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Details about  Greek + Roman Accounts of Ancient “Druids” Stonehenge Celts Gaul Britain Ireland

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Greek + Roman Accounts of Ancient “Druids” Stonehenge Celts Gaul Britain Ireland
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01 Aug, 2014 11:44:10 AEST
US $49.99
Approximately AU $53.70(including postage)
US $24.99 (approx. AU $26.85) USPS Priority Mail International Padded Flat Rate Envelope | See details
Item location:
Lummi Island, Washington, United States


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Click here to see 1,000 archaeology/ancient history books and 2,000 ancient artifacts, antique gemstones, antique jewelry!

The Druids by Stuart Piggott.

NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title.

DESCRIPTION: Hardcover with Dust Jacket: 214 pages. Publisher: Thames & Hudson, (1975). The Druids, an ancient, mysterious people exist partly in history, but more in imagination and folklore. They were a genuine people in ancient times, but their real identity has been obscured by myth and literature through the ages. This amalgam of fact and fiction provides Stuart Piggot with a unique opportunity to combine archaeological evidence with insight into human nature-and man’s gullibility-in a fascinating account of the people who built Stonehenge. Druidism, according to its traditional belief, was the religion of the Celts of pre-Roman Gaul and Britain, among whom the Druids were the priestly class. Direct and indirect references to Druids by Greek and Roman writers provide much of the knowledge we have of their characteristics. Piggott supplements this information with archaeological evidence from early Celtic society.

Ignored during the Middle Ages, the Druids were rediscovered by the classical scholars of the Renaissance. They caught the fancy not only of antiquarians who often shaped them according to their own theories, but of the general public as well, and their image has varied since then with the changing moods in art and literature. As a result of centuries of imaginative speculation, the Druids have become a part of folklore. In his text, originally published in 1968, Stuart Piggott entertainingly demonstrates the literary and archaeological basis for any real knowledge of these little-known people, and illuminates their growth into myth.

CONDITION: NEW. New hardcover w/dustjacket. Unblemished except very mild edge and corner wear to dustjacket (but no tears of significant chips). Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unread, though judging by appearances, it seems possible that it may have been flipped through once or twice by bookstore lookie-loo's". Keeping it mind the book is 40 years old, the condition is entirely consistent with new stock from an open-shelf book store (such as Barnes & Noble, for instance) wherein patrons are permitted to browse open stock, and so otherwise "new" books often show a little handling/shelf/browsing wear. Satisfaction guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! #1020b.




REVIEW: A masterly summary of pre-Roman Celtic beliefs by a distinguished archaeologist. Direct and indirect references to Druids by Greek and Roman writers and archaeological evidence demonstrate the literary and archaeological basis for any real knowledge of these little known people and illuminates their growth into myth.


REVIEW: “The Druids” still remains the definitive book on the subject. Stuart Piggott probably did not realize at the time of writing this book that it would remain the finest and most scrupulous record of all the evidence we have on the Druids for the next four decades and beyond. The study of Druids is restricted to the evidence available, which is, given a background knowledge of Iron Age European societies, fragmentary enough to be covered completely in one decent reading session. The only time this book strays away from historical references is to detail some of the archaeological evidence for religious or spiritual practices of the period without doing anything so rash as to immediately link anything considered 'ritual' to the Druids themselves. If you can get past chapter one, which deals with the self imposed limitations of interpreting such fragmentary data, and is a little hard going if you're looking for immediate facts and figures, you will learn a great deal about the current state of knowledge. More books should be written with the same level of self imposed discipline.


REVIEW: “The Druids” by distinguished archeologist Stuart Piggott, published as a part of the Ancient Peoples and Places Series, is an essential source on this ancient Celtic priesthood. This book covers much material dealing with the archeological remains available from the ancient Celts, as well as material from ancient texts (mostly written by Greeks and Romans). The first section of this book covers the archeological remains of the ancient Celts, including tombs and various artifacts which are believed to be connected with the Druids. These remains are present throughout Britain and Ireland as well as in parts of Continental Europe, from France all the way to Czechoslovakia.

The second section deals with ancient texts which help inform the archeological discoveries. Important writings from Posidonious, Lucan, and Caesar are explained. To the ancients, the world was believed to have fallen from a lost Golden Age, and thus the ancient barbarian tribes represented this pastoral paradise. Thus, druids were depicted as noble priests and wizards who ruled as philosophers and poets of nature as part of a soft primitivism. However, as part of a hard primitivism it was noted that druids practiced human sacrifice and engaged in ghastly rituals (often involving mistletoe as a sacred plant). Caesar and others were appalled by these cannibalistic rites and had them prohibited.

The third section of this book deals with the romantic notions of the druid that sprang up later. These romantic notions again incorporated elements of soft primitivism, presenting the druids as noble savages (much as the inhabitants of the New World were perceived), or hard primitivism, presenting the savagery (especially human sacrifice) of the druids. Important writers developed the druid myth, often deriving them from the children of Noah after the flood. The druids came to play some part in the thinking of deists and nature worshippers but also in that of orthodox Christians who saw in the druids a precursor to their own faith. Early writers dealing with the druids included John Toland, William Stukeley, and William Blake.

Also, the stone monuments such as Stonehenge came to be associated with the ancient druids through this romantic literature. Within the last hundred years, societies sprang up claiming druidic pedigrees for themselves. Indeed, one such druidic society included among its members Winston Churchill. Today many of these druidic societies hold rites around Stonehenge and other sacred monuments during certain times of the year. The author stresses however the distinction between druids-as-known and druids-as-wished-for. This book provides an excellent introduction to the archeology of the ancient Celts and the history of the druids.

REVIEW: In "The Druids" Piggott first defines the limits of what can be known about any pre-literate people such as the Druids, and how it can be known. This is not, as so many other books on the topic turn out to be, a romantic description of an ancient people, but rather a history first of the archeological, then the contemporary historical, and finally the historical records of the Druids, who they may have been, and what they may have been about. Throughout, Piggot continuously contrasts the three levels of historical knowledge, described as "Druids as known," "Druids as inferred," and "Druids as wished-for." The first third of the book is one of the better examples of conservative (not in a political, but an academic sense) archeological interpretation as Piggot explains the few hard facts that can be discerned from material remains, and the few inferences which can be made from those facts.

To romantics and lovers of "Druids as wished-for" this part will probably seem quite dry and lifeless, but for those interested in real archeology and it's interpretation, this may be the most interesting part of the book. Piggott then takes us on to contemporary accounts of the Druids from their literate neighbors in the ancient world, while still maintaining his contrast between what is known and what is inferred. This is the part of the book that will interest those who want to get the best possible picture of who and what the Druids really were, as these contemporary and near contemporary accounts are the closest things we have to real insight to the culture of the ancient Celts. Of course, this can be gleaned from the primary sources as well, and whether or not you read Piggott's book, Caesar’s "Gallic Wars" and the Ulster Cycle of Irish legends are both well worth reading.

Finally, Piggott takes us on a history of the history of Druids, from the Renaissance through the modern era. This is almost as fascinating to me as the prior two-thirds of the book, as this section shows how the scant historic and archeological records were interpreted in all manner of romantic, nationalistic and downright bizarre ways. All in all, "The Druids" is a fine example of bring to the foreground the real history of a subject that is often treated with more romance and fantasy than scholarly rigor. Unfortunately, there is little that we can truly know about the Druids because they left no written records themselves, and their neighbors had all manner of political and cultural biases when they wrote about them. But even if the Druids still remain a mysterious, isn't it far more fun, and more fascinating to try to solve the mystery with what facts are available, rather than the romantic fantasies that have piled up over the years?

REVIEW: This is an excellent introduction to the Druids. This is the one that all other books are judged by. Piggott doesn't wander off into romanticism but it also isn't just dry anthropology. It is a serious but enjoyable book for anyone interested in the druids or the Celtic world. It is not a new-age mystical book and therefore deserves reading by all who take this area seriously.

I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). The shipment will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site and free insurance coverage). If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher.

Most international orders cost an additional $24.99 for insured USPS global priority mail (padded flat rate envelope). Rates vary a bit from country to country, and not all books will fit into a USPS global priority mail flat rate envelope. Some international orders can be sent standard airmail for less. There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). You can email or message me for a quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers.

All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs).

Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology.

I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."

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