Druid

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Celtic polytheism
Celtic deities (list)

Irish mythology
Scottish mythology
Hebridean mythology
Tuatha Dé Danann
Mythological Cycle
Ulster Cycle
Fenian Cycle

British Iron Age religion
British mythology
Welsh mythology
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Mabinogion
Book of Taliesin
Trioedd Ynys Prydein

Druids · Bards · Vates

Samhain, Calan Gaeaf
Imbolc, Gŵyl Fair
Beltane, Calan Mai
Lughnasadh, Calan Awst

A druid was a member of the priestly class in Britain, Ireland and Gaul and possibly other parts of Celtic western Europe during the Iron Age. Very little is currently known about the ancient druids as they left no written accounts about themselves, and the only evidence of them are a few descriptions left by Greek and Roman authors, and stories created by later mediaeval Irish writers.[2] While archaeological evidence has been uncovered pertaining to the religious practices of the Iron Age people, "not one single artefact or image has been unearthed that can undoubtedly be connected with the ancient Druids."[3] Various recurring themes emerge in a number of the Greco-Roman accounts of the druids, including that they performed human sacrifice, believed in a form of reincarnation, and that they held a high position in Gaulish society. Next to nothing is known about their cultic practice, except for the ritual of oak and mistletoe as described by Pliny the Elder.

The earliest known reference to the druids dates to 200 BCE, although the oldest actual description comes from the Roman military general Julius Caesar in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico (50s BCE). Later Greco-Roman writers also described the druids, including Cicero,[4] Tacitus[5] and Pliny the Elder.[6] Following the invasion of Gaul by the Roman Empire, druidism was suppressed by the Roman government under the 1st-century emperors Tiberius and Claudius, and it disappeared from the written record by the 2nd century, although there were likely later survivals in the British Isles.[7]

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