The Druids, while at times priests, were not even primarily that, but they were Celtic priests and there were Celtic priests who were not Druids. Ellis is worried that the Greek and Roman view of the Druids has influenced the modern world leaving us with a false and misleading view. He is sort of right about this reader for sure. Ellis describes as this incorrect version which comes down to us via the Greeks, Romans and later, Western Christianity. He argues that there was an interest they had to down play the role and nature of the Druids. The Greek and Roman worlds preferred to believe themselves superior cultures and wanted to make the Celts out to be primitive. Part of that interest, as Ellis sees it, made it easy for them to grab on to any evidence to suggest Celtic primitiveness, and to interpret the Druids as simply priests, magicians and bards. Actually Ellis is somewhat understanding of how easy it was for them to come to these views, especially the Romans. By the 5th century AD the Romans has seriously moved into Gaul, Cisalpine Gaul and Britain. As early as the 1st century AD Hadrian’s Wall separated Celtic north Britain from Roman south. Only Ireland remained independent. Even by early 5th century AD Ireland was still pagan and independent. Yet: “No Classical writer ever referred to the Druids as priests, nor is Druidism depicted as a religion.” Ellis does emphasize that he allows that Celtic culture was in decline by the time of the Christian era. That fact, coupled with the paucity of written Druidic documents, added to the Roman prejudices, made it easier for the demeaning view of the Druids to emerge. On his account the influence and place of both Celtic culture and the Druids continued to wane, especially from the Christian era until the 17th century. Everything you need to know about the Druids; their dress, religious doctrines, how they lived, etc.
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