Thursday, 31 December 2009

The Druids

I stumbled across a review of the Stuart Piggot book, entitled "The Druids", which consisted of seven words, ending with "very little information."  The reviewer gave the book one star and I had to wonder if they had missed the point of the book.  

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?

1 comment:

Fog Patches. said...

"I don't require authors to "pad out" information in order to satisfy my thirst for knowledge. Hope for me yet?"

You are beyond reproach, but are you thinking of anyone in particular? The pipes of popular paganism in Britain are lagged currently with lashings of lusty Gaelic, generously provided by the cloistered logorrheic. To what end? It’s like labelling Oxfam cardigans and blouses with Westwood and Galliano price-tags.

I don’t know. You pay your taxes so these people may learn to speak English and then they go all Klingon.