Druids: Human Savages Or Powerful Minds?

1739 words - 7 pages

Legend of sorcery has been long lost in current day and age. Some opinionate it never existed, that it was forged purely for reasons of entertainment. However, many believe that this ancient power coursed through past civilizations. Druids were thought to be capable of this power, they were shamans, high ranking religious figures in a society. They were said to have the ability to see into the future, the power to heal, the power to destroy, and the power to communicate with animals and spirits not from this world. Druids lived in forests of tall oak trees, where under these magnificent oaks they laid homage. The oak tree was very sacred to these people, therefore they worshiped in sacred groves that were under the trees themselves. The precise meaning of the word, druid, is unclear to many historians. There are ancient Celtic words that are similar which mean “knowledge” and “oak”, they can be interpreted as “knowledge of the oak” or “great oak”. Due to their “so-called”rare abilities, druids were looked down upon and persecuted by Romans and Christians. As they didn’t want their scriptures to fall into unkindly hands, they were opposed to writing down these sacred matters. They were rumored to also perform human sacrifice with unlawful prisoners and convicts. Druids were thought to be barbaric savages but undoubtedly were creatures of advanced intellectual ability.
The meaning of the word druid is not clarified throughout historic text. Interpretations of the word consist of “knowledge of the oak” or “profound knowledge” (Green 9). The word “…deru- implies being firm or steadfast and is related to the Celtic words for “oak.” This root is linked to the root wid-, “to know” (Cunliffe 190). Little can actually be confirmed about druids as many of the original writings have been long lost or destroyed. The druids barely did write down any of their scriptures, and what was written down most likely was inflamed by Romans or Christians. They cut down the grand oak trees that long held home the druid’s sacred groves where they practiced magic and worshiped their gods (Brockman 1). Most of what is thought to be known about druids is based on oral legends and myths passed down from generation to generation, or written down by an eye-witness.
Druids were important and notable figures in the society in which they lived. Druids solemnized at Celtic worship, and “gave ruling on all religious questions, and regulated sacrifice.” (Green 50). Some druids, the chiefs, ranked even higher than kings and other nobility. They were entrusted with important roles and privileges that few were granted. This was because of their power, skill, and ability to control and manipulate others. According to Jestice, the Romans told that druids performed human sacrifice, killing wrongdoers and captured enemies in order to see into the future, known as divination (1). In addition to using others for their own personal gain, they were “not required to fight in battles, and paid...

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