishments. If anyone, either public or private has not obeyed their decision, they ban them from sacrifices: this punishment is very serious in their eyes. Those who had been banned in this way were reckoned to be on a par (equal) to
the impious and wicked men; everyone avoided these people and fled from their approach and conversation, in case they receive any harm from the contact; neither is justice restored to those who ask for it, nor is any kind of honor given to them.
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However, in charge of all these Druids is one man, who has supreme authority among them, when this man dies, either the one who stands out from the rest in dignity succeeds him, or, if there are many on an equal footing, they compete for the
leadership by a vote of the Druids, and sometimes even by fighting. Their rule of life is thought to have been invented in Britain and carried across from there into Gaul, and now those who wished to learn more carefully this whole business, for the
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most part, set off for Britain in order to learn
THEIR EDUCATION The Druids are usually exempt from war and neither do they pay taxes together with the rest; they have exemption from military service and exemption from all other responsibilities. Impelled (encouraged) by such rewards, many gather
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of their own accord for training and are sent by parents and relations. They are said to learn by heart a large number of verses there; and so some remain in training for 20 years. And they do not think it right to entrust these verses to writing,
although in nearly all the rest of their matters, they use Greek writing. They seemed to me to have established this for 2 reasons as they do not want their rule of life to be made known to the general public and they do not want those who are
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learning to rely on writing and pay less attention to memory. They especially want to persuade people of this, that souls do not perish but cross from one to another after death, and by means of this belief especially they think that men are urged
urged to courage and disregard the fear of death. They discuss many other things besides about the stars and their motion, about the universe and the size of the earth, about the nature of things, about the might and power of the immortal gods and
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they hand it all down to their younger people.
THEIR RELIGION The whole nation of the Gauls is greatly devoted to religious observances, and for that reason those who are affected by more serious illnesses and those who are engaged in battles and in dangers either sacrifice human beings as
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victims or vow that they will sacrifice them and they use Druids as assistants for those sacrifices. This is because they believe that unless a man’s life is exchanged for a man’s life, the divine power of the immortal gods cannot be appeased. They
have sacrifices of the same kind established in the name of the state. Others have figures of huge size whose bodies woven with branches, they fill with living humans. When the figures have been set on fire, the human beings surrounded by flames,
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perish. They consider that the execution of those who have been caught in theft or in robbery or in some other offence is more pleasing to the immortal gods; but, when the supply of that kind (of victim) has run out, they even resort to the
execution of the innocent.
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THE DRUIDS' LAST STAND Suetonius therefore prepared to attack the island of Anglesey, which was well supplied with inhabitants and a refuge for deserters. The infantry crossed in boats, the cavalry crossed by following them in shallow water or by
swimming alongside their horses. Standing on the shore was a hostile battle line, thick with weapons and men, with women running among them. These, in the manner of Furies (goddesses of revenge), in funereal dress, with their hair disheveled, were
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brandishing torches. The Druids round about, uttering terrible prayers, with their hands raised to heaven, over-awed the soldiers by the strangeness of their appearance with the result that they exposed a motionless body to the wounds as if their
limbs had been paralysed. Then, with their leader encouraging them, and themselves urging each other on not to be afraid of a fanatical throng composed of women, they carried their standards forward, cut down those in their way and enveloped them in
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their own fire. After this a garrison was imposed on the vanquished and their sacred groves, dedicated to their cruel rights were cut down; for the Druids thought it right to make offerings on the alters with the spilt blood of prisoners and to
consult the Gods with the entrails of human beings.
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Card 2

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the impious and wicked men; everyone avoided these people and fled from their approach and conversation, in case they receive any harm from the contact; neither is justice restored to those who ask for it, nor is any kind of honor given to them.

Back

rewards and punishments. If anyone, either public or private has not obeyed their decision, they ban them from sacrifices: this punishment is very serious in their eyes. Those who had been banned in this way were reckoned to be on a par (equal) to

Card 3

Front

leadership by a vote of the Druids, and sometimes even by fighting. Their rule of life is thought to have been invented in Britain and carried across from there into Gaul, and now those who wished to learn more carefully this whole business, for the

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

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THEIR EDUCATION The Druids are usually exempt from war and neither do they pay taxes together with the rest; they have exemption from military service and exemption from all other responsibilities. Impelled (encouraged) by such rewards, many gather

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

although in nearly all the rest of their matters, they use Greek writing. They seemed to me to have established this for 2 reasons as they do not want their rule of life to be made known to the general public and they do not want those who are

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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