Talk:Druid

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Classical sources and Posidonius[edit]

I've removed Hutton's comment on classical sources and realised that Posidonius is not mentioned in the article, although he is the likely source for Strabo, Diodorus Siculus and even Caesar. His article comments on this but is unsourced. One source, Judaism of the Second Temple Period: Sages and Literature by David Flusser[1] gives a bit of detail concerning similar wording.

Barry Cunliffe's little book says "The scholar J. J. Tierney, who some 50 years ago attempted to reconstruct the Celtic ethnography of Posidonius, argued that much of what was said of the Celts by Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, Athenaeus, and Caesar was derived directly from the lost Histories. This is certainly so of Athenaeus, who explicitly says he is quoting from the twenty-third book of Posidonius' Histories, and there are certain close similarities in the accounts of Diodorus Siculus and Strabo which suggest that they too used this source, though not necessarily exclusively. Caesar poses a different problem. He may have been aware of the Posidonian account, but he is also likely to have gleaned much from personal observations made as he fought his way through Gaul. For this reason, we will deal with his contribution separately later. If we accept that Athenaeus, Strabo, and Diodorus Siculus all relied heavily on Posidonius as a source for the Celts, then what they say must be based largely on a text composed in the first half of the 1st century BC by a scholar who had visited the area and had seen the rapidly changing society for himself. While his philosophical stance may have influenced his presentation, his observations are likely to have been accurately made from real-life situations."[2]

The Iron Age in Lowland Britain By D.W. Harding, Derek William Harding[3] also uses Tierney commenting that Strabo and Diodorus "must be treated with caution, for, as Tierney reminds us, they are themselves capable of confusing what Posidonius reported, even if the latter himself were accurate in the first place. For instance, the ability to reconcile two opposing armies on the verge of combat is attributed by Diodorus to the bards, and by Strabo to the druids. Indeed, it is not easy to distinguish in terms of precise functions and powers between the threefold ranks of druids, bards and seers (votes) who are mentioned by Strabo, Diodorus and Ammianus Marccllinus (Ammianus Marcellinus, 15, IX, 8), all depending directly or indirectly upon Posidonius. It is not the purpose of the present study to compare in detail the texts of these various classical writers, a task which has already been undertaken elsewhere (Tierney, i960, 223) ...There can be little doubt that Caesar exaggerated the importance of the druids, to the extent of attributing to them powers and functions that elsewhere were divided between the three classes. His motive in doing so was presumably to demonstrate the politico-religious threat which they represented to Rome, and to justify their suppression."

I have a copy of J. J. Tierney, “The Celtic Ethnography of Posidonius,” Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy no. 60 (1960) by the way. Doug Weller talk 12:12, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

Ammianus Marcellinus? The 4th-century historian? But his history starts in the late 1st century, what possible knowledge of druids could he have? Dimadick (talk) 06:08, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

Who knows? But he wrote about them. [4] Doug Weller talk 06:30, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
But the source is probably right, he relied upon earlier authors. And all of this means that Hutton is probably right when he criticises Diodorus and Strabo for not having first hand knowledge. Doug Weller talk 06:33, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

Earliest record[edit]

A review of Ann Ross's book Druids[5] in Antiquity says "The earliest mention of Druids in antiquity seems to occur in a lost Peripatetic 3rd-oentury BD essay called the 'Magikos'. Not long after. Sotion of Alexandria classified them with Chaldean mystics. Persian Magi. Greek Pythagoreans and Indian 'Gymnosophistai*. all given to enigmatic philosophical and theological inodes of expression. So Diogenes Laertius tells us in his variably useful biographical history of the philosophers. Much later, in the 3rd century AD. emperors-in-waiting. Alexander Severus. Diocletian and Amelian are reported to have received obscurely hinting prophecies from female Druids. Perhaps we should suspect propaganda."

John Koch's book Celtic Culture says "According to Diogenes Laertius (Jl. earlier jnd century ad?), Aristotle referred to the druids as follows: Some say that the study of philosophy first developed among the barbarians. For the Persians had their Magi, the Babylonians or Assyrians their Chaldeans, the Indians their Gymnosophists, while the Celts and Galatae had those called Druids and Semnotheoi, according to Aristotle in the Mtgiais and Sotion in the 2jrd book of his Successions.", adding "It is not certain whether this remark has been correctly attributed to Aristotle, but since Alexandrian Greek authors make similar reports this literary tradition must at least go back some centuries before Diogenes Laertius."[6]

So we can use these sources instead of Hutton. Doug Weller talk 13:37, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

Severus Alexander and Diocletian are significant emperors. But who the heck is this "Amelian"? Dimadick (talk) 06:15, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

A scanner error I missed. Aurelian. Doug Weller talk 06:25, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

Merge Druidess (Celtic mythology) here[edit]

Druidess already redirects here. Despite this, User:Bard Cadarn went ahead and created both the above page and an unneeded disambig, Druidess (disambiguation), and another short, inadequately-sourced article with almost identical content at Gallizenae (as this user was the only editor, I have turned it into a redirect to this article. @Bard Cadarn:, if you can properly source that content, merge it here or into the other article under discussion, don't edit war. I propose merging what little non-duplicated, sourced & usable content is at Druidess (Celtic mythology) into this article (as the same user has already started doing), then deleting that and the unneeded disambig (ETA: As it was a wordy redirect, not an actual disambig, I got bold and deleted it). I also strongly suggest avoiding the outdated, clunky term, "druidess" and instead just say "druid" or, if necessary, "female druid" or its Celtic language equivalents, such as the O.I. bandrúi. - CorbieV 16:52, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

CorbieV, I fail to see the issue here. I created the Druidess (Celtic mythology) page because I was blocked from putting the info on the Druid page. Moreover, the Druidess (Celtic mythology) has existed for two years now uncontested. As to the new Gallizenae page, it is just an English translation of Gallisenae. Where is the problem? --Bard Cadarn (talk) 18:26, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
Don't you think the fact you were blocked from contributing this in the past might have been a hint to work with other editors rather than try to scoot it in elsewhere? Just because no one noticed a bad page in the past isn't a reason for it to stay up once it's found. There's not enough sourced content for a standalone article on either of these, and as you've been putting broken links and personal, amateur websites with no footnotes in as "sources" it looks to me like you're not checking any of the "sources" you're using. - CorbieV 17:28, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

The Druidess (Celtic mythology) was on the See Also part of the Druid page for eons, CorbieV. It was not exactly hidden. And, again, Gallizenae is just an English translation of what I found on the French Wikipedia. Besides, Druidess (Celtic mythology) uses all approved sources and draws from a plethora of other articles. It contradicts nothing. Again, where is the problem? I can see why one might want to merge Druidess (Celtic mythology) and Gallizenae, though, so would that work? --Bard Cadarn (talk) 18:26, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

Merging it to this article makes sense. Agree. Gallizenae is covered in this article. Doug Weller talk 18:03, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

Which article, Doug Weller? Merge Gallizenae into Druidess (Celtic mythology) or Druid? --Bard Cadarn (talk) 18:26, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

Druidess[edit]

If you are going to have a redirect from a previous independent page/article, the title of the merged page should correspond to the merged section reflecting the subject of the original page. "Female Druid" does not fulfill this role, and only works to confuse people looking for the original page, which had been up on wiki for quite some time. As there is a painting by Alexandre Cabanel originally entitled "La Druidesse" from 1868 gracing the section, the word "Druidess" obviously has some historical connotation; and I would think it doubtful that he coined the term. Surely it existed previously? In any case, after one hundred and forty-eight years of use I think it is a legitimate modern word to describe what we are talking about. "Female Druid" sounds silly, and a little sexist/demeaning, despite their somewhat apparent similar roles in society. "There are several Irish words for female druids - such as bandrúi ("woman-druid")" I found nothing on the Táin Bó Cúailnge page citing this word, nor the source indicating that bandrui means "woman-druid". This needs to be cited or explained better. This sentence made no sense so I added the word with: Bodhmall, featured in the Fenian Cycle, is one of Fionn mac Cumhaill's childhood caretakers and Tlachtga, the daughter of the druid Mug Ruith according to Irish tradition is associated with the Hill of Ward, which was the site of prominent festivals in Tlachtga's honour during the Middle Ages." During...not in! If it is happening within a time span during is a more accurate word. The Tuatha Dé Danannare are a people, not a club; therefore this sentence should read: "Biróg, another druidess of the Tuatha De Danann, plays a key role in an Irish folktale where the Fomorian warrior Balor attempts to thwart a prophecy foretelling he would be killed by his own grandson; imprisoning his only daughter Eithne in the tower of Tory Island, away from any contact with men." It is written this way below, so I assume this is just a typo? ALSO: Not sure how you "frustrate" a prophecy...but it sounds hard! I have instead changed this word to "thwart". I think it is more appropriate for what is trying to be conveyed. My main concern with this article, and the original Druidess page, is that it has changed quite a bit in the short amount of time since I first cited it in a paper. I like that some material in the section has been more accurately sited and improved; but I imagine as more material is gathered, the Druidess entry might gain enough information to once again warrant its own page. Not sure who made the decision to merge the similar topics, but I am afraid I don't think it was a good one. Especially as there was no corresponding title in the Druid article to match up with the original page I cited. Had someone tried to look up my citation, they would have been lost! As an additional suggestion...can't remember if this is a possibility, I don't often add or edit on Wiki...but could the Redirect be made to immediately take someone to the actual Druidess section rather than the top of the page? All other edits were simply grammatical in nature, in order to make the piece more easily read. — Preceding unsigned comment added by joseph_setorius (talk • [[Special:Contributions/joseph_setorius]]contribs) 09:50, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

I don't have an opinion on Druidess/Druid issue right now, but leaving a note here that I also noticed some massive re-editing going-on in some of the topics that you mention here, and leaving this msg. as a reminder that it may be helpful to compare earlier versions of these topics to insure that mistakes have not been made, and that content has not been lost thereTeeVeeed (talk) 14:04, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
I've changed the redirect to point to the specific section -- Cavrdg (talk) 12:11, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
"Druid" is a gender-neutral term. Like "poet" vs "poetess". We don't need the "-ess" unless nothing else in the text indicates gender (assuming gender is even relevant in the passage). I don't think we should have a separate section for women at all, except perhaps that there is a misconception that all druids were men, and for the moment as the result of the redirect. The cite I put in way back when was to the DIL. There are other cites, added by others, and I haven't checked them all. That's why we're doing cleanup, bit by bit. While "-ess" is in Victorian-era sources and similar sources that tend to other females, and should be used when it's a direct quote, such as the title of the painting, I see no reason to stick with Victorian-era language when we write for the 'pedia. Best, - CorbieV 15:08, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

I beg to differ that Druid is gender neutral. If it was, there wouldn't have been a need to come up with different words/terms for them in the original Irish sources; right? If druid is truly "gender neutral" as you posit, then there shouldn't be any reason to use the terms "female-druid" or "woman-druid"; as it should be obvious. But there are some obvious examples in the section that need to state this clarification. If you prefer to use the term "bandrúi" as it contains more historical context than Druidesses...es (ha ha) that we are talking about, this seems appropriate. I am not sure if "Neo-Druidism", Wicca, or the Ancient Order of Druids (according to Wiki founded 1781) use the term Druidess, but would agree that there is no definitive link between ancient Druidism and modern varieties/variations. Nor am I associated with any of these movements. I thought I should state that since many people that seem to have edited this page, or complained about it in the past are associated with one of these "mystic religions" or social orders; and seem to want to use the word "Druidry", a term I have never seen in print before. As far as your comment "except perhaps that there is a misconception that all druids were men"...as we know so little of the ancient Druids, there may have in fact been a time, or regions that did only have male Druids...but I just don't think there is enough information one way or the other; and unfortunately Greek and Roman sources, though informative on some level, are also often unreliable. Though Tacitus and Plutarch are certainly two of the more reliable sources in my opinion. Therefore Corbie V, I am going to replace all instances of "woman-druid" and "female-druid" with the term "bandrúi" as this seems to be the best compromise. It is a toss-up whether I find "Druidry" or "woman-druid" more ridiculous sounding. Hopefully you will agree! I also added Druidess in parenthesis so there was some consistency between older pages/edits and new Corbie. But if this really bothers anyone, feel free to remove it. I just think there ought to be some continuity between the older versions and this one. regardless of the accuracy of the term. Thanks-- joseph_setorius 16:00, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

I don't think "Druidess" is appropriate as a subheading. Subsections are not separate articles. The article is about druids, the subsection is about those druids who were female, so "Female druids" is the appropriate subheading. "Bandraoithe" is also not appropriate because it it is uninformative to the general reader. It's also not appropriate as the plural of bandruí as it's mixing languages. Druí is Old Irish, and the Old Irish plural is druíd. Draoi, plural draoithe, is modern Irish.
Another quibble: can we be sure the Gallizenae were druids? As far as I can tell the sources just call them priestesses, they don't identify them as druids. Perhaps they should have their own article, with some reference and a link from this article, rather than being subsumed here. Also, they don't come from Breton legend, they come from classical literature. --Nicknack009 (talk) 22:20, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
I've also removed the word bandruí from the Gallizenae subsection. Bandruí is an Old Irish word, so it is incorrect for Gaulish priestesses in classical times, whether or not they were druids. --Nicknack009 (talk) 22:28, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
That makes sense. Okay Nicknack009 quit re-editing things as other people put them up. Unless you have some kind of academic degree that gives some some superior knowledge, or site your changes, you are just being a dick by doing this! I don't care if YOU think Druidess is an appropriate title, there was some consensus on this. Your "quibbles" have to have some basis! Did you not even read the reasons Corbie and I changed this? There has to be some continuity.joseph_setorius 16:30, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

Nicknack, good point that if we're including Gallizenae, whatever they were, as a subsection we shouldn't use the Irish as the section header. Joseph, there is no consensus for "druidess," rather, some stuff that no one had bothered to work on. I say we stick with "female druids". As for "druid" being gender neutral, again, I'm talking about modern English usage, which is what we write in here on en-wiki. When we're quoting sources, be they Irish or Victorian or whatever, we should use whatever term is in that direct quote. For the rest, we're not using Victorian language that appends an "-ess" on every normal profession to indicate how frightfully weird it is that a 'woman would do such a thing (fetch the fainting couch and corset!). Sorry. But seriously... - CorbieV 23:28, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

On the flip side...there is the word actress. So would you refer to Michelle Pfeiffer as "The actor Michelle Pfeiffer" ? Just because a term originated in the Victorian era doesn't mean it isn't, or can't be used presently. Undoubtedly there are many words with Victorian origins that are commonly used words today. Furthermore, this term IS used in modern parlance by many different groups. From neo-pagan religions and role-playing supplements, to university essays. The real argument is "Will people understand what this term means?" And the answer is YES! Your stated logic is equally ridiculous, and the entire point of using the heading "Druidess", was to have some continuity with the deleted page that had been up at least two years. In this way people searching for the previous article could easily reference/find the relocated material. Furthermore, it doesn't hurt, obfuscate, or "devalue" the content of the article in any way. I have added this fact to the heading, and really there shouldn't be any reason not to include this, except your ego. Sincerely-- joseph_setorius 15:06, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

I'm not sure what a preference for gender-neutral language has to do with anyone's ego, but I will remind you of the WP:NPA policy, Mr. Joseph setorius (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · page moves · block user · block log). I would also advise you, if you're going to construct a custom signature, with or without taking bits of mine, to make a signature that actually includes your name in it, and to sign your posts on talk pages. FWIW, yes, I do refer to females in the acting profession as "actors." It is the correct term in most cases. - CorbieV 21:50, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

I did...did you change it? I am really confused why including one word in parenthesis bothers you so much. Do you not think it is a good idea to cite the previous page that was up? And if so...why? If you edited a book, or came out with a new edition, wouldn't you want to make some note as to how or where material had been moved or updated. If I really felt the addition of that one word was "deceitful"...for lack of a better term, or misleading; that would be one thing. But all the material moved to this section of the article "Druid", did not exist here even six months ago. It seems prudent to have some kind of continuity to indicate where relocated material was originally found. So what is your objection to this? If it helps people realize "Oh so that is what happened to that page", what is the harm? It is not like I deleted "Female Druid" or attempted to change meaning here; I only added a term that would bring continuity to the changes made over the last...two years (?) I really can't see why you have such a strong objection to that. I looked at your Wiki page, and it is quite impressive. You have obviously spent a lot of time editing and "improving" Wiki. But I have to ask...what background do you have with this subject? I have a minor in Classical (Roman & Greek mainly) studies. If my edit truly hurt the article, I wouldn't put it up. One last thing. I looked at my message page, and you evidently left a message implying/indicating that I had edited or changed your comments on this talk page. I did not do this, nor would I. I have also notice my time stamp among other things keeps changing. Whether this is some unexplained error, or my lack of editing knowledge I am not sure...but I would never alter your comments Corbie. That would also run counter to my whole continuity mantra, and the need to have a clear record as to the changes and validity of Wiki. If they didn't exist, Wiki wouldn't be a very good refence...and I like to think it is. Despite Steven Colbert changing Harding's middle name to "Gangsta". I would assume since that time that Wiki has a lot more dedicated editors keeping tabs on things. I am not just trying to be a jerk here about the Druidess thing. I gave a legitimate reason for my change/concern, and it seems you have chosen to ignore it. It has nothing to do with "gender-neutral" terms. We will just have to disagree about this point. It is that having been previously sited, I wanted some kind of reference to the Druidess page that was deleted. What is your objection to this? Is there harm in doing this? I am not going to re-edit now...because I don't want this to turn into some kind of silly kids in the sandbox argument. But I think adding the word (Druidess) to the section heading does nothing to diminish the article. If this means bringing in another administrator with knowledge of the subject I am all for it. But if you can't give me a legitimate reason why this can't be included...then I think it ought to be put back up. --joseph_setorius 16:00, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

Huh...I found this on your page Corbie: No climbing the Reichstag dressed as Spider-Man. Just wondering if this applies somehow here. --joseph_setorius 17:27, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

Caesar and the Gallizenae[edit]

I've removed the claim about Caesar referring to the Gallizenae. The page of the book cited is from the introductory essay in the 1890 edition: Here's the full book linked at Archive.org, if, like me, you can only see it in snippet view on Google Books. The reference is to page 111, but I can't link directly to it. --Nicknack009 (talk) 13:41, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

Why remove it, Nicknack009? Both George William Joseph Stock's and Emanuel Hoffmann's translation of the De bello Gallico say that Caesar referred to the Gallizenae. Is there evidence that this claim is in fact untrue - and, if so, where? --Bard Cadarn (talk) 18:30, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

I linked the evidence in my previous comment. Did you consult it? The book cited, which I linked, is a translation by Stock of the Latin text as edited by Hoffman - Stock and Hoffman did not produce separate translations. And as I pointed out above, the passage in question is not from Caesar but from Stock's introductory essay, citing Mela and Strabo. Caesar did not write about the Gallizenae. Stock did. --Nicknack009 (talk) 20:42, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

Human sacrifice?[edit]

Interesting write up on the ancient druids but there are things stated as facts that come to us 2nd hand .. actually all information is 2nd hand really as neither the Celts nor druids prescribed to a written language.

One thing I definitely take exception to is Julius Caesar's account of "human sacrifice" and the mention or the barbarity of it WHEN what else was the colosseum in many ways.. and also Rome was sacked by the Celts (or rather a tribe of it) before the decline of Rome and the raw hatred for this act since it showed the weakness of Rome I believe makes anything suspect in regards to druids or the Celts.

Of course sadly we don't have time machines (as yet anyway and hopefully never as humans have issues moving one way in time in a specified time increment and I shudder to think of the damage we could and would do)..

I just wish the right up said this as proof of anything is impossible and believing the Roman excerpts difficult since the "druid" religion was the only one that was truly systematically attacked and destroyed by the Roman empire and it's conquests Shaman1996 (talk) 17:57, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

The article seems reasonably even-handed, and careful to ascribe the description to Classical sources (at one point even saying that Caesar "alleged" this). Given the archaeological evidence, I would oppose opining that Classical writers had an ulterior motive in inventing this. -- Elphion (talk) 21:37, 30 October 2016 (UTC)