Thursday, 31 December 2009
I have not finished it (as yet), but the author starts by saying what evidence there is in regard to this particular caste of early European society is fragmentary and scarce. From what I can understand, most of what is known by the general populace is based on supposition and romantic notions fostered in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Archaeology reveals very little, and the Greek and Roman writers might have engaged in a bit of spin-doctoring, stirring up fear by over-stating the barbaric nature of a society which they intended to invade, and overpower, so that they were no longer a threat to their idea of a civilised society. [Sound familiar?] It is often asserted that not all of the classical writers might have had direct contact with the druids, but are merely quoting or paraphrasing earlier writers. Though all this, too, is supposition, as there really is very little information on the societies in which druids thrived.
It struck me, reading the review of "The Druids", that although I am vastly ignorant, I am not completely so. At least I am aware of the fact that little is known about the druids, and I don't require authors to "pad out" information in order to satisfy my thirst for knowledge. Hope for me yet?