Iron Age Britain

Julius Caesar and the Druids

1st century BC, Latin, concerning Britain and Gaul.

A particularly firm belief amongst the druids is that the soul is not extinguished at death but passes from one body to another.

Julius Caesar wrote a few words about the Gallic druids when he penned an account of the victory the Roman legions gained over Gaul and Britain under his command, in his military campaign of 58–51 BC. Most people in Gaul have no say in public affairs – he wrote – and will align themselves with an aristocrat who, in exchange for his patronage, will take to himself all the power that they might have had over their own lives. The only two classes above the common citizen are the druids and the warriors. The druids are in charge of all religious ceremonies and also control the legal system, acting as judges in nearly all cases.

Druidism is thought to have originated in Britain and even now those in Gaul who find themselves called to the vocation – and there is rarely any shortage of these – will often go to Britain to study. The cultivation of the memory is central to a druid’s education, which can take up to twenty years to complete. A particularly firm belief amongst them is that the soul is not extinguished at death but passes from one body to another.

Beliefs of the druids recounted from: Handford, S. A., and Gardner, Jane F, 1951, revised 1982. Caesar: The Conquest of Gaul. Translated from Latin with an introduction. Penguin Books Limited. Book VI: Operations Near the Rhine. 3: Customs and institutions of the Gauls, pp 138–43.

See for yourself

Druid – Wikipedia

Reincarnation – Wikipedia

Caesar's Gallic Wars – Wikipedia

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