Reply To: Tacitus

The British Druid Order Forums BDO Public Forum Tacitus Reply To: Tacitus

john welch

Julius the Caesar rambled on about visiting Pegwell Bay. He said druids handled divine worship, the due performance of sacrifices, private or public, and the interpretation of ritual questions, being one of the two respected classes along with the equites and that they performed the function of judges. He claimed druids recognized the authority of a single leader, who would rule until his death, when a successor would be chosen by vote or through conflict. He remarked that they met annually at a sacred place in the region occupied by the Carnute tribe in Gaul, while they viewed Britain as the centre of druidic study; and that they were not found amongst the German tribes to the east of the Rhine. Many young men were trained to be druids, during which time they had to learn all the associated lore by heart. He also claimed their main teaching was “the souls do not perish, but after death pass from one to another”. They were concerned with “the stars and their movements, the size of the cosmos and the earth, the world of nature, and the power and might of the immortal gods”, indicating they were involved with not only such common aspects of religion as theology and cosmology, but also astronomy. Caesar held that they were “administrators” during rituals of human sacrifice, for which criminals were usually used, and that the method was through burning in a wicker man.

But who knows? Do you believe Tacitus? Tacitus’ other writings discuss the life of his father-in-law, Agricola, the general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain, mainly focusing on his campaign in Britannia (De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae) but critics say that land is a myth like Russia which “is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”. (the alleged Winston Churchill).