The history of the druids is shrouded in many secrets and legends. Most people believe that they were magicians performing mystical rites. But in fact, the druids had nothing to do with magic.
Archaeologists claim that they
Druids were called
They all spoke Indo-European languages. The name «druid» is formed by the addition of two or three Celtic words «dru -vid -es», which literally translates as «knowledge» and «oak». In other words, a druid is one who knows the oak tree.
Historians identify several main responsibilities of druids:
Druids were also engaged in astronomy. It is believed that this is precisely why the famous Stonehenge was built.
They made calendars and were considered the most revered members of the tribe. Some sources say that the Druids used an internal hierarchy and had a distinctive color of clothing.
The priests, who played the role of priests and soothsayers, wore white robes. The druids who performed the chants were bards.
Druid students wore black or brown robes. To become a priest, a young man or girl had to study the wisdom of the Druids for 20 years, which was transmitted to them exclusively orally. This was done so that knowledge would not be possessed
Also, the priests could distinguish themselves among the tribe with the help of unusual headdresses decorated with bronze leaves, cones and even horns. The Celts considered them to be intermediaries between gods and people. If a person refused to obey the requirements of the druids, they had every right to expel him from the tribe or impose a taboo.
The Celtic priests were well versed in the art of healing and versed in herbal medicines. The most revered herb among the Druids was mistletoe, as well as the sacred oak, on which the mistletoe parasitized.
Under this tree, the druids sacrificed white bulls. Such rituals were very important to the pagans. The collection of the sacred mistletoe, which was carried out on strictly allotted lunar days, was also important.
Some sources indicate that during the rituals, not only animals, but also people, usually prisoners from the battlefield, could be sacrificed. Archaeologists note that sometimes the unfortunate were killed to predict the future. And by the way the agony occurred, the druids judged the coming events.
For the first time, the Celtic priests were severely persecuted by the Roman Empire. Historians suggest that there could be several reasons for this:
Some Roman emperors who ruled in the first century tried to completely destroy the Druids. Celtic priests were killed and their sanctuaries turned to dust. The sacred groves of the Druids, which were of great importance to the priests, were also cut down.
In Britain, the Romans managed to find the main thing
This is how the Celtic tribes lost their original religion and culture. Still, the Romans did not succeed in eradicating the Druids completely. Christianity did it.
When Western and Central Europe fell under the influence of the Christian religion, the pagan priests were subjected to new persecution. These were even more serious campaigns. By the 11th-12th centuries, the very last clergymen had disappeared.