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Caesar's DruidsStory of an Ancient Priesthood$
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Miranda Aldhouse-Green

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780300124422

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300124422.001.0001

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Noble Savages and Barbarous Enemies

Noble Savages and Barbarous Enemies

(p.20) Chapter 2 Noble Savages and Barbarous Enemies
Caesar's Druids

Miranda Aldhouse-Green

Yale University Press

This chapter explains the Classical world people, who considered themselves more civilized than their neighbours, entertaining perceptions of others that ranged from the wild barbarian to the Noble Savage. Julius Caesar's respectful account of the Druids is the most detailed description of their position and functions within their communities; he was clearly struck by the amount of power and influence the Druids wielded there. The victimization of sacred groves is a recurrent theme in Classical chronicles of encounters between Rome and Gaul. Writing thirty years or so before Tacitus, the epic poet Lucan describes Caesar's destruction of another sacred grove, one belonging to the Massiliotes, which stood in the way of the siege works that the general was throwing up around Marseille, whose inhabitants supported Pompey's bid for supreme power at Rome rather than Caesar's.

Keywords:   Classical world, Noble Savage, Julius Caesar, Druids, Classical chronicles, Massiliotes

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