Historical sources[ edit ] Votive Celtic wheels thought to correspond to the cult of Taranis.
Since ancient Druidism was an oral tradition, they did not have a set of scriptures as do Christianity and other "religions of the book. Many people are attempting to rediscover their roots, their ancestral heritage.
Most modern Druids connect the origin of their religion to the ancient Celtic people. However, historical data is scarce. The Druids may well have been active in Britain and perhaps in northern Europe before the advent of the Celts.
This evolved into a group of loosely linked tribes which formed the Celtic culture circa BCE.
Although the Celts had a written language, it was rarely used. Their religious and philosophical beliefs were preserved in an oral tradition. Little of their early history remains.
Other data comes from the codification and modification of Celtic myth cycles by Christian monks. Unfortunately, much Celtic history and religion has been lost or distorted by an overlay of Christianity.
The Christian Church adsorbed much of Celtic religion. Many Pagan Gods and Goddesses have became Christian saints; sacred springs and wells were preserved and associated with saints; many Pagan temple sites became the location of cathedrals. By the 7th Century CE, Druidism itself was destroyed or continued deeply underground throughout most of the formerly Celtic lands.
There is some evidence that Pagan religions did survive in isolated areas of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania into the 20th Century. Myths about Druids Ritual Killing: Many historians believed that the ancient Druids performed human sacrifices.
All of these references can be traced back to the writings of one individual, Julius Caesar. He may well have been prejudiced against the Celts because of their continual warfare with the Romans. In war, the enemy is routinely demonized. Some remains of executions have been found in the archaeological record, but it is not obvious whether the victims were killed during religious rituals or to carry out the sentence of a court.
There is one reference to human sacrifice in Celtic literature, but it appears to be a Christian forgery. The ancient Celts might have engaged in ritual killing; certainly other contemporary societies did.
Modern Druids, of course, do not. Many people believe that the Druids constructed Stonehenge, the complex of standing stones in South Central England. The current formation was completed circa BCE.
This was almost a millennium before the start of Celtic civilization. The Druids may have preceded the Celts in England. Thus, either the Druids or their fore-runners might have been responsible for the finishing of Stonehenge and other monuments.
There is no historical proof that they were or were not involved.Celtic Druidism: History & myths. Sponsored link. History: Since ancient Druidism was an oral tradition, they did not have a set of scriptures as do Christianity and other "religions of the book.1 " Some Druidic "teachings survived in the Bardic colleges in Wales, Ireland and Scotland which remained active until the 17th century, in medieval manuscripts, and in oral tradition.
Practicing Druid Penny Billington offers a clear and structured course of study grounded in Celtic history and mythology, and highlights the mysteries and modern practice of this nature-based tradition. Celtic mythology is the mythology of Celtic polytheism, the religion of the Iron Age Celts.
Like other Iron Age Europeans, the early Celts maintained a polytheistic mythology and religious structure. CELTIC RELIGION: HISTORY OF STUDY The terms Celt and Celtic were originally used by ancient Greek and Roman writers to refer to an extensive network of tribes located primarily in Gaul (roughly modern-day France, Belgium, and northern Italy) who claimed, or were thought by their neighbors, to share a common descent.
Celtic Heritage Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales Unknown Binding – A Brief History of the Druids (The Brief History) Paperback. Peter Berresford Ellis. this book is about Celtic mythology is it relates to the religious practices ancient Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
Reviews: This introduction to Celtic mythology will serve the novice well - for it is a complicated history with the earliest written records destroyed by the marauding Vikings. The oral tradition harks back to BCE and is a compilation of myths and cultures of many different peoples.