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R. HUDDLESTON, SchoolmasxeRj Lunan. 



18 J 4.. 


tLiscT imbued with a competent knovrledge of the Greek 
aad Roman languages,! imbibed, ala«g with them, every possible 
prejudice against the Celts. I was, from my infancy, taught to 
consider them a parcel of demi.savages, their language an unin. 
teiligible jargon, and their boasted antiquity the raving of a dis. 
ordered imagination. Dazzled with the splendour of the classic 
page, I endeavoured to derive every tiling from the Greek and 
Roman languages. I had even gone the hopeful \ength of deriv. 
ing Penpont from Pene Pontus ; Cattertfmn from Castra Thani; 
Dunnipace from Duni Pads ; Cruden from Cruor Danorum ; 
with a thousand other fooleries of the same luind. 

About twenty years ago, the treatise now offered to the pub, 
lie, fell into my hands. I was astonished to find that it tore up 
by the roots the whole philological system, which I had so long 
held sacred and invulnerable. The boasted precedency of the 
Greek and Roman languages now appeared, at least, doubtful. 
Determined to probe the matter to the bottom, I devoted jny se. 
rious attention to the history, the antiquities, and language of 
the Celts : the result was, that I found it established by the mlist 
unquestionable authorities that the Celtic language was a dialect 
of the primary language of Asia; that the Celts were the abo. 
riginal inhabitants of Europe, and that they had among them, 
froai the most remote antiquity, an order of Literati named ' 


Druids, to whom the Greeks and Romans ascribe a degree of 
philosophical celebrity, inferior to none of the sages of antiquity. 
These impprtant points being fixed, every difficulty vanished, and 
the similarity of the European languages to that of the Celts, can 
be satisfactorily accounted for. 

Respecting the origin of language, we have no occasion to re- 
sort td hypothesis or conjecture. It is a point clearly and abso. 
lutely determined by the sacred records, the best of all evidence. 
Language was the immediate gift of God to man. It formed a 
constituent and essential part otour great and general ancestor, 
and constitutes the noblest characteristic of humanity. Without 
it reason had been mute, and every mental faculty languid and 

From the same sacred source we know, that the whole human 
Tace.spoke one and the same language, up to the building of Ba. 
Tael, when mankind were dispersed by the intervention of Provi- 
dence, th^t the most distant parts of the world might be inhabit, 
ed. The confusion of languages, which then took place, cannot 
))e taken literally and absolutely, otherwise it must follow that 
there were as many different languages as individuals at Babel. 
Hence, no two individuals would have bean intelligible to each 
other, and the purposes of social intercourse, for which alone 
language was conferred on man, would have been wholly defeat. 
ed. The term confusion of language is, most probably, nothing 
spore than a strong oriental metaphor, ejipressive of dissention or 
discordancy. Most languages have such. a metaphor; and even 
among ourselves, vrheq we see two persons engaged in a violent 
verbal altercation, there is nothing more common than to express 
it by saying, they are not speaking the same way. Intervention 
of time and place will innovate any language ; and the simple 
iact of the dispersiotf of mankind, will sufficiently account for all 
the alterations which language has since undergone. 

Nothing has so much perplexed philologists, as the affinity, or, 
as it is more commonly called, the intermixture of languages. 
The fact is, ^e primary language of Asia, or, in other words, tho 
language of Babel, is the grouftdwork of tjje whole, 40(1 all pf 


them retaiu stronger or fainter marks of affinity, in proportion 
as they are primary, intermediate, or more remote branches of 
this primary root. Of all the phcenomena of language, the most 
remarkable is the affinity of the Celticaai Sanscrit, which cannot 
possibly have come in contact for more than three thousand years, 
and must, therefore, owe their similarity to the radical tincture 
of the primary language of Asia. The Braminical tenets, religi. 
ous rites, knowledge of astronomy, and severity of discipline, 
so much resemble the Druidical, as hardly to leave a doubt of 
their having been originally the same. 

That the Celtic is a dialect of the primary language of A.sia, 
has received the sanction of that celebrated philologist the late 
Professor Murray, in his Prospectus to the philosophy of lan- 
guage. That the Celts were the aborigines of Europe, and their 
language the aboriginal one^ even Pitikarton himself is obliged 
to admit. It is a point, on all hands conceded, that neither co« 
}ooies nor conquerors can annihilate the aboriginal language of 
a country. So true is this, that, ev-en at the present day, the 
Celtic names still existing over the greater part of Europe, and 
even in Asia itself, afford sufficient data whereby to determine 
the prevalence of the Celtic language, the wide extent of their 
ancient territories, and their progress from east to west. The 
Roman laoguage unquestionably derives its affinity to the San. 
scrit through the medium of the Celtic ; and to any one who pays 
minute attention to the subject, it will appear self-evident that 
the Doric dialect of the Greek, founded on the Celtic, laid the 
foundation of the language of Rome. The Gothic^ over the 
■jvhole extent of Germany, and the greater part of Britain and 
Ireland ; the Phoenician, or Mooirish, in Spain, ^c. &e. &c. are, 
all of them, merely recent superinductions ingrafted on the Cel- 
tic — the aboriginal root. Conquerors generally alter the form 
or exterior of the language of the conquered, to their own idiom ; 
but the basis or-groundwork is always that of the aboriginal Ian. 
guage. The Roman language Goihieizcd producfd the Italian. 
The Celtic in Gaul (with an admixture of the lingua rusteca Ho. 
picina) Q'liHicizedy produced the French. The old Britjsh (* 


dialect of the Celtic) Saxonized, produced the English, &c. &C, 
&c. Whoever would rear a philplogical system radically souod 
(as far, at least, as respects the langnages of Europe), must, 
therefore, commence with the Celtic, otherwise be will derive the 
cause from the effect — the root from the branches. 

Though the treatise now published contains, in substance, all 
that is certainly known respecting the Druids, still it is much to 
be regretted that Mr. Toland did not live to accomplish his great, 
er work. No man will, perhaps, ever arise equally qualified for 
the task. Dr. Smith, indeed, professes to give us a detailed 
History of the Druids, but the moment he quits the path chalk, 
ed out by Mr. Toland, he plunges headlong into the ravings of 
(what Mr. Pinkarton denominates) Celtic madness. The candid 
reader will hardly believe (though it is an absolute truth) that he 
ascribes to the Druids the invention of telescopes and gunpowder. 
The fact is, that the stores of classic information respecting the 
Druids were greatly exhausted by Mr. Toland • and Dr. Smith 
could find nothing more to say on the subject. 

The great desideratum for a complete history of the Druids, 
is the publication of the Irish manuscripts. What a meagre 
tigure would the history of the Levilicai Priesthood make, had 
we no other information respecting them, than what is contained 
in the Greek and Roman page. Dr. Smith could not condes. 
cend on one Druid, whilst Mr. Toland, from the Irish manus. 
cripts, has given us the names of a dozen. He also assures us, 
that much of their mythology, their foripularies, and many other 
important particulars respecting them, are still preserved in the 
Irish records. Nor can we doubt the fact, Ireland was (he ne 
plui ultra of Celtic migration ; and whatever is recoverable of 
the ancient Celtic history and literature, is here only to be found. 

The Irish manuscripts (the grand desideratwti for perfecting 
the history of tho Druids) were to rne wholly inaccessible. Thu 
notes which form the appendis to the present edl-tion, are chiefly 
derived from the Greek and Ronidn classics. In whatever man, 
ner they may be received by tho pubic, their merit or demerit 
vrill exc!usiv?ly rest with myself. On the score of assistaiica 


(stiih theexceptiob of some remarks on the Hebrew word Chil, 
obligingly furnished by the reverend Datid Lyal o£ Caraldston) 
I have not one obligation to acknowledge. 

To my numerous subscribers I am highly indebted. I'hat a 
work so little known, and the editor still less, should have re. 
ceived so liberal a share of public patronage, could hardly have 
been anticipated. Among the many individuals who have exert, 
ed themselves in procuring subscriptions, it would be ungrate- 
ful not to mention Mr. John Smith, post.master, Brechin ; Mr. 
Walter Greig, tenant, Kirkton Mill; Patrick Rolland, Esq. of 
Newton ; Mr. Forbes Frost, stationer, Aberdeen ; Mr. James 
Dow, supervisor of excise, and Mr, John Smith, stationer, Mon. 
trose; Mr. George Anderson, tenant, Carlungie ; Mr. David 
Duncan, tenant, Inchock; and particularly Mr. David Gibson, 
post.master, Arbroath, whose exertions hare been great and indei. 

I am sorry, that, in the course of these notes, I have had oc. 

casion so frequently to mention Mr. Pinkarton. The truth is, 

that gentleman has saved me a world of labour, by concentrating 

into one focus, whatever could militate against the honour, or 

even the existence, of the Celts. A reply to him is, therefore, 

an answer to all who have adopted, or may adopt, the same er. 

Toneous theory. I am fully sensible, that, in combating the pa. 

radoxes of this gentleman, I have sometimes betrayed a little 

warmth. But this, I flatter myself, will be found hardly as a 

dro/jL in the bucket, compared to his own boisterous scurrility. 

He is, in fact, a second Ishmael, His band is against every man, 

and every man's hand against him. To him, and his favourite 

''Goths, I do not bear the slightest prejudice. But the man who 

can calmly behold ^he deliberate and uniform perversion of his. 

toric truth.~the unoffending Celts, and the sacred records, tramp. 

led under foot, with the most sovereign and satirical contempt, 

in order to form the basis of the wildest C'him<sra which ever 

disordered a human brain, must be endowed wit.h feelings which 

I would not wish to possess. 

TJie readei' is respectfully cautioned not to mistake the obso. 


lete tnbde of writing in Toland's treatise, for typographioil er- 
rors. So scrupulously exact hare I been in presenting him to 
the public in bis native dress, that I have not even ventured to 
alter wliat, in some instances, appeared to be the mistakes of 
tie printer. In the other parts of the work, I am happy to ob- 
serve that the errors are few and venial ; and a list of all such 
is given, as could in any degree obscure the sense, or perplex the 


Pige 2&, line 15, for there verse, read the reverse. 

40, line 23, for C'lrea, read Circa. 

43, line 4, ior favour Oible, read unfacourahle. 

^6, line 24, for koechus, read koecus. 
197, line 27, for Orbs, read orle. 
260, line 3, for Cloumba, read Columla. 
276, line 26, for Samandi, read Samanaei. 
line 28, for Samanoi, read Samanaei. 
279, line 30, fof Choihidk, read Choibhidh. 
287, line 26, for sacrain, read sacrum. 
326, line 14, for their, read there. 
339, line 6, for sum, read sunt. 
375, line 36, for Britains, read Britons:. 
395, line 141, foi partibus, retii paribus. 




John TOLAND was*bom on the 30fh Novem- 
ber, 1670, in the most northern peninsula in Ire- 
land,'on the isthmus whereof stands Londonderry, 
That peninsula was originally called Inis-Eogan, 
or Inis-Eogain, but is now called Enis-Owen. 
Toland had the name oi Janus Junius given him at 
the font, and was called by that name in the school 
roll every morning; but the other boys making a 
jest of it, the master ordered him to be called John, 
which name he kept ever after, 

Mr. Toland is reported to have been the son of 
a popish priest; and, he hath been abused by 
Abbot Tilladet, Bishop Huetius, and others, on the 
ground of his alleged illegitimacy: which, were it 
true, is a most base and ridiculous reproach ; the 
child, in such a case, being entirely innocent of the 
guilt of his parents. Had Mr. Toland been veally 



illegitimate, which was not the case, no infamy 
could have attached to him on that account, unless 
he can be supposed to have had the poAver of di- 
recting the mode of his coming into existence. 
The following testimonial, given him at Prague, 
where he was residing in 1708, will, however, suf- 
ficiently remove so foolish and groundless an im- 
putation. It runs thus: 

Infra scripti testamur Itom. Joannem ToloTid, 
mtum esse ex honesta, nohili et antiquissimafamilia, 
qiifJB per plures centenos annos, ut Regni Historia et 
continua monstrant memoria, in Peninsula Ilihermce 
Enis-Oiven dicta prope urbem Londino-l)eriensem. 
in Ultonia, perduravit. In cujus reijirmioremjidem, 
nos ex eadempatria orrundi proprUsmambus suhscrip- 
simus, Prag(B in Bohemia, hac die 2. Jan. 1708. 

Joannes O'Niell superior Collegii Hibernorum. 
X. S. Francisus O'Deulin, S. Theologi(B Professor. 
Rudolphus O'Neill, S. Theol. Lector, 


" We subscribers testify, that Mr. John Tolaud is 
" descended of an honourable, noble, and very an- 
" cient family, which resided several centuries on 
" the Peninsula of Ireland, called Enis-Oicen, near 
" the city of Londonderry in Ulster, which the 
*' history of that kingdom, and continual mention 
" of the family clearly establish. For the surer 
•* credence of this, we, natives of the same country. 


*' have subscribed with our own hands at PraguQ 
*' in Bohemia, this 2d January, 1708." 

The Reader wiil see from this certificate of the 
Irish Franciscans at Prague, that Mr. Toland was 
honourably, nobly, and anciently, descended. 

We may, however, take it for granted, that his 
relations were papists ; for in his preface to Chris- 
tianity not Mysterious, he tells us, " that he was 
" educated from the cradle in the grossest super- 
** stition and idolatry, but God was pleased to 
" make his own reason, and such as made use of 
^' theirs, the happy instruments of his conversion." 
He again informs us, in his Apology, " that he was 
" not sixteen years old when he became as zealous 
" ag-ainst popery, as he has ever since continued." 

From the school at Redcastle, near London- 
derry, he went in 1687, to the college of Glasgow; 
and after three years stay there, visited Edinburgh, 
where he was created Master of Arts on the 30th 
of June, 1690, and received the usual diploma 
from the professors, of which the following is a> 

Universis et singulis ad quos prasentes literae per" 
venient, NOS universitatis Jacobi Regis Edinhur- 
gencB Pr.ofessores, Salutem in Domino sempiternam 
comprecamur: Vnaque testamur ingenuum hunc bones 
Spei Juvenem Magistrum Joannem Toland Hiber- 
n.2'm, morihus, diligentia, et laudabili successu se no- 



bis if a approbasse ut post editum PJdlosopJdci prO" 
foetus exameu, Solenni more Magister in Artibus 
liheralibus renuntiareiur, in Comitiis nostris Lau- 
reatis anno Salutis Millesimo, Sexcentesimo et No- 
nagesimo, trigesimo die Junii : Quapropter non du- 
bitamus eum nunc a Nobis in patriam redeuntem, 
lit egregium Adolescentem, omnibus quos adire, vel 
quibuscum versari contigerit, de meliori nota com- 
inendare, sperantes ilium (opitulante divina gratia) 
Literis hisce Testimonialibus fore abunde responsu- 
rum. In quorumjidem inclyta Civitas JSdinlnirgmn 
Academies hujus parens et Altrix sigillo suo publico 
Uterus syngraphis Nostris porro confirnmri jussit . 

Al. Monro, S. S. T. D. Professor Primarius. 

Jo. Strachan, S. S. T. D. ejusdemque Profesior. 

D. Gregorie, Math. P. 

J. Uefberius Kennedy, P. P. 
Li. S. J. Drummond, H. L. P. 

Tho. Burnet, Ph. P. 

Roberttis Henderson, B. et Academics ah Arehi. 
vis, £fc. 
Dahamus in supradicto' 
Athenao Regio 22rfo, j 
die Julii anno Mrce^ 
Christiante 1690. 


" To all and every one, to whom the present It U 
" ter may come, We the professors of the univer- 
" sity of Edinburgh, founded by King- James, m ish 
" eternal salvation in the Lord : and at the same 
" time testify, that this ingenuous >outli, Mr. .Tohn 
" Toland, of excellent proaiise, has so hii^hlv satis. 


*•' fied US by his good conduct, diligence andlaud- 
" able progress, that, after a public examination of 
" his progress in philosophy, he was, after the usual 
" manner, declared Master of the liberal Arts, in 
" our Comitia Ldureata, in the year of Redemption 
" 1690, 30th June: Wherefore we do not hesitate 
" to recommend him, now returning from us to his 
" native coimtry, as an excellent young man, to all 
" persons of better note, to whom he may have ac- 
" cess, or with whom he may sojourn, hoping that 
" he (through the aid of Divine Grace) will abun- 
" dantly answer the character given hind in this 
" diploma. In testimony of which, the ancient 
■^' city of Edinburgh, the parent and benefactress 
" of this academy, has ordered this writing with 
" our subscriptions, to receive the additional con- 
■" firmation of their public seal." 

Given in the aforesaid Royal i 

Athenjeum, 22d July, 1690.>. 

Mr. John Toland having received his diploma, 
returned to Glasgow, where he resided but a short 
time. On his departure, the magistrates of that 
city gave him the following recommendation. 

" We, the magistrates of Glasgow, under sub- 
" scribing, do hereby certify and declare, to all 
" whom these presents may concern. That the 
" bearer, John Toland, Master of Arts, did reside 
" here for some yeares, as a student at the univer- 
" sitie in this city, during which time he behaved 
" himself as ana trew protestant, and loyal sub- 


" ject, as witness our hands, at Glasgow, the penult 
" day of July one thousand six hundred and nine- 
" tie yeares, and the common seal of office of the 
" said city is hereunto affixt. 

'^ John Leck. 
'* L. S, George Nisbitt." 

It is worthy of remark, that Mr. Toland resided 
at Glasgow during the years 1688 and 1689, the 
two last of the bloody persecution of the Church 
of Scotland, and must have been an eye witness of 
many tyrannical and relentless scenes. It is well 
known, that the students'of Glasgow, as a collec- 
tive body, repeatedly joined the citizens, in repel- 
ling several of the military parties sent against 
them ; and there can hardly remain a doubt, that 
Toland made one of the number. This sufficient-* 
ly accounts for the certificate given him by the 
magistrates of Glasgow. 

Mr. Toland dates his conversion from the 16th 
year of his age, which nearly coincides witli his 
arrival in Glasgow; for it will be recollected, that 
he did not complete his 20th year, till the 30th of 
IVovember after leaving this city. It is therefore 
most probable, that he was here converted from 
popery, and imbibed these notions of the simpli- 
city and purity of Christianity, which he afterwards 

Instead of returning to Ireland, Mr. Toland went 
to England, where he lived (as he informs us ia 


his Apology) in as good protestant families as any 
in \he kingdom, till he went to the famous univer- 
sity of Leydeuj to perfect his studies, under the 
celebrated Spanhemilxs, Triglandius, &c. There 
he was supported by some eminent dissenters iil 
England, who had conceived great hopes from his 
uncommon parts^ and might flatter themselves, he 
"vvould one day become the Colossus of the party ; 
for he himself informs us, in a pamphlet published 
at London in 1697, that he had lived in their com- 
munion, ever since he quitted popei-y. " Mr. 
Toland (says he, in answer to the imputation of 
being a rigid non-conformist) will never deny but 
the real simplicity of the dissenters' worship ; and 
the seeming equity of their discipline, (into which, 
being so young, he could not distinctly penetrate) 
did gain extraordinarily on his affections, just as 
he was newly delivered from the insupportable 
yoke of the most pompous and tyrannical policy 
that ever enslaved mankind, under the name or 
*hew of religion. But, when greater experience, 
and more years, had a little ripened his judgment, 
he easily perceived that the differences were not 
so wide, as to appear irreconcileable; or at least, 
that men who were sound protestants on both 
sides, should barbarously cut one anothers'throats, 
or indeed give any disturbance to the society about 
them. And as soon as he understood the late 
heats and animosities did not totally, if at all, pro-j ^' 
ceed from a concerxi for mere religion, he allowed 


himself a latitude in several things, that would 
have been matter of scruple to him before. His 
travels increased, and the study of ecclesiastical 
history perfected this disposition, wherein he con- 
tinues to this hour; for, whatever his own opinion 
of these differences be, yet he finds so essential an 
agreement between French, Dutch, English, Scot- 
tish, and other protestants, that he is resolved 
never to lose the benefit of an instructive discourse, 
in any of their churches, on that score; and, it 
must be a civil, not a religious interest, that can 
engage him against any of these parties, not think- 
ing all their private notions wherein they differ, 
worth endangering, much less subverting, the pub- 
lic peace of a nation. If this (pursues he) makes 
a man a non-conformist, then Mr. Tolaad is one 

In 1692, Mr. Daniel Williams, a dissenting 
minister, published a book, entitled. Gospel Truth 
Stated and Vindicated, in opposition to Dr. Crisp. 
Mr. Toland desired the author of the SibliotJieque 
Universelle to give an abstract of it in that jour- 
nal. The journalist complied; and, to the ab- 
stractof Mr.Williams's book, prefixed Mr. Toland's 
recommendatory letter, and styles him Student in 
Divinity. Jiibliotheque Universelle, torn 23rf, page 

Having staid about two years at Leyden, he re- 
turned to England, and soon after went to Oxford, 
where, besides the conversation of learned men. 


he had the advantage of the public library. Here 
he collected materials on various subjects, and 
composed some pieces, among others, a Disserta- 
tion, wherein he proves the received history of the 
tragical death of Atilius Regulus, the Roman con- 
sul, to be a fable; and, with that candour which 
vmiformly characterizes him, owns himself indebt- 
ed for this notion to Palmerius* 

In 1695, he left Oxford, and came to London^ 
In 1QQ6, he published his Christianity not Myste- 
rious; or, a Treatise, shewing that there is nothing 
in the Gospel contrary to reason, nor above it; and, 
that no Christian Doctrine can properly be called a 
Mystery. Mr. Toland defines mystery to be a 
thing intelligible in itself, but which could not be 
known, without special revelation* And, to 
prove the assertion, he examines all the passages 
in the New Testament, where the word mystery 
occurs; and shews. First, that mystery is read 
for the Gospel ; or, the Christian religion in gene- 
ral, as it was a future dispensation, totally hid from 
the Gentiles, and but imperfectly known to the 
Jews. Secondly, that some peculiar doctrines, 
occasionally revealed by the apostles, are said to 
be manifested mysteries; that is, unfolded secrets: 
and Thirdly, ih^t mystery is put for any thing veiled 
under parables) or enigmatical forms of speech. 
But, he declares, at the same time, that, if his ad- 
versaries think fit to call a mystery whatever is 
either absolutely unintelligible to us, or whereof 


we have but inadequate ideas; he is ready to ad- 
mit of as many mysteries in religion as they please. 

So far, the candid reader will be apt to think 
there is no great harm done. If Mr. Toland s ad- 
versaries did not choose to adopt his definition of 
the word mystery, he professes himself willing to 
accede to theirs; and, indeed, all that has been ad- 
vanced on either side of the question, is merely a 
dispute about words. He pretends, that he can 
give as clear and intelligible an explanation of the 
tnysteries of the gospel, as of the pheenmnena of na- 
ture: and, do not our divines do the same thing, 
by attempting to give a rational explanation of the 
Trinity, and the Resurrection, the greatest mys- 
teries of the Christian religion? Such explanations 
are the tests of the soundness of their doctrine; 
and, who knows but Mr. Toland's explanation, 
had he given one, might have been orthodox. 

This treatise alarmed the public; and several 
clergymen replied to it. Messrs. Beconsal, Bever- 
ley, Norris, and Elys; Doctors Pain, and Stilliug- 
fleet; the author of the Occasionnl Papers \ Messrs. 
Millar, Gailhard, and Synge, all entered the lists. 
It was even presented by the grand jury of Mid- 
dlesex; but, this measure had no other efl'ect, than 
to promote the sale of the book, mankind being 
naturally prone to pry into what is forbidden them. 

This same year, Mr. Toland p\xblished a Dis- 
course on Coins, by Signior Bernardo Davauzati, 
a gentleman of Florence, delivered in the academy 


there, anno 1588; translated from Italian by John 

Christianity not Mysterioushsi\m^ioxmA its way 
into Ireland, made some noise there, as well as in 
England; but the clamour Avas considerably in- 
creased, on the author's arrival there, in the be- 
ginning of 1697. Mr. MoUineux, in a letter to 
Mr. Locke, dated 10th April, 1697, says, " The 
" Irish clergy were alarmed against him to a 
" mighty degree; and, that he had his welcome to 
*' that city, by hearing himself harangued against, 
" from the pulpit, by a prelate of that country." 

Mr. Toland himself tells us, in his Apology^ 
that he was hardly arrived in that country, when 
he found himself warmly attacked from the pul- 
pit, which at first could not but startle the people, 
who, till then, were equal strangers to him and his 
book ; but that in a short time, they were so well 
accustomed to this subject, that it was as much 
expected, as if it had been prescribed in the Hub- 
rick. He also informs us, that his own silence 
respecting the book in question; made his enemies 
insinuate that he "was not the author of it. 

When this rough treatment of Mr. Toland from 
the pulpit proved insignificant, the grand jury was 
solicited to preseirt him, for a book written and 
published in England. The presentment of the 
grand jury of Middlesex, was printed with an 
emphatical title, and cried about the streets. Mr. 
Toland was accordingly presented there, the last 

» % 


day of the term, in the Court of King's Bench. 
At that time, Mr. Peter Brown, senior fellow of 
Trinity College, Dublin, published a book against 
Mr. Toland's Christianity not Mysterious, in which 
he represented him as an inveterate enemy to all 
revealed religion; a knight errant; one who openly 
affected to be the head of a sect, and designed to 
be as famous an impostor as Mahomet, ]Mr. 
Brown was afterwards made bishop of Cork ; and 
Mr. Toland used frequently to say, " That he 
made him a bishop." This is the saraejacobitical 
gentleman, who, because he could not bear that 
any person should drink the health of King Wil- 
liam, wrote a pamphlet against health-drinking, 
as being a profanation of the Lord's Supper! 

Mr. Mollineux sent Mr. Browns book to Mr. 
Locke, and, in a letter to him dated 20th of July, 
1697, says, " Mr. Toland has had his opposers 
'' here, as you will find by a book I have sent you. 
" The author is ray acquaintance; but, two things 
" I shall never forgive, in his book: the one is the 
" foul language and opprobrious epithets he has 
" bestowed on Mr. Toland. The other is, upon 
" several occasions, calling in the aid of the ( i\il 
" magistrate, and delivering Mr. Toland up to se- 
*' cular punishment. This, indeeil, is a killinQ- ar- 
" gmnent; but may dispose some to think, that 
" where the strength of reason failed him, there 
^' he flies to the strength of the sword,"' ^c. 

Mr. Toland, it seems, >> as dreaded iu Ireland 


as a second Goliath, who at the head of the Phi- 
listines defied the armies of Israel, in so much, 
that Mr. Hancock, the recorder of Dublin, in his 
congratulatory harangue to the lords justices of 
that kingdom, in the name of his corporation, beg- 
ged their lordships would protect the church from 
all its adversaries; but particularly from the To- 

But to give the last and finishing stroke to Mr. 
Toland's book, it was brought before the parlia- 
ment. Several persons eminent for their birth, 
good qualities, and fortune, opposed the whole 
proceedings ; but finding themselves over-ruled in 
this, they urged, that the objectionable passages 
should be read; that Toland should be heard 
in his defence personally, or at least, by letter. 
All these propositions were rejected, and Mr. To- 
land, unheard and undefended, was ordered to be 
taken into the custody of the serjeant at arms. 
Mr. Toland made his escape, but his book was 
burnt by the common hangman, on the 11th Sep- 
tember, 1697, before the gate of the parliament- 
house, and also in the open street, before the 
town-house, the sheriffs and all the constables at 

Dr. South, in the preface to his third volume of 
sermons, compliments the archbishop of Dublin, 
on his treatment of Toland, whom he calls a Ma- 
hometan Christian ; and particularly, that he made 
the kingdom too hot for him, without the help of 


a faggot. The faggot had been kindled in Scot- 
land from the one end to the other, during the 
twenty-eight years persecution, and innocent and 
holy men burnt ahve, merely for being non-con- 
formists, or, in other words, for not preferring the 
dogmas of arbitrary and interested men, to the 
sacred scriptures. Toland's crimes appear to 
have been much of the same kind, and it was very 
consistent in the doctor to hint at a similar pu- 

On Mr. Toland's return to London, he publish- 
ed his Apology, giving an account of his conduct, 
and vindicating himself from the aspersious and 
persecutions of his enemies. 

In 1698 party-disputes ran high. Tlie parti- 
zans of the house of Stuart vdshed to facilitate the 
Pretender's return, by keeping up no standing 
army at alL Their opponents took different 
ground. Several pamphlets appeared, and, a- 
mong the rest, one from the pen of Mr. Toland, 
wherein he recommends modelling the militia on 
such a plan, as to render it adequate to the main- 
tenance of inteilial tranquillity, and repulsion of 
foreign invasion. Indeed, on every occasion, we 
find Mr. Toland a staunch friend to the revolu- 
tion, and the protestant succession; and though 
this was not the ostensible, still there is every rea- 
Hon to reckoirit the real cause of his persecution; 
his enemies, almost to a man, eutertaiuing very 
♦Jiffereut sentiments. 


This same year, he published the Life of John 
Milton, which was prefixed to his works, in three 
volumes folio. In the course of Milton's life, Mr. 
Toland proved that Icon Basilike was not written 
by Charles 1st, but by Dr. Gauden, and took oc- 
casion to remark, that, when this imposition was 
practised on the nation, at no greater distance of 
time than forty years, he ceased to wonder how so 
many supposititious pieces, under the name of 
Christ and his Apostles, should be published, ap- 
proved, &c. Had he denied the Trinity, or blas- 
phemed the Holy Ghost, it would have been no- 
thing in comparison of curtailing the literary fame 
of the royal martyr of the church of England. 

Accordingly, Mr. Blackall, chaplain to the 
king, in a sermon preached before the House of 
Commons, 30th January, 1689, says, " We may 
" cease to wonder, that he (Mr. Toland) should 
" have the boldness, without proof, and against 
" proof, to deny the authority of this book, who 
" is such an infidel to doubt, and is shameless 
" and impudent enough, even in print, and in a 
" christian country, publicly to affront our holy 
" religion, by declaring his doubt, that several 
*' pieces under the name of Christ and his Apos- 
*' ties (he must mean those received by the whole 
*' christian church, for I know of no other), are 
" supposititious," &c. The reader will here smile, 
to see that Mr. Blackall rests the whole stress of 
Mr. Toland'^ infidelity, 'on jiis own ig:norance. 


Mr. Blackall expressly says, " Mr. Toland must 
" mean the books of the New Testament," be- 
cause he knows of no other. Excellent logician ! 

In order to vindicate himself, Mr. Toland pub- 
lished Amyntor, in which he re-doubles his argu- 
ments, to prove Dr. Gauden the author of Icon 
Basilike; and, at the same time, published a list 
of supposititious pieces, ascribed to Christ, his 
apostles, and other eminent men, extending to no 
less than forty-three octavo pages. After ha\ing 
given that cataloguey he proceeds thus : 

" Here is a long catalogue for Mr. Blackall, 
" who, it is probable, will not think the more 
" meanly of himself, for being unacquainted ^nth 
•' these pieces : nor, if that were all, should I be 
" forward to think the worse of him on this ac- 
" count: but I think he is to blame, for denying 
" that there were any such, because he knew no- 
" thing of them; much less should lie infer from 
" thence, that I denied the scriptures; which 
" scandal, however, as proceeding from ignorance, 
" I heartily forgive him, as every good christian 
" ought to do." 

What a calm, dignified, christian reply, to the 
very man, who, without the least shadow of fact, 
proclaimed Mr. Toland an impudent and shame- 
less infidel, before the whole House of Commons. 
Poor Mr. Bhickall was obliged to say something 
or other in his own defence. He published a 
pamphlet, wherein he labours hard to prove, that 


Mr. Toland's words were liable to misapprehen- 
sion; and says, " I charged Mr. Toland with 
" doubting of the books of the Neiv Testament 
" but he declares, he does not mean those books, 
" therefore we are now agreed: there can be no 
" dispute between us on that subject." 

In the same year, 1699, Mr. Toland published 
the Memoirs of JDenzil, Lord Hollis, Baron of 
Tfield, in Sussex, from 1641 to 1648. The manu- 
script was put into his hands by the duke of 
Newcastle, who was one of his patrons and bene- 
factors; and he dedicated the work to his grace. 

In 1700, he published, in folio, Harrington '» 
Oceana, with some other pieces of that ingenious 
author, not before printed, to which he prefixed 
the life of the author. From the preface to thi,* 
work, which is dated 30th November, 1699, we 
learn Mr. Toland's exact age, for he there informs 
us, that this very day he was beginning his thir- 
tieth year. 

About the same time, appeared a pamphlet, en^ 
titled Clito; or, the Force of Eloquence. The 
printer gave Mr. Toland as the author. This 
piece consists of a dialogue between Clito and 
Adeisidcemon. This is, a poetical performance, 
Mr. Toland is known by the name Adeisidcemon, 
which he translates, unsuperstitious. This was 
animadverted on, by an anonymous clergyman^ 
who, after a torrent of Billingsgate abuse, trans- 
lates Adeisidamon (in open violation of aU the 



rules of etymology and common sense), one that 
fears neither God nor devil. To such pitiful 
lengths will the rancour of party-spirit drive men, 
when they are determined to calumniate with, or 
•without, reason. 

In the beginning of 1701, he published 7%* 
Art of Governing hy Parties, which he dedicated 
to King William the 3d; and, about the same 
time, published a pamphlet, in quarto, entitled' 
Propositions for uniting the two East India Coni' 

In March following, the lower and upper house 
of convocation, with the concurrence of the bish- 
ops, resolved to proceed against Mr. Tolands 
Christianity not 3fysterious, and his Amyntor, 
with all possible rigour. After passing some re- 
solutions against these books, they found they 
could not proceed without a licence from the 
king. Rather than solicit this boon, they drop- 
ped their proceedings against ]Mr. Toland. Can 
any circumstance speak more strongly in the vin- 
dication of Mr. Toland? Caij any tiling shew the 
innocence of our author, in a clearer point of view, 
than that the whole united English hierarchy, 
durst not solicit a licence from the king to prose- 
cute him, because they were sure it m ould be re- 
fused? This circumstance affords more than a 
presumption, that Mr. Toland's principal crimes, 
in the eyes of his enemies, m ere his predilection for 
presbyterianism, and attachment to King Willium. 


Be that as it may, when on the death of the 
duke of Gloucester, an act was passed in June, 
1701, for the better securing the protestant suc- 
cession to the crown, Mr. Toland published his 
Anglia Libera; or. The Limitation and Succession 
of the Crown of England Explained and Asserted; 
as grounded on his majesty's speech ; the proceed- 
ings of parliament; the desires of the people; the 
safety of our religion; the nature of our constitu- 
tion; the balance of Europe; and, the rights of 
Mankind. This treatise he dedicated to his pat- 
ron, the duke of Newcastle. 

The king having sent the earl of Macclesfield to 
HainOver, with the act of succession, Mr. Toland 
accompanied him, and presented his Anglia Li- 
bera to her electoral highness the Princess Sophia; 
and was the first who had the honour of kneeling 
and kissing^ her hand, on account of the act of 
succession. The earl of Macclesfield recommend- 
ed him warmly to her highness. Mr. Toland staid 
there five or six weeks, and at his departure, their 
highnesses the electress dowager, and the elector, 
presented him with several gold medals, as a 
princely remuneration for the book he had writ- 
ten about the succession, in defence of their title 
and family. Her highness condescended to give 
him likewise portraits of herself, the elector, the 
young prince, and of her majesty the queen of 
Prussia, done in oil colours. The earl of Mac- 
,clesfield, on his return, waited on the king at I^on- 



don, and presented Mr. Toland, who had the ho- 
nour of kissing his majesty's hand. 

The parhament was dissolved 11th November, 
and a new one summoned to meet the 30th De- 
cember. The Tory party appeared horribly afraid 
that Mr. Toland would obtain a seat in the ensu- 
ing parliament, and circulated a report that he was 
to be returned for Blechingley in Surry, a borough 
in the interest of Sir Robert Clayton. Mr. To- 
land, who had no intention whatever of this kind, 
contradicted the report, by an advertisement in 
the Postman. Even this harmless act could not 
pass without censure, but gave occasion to an ano- 
nymous author to publish a pamphlet, entitled, 
Modesty 3IistaJeen; or a Letter to Mr. Toland^ 
upon his Declining to Appear in the Ensuing Par- 

On the opening of parliament, Mr. Toland pub- 
lished his Paradoxes of State, grounded chiefly 
on his majesty's princely, pious, and most gracious 

Soon after, he published Reasons for Address- 
ing his Majesty to invite into England, the Elec- 
tress Dowager, and the Electoral Prince of Hano- 
ver; and for attainting and abjuring the jjrc- 
tended Prince of Wales, (Sfc. This ^\ as answered 
by Mr. Luke Milburn. But, Mr. Toland had the 
high gratification to see parliament attend to his 
suggestions. An act was accordmgly passed for 
the attainder of the pretended Prince of Wales- 


and another, for the better security of his majesty's 
person, and the protestant succession, &c. and 
enjoining an oath of abjuration of the Pretender. 
Thus, instead of an enemy to religion, or civil liber- 
ty, we find him strenuously recommending the most 
efficacious measures for the preservation of both. 

Some difference having arisen betw^een the lower 
and upper house of convocation, on a point of ju- 
risdiction, respecting their proceedings against 
Christianity not Mysterious, the year before, a pa- 
per war commenced between them, and several 
pamphlets appeared on both sides. Those writ- 
ten by the partizans of the upper house, were fa- 
vourable to Mr. Toland ; but, those written in fa- 
vour of the lower house, there verse. He, there- 
fore, seized this opportunity of publishing his Viti- 
dicius Liberius; being a vindication of his Chris- 
tianity not Mysterious; — a full and clear account 
of his religious and civil principles; and, a justifi- 
cation of those called Whigs and Common-tvealth 
men, against the mis-representations of all their 

After the pviblication of this book, Mr. Toland 
went to the courts of Hanover and Berlin, where 
he was very graciously received by the Princess 
Sophia, and the queen of Prussia. He was often 
admitted to their conversation; and wrote some 
pieces, which he presented to her majesty. There 
he wrote, also, aa account of the courts of Priissia 
and Hanover. 


On his return to England, 1704, he published 
several philosophical letters ; three of which he in- 
scribed to the queen of Prussia, under the desig- 
nation of Sere7ia. 

1st, The Origin and Force of Prejudices. 

2d, The History of the Soul's Immortality 
among the Heathens. 

3d, The Origin of Idolatry, and Reasons of 

4th, A Letter to a Gentleman in Holland, shelv- 
ing Spinoza s System of Philosophy to he without 
Principle or Foundation. 

5th, Moiion essential to Matter; in answer to 
some Hemm-ks, hy a noble Friend, on the confuta- 
tion of Spinoza. Mr. Toland informs vis, that the 
queen of Prussia was pleased to ask his opinion, 
respecting the svibjects treated of, in the three let- 
ters inscribed to her. 

These letters were animadverted on, by Mr. 
Wotten, in a pamphlet, entitled. Letters toEusehia. 

At the same time, he published an English 
translation of the Life of JEsop, by Monsieur De 
Meziriac, and dedicated it to Anthony Collins, Esq. 

In 1705, he published the following pieces. 

1st, Sociniauism truly stated, ^c. 

2d, An Account of the Courts of Prussia and 
Hanover, dedicated to the diike of Somerset. 

3(1, 7V<e Ordinances, Statutes and Privileges, of 
the Royal Academy at Berlin, Translated from 
the original. 


The same year, Cotinsellor Pooley, an4 Dr. 
Drake, wrote the Memorial of the Clmrch of J^n- 
glfxnd, >vith a view to influence the ensuing parlia- 
mentary election, by representiog the "Whig adjrii- 
nistration, as plotting the ruin of the Church. 

By the direction of Mr. Harley, secretai'y of 
state, this memorial was answered? by Mr. To- 
land, in a pamphlet, entitled, " The Memorial of 
the State of England, in Vindicmiioti of the Quefi^f 
the Church, and the Administration: deigned to 
rectify the mutual mistakes cf Protestants; and to 
unite their affections, in defence of our Religion 
and Liberty." On the suggestiou of Mr. Harley, 
who was one of Mr. Toland's patrons and bene? 
factors, this treatise was published, without the 
author's name. 

This pamphlet was answered, by Thomas Raur 
lins, Esq. who made a, direct attack on the duke 
of Marlborough's, aud Mr. Harley's conduct. Mr. 
William Stephens, rector of Sutton, in Surry, bei^g 
found the publisher; and, refusing to bear evidence 
against Mr. Raulins, was sentenced to stand on 
tlie pillory; but, the senteijce was afterwards rer 

Mr. Toland was directed by Mr. Harley to an- 
swer this pamphlet, which he did; but, for some 
reasons, now unknown, the design was dropped, 
after part of Mr. Toland's answer had been printed. 

Mr. Harley having found among his manus- 
cripts, a philippic against France, m ritten in ,La- 


tin, by one Cardinal Matthew, in 1-^14, gave it to 
JMr. Toland, who edited it, both in English and 
Latin: along with other violent expressions, 
it contains the following, Gallornm Ungues non 
resecandos, sed penitus evellendos esse; i. e. That 
the nails of the French were not to be pared, but 
torn out by the roots. 

Soon after, he published The Elector Palatins 
Declaration, lately published in favour of his pro- 
testant subjects, &c. This Mr. Toland did, at the 
particular request of theelec tor Palatine's minister. 

In the spring, Mr. Toland went to Germany, 
and visited Berlin, Hanover, Dusseldorp, Vieima, 
and Prague in Bohemia. At Dusseldorp, he was 
most graciously received by his electoral highness, 
who, in consideration of the English pamphlet, 
published by him, presented him with a gold chain 
and medal, besides a hundred ducats. From 
Prague, he returned to Holland, where he staid 
till 1710. 

In Holland, he published the follo'wing disser- 
tations, viz. 

1st, Adeisidoemon, sive Titus Livitis a Snpersti- 
tione Vindicatus, ^-c. 

2do, Orig?ies Judaica?, ^^c. In the course of 
this dissertation, he animadverted on Hi(ctiits' De- 
monstralio Evangclica. He ridicules Huetius for 
affirming that several eminent persons recorded in 
the Old Testament are allegorized in the heathen 
mythology; and particlnarjy Moses under the 


names of Bacch^is, Typho, Silenus, Priapus, and 
Adonis. Though Mr. Toland was unquestion- 
ably in the right, Huetius was greatly incensed, 
and expressed his resentment in a letter, first pub- 
lished in the Journal of Trevoux, and afterwards 
printed by Abbot Tilladet. It will be recollect- 
ed, that these are the two gentlemen, who endea- 
voured to convict Mr. Toland of the high and un- 
pardonable crime, of not directing his parents to 
propagate him legitimately. 

In 1709, he published at Amsterdam, a second 
edition of his Philippic against France. 

In 1 7 1 0,he published, without his name, a French 
pamphlet, relating to Dr. Sacheverell. 

While in Holland, he had the good fortune to 
get acquainted with prince Eugene of Savoy, who 
gave him several marks of his generosity. 

After his return to England in 1711, he publish- 
ed the Humours of Epsom ; and, at the same time, 
a translation of four of Pliny's Letters. 

Inl712, he published Imo. A Letter against Po- 
pery, written by Sophia Charlotte, late queen of 
Prussia. 2do. Her Majesty's reasons for creating 
the electoral prince of Hanover a peer of that realm. 
3tio. The Grand Mystery laid open; namely, by 
dividing the protestants, to weaken the Hanove- 
rian succession, &c. 

About the same time, he published anew edition 
of Cicero's works, an undertaking for which he was 
eminently qualified. This work alone, is suffi- 


cietit to tottsmit Mt. Toknd's name to posterity. 
It is extremely scarce, he having printed only a 
few copies, at his own charge, to serve his particn- 
lar friends. 

In 1713, he published An Appml to Honest Peo- 
ple, agaittst wicked Priests," &fc. And much about 
the same time, a pamphlet on the necessity of de- 
iholishing Dunkirk. 

In 1714, he published a pamphlet relative to the 
restoration of Charles the 2d, by General Monk; 
also, a collection of letters, written by the general, 
relating to the same subject. 

The same year, he jmblished The Fkneral Elogy 
of her royal idghMSs the late Princess Sophia, &c. 
and much about the same time, JReasonsfor ruttu- 
rnlizing tlie Jews iu Great Britain, &c. This he 
dedicated rather ironically, to the archbishops and 
bishops of both provinces. 

In 1717, he published the Stale Anatomy of 
Great Britain. This was answered by Dr. Fid- 
des, chaplain to the earl of Oxford, and by Daniel 
De Foe. In reply, Mr. Toland published the se- 
cond part of the State Anatomy. 

In 17 17, he published Nazarenus. In this trea- 
tise, according to Mr. Toland, the original plan of 
Christianity was this : " That the Jews, though as- 
sociating with the converted Gentiles, and ac- 
knowledging them for brethren, were still to ob- 
serve their own laws; and that the Gentiles, \\]m 
ibecame so far Jews as to acknowledge one God, 

1.1 FE OF TOT.AND. 3u 

were not, howevi^r, to observe the Jewish law : 
but, that both of thejnwere to be, ever after, united 
into one body or fellowship, in that part of Chris- 
tianity particularly, which, better than all the pre- 
parative purgations of the philosophers, requires 
the sanctification of the spirit, and the renovation 
of the inward man ; and wherein alone, the Jew 
and the Gentile; the civilized and the barbarian; 
the free-rnan and the bond-slave, are all one in 
Christ, however differing in other circumstances." 
This treatise was animadverted on, by Messrs. 
Mangey and Paterson; and by Dr. Brett. 

This year, he also edited a pamphlet, called The 
Jiesiiny of Rome; or, the speedy and final des- 
truction of the Pope, founded partly on natural 
and political reasons, and partly on the famous 
prophecy of St. Malachy, archbishop of Armagh, 
in the thirteenth century, &;c. 

In the beginning of 1720, Dr. Hare pnblislied 
the fourth etition of his Visitation Sermon, and 
animadverted on Christianity not Mysterious ; as- 
serting tliat Mr. Toland often quoted Mr. Locke, 
to support notions he never dreamed of. As this 
assertion was totally groundless, the doctor had. 
Mr. Locke and Mr. Toland on his back at once. 
Finding his ground untenable, he published the 
following advertisement in the J^aily Courant. 

"Just published, the fourth edition of The 
Dean of Worcester's Visitation Sermon. In the 

]> -2 


postscript, line ninth from the end, instead of, is 
often quoted, read, makes great use of Mr. Locke's 


" London, February 1st, 1720." 

Thus the reverend doctor had the contemptible 
meanness to shelter a bare-faced falsehood, under 
the subterfuge of a typographical error. 

This pitiful conduct of Dr. Hare, produced 
from Mr. Toland, a pamphlet, entitled, A Short 
Essay on the Art of Lying ; or, a Defence of a Re- 
verend Dignitary, who suffers under the Persecution 
of Mr. Toland for a Lapsus Calami. 

About this time, he published Pantheisticon; 
sive formula ceUhrandcB Sodalitatis Socraticte, &c. 
Some of his enemies pretended this tract was writ- 
ten to ridicule the Romish and episcopal liturgies; 
and, as it was made up of responses, lessons, a 
philosophical canon, and a litany; and the whole 
written both in red and black ink, their opinion 
is perhaps well founded. Mr. Toland was, at all 
times, a rigid advocate for the primitive apostolic 
simplicity of the christian religion. This tract, 
instead of being a proof of our author's hetero- 
doxy, is so far the reverse, that had John Knox 
been alive, I am persuaded, he would have thank- 
ed him for it. To this treatise, he {iretixed the 
name of Janus Junius Eoganesius, which, though 
it was his real christian name, and the name of 
his country, was as good a disguise as he could 
have invented. 


A bill having been introduced into the House 
of Lords, to make the parliament of Ireland more 
dependent on that of Great Britain, Mr. Toland 
"wrote a treatise in opposition to that measure. 

Some time after he published a book, entitled 
Tetradymus: containing Imo. Hodegus; or, the 
pillar of cloud and fire that guided the Israelites 
in the wilderness, not miraculous, &c. 2do. Cly- 
dophorus; or the Exoteric and Esoteric philoso- 
phy of the ancients, &c. 3tio. Hypatia; or, the 
history of a most beautiful, most virtuous, most 
learned, and every way accomplished young lady, 
who was torn to pieces by the clergy of Alexan- 
dria, to gratify the pride, emulatioh and cruelty, 
of their archbishop Cyril, commonly, but, unde- 
servedly styled St. Cyril. 4to. Mangoneutes; or, 
a defence of Nazarenus, addressed to the right 
reverend John, lord bishop of London, against 
his lordship's chaplin Dr. Mangey, his dedicator 
Mr. Paterson, and the reverend Dr. Brett, once 
belonging to his lordship's church. 

In this last address to the bishop of London, 
Mr. Toland, states the injurious treatment he had 
received from Dr. Hare at considerable length • 
and concludes with the following account of his 
own conduct and sentiments : " Notwithstand- 
ing, says he, the imputations of heresy and infide- 
lity, so often published by the clergy, as lately, in 
the vauntingest manner, by one not unknown to 
you; the whifling and the ignorant being ever the 


most arrogant and confident, I assure your lord- 
ship, that the purity of religion, and the prospe- 
rity of the state have ever been my chiefest aim. 
Civil liberty, and religious toleration, as the most 
desirable things in this world; the most condu- 
cing to peace, plenty, knowledge, and every kind 
of happiness, have been the two main objects of 
all my writings. But, as by liberty, I did not 
mean licentiousness ; so, by toleration, I did not 
mean indifference, and much less an approbation 
of every religion I could suffer. To be more par- 
ticular, I solemnly profess to your lordship, that 
the religion taught by Jesus Christ and his apos- 
tles, but not as since corrupted by the subtrac- 
tions, additions, and other alterations of any par- 
ticular man, or company of men, is that which I 
infinitely prefer before all others. I do over and 
over again, repeat Christ and his apostles, exclu- 
sive of either oral traditions, or the determinations 
of synods, adding, what I declared before to tlie 
world, that religion, as it came from their hands, 
was no less plain and pure, than useful and in- 
structive ; and that, as being the business of every 
man, it was equally understood by every body. 
For Christ did not institute one religion for the 
learned and another for the vulgar," kr. 

In 1721, Dr. Hare published a book, entitled 
Script t/re Truth vindicated, from the misrepre-' 
sentatiotis of the Lord bishop of Bangor, &c. ; and, 
ill the preface, takes occasion to obisotve, that 


none are prevented from settling in Carolina, but 
down-right atheists, such as Mr. Toland; and 
most vmjustly asserts, that in some copies of the 
Pantheisticon, he inserted a prayer to the follow- 
ing effect : Omnipotens et sempiterne JSacche ; qui 
humanam societatem tnaxime in hibendo constituisti ; 
concede propitius, ut istormn capita, qui hesterna 
compotatione gravantur, hodiema leventur; idque 
fiat per pocula poadorum. Amen. i. e. "Omnipo- 
tent and everlasting Bacchus, who foundesthuman 
society principally by drinking, propitiously gi-ant, 
that the heads of those which are made heavy by 
yesterday's drinking, may be lightened by this 
day's, and that by bumper after bumper. Amen." 
M. Maizeuz, a Frenchman, and Mr. Toland's 
biographer, assures us, that Mr. Toland never 
dreamed of such a matter. He assures us, that 
he knows the author, but forbears to mention him, 
on account of his profession. Indeed, there can 
Jiardly be a doubt, that Dr. Hare himself was the 

The same year, Mr. Toland publisijed Letters 
from tti/e Earl of Shaftesbury to the Lord Viscount 
Moleswortlt ^ as also, two letters written by Sir 
George Cropsley. 

Mr. Toland had these four years past lived at 
Putney, whence he could conveniently go to Lon- 
don, and return the same day. Being in town 
about the middle of December, he found himself 
very dl, and an ignorant physician, by his impro- 


per prescriptions, very much increased his disor- 
der. But he made a shift to return to Putney, 
%vhere he grew better, and entertained some hopes 
of recovery. In the interval, he wrote two trea- 
iiaenhs, the one, entitled, Physic icithout Physicans; 
and the other. The Danger of mercenai-y Parlia- 
ments. This last, he did not live to finish; for, he 
died on Sunday the 11th March, 1722, about four 
o'clock in the morning. He behaved himself 
throughout the whole course of hie sickness, with 
the greatest calmness and fortitude, and looked 
on death without the least perturbation of mind t 
biding farewell to those about him, and telling 
them, he ivas going to fall asleep. 

A few days before his death, he composed the 
following Epitaph: 

H. S. E. 


Qui, in Hibernia prope Deriam natus. 

In Scotia et Hibernia Studmt, 

Quod Oxonii quoque fecit Adolescens; 

Atque Genna?iia plus scmel petita, 

Tirikm cirea Londinum transegit cetatetn. 

Omnium Literarum excultor 

Ac Linguarum plus decern Sciens. 

Veritatis Propugnator 

Liber tatis Assert or: 

Nullius autem Seclutor, aut Cliens, 

Nee minis, ncc malis est injiexus, 

Quin, quam elegit, viam perageret, 


Utili honestum anteferens. 

SpirUus cum ^thereo Patre, 

A. Quo prodiit olim, conjungitur: 

Corpus item riaturce cedens. 

In Materuo grtemio reponitar. 

Ipse vero ceternum est resitrrecturus, 

A-t Idemfuturus Tolandtis nunquam. 

Natus Nov. 30, 1670. 

Ccetera ex Scriptis pete, 


" Here lies John Toland, born in Ireland, near 
" Londonderry, who in his youth studied in Scot- 
" land, Ireland, and at Oxford; and, having re- 
" peatedly visited Germany, spent his manhood 
" about London. He was a cultivator of every 
" kind of learning ; and skilled in more than ten 
" languages : the champion of truth, and the as- 
" sertor of liberty, but the follower or client of 
" none; nor was he ever swayed, either by me- 
" naces or misfortunes, from pursuing the path 
" which he chalked out to himself, uniformly pre- 
" ferring his integrity to his interest. His spirit 
" is re-united to his heavenly Father, from whom 
" it formerly proceeded ; his body, yielding to na- 
" ture, is also re-placed in the bosom of the earth. 
*' He himself will undoubtedly arise to eternal life, 
" but will never be the same Toland. Born 30th 
" November, 1670. Seek the rest from his writ- 
" ings." 


Mr. Tolanci'fs belief, that he tcill never he the same 
Toland, after the Tesun-ectioii, is not heterodox, 
though his enemies hare not failed to represent it 
in this light. The gospel uniformly declares, that 
a considerable change will take place in the human 
body at the resurrection, and that we shall all be 
changed. Mr. Toland must, therefore, not be con- 
sidered as here denying his absolute future identity, 
but merely as alluding to that partial change which 
the scriptures so clearly point out. 

Hitherto I hare almost implicitly followed M. 
Mtiizeuz, and, as far as the nature of this abstract 
would admit, have adopted his own words, being 
w'tAX aware, that by so doing, no body will accuse 
me of partiality to Mr. Tolaud. M. Maizeuz was 
a Frf nchnian, a friend to popery and arbitrary 
power; he did not undertake our author's bio- 
graphy voluntarily, nor from any motive of res- 
pect. On the contrary, when requested by a 
friend of our author s (who was at the same time 
the Frenchman's benefactor), to undertake the 
task, he positively declined it. A second request, 
more peremptory than the first, had the desired 
eft'ect. M. Maizeuz has not, in one single instance, 
made the slightest allusion to the con)plexion of 
tlie times in which Mr. Toland lived, without a 
knowledge of which, it is impossible duely to ap- 
preciate either his principles, or the scope of his 
writings. He seems, however, to have been under 
great obligutions to his benefactor, and knowing 


him to be a friend of our deceased author, was 
obliged to confine himself to matters of fact. But 
what Avill place the conduct of M. Maizeuz in a 
very favourable point of view, is, that when Mr. 
Toland's works were printed at London, in 172G, 
M. Maizeuz not only withheld his own name from 
his life, but also that of the gentleman at, whose 
request it was written. 

This gentleman having been guilty of these un- 
pardonable omissions, I shall endeavour, as con- 
cisely as possible, to remedy the defect, and shall 
principally confine myself to Mr. Toland's Chris- 
tianity not Mysterious, which has made so much 
moise in the world. 

Previous to the Reformation, the infallibility of 
the Pope in spiritual, and the divine right of kings 
in temporal, matters, were carried to the very 
highest pitch; and the servile, ignorant, and de- 
based state, to which mankind were reduced, by 
the operation of these abominable doctrines, is too 
well known to need any comment. At the dawn 
of the Reformation, a better order of tilings began. 
The scriptures were read and studied, and the 
monstrous impositions, for more than ten centuries 
practised on mankind, clearly displayed. JNeither 
the infallibility of the Pope, nor the divine right 
of kings, could stand the criterion either of reason 
or revelation, and both were discalrded. After a 
long stroggh', during more than a ceittury and a 
half, our civil and re';j?,ious liberties v/eve efiects- 


ally secured by the glorious Revolution, That the 
whig interest placed King William on the throne; 
and that the tory-party, to a man, were attached 
to the cause of the abdicated monarch, are facts 
that can admit of no dispute. From the date of 
the Revolution, the tories, as far as regarded state 
affairs, were obliged to alter their tone. To have 
declaimed in support of the indefeasible hereditary 
right of kings, would have been a direct insult to 
King William, who had encroached on this right, 
and might have been construed high-treason. The 
toleration act secured all denominations in the 
free exercise of their religion. This was another 
source of discontent to the tories, who had uni- 
formly aimed at religious and exclusive supremacy. 

That the tories thwarted King William's mea- 
sures, meditated the restoration of the abdicated 
monarch, and shook the stability of the protestant 
succession for more than half a century, needs no 
demonstration. Their absurd tenets, respecting 
civil and religious tyranny. Mere founded on a 
perversion of the sacred records. With the ex- 
ception of the whig-party, all ranks of mankind 
were kept in profound ignorance of the di\ine 
writings, under pretence of mysttiy and unintelli- 
gibility. By these means the bulk of mankind 
were blindly led, without using their senses or 
their reason. 

To drive arbitrary power from this last resource, 
Mr. TolanA wrote Christianity not Mysterious. 


In this treatise he clearly proves, that man's reason 
was not given him, in order to lie dormant. That 
if he was allowed to judge for himself in the ordi- 
nary occurrences of life, and respecting the phae- 
nomena of nature, he cannot be denied the same 
privilege, as far as respects matters of religion, and 
the principles of Christianity. Mr. Toland was 
well aware, that if he could once induce mankind 
to read the scriptures Avith impartial attention, 
no man's interpretation on earth could mislead 

Howe f/er convenient this mode of conduct might 
be for the interests of true religion, it was, in fact, 
a death blow to popery, which had reared its 
monstrouk fabric on ignorance, mystery and super- 
stition. The gospel was, by the popish priests, as 
carefully kept from the vulgar, as if it had con- 
tained the antidote, instead of the means of their 
salvation. When Mr. Toland wrote, not one- 
fourth of the papulation of the British empire 
were allowed to read the scriptures; and, even at 
the present day, nearly five millions are denied this 
important privilege. 

Had Christianity been so intricate and mysteri- 
ous, as designing and interested men have repre- 
sented it, certainly the twelve apostles were very 
ill calculated to propagate the gospel. In many 
popish countries, not one of them would have been 
considered qualified to read or explain a single 
verge of it. That the conduct of Christ, and of his 


pretended vicegerents, has been widely different, I 
readily admit; but the simple question is this, 
" Whether Christ was, or was not, best qualified 
ta judge of the nature of the christian system, 
and the instruments best calculated to promote it?" 

When we have duly weighed Mr, Toland's defi- 
nition of the word Mystery, Christianity not Mys- 
terious, means no more than Christimdty iutelli- 
gible to all Christians. Tliis was certainly sap- 
ping the very foundations of papal and tyrannical 
power, by asserting that every christian had a right 
to read and understand the gospel. That the 
treatise was considered, by the adherents of the ab- 
dicated monarch, as having this tendency, is evi- 
dent from this circumstance, that Mr. Toland s 
antagonists were, to a man, advocates for arbitrary 
power, and religious intolerance. The church of 
Scotland has, at all times, been forward to s;tem 
the torrent of impiety and irreligion; but, it is 
not known that any one of that venerable body, 
ever objected to Mr. Toland's orthodoxy ; a cir- 
cumstance which could not have happened, had 
his writings been hostile to true religion. On this 
head, I shall only add, that the same party which 
persecuted Mr. Toland, would have treated King 
William, and the qhurch of Scotland, with as little 
ceremony, had thfy stood as unprotected as the 
ilbintrious subject of these memoirs. 

Mr. Toland's Amyntor, and his Pantheisticov, 
have been already taken notice of. The first 


proved that King Charles was not the author of 
Icon Basilike; and the last is supposed to contain 
a sarcastical allusion to the Romish and episcopal 
liturgies: — The torrent of abuse consequently 
poured on him, by the tories, is no more than might 
have been naturally anticipated. 

His biographer has descended so low as to in- 
form us, that Mr. Toland was sometimes under 
pecuniary difficulties, and as running in debt for 
his wigs, kc. But, as this was a charge of the 
same nature with his deism, atheism, mahomet- 
anism, pantheism, illegitimacy, &c. I shall not 
Retain the reader with a confutation of it. 


It is difficult to determine in what department 
of literature this great man most excelled. He 
s£ems to have been a kind of universal genius. — 
In controversy he was irresistible; and, at the 
very moment when liis adversaries thought they 
had confuted him, they found they had only fur- 
nished materials for their own degradation. — He 
was sliilled in more than ten languages, and the 
Celtic was his native tongue. — Educated in the 
grossest superstition of popery, at the early age of 
sixteen, he became a convert to presbyterianism, 
and remained steadily attached to it, till the hour 
of his death. — Popery, prelacy, and arbitrary 
power, h& utterly detested ; and, on every occa^^ion, 


resisted them to the utmost of his power. To 

the Revolution, in 1689, he was a warm and steady 
friend. — Real and unaffected piety, and the church 
of Scotland, which he thought bore the greatest 
lesemblance to the primitive simplicity of the 
apostolic times, always found, in him, an able and 
inflexible advocate. — Though his pen was his es- 
tate, yet he never prostituted it to serve the inte- 
rest of his party at the expence of truth. — There 
was interwoven, with his whole frame, a high de- 
gree of stubborn and inexorabje integrity, ^^ hich 
totally unfitted him for the tool of a party; and, 
like poor Yorick, he invariably called things by 
their right names, regardless of the consequences. 
— There was not, in his whole composition, one 
single grain of that useful quality which Swift calls 
-modern discretion. Like an impregnable rock in 
tjie midst of the tempestuous ocean, he stood im- 
moveable against all his assailants; and his calm 
dignified answers, in reply to their most virulent 
and unmerited calumnies, equally characterize the 
hero, the philosopher, and the christian, — To his 
transcendant literary abilities e\ en the most iuve- 
terate of his enemies have paid the most ample 
tribute of respect. His Latin compositions, in 
point of classical purity, have not been excelled, 
even by Cicero himself. To him the Celtic tribes 
are highly indebted for that unequalled produc- 
tion, the Hisiory of the JDr aids. —Vxakerton, as 
often as his Gothic mania led him to controvert 


any of Toland's positions respecting the Druids 
and Celts, is obliged to shrink from the contest.— 
Dr. Smith, with a non-candour, for which, even 
his best friends must blush, has borrowed the 
whole of Toland's materials for his History of the 
Druids, not only without making any acknow- 
ledgment, but with a studied and deliberate de- 
sign to conceal the plagiarism. Wherever Mr. 
Toland enters into detail. Dr. Smith is concise; 
and wherever Mr. Toland is concise. Dr. Smith 
enters into detail. The important History of 
Abaris, the Hyperborean Priest of the Sun, is dis- 
missed by Dr. Smith in a few words, whereas, in 
Mr. Toland's history, it takes up several pages.— 
In the space of twenty-five years, Mr. Toland pub- 
lished about one hundred different works, some of 
them on the most intricate subjects, but the far 
greater part on controversial matters, in opposition 
to those who wished to restore the abdicated mo- 
narch, and re-establish arbitrary power and religi- 
ous intolerance. As it was the first, so it was the 
last effort of his pen, to render civil government 
consistent with the unalienable rights of mankind, 
and to reduce Christianity to that pure, simple, 
and unpompous system, which Christ and his 
apostles established. It has often been objected 
to John Knox, as well as Mr. Toland, that he was 
a stubborn ill-bred fellow. But, when the Augsean 
Stable of civil and religious corruptions is to be 
cleansed, the Herculean labour requires Hercu- 



lean instruments. Perhaps, the delicacy and re- 
finement of the present day, might have shrunk 
from the arduous task, and left the desirable work 
not only unfinished, but unattempted. Toland's 
fame has triumphed over all opposition, and will 
be transmitted to the latest posterity. That very 
party which branded him, when alive, Avith the 
epithets of atheist, infidel, deist, mahometan, &c. 
have now discovered, that he was only tinctured 
with socinianism ; and, in less than fifty years, the 
same party will discover that he was a rigid pres- 
byterian, — peace to his manes. — It were ardently 
to be wished, that the British empire, in all great 
and critical emergencies, may possess many chris- 
tians like John Toland. 







Some men, my lord, from a natural greatness 
of soul, and others from a sense of the want of 
learning in themselves, or the advantages of it in 
others, have many times liberally contributed to- 
wards the advancement of letters. - But when 
they, whose excellent natural parts are richly cul- 
tivated by sound literatiire, undertake the protec- 
tion of the muses, writers feel a double encourage- 
ment, both as they are happily enabled to perfect 
their studies, and as their patrons are true judges 
of their perfonnances, "Tis from this considera- 
tion alone (abstracted, my lord, from all that you 
have already done, or may hereafter deserve from 
your country, by an unshaken love of liberty) that 
1 presume to acquaint your lordship wifh a design 
wliich I form'd several years ago at Oxford, and 
which I have ever since kept in view; coikcting, 
as occasion presented, whatever might any way 



tend to the advantage or perfection of it. 'Tis to 
write The History of the Druids, containing an 
account of the ancient Celtic religion and litera- 
ture; and concerning which I beg your patience 
for a little while. Tho' this be a subject that will 
be naturally entertaining to the curious in every 
place, yet it does more particularly concern the 
inhabitants of antient Gaule (now France, Flan- 
ders, the Alpine regions, and Lombardy), and of 
all the British islands, whose antiquities are here 
partly explain'd and illustrated, partly vindicated 
and restor'd. It will sound somewhat oddly, at 
first hearing, that a man born in the most north- 
ern peninsula* of Ireland, shou'd undertake to set 

* This peninsula is /«w-£og'aJ'n,TulgarlyJBnw.O«c<rn, in whose 
isthmus stands the city of Londonderry, itself a peninsula, and, 
if the tradition Be true, originally a famous grove and school of 
the Druids. Hence comes the very name Doire, corruptly pro- 
Bounced Derry, which in Irish signifies a grove, particularly of 
oaks. The great Columba changed it into a college for Monks 
(who in his time were retir'd Laymen, that lived by the labour 
of their hands) as most commonly the sacred places of the hea. 
thens, if pleasant or commodious, were converted to the like use 
by the christians after their own manner. This Derry is the Ro. 
ieretum or Campus roborum *, mentioned by Bede in his Eccle» 
siastical Hiftory : but not Ardmacha, now Armagh, in the same 
province of Ulster, as many have erroneously conceived ; nor 
yet Durramh, uow Durrougk, in that of Leinster, as some have 
no less groundlesly fancied, among whom Archbishop Lusher. 

* Fecerat antem (Columba) prins quam in Britanniam veniret monastc. 
rium nobile in Hibernia, quod a copia roborum Dearmach lingua Scotorcin, 
hoc est cmnpvt ruborum) vocatur, tilst. EccUt, W. 5. tcp. 4. 


the antiquities of Gaule in a clearer light than any 
one has hitherto done. But when 'tis consider'd, 
that, over and above what he knows in common, 
■relating to the Druids, with the learned of the 
French nation (whose works he constantly reads 
with uncommon esteem), he has also certain other 
advantages, which none of those writers have ever 
had : when this, I say, is consider'd, then all the 
wonder about this affair will instantly cease. Yet 
let it be still remember'd, that whatever accom- 
plishment may consist in the knowledge of lan- 
guages, no language is really valuable, but as far 
as it serves to converse with the living, or to learn 

JDeitrmaeh is compounded of Dair, an oak, and the aiicient 'word 
Mach (now Machaire) a. field. They who did not know so much, 
bare Imagined it from the mere sound to be Armaghf which, far 
from Campus roborum, signifies the height or mount of Macha, 
(surnamed Mongruadh or redhair'd) a queen of Ireland, and the 
only woman that ever sway'd the sovereign sceptre of that king, 
dom. But Armagh never was a monastery founded by Columba, 
who, in Bede's time, was called Coluim.cille*, as he's by the Irish 
to this day : whereas it was from the monasteries of Derry and 
I-colmkill Cwhich last, though the second erdcted, became (he 
£rst in dignity) that all the other monasteries dedicated to Go> 
lumba, whether in Scotland or Ireland, were so many colonies. 
This is attested by the just mentioned Bede+, no less than by all 
the Irish annalists since their several foundations. 

> Qui, videlicet Columba, nunc a nonnullis, composito a Cella ^ Columba 
nomine Colamcelli vocatnr. Ibid. lib. 5. eap. 10. 

t Ex quo ntroque monasterio perplurima exinde moQasteria, per discipulos 
ejus, & in Britannia & in Hibernia propagata sunt ; in quibus onioibus idem 
uionasterium insulannm, in quo ipse rcquiescit corpore, principatnm tenet. 
Jbid. lib. 3. eap. 4". 


frtmi the dead ; and therefore, were that knowledge 
of times and things contain'd in Lapponian, which 
we draw from the Greec, and that this last were 
as barren as the first, I shou'd then study Lappo- 
nian, and neglect Greec, for all its superiority 
over most tongues in respect of sonorous pronun- 
ciation, copiousness of words, and variety of ex- 
pression. But as the profound ignorance and sla- 
very of the present Greecs does not hinder, but 
that their ancestors were the most learned, polite, 
and free of all European nations, so no revolution 
that has befallen any or all of the Celtic colonies, 
can be a just prejudice against the truly antient 
and undoubted monuments they may be able to 
furnish, towards improving or restoring any point 
of learning. Whether there be any such monu- 
ments or not, and bow iar useful or agreeable, will 
in the following sheets appear. 

II. Among those institutions which are thought 
to be ii-recoverably lost, one is that of the Druids; 
of which the learned have hitherto known nothing, 
but by some fragments concerning them out of 
the Greec and Roman authors. Nor are such 
fragments always intelligible, because never ex- 
plain'd by any of those, who were skill'd in the 
Celtic dialects, which are now principally six; 
namely Welsh or the insular British, Cornish al- 
most extinct, Armorican or French British, Irish 
the least corrupted, Manks or the language of the 
Isle of Man; and Earse or Highland Irish, spoken 


also in all the western Hands of Scotland. These, 
having severally their own dialects, are, with res- 
pect to each other and the old Celtic of Gaule, as 
the several dialects of the German language and 
Low Dutch, the Swedish, Danish, Norwegian 
and Islandic; which are all descendants of their 
common mother, the Gothic. Not that ever such 
a thing as a pure Gothic or Celtic language either 
did or cou'd exist in any considerable region with 
out dialects, no more than pure elements: but by 
such an original language is meant the common 
root and trunk, the primitive words, and especially 
the peculiar construction that runs through all 
the branches; whereby they are intelligible to 
each other, or may easily become so, but different 
from all kinds of speech besides. Thus the Celtic 
and the Gothic, which have been often taken for 
each other, are as different as Latin and Arabic. 
In like manner we conceive of the several idoms 
of the Greec language formerly, in Greece itself 
properly so call'd, in Macedonia, in Crete and the 
Hands of the Archipelago, in Asia, Rhodes, part 
of Italy, in Sicily, and Marseilles ; and at this time 
of the Sclavonian language, whose dialects not 
only prevail in Russia, Poland, Bohemia, Carin- 
thia, and Servia, but in a great many other places, 
too tedious to recite. But of this subject we shall 
treat professedly in a dissertation*, to be annex'd 

*/f Dissertation concerning the Celtic Language and Cvlonies. 


to the work, whereof I am giving your lordship an 
account. Neither shall I in this specimen dwell 
on some things, whereof I shall principally and 
largely treat in the designed history ; I mean the 
philosophy of the Druids concerning the gods, 
human souls, nature in general, and in particular 
the heavenly bodies, their magnitudes, motions,, 
distances, and duration; whereof Csesar, Diodo- 
rus Siculus, Strabo, Pomponius Mela, and Am- 
mianus Marcellinus write more specially than 
others. These subjects, I say, will be copiously 
handled and commented in my history. In the 
mean time I do assure you, my Lord, from all au- 
thors, that no heathen priesthood ever came up to 
the perfection of the Druidical, which was far 
more exquisite than any other such system; as 
having been much better calculated to beget igno- 
rance, and an implicit disposition in the people, 
no less than to procure power and profit to the 
priests, which is one grand difference between the 
true worship and the false. The western priest- 
hood did infinitely exceed that of Zoroaster, and 
all the eastern sacred policy : so that the History 
of the Druids, in short, is the complete History of 
Priestcraft, with all its reasons and resorts; which 
to distinguish accurately from right religion, is not 
only the interest of all wise princes and states, but 
likewise does especially concern the tranquillity 
aftd happiness of every private person. I have 
used the word priestcraft here on purpose, not 


merely as being the best expression for the de- 
signed abuse, and reverse of religion, (for supersti- 
tion is only religion misunderstood) but also be- 
cause the coining of the very word was occasioned 
by the Druids: since the Anglo-Saxons having 
learnt the word dry * from the Irish and Britons 
for a magician, did very appositely call magic or 
inchantment drycrcBft-\ ; as being nothing else but 
trick and illusion, the fqurbery of priests and their 

Ill, Now, this institution of the Druids, I think 
myself, without any consciousness of vanity, much 
abler to retrieve (as having infinitely better helps 
in many respects, of which, before I have done) 
than Dr. Hj^de was to restore the knowledge of 
the ancient Persian literature and religion; which 
yet he left imperfect for want of due encouragement, 
as I have shown in the first chapter of Nazarenus. 
Fronj undoubted Celtic monuments, join'd to the 
Greec and Roman remains, I can display the order 
of their hierarchy, from the Arch-Druid down to 
the meanest of the four orders of priests. Of these 
degrees, the Arch-Druid excepted, there's little 
to be found in the classic authors, that treat of the 
Druids : but very much and very particularly, in 
the Celtic writings and monuments. For many 
reasons their history is most interesting and enter- 
taining: I mean, as on the one hand we consider 

* Pronounced as Dree in English. 
+ Dry magus, Drycraft incantatio, Mlfric. in Glossar. 



them seducing their followers, and as on the other 
hand we learn not to^be so deceiv'd. They dex- 
trously led the people blindfold, by committing no 
part of their theology or philosophy to writing, 
tho' great writers in other respects; but their dic- 
tates were only hereditarily convey'd from masters 
to disciples by traditionary poems, interpretable 
(consequently) and alterable as they shou'd see 
convenient: which is a much more effectual way, 
than locking up a book from the laity, that, one 
way or other, is sure to come first or last to their 
knowledge, and easy perhaps to be turn'd against 
the priests. The Druids, as may be seen in the 
Gth book of Caesar's Commentaries, drew the deci- 
sion of all controversies of law and equity to 
themselves, the distribution of all punishment^and 
rewards; from the poAver that was first given, or 
afterwards assumed by them, of det^mining mat- 
ters of ceremony and religion. Most terrible 
were the effects of the Druidical* excommunica- 

* If the learned reader, who knows any of the passages, or the 
unlearned reader who wants authorities for proving the following 
assertions, should wonder I do not always cite them, let it be 
known to both, that as in this specim'en I commonly touch but 
the heads of things, (and not of all things neither)so I would not 
crowd the margin with Jong passages, nor yet curtail what in my 
History shall be produced at large : and, therefore, all the follow, 
ing -citations (the original manner of writing Celtic words except, 
ed) are either samples of the quotations I shall give, or proofs of 
what I would not for a moment have suspected to be precariously 
advanced, or, finally, for the better understanding of certain mat. 


tion on any man, that did not implicitly follow 
tlieir directions, and submit to their decrees: not 
only to the excluding of private persons from all 
benefits of society, and even from society itself; 
but also to the deposing of the princes who did 
not please them, and often devoting them to des- 
truction. Nor less intolerable was their power of 
engaging the nation in war, or of making a disad- 
vantageous and dishonourable peace; while they 
had the address to get themselves exempted from 
bearing arms, paying taxes, or contributing any 
thing to the public but charms: and yet to have 
their persons S?eputed sacred and inviolable, by 
those even of the contrary side, which veneration, 
however, was not always striptly paid. These 
privileges all ur'd great numbers to enter into their 
communities, for such sodalities or fraternities 
they had ; and to take on theito the Druidical pro- 
fession, to be perfect in which, did sometimes cost 
them twenty years study. Nor ought this to seem 
a wonder, since to arrive at perfection in sophistry 
requires a long habit, as well as in juggling,^ in 
which last they were very expert: but to be mas- 
ters of both, and withal to learn the art of mana- 
ging the mob, which is vulgarly called leading the 
people by the nose, demands abundant study and 

fers which come in by way of digression or illastration. Otber. 
wise they wou'd not be necegsary in a meie specimen, tbooghia 
a fiiiisfacd work isdi^penSKble. 



IV. The children of the several kings, with - 
those of all the nobility, were committed to the 
tuition of the Druids, whereby they had an op- 
portunity (contrary to all good politics) of mould- 
ing and framing them to their own private inte- 
rests and purposes ; considering which direction 
of education, Patric, had they been a landed clergy , 
wou'd not have found the conversion of Ireland 
•so easy a task. So easy indeed it was, that the 
heathen monarch Laogirius, (who, as same assert, 
was never himself converted) and all the provin- 
cial kings, granted to every man free liberty of 
preaching and professing Christianity. So that, 
as Giraldus Cambrensis remarks, this is the only 
country of christians, where nobody was obliged 
to suffer martyrdom* for the gospel. This justice 
therefore I wou'd do to Ireland, even if it had not 
been my country, viz. to maintain that this tole- 
rating principle, this impaftinl liberty (ever since 
unexampled there as well as elsewhere, China ex-- 
cepted) is a far greater honour to it, than whatever 
thing most glorious or magnificent can be said of 

* Omnes sancti terrae istlus confessores sunt, Sf niillus marli/r;- 
quod in alio regno Christiana difficile erit invenire. Minim ita- 
que quod gens cruedelissima Sf sanguinis sdbunda, fides ab ami. 
quo fundata <Sf semper tepidissima, pro Christi ecdesia corona 
martyrii nulla. Non igitur inventus est in partibus islis, qui ec. 
desice surgenlis fundamenta sanguinis cffusione umtutaret: nou 
fuit, qui faceret hue bonum ; non fuit usque ad iwum, Topo. 
graph. Hibern. Distinct. 3, cap. 29. 


any other country in the world. Girald, on the 
contrary, (as in his days they were wont to over- 
rate martyrdom, celibacy, and the like, much 
above the positive duties of religion) thinks it a re- 
proach to the Irish, That none of their Saints ce- 
mented the foundations of the growing church ivitfi 
their Mood, all of them being confessors, (says he,) 
and not one able to boast of the crotvn of martyrdom. 
But who sees not the vanity and absurdity of this 
charge? It is blaming the princes and people for 
their reasonableness, moderation and humanity; 
as it is taxing the new converts for not seditiously 
provoking them to persecute, and for not madly 
running themselves to a voluntary death, which 
was the unjustifiable conduct of many elsewhere 
in the primitive times of Christianity. 'Tis on 
much better grounds, tho' with a childish and nau- 
seous jingle, that he accuses the Irish clergy of his 
own time : and so far am I from being an enemy to 
tlie clergy, that I heartily wish the like could not 
be said of any clergy, whether there, or liere, or 
elsewhere, from that time to this. Well then: 
what is it? They are pastors, (says he)*, who seek 
not to feed, but to be fed: Prelates, who desire not to 
profit, but to preside: Bishops, who embrace not the 
nature, but the name; not the burden, but the bravery 

* Sunt em'm pastores, qui non pascere qmerunt, sed pasci: 
sunt prceiati, qui non'predesse cupiunt, sed prceesse : mntepiscQ~ 
pi, qui non omen, sed nomenj non onus, sed honor em ampleettin^ 
tur. Id. Ibid. 


of their profession. This, my lord, I reckon to be 
no digression from ray subject, since what little 
opposition their happen 'd to be in Ireland to 
Christianity, Avas wholly made by the Dniids, or 
at their instigation : and that when they perceiv'd 
this new religion like to prevail, none came into it 
speedier, or made a more advantageous figure in 
it, than they. The Irish, however, have their mar- 
tyrologies, (lest this shou'd be objected by some 
trifler) but they are of such of their nation as suf- 
fered in other Countries, or under the heathen 
Danes in their own country, some hundreds of 
years after the total conversion of it to Christianity. 
V. Those advantages we have nam'd in the two 
last sections, and many the like articles, with tlie 
Druids pretences to work miracles, to foretel 
events by augury and otherwise, to have familiar ' 
intercourse with the gods (highly confirm'd by 
calculating eclipses) arid a thousand impostures 
of the same nature*, I can, by irrefragable autho- 
rities, set in such a light, that all of the like kind 
may to every one appear in as evident a view» 
which, as I hinted before, cannot but be very ser- 
viceable both to religion and morality. For true 
religion does not consist in cunningly devis'd 
fables, in authority, dominion, or pomp; but in 

* The heads of the two last sections, with these here mentioned, 
(though conceived in few words) will yet each make a separate 
chapter in the History ; this present specimen being chiefly ia. 
tondod for modem iustances, «9 by the sequel will aj^ear. 


spirit and in tnjth, in simplicity and social virtue, 
in a filial love and reverence, not in a servile dread 
and terror of the divinity. As the fundamental 
law of a historian is, daring to say whatever is 
true, and not daring to write any falsehood: nei- 
ther being swayed by love or hatred, nor gain'd 
by favour or interest; so he ought, of course, to 
be as a man of no time or country, of no sect or 
party, which I hope the several nations concern'd 
in this enquiry will find to be particularly true of 
me. But if, in clearing up antient rites and cus- 
toms, with the origin and institution of certain re- 
ligious or civil societies (long since extinct), any 
communities or orders of men, now in being, should 
think themselves touched, ihej ought not to im- 
■ pute it to design in the author, but to the confor- 
mity of things, if, indeed, there be any real resemb- 
lance: and, in case there be none at all, they 
should not make people apt to suspect there is, 
by ci-ying out tho' they" are not hm-t. I remem- 
ber, when complaint was made against an ho- 
nourable person*, that, in treating of the heathen 
' priests, he had whipt some christian priests on 
their backs, all the answer he made, was only ask- 
ing, W/tat inade t/iemget up there? The benefit of 
which ansAVer I claim before-hand to myself with- 
out making or needing any other apology. Yet, 
if the correspondence of any priests with heaven 

♦ Sir Robert Howard, 


be as slenderly grounded as that of the Druids, 
if their miracles be as fictitious and fraudulent, if 
their love of riches be as immoderate, if their, thirst 
after power be as insatiable, apd their exercise of 
it be as partial and tyrannical over the laity, then 
I am not only content they should be touched, 
"whether I thought of them or not, but that they 
should be blasted too, without the possibility of 
ever sprouting up again. For truth will but shine 
the brighter, the better its counterfeits are shewn : 
and all that I can do to shew my candour is, to 
leave the reader to make such applications him- 
self, seldom making any for him; since he that is 
neither clear-sighted, nor quick enough of concep- 
tion, to do so, may to as good purpose read the 
Fairy Tales as this history. 

VI. Besides this impai'tial disposition, the com- 
petent knowledge I have of the northern langua- 
ges, dead and living, (though I shall prove that no 
Druids, except such as towards their latter end 
fled thither for refuge, or that went before with 
Celtic invaders or colonies, were ever among the 
Gothic nations) I say, these languages will not a 
little contribute to the perfection of my work, for , 
a reason that may with more advantage appear in 
the book itself. But the knowledge of the ancient 
Irish, wliich I leai-nt from my childhood, and of 
the other Celtic dialects, in all v\ hich I have print- 
ed books or manuscripts (not to speak of their 
vulvar traditions), is absglutely necessary, these 


having preserved numberless monuments concern- 
ing the Druids, that never hitherto have come to 
the hands of the learned. For as the institutions 
of the Druids were formerly better learnt in Bri- 
tain, by Caesar said to be the native seat of this 
superstitious race, than in Gaule, where yet it ex- 
ceedingly flourished ; so their memory is still best 
preserved in Ireland and the highlands of Scot- 
land, comprehending the Hebridse, Hebrides, or 
Western Isles, among which is the Isle of Man, 
where they continued long after their extermina- 
tion' in Gaule and South Britain, mostly by the 
Romans, but finally by the introduction of Chris- 
tianity. Besides, that much of the Irish heathen 
mythology is still extant in verse, which gives such 
a lustre to this matter, and, of course, to the Greek 
and Roman fragments concerning the Druids, as 
could not possibly be had any other way, 

VII. Thus (to give an example in the philologi- 
cal part) the controversy among the grammarians, 
whether they should write Druis or JDruida* in 

* The Irish word for Druid is Drui, corruptly Drot, and 
more corruptly Draoi; yet all of the same sound, which in ety- 
mologies is a great matter; and in the nominative plural it is 
Druidhe, whence comes no doubt the Greek and Latin Druides; 
as Druis in the singular was formed by only adding s to Drui, 
according to those , nation's way of terminating. But as these 
■words in Irish as well as the British Drudion, are common to 
both sexes; so the Romans, according to their inflection, dis- 
tinguished Druida for a She.Druid (which sort are mentioned by 



the nominative case singular, can only be decided 
by the Irish writings, as you may see demonstrat- 
ed in the margin, where all grammatical remarks 
shall be inserted among the other notes of the his- 
tory, if they do not properly belong to the annexed 
Dissertation concerning the Celtic Languages and 
Colonies. This conduct I observe, to avoid any 
disagreeable stop or perplexity in the work itself, 
by uncouth words, or of difficult pronunciation. 
For as every thing in the universe is the svibject of 
writing, so an author ought to treat of every sub- 
ject smoothly and correctly, as well as pertinently 
and perspicuously; nor ought he to be void of or- 
nament and elegance, Avhere his matter peculiarly 
requires it. Some things want a copious style, 
some a concise, others to be more floridly, others 
to be more plainly handl'd, but all to be properly, 
methodically, and handsomely exprest. N^lect- 
ing these particulars, is neglecting, and conse- 
quently affronting the reader. Let a lady be as 
well shap'd as you can fancy, let all her features 
be faultless, and her complexion be ever so deli- 
authors) whereof the nominative plaral being Druidte, it ought 
by us to be used in that sense only : and so I conclude, that in 
our modern Latin compositions JDruides and JJruidce should 
not be confounded, as they have frequently been by the trans- 
cribers of old writings, who mislead others. We are not to be 
moved therefore by reading Druidce in any Latin author in the 
masculine gender, or in the Greek writers, who certainly used 
it so. All equivocation at least will be thus taken away. 


cate ; yet if she be careless of her person, tawdry 
in her dress, or aukward in her gale and behavior, 
a man of true taste is so far from being touched 
with the charms of her body, that he is immediate- 
ly prepossest against the beauties of her mind; 
and apt to believe there can be no order within, 
where there is so much disorder without. In my 
opinion, therefore, the Muses themselves are never 
agreeable company without the Graces. Or if, as 
your lordship's stile is remarkably strong, you 
wou'd, with Cicero *, take this simile from a man, 
you'll own ^is not enough to make him be lik'd, 
that he has well-knit bones, nerves and sinews: 
there must be likewise proportion, muscling, and 
coloring, much blood, and some softness. To re- 
late , facts without their circumstances, whereon 
depends all instruction; is to exhibit a skeleton 
without the flesh, wherein consists all comeliness. 
This I say to your lordship, not pretending to teach 
the art of writing to one, who's so fit to be my mas- 
ter; but to obviate the censures .of those, and to 
censure 'em in their turns, who not only do not 
treat of such subjects as I have now undertaken in 
a flowing and continu'd stile, but peremtorily deny 
the' fields of antiquity and criticism to be capable 
of this culture ; . and indeed as suffering under the 
drudgery of their hands, they generally become 
barren heaths or unpassable thickets ; where you 

* DfOratore, Hb. I. 


are blinded with sand, or torn with bryars and 
brambles. There's no choice of words or expres- 
sions. All is low and vulgar, or absolete and 
musty; as the Avhole discourse is crabbed, hob- 
bling, and jejune. Not that I wou'd have too 
much license taken in this respect; for though 
none ought to be slaves to any set of words, yet 
great judgement is to be employ'd in creatinganew, 
or reviving an old word: nor must there be less 
discretion in the use of figures and sentences; 
which, like embroidery and salt, are to set off and 
season, but not to render the cloth invisible, or the 
meat imeatable. To conclude this point, we are 
told by the most eloquent of men, that a profuse 
volubility *, and a sordid exility of words, are to 
be equally avoided. And now, after this digres- 
sion, if any thing that essentially relates to my 
task can be properly called one, I return to the 
Druids, who were so prevalent in Ii'elam]. that to 
this hour their ordinary word for magician is 
Druidlf, the art magic, is calld Druidify\, and 
the wand, which was one of the badges of their 
profession, the rod of Dnddism^. Among antieut 
classic authors Pliny is the most express concern- 
ing the magic of the Druids, whereof the old Irish 
and British books are full: which legerdemain, 
Or secrets of natural philosophy, as all magic i* 

* Cicero de Oratore, lib. 1. + Dntt. ^ Dntidheaclil. 
§ Slatnan DniidheaclU. 


either the one or the other, or both, we shall en- 
deavour to lay open in our history of the Druids; 
not forgetting any old author that mentions thein, 
for there's something particular to be learnt in 
every t)ne of them, as they touch different circum- 
stances. Having occasionally spoken of the wand 
or staff which every Druid carry'd in his hand, as 
one of the badges of his profession, and which in 
a chapter on this subject will be shewn to have 
been a usual thing with all pretenders to magic, 
I must here acquaint you further, tliat each of 
'em had what was commonly called the Druid's 
Egg, which shall be explain'd in the history, hung 
about his neck, inchas'd in gold. They all wore 
short hair, Avhile the rest of the natives had theirs 
very long; and, on the contrary, they wore long 
beards, while other people shav'd all theirs, but 
the upper lip. They likewise all wore long ha- 
bits; as did the Bards and the Vaids: but the 
Druids had on a white surplice, whenever they 
religiously officiated. In Ireland they, with the 
graduate Bards and Vaids, had the privilege of 
wearing six colours in their hreacans or robes, 
which wei-e the striped braccae of the Gauls, still 
worn by the Highlanders, whereas the king and 
queen might have in theirs but seven, lords and 
ladies five, governors of fortresses four, officers 
and young gentlemen of quality three, common 
soldiers two, and common people one. This sum- 
tuary law, most of the Irish historians say, Mas 


enacted under King Achains* the 1st.; tho' 
others, who will have this to be but the reviving of 
an old law, maintain it was first established by 
King Tigernjuhas. i. 

VIII. As the Druids were commonly wont to 
retire into grots, dark woods, mountains, and 
groves f, in which last they had their numerous 
schools, not without houses as some have foolishly 
dreamt, so many such places in France, Britain, and 
Ireland, do still bear their names : as Dreux, the 
place of their annual general assemby in France; 
Kerig-y-Drudion, or Druid-stones, a parish so 
call'd in Denbighshire, from a couple of their al- 
tars there still remaining. In Anglesey there is 
the village of Tre'r Driu, the town of the Druid, 
next to which is Tre'r Beirdh or Bards-town: as 
also in another place of the same island Maen-if- 
Druu, that is, the Druid's stone ; and Caer-Dreuin, 
or the city of the Druids, in Merioneth-shire. 
The places in Ireland and the Hebrides are infi- 
nite. The present ignorant vulgar, in the first of 
, the last-mention'd places, do believe, that those in- 
chanters were at last themselves inchanted by their 
apostle Patric and his disciples, miraculously con- 
fining them to the places that so bear their names ; 

* Eochaid Eudghathach. 

+ These groves for pleasure and retirement, as well as for awe 
and reverence, were different from the lurking places in forests 
and caves, into which they were forc'd when interdicted in Gaule 
and Britain. 


Aviiere they are thought to retain much power, and 
sometimes to appear, which are fancies * like the 
English notion of fairies. Thus the Druid O'Mur- 
nin inhabits the hill of Creag-a-Vanny, in Inisoen ; 
Auniusf in Benavny from him so call'd in the 
county of Londonderry, and Gealcossa J, in Geal- 
cossa's mount in Inisoen aforesaid in the county 
of Dunegall. This last was a Druidess, and her 
name is of the homerical strain, signifying Whiter 
hgg'd^. On this hill is her grave, the true in- 
chantment which confines her, and hard by is hel* 
temple; being a sort of diminutive stone-henge, 
which many of the old Irish dare not even at this 
day any way prophane. I shall discover such 
things about these temples, whereof multitudes are 
still existing, many of them entire, in the Hebrides, 
in Orkney, and on the opposite Continent; as also 
many in Wales, in Jersey and Guernsey, and some 
in England and Ireland, the most remarkable to 
be accurately describ'd and delineated in. our his'^ 
tory. I shall discover such tilings, I say, about the 
famous Egg of the Druids, to the learned hitherto 
a riddle not to speak of their magical gems and 

* Such fancies came from the hiding of the persecatedDruids, 
from the reign of Tiberius, \rho made the first law against them 
(having been discountenanced by Augustus) but strictly put in 
execution by Claudius, and the following emperors, till their 
utter extirpation by the general conrersion of the people to 

,- t Aibhne or Oibhoe. t Gealchossash. § Cnuc na Gcal- 


herbs: as also about their favourite all-heal oi* 
Misseltof, gather'd with so much ceremony by a 
priest in his white surplice, as Pliny f tells us, and 
Avith a gold pruning-knife ; as well as about the 
abstrusest parts of their philosophy and religion, 
that the like has not yet appear'd in any author, 
who has treated of them. The books of sucli 
are either bare collections of fragments, or a heap 
of precarious fables; I mean especially some 
French Avriters on this subject, as Picard, Forca- 
tulus, Guenebaut, with others of no better allay 
in Britain and Germany ; for as I admit nothing 
without good authority, so I justly expect, that, 
without as good, nothing will be admitted from me. 
IX. But, my lord, besides these Druids, the 
antient Gauls, Britons, and Irish, had another 
order of learned men, calFd Bards, whereof we 
shall sufficiently discourse in our propos'd work. 
Sardis still the Irish and Scottish word, as Bardh 
the Armoric and British. There's no difference 
in the pronunciation, tho', according to their dif- 
ferent manner of Meriting in expressing the power 
of the letters, they vary a little in the ortho- 
graphy :[:. The Bards were divided into three 

* All these heads will be so many intire chapters. 

+ Sacerdos, Candida veste cultus, arborem scandit: /dice aurea 
idemetit. Hist. Nat. Lib. 16. Cap. 44. 

X Let it be noted once for all, that, as in other tongues, so in 
Jrish and Welsh particu'arly, tand d are commonly put for each 
other, by reason of their affinity ; and that dh and gh being pro. 
BouDc'd alike in Irish; aud therefore often confounded, yet an 


orders or degrees, namely, to give an example 
now in the British dialect, as I shall give their 
turns to all the Celtic colonies, Privardh, Pos- 
vardh, and Aruyvardh: but, with regard to the 
subjects whereof they treated, they were call'd 
Prududh, or Tevluur, or Clerur; which words, 
with the equivalent Irish names, shall be explain'd 
in our history, where you'll find this division 
of the Bards well warranted. The first were 
chronologers, the second heralds, and the third 
comic or satyrical poets among the vulgar: for the 
second sort did sing the praises of great men in 
the heroic strain, very often at the head of armies, 
like him in Virgil ; 

Cretea. musarum comitem, cui carmina semper 
Et citharae cordi, numerosque intendere nervis ; 
Semper equos, atq ; arma virum, pugnasq ; canebat : 

ViRG. JEji. Lib. 9. 

And the first, who likewise accompany'd them in 
peace, did historically register their genealogies 
and atchievements. We have some proofs that 

exact writer will always have regard to the origin as well as to 
the analogy of any word : and so he'll write Druidhe, (for ex- 
ample) and not Druigke, much less Draoithe broadly and aspi. 
rately 5 nor will he use any other mispellings, tho' ever so com- 
mon in books. This is well obsery'd by an old author, who 
writing of Conia, a heathen freethinking judge of Connacht, thus 
characterizes him ; Se do rinee an choinbhlipeht ris no Druid, 
hibh: 'twas he that disputed against the Druids. These criti- 
cisms, some would say, are trifles : but fine nugae in serin 



the panegyrics of the Gallic Bards did not always 
want wit no more that flattery; and particularly 
an instance out of Atheneus, who had it from Po- 
sidonius the stoic, concerning Luernius*, a Gallic 
prince, extraordinary rich, liberal, and magnifi- 
cent. He was the father of that same Bittus, who 
was beaten by the Romans. Now this Luernius^ 
says-j- my author, " Having appointed a certain 
" day for a feast, and one of the barbarous poets 
"coming too late, met him, as he was departing; 
*' whereupon he began to sing his praises and to 
'• extol his grandeur, but to lament his own un- 
" happy delay. Luernius being delighted, call'd 
" for a purse of gold, which he threw to him, as 
" he ran by the side of his chariot: and he taking 
*' it up, began to sing again to this purpose; That 
" out of the trades his chariot Jiad plow'd on the 
"ground, sprung up gold and blessings to man- 
" kind" As some of the Gallic Bards were truly 
ingenious, so were manj of them mere quiblers : 
and among the bombast of the British and Irish 
Bards, there want not infinite instances of the true 
sublime. Their epigrams were admirable, nor do 

* Whether it be Lacmius, or as Strabo writes it Lucrius, the 
name is frequent either ■way in the antientest Irish writers, as 
Loarn, and Luire or Luighaire. 

+ AijiopuravTOf S'ttuTB ffpofleff^iav ttotj tus floimt, a^vi^tfvc-ana Twa ran gapCnoair 
woirirtiv A'^MitrQai ; Xtt( p^avTMtravTa /aet' oi^n? i^jUVEiv a.vriu mv uTresoYuv, lauTov V 
V!ro6(r,Kn on urtfixE : too'e TEp^iOiVTa Ou^ltXlov atmmi j^paa-iou, xm pilai avrca ■fta.m- 
TfS)(im ; ovEXc,uf,ov i' ekeivcv TraXiv v/xmt, Ksyovra, Jio hu th ij^im -nif ytif U^' r,c c;- 
juaT!;?iaT(i) x,!'Jnv xai tvayts-ia; atSfonrgi; ((iipii. Edit, Lxgd, lib, 4i, pag, 15'J. 

OP THE DRUms, 75 

the modern Italians equal them in conceits. But 
in stiring the passions, their elegies and lamentar 
tions far excede those of the Greecs, because they 
express nature much more naturally. These 
Bards are not yet quite extinct, there being of 
them in Wales, in the Highlands of Scotland, and 
in Ireland: nor did any country in the world 
abound like the last with this sort of men, whose 
licentious panegyrics or satyrs have not a little 
contributed to breed confusion in the Irish history. 
There were often at a time, a thousand Ollaws*, 
or graduate poets, besides a proportionable num- 
ber of inferior rhymers, who all of 'em liv'd most 
of the year on free cost: and, what out of fear of 
their railing, or love of their flattery, no body 
durst deny them any thing, be it armour, fewel, 
horse, mantle, or the like; which grew into a ge- 
neral custom, whereof the poets did not fail to 
take the advantage. The great men, out of self- 
love and interest, encourag'd no other kind of 
learning, especially after they professed Chris- 
tianity: the good regulation, under which they 
were in the time of Druidism, as then in- some 
manner belonging to the temples, having been de- 
stroyed with that religion. In a small time they 
became such a grievance, that several attempts 
were made to rid the nation of them : and, vi^hich 
is something comical, what at least our present 
poets would not extraordinarly like, the orders 

* Ollamh is a proffessor or doctor in any faculty. 



for banishing them were always to the Highlands 
of Scotland: while they were as often harbour'd 
in Ulster, till upon promise of amendment of their 
manners, I mean, and not of their poetry, they 
were permitted to return to the other provinces. 
At last, in a general national assembly, or parlia- 
ment, at Drumcat*, in the country we now call 
the county of Londonderry, under Aidus Anmi- 
reus f, Xlth christian king, in the year 597, where 
was also present Adius ^, king of Scotland, and 
the great Columba§, it was decreed: that for the 
better preservation of their history, genealogies, 
and the purity of their language, the supreme mo- 
narch, and the subordinate kings, with every lord 
of a cantred, should entertain a poet of his own, 
no more being allowed by the antient law in the 
iland: and that upon each of these and their pos- 
terity a portion of land free from all duties, shou'd 
be settl'd for ever; that, for encouraging the 
learning these poets and antiquaries profest, pub- 
lic schools shou'd be appointed and endow'd, un- 
der the national inspection; and that the mo- 
march's own bard shou'd be arcii-poet 1|, and ha^ e 
super-intendancy over the rest. "Tis a common 
mistake, into which father Pezron has fallen, 
among others, that the Bards belonged to the body 
©f the Druids: but .this is not the place to rectify 

* Druim-ceat alias Dmimcheat, + Aodhmhac Ainmhire. 
X Aodhiininhac Gauraia. § Coluim-cille. || Ard.Ollamh, 


it. They made hymns foi" the use of the temples, 
'tis true, and manag'd the music there; but they 
were the Druids that officiated as priests, and no 
sacrifices were offer'd but by their ministry, 

X. In the history likewise shall be fully ex- 
plain'd the third order of the Celtic. Literati, by 
the Greecs called Ouateis, and by the Romans 
Vates ; which yet is neither G reec nor Roman, 
but a mere Celtic word, viz. Faidh, which signi- 
fies to this day a prophet in all Irish books, and 
in the common language, particularly in the Irisk 
translation of the Bible; where Druids* are also 
commonly put for inchanters, as those of Egypt, 
and especially for the Mages, or as we translate, 
the wise menf that came from the East, to visit 
Jesus in his cradle. So easily do men convey 
their own ideas into other men's books, or find 
em there; which has been the source of infinite 
mistakes, not only in divinity, but also in philo- 
sophy and philology. The Celtic Vaids J, were 
physicians and diviners, great proficients in natu- 
ral philosophy, as were likewise the Druids, who 

* Draoithe, Exod. 7. 11. Anois Draoithe na Hegtpte dor 
innedui-sanfos aran modhgceadoa le nandroiglieachtuibh. 

f Mat. 2. 1. Feuch Tangadar Draoithe o naird slioir go Hiar- 

X The word Faidh (or Vail by the usual conversion of the 
letters F into V, and D into T) whence the Latin made Vates; 
and their -critics acknowledge, tbat they took many words from 
the Gauls. The Euchages and Eubages, in some copies of Anu 
mianus Marcellinus, arc false readings, as in time will appear. 


had the particular inspection of morals, but Cice- 
ro, who was well acquainted with one of the prime 
Druids, remarks, that their predictions were as 
much grounded on conjecture*, as on the rules 
of augury: both equally fortuitous and fallacious. 
For the saying of Euripides will ever hold true, 
that the best guesser is the best prophet -f. He that 
is nearly acquainted with the state of affairs, that 
understands the spring^ of human actions, and, 
that judiciously allowing for circumstances, com- 
pares the present time with the past: be, I say, 
will make a shrewd guess at the future. By this 
time, my lord, you begin to perceive what is to be 
the subject of the history I intend to write; 
which, tho' a piece of general learning and great 
curiosity, yet I shall make it my business so to 
digest, as to render it no less entertaining than 
instructive to all sorts of readers, without except- 
ing the ladies, who are pretty much concernd in 
this matter; throwing, as I told you before, all my 
critical observations, and disquisitions about 
Avords, into the margin, or the dissertation annext 
to the history. As to what I say of the ladies 

So are Dritd, Drmides, and Drusiades for Druides : as likewise 
Vardi, from the British and Irish oblique cases of Bard, 

^Siquidem & in Gallia Druides sunt, c quibus ipse Divitiacam 
Aeduum, hospitcm tuum laudatoremque, cognovi (inquit Quin. 
(ns)qm Sc naturx rationcm, quam physiologiam Gran;! appellant, 
iiotain esse sibi profitebatur ; & partim Auguriis, partim conjee. 
tura, quae essent futura dicebat, De Divinat, lib, 1. cap, 41. 


being concern'd iu this history, there were not 
only Druidesses; but some evea of the highest 
rank, and princesses themselves were educated 
by the Druids: for in our annals we read, that 
the two daughters of king Laogirius*, in whose 
reign Patric preach'd Christianity, were educated 
by them ; and we liaA'e the particulars of a long 
dispute those young ladies maintained against 
this new religion, very natural but very subtil. 
Several other ladies bred under the Druids be- 
came famous for their writings and proficiency in 
learning, of some of whom we shall occasionally 
give an account: but lest I shou'd be thought in 
every thing to flatter the sex, how much soever I 
respect them, I refer the reader to a story in my 
third letter. But, in order to complete my design, 
so as to leave no room for any to write on this sub- 
ject after me; and also to procure several valuable 
manuscripts, or authentic copies of them, well 
knowing where they ly, I purpose towards the 
spring to take a journey for at least six months: 
which, at our next meeting, I shall do myself the 
honour to impart to your lordship very particu- 

XI. The Irish, a few Scandinavian and Danish 
words excepted, being not only a dialect of the 
ancient Celtic or Gallic, but being also liker the 
mother than her other daughter the British ; and 
the Irish manuscripts being more numerous and 

* Laoghaire. 


much antienter tlian the Welsh, shows beyond all 
contradiction the necessity of this language for 
retrieving the knowledge of the Celtic religion 
and learning. Camden and others have long since 
taken notice of the agreement between the present 
British and those old Gallic words collected by 
learned men out of Greec and Roman authors : 
and the industrious Mr. Edward Lhuyd, late 
keeper of the Museum at Oxford, perceiv'd this 
affinity between the same words and the Irish, 
even before he study'd that language, by the de- 
monstration I gave him of the same in all the said 
instances. Nor does he deny this agreement in 
the comparative Etymologicon he afterwards made 
of those languages, where he quotes Camden and 
Boxhornius affirming it about the Gallic and Bri- 
tish; hut there being, says he*, no Vocabulary ex- 
tant, meaning no doubt in print, of the Irish, or 
antient Scottish, they coud not collect that language 
therewith, which the curious in those studies ivill now 
find to agree rather more than ours, with the Gaul- 
ish. That it does so, is absolute fact, as will be 
seen by hundreds of instances in this present work. 
I am aware that what I am going to say wdll sound 
very oddly, and seem more than a paradox ; but I 
deserve, ray lord, and shall be content with your 
severest censure, if, before you have finish'd read- 
ing these sheets, you be not firmly of the same 
mind yourself; namely, that, without the know- 

* In the preface to his Archaohgia BrUamica, pag. J. 


lege of the Irish language and books, the Gallic 
antiquities, not meaning the Francic, can never be 
set in any tolerable light, with regard either to words 
or to things ; and numerous occasions there will oc- 
cur in this History of illustrating both words and 
things even in the Greec and Roman authors, I 
shall here give one example of this, since I just 
come from treating of the several professors of 
learning common to the antient Gauls, Britons, 
and Scots, viz. the Druids, Bards, and Vaids. 
• Lucian* relates that in Gaule he saw Hercules 
represented as a little old man, whom in the lan- 
guage of the country they call'd Ogmius; draw- 
ing after him an infinite multitude of persons, who 
seem'd most willing to follow, tho' drag'd by ex- 
treme fine and almost imperceptible chains ; which 
were fasten'd at the one end to their ears, and held 
at the other, not in either of Hercules's hands, which 
were both otherwise imploy'd; but ty'd to the tip 
of his tongue, in which there was a hole on pur- 
pose, where all those chains centr'd. Lucian won- 
dering at this manner of portraying Hercules, was 
inform'd by a learned Druid who stood by, that 
Hercules did not in Gaul, as in Greece, betoken 
strength of body, but ihe force of eloquence; which 
is there very beautifully display'd by the Druid, 
in his explication of the picture that hung in the 

* T»» 'Ef«»Xs» «i KeXtoi orMlON wo;i*«{os«-i 4fm» in mxffif, et quae sequun- 
tur in Hercule Galilee : Grseca etenim longioi-ii sunt, quSm ut bic conio 
mode itiseri ^ ostlnt. 



temple. Now, the critics of all nations have made 
a heavy pother about this same w^ord Ogmius, and 
labouriously sought for the meaning of it every 
where, but just where it was to be found. The 
most celefbrated Bochart, who, against the grain 
of nature, if I may so speak, wou'd needs reduce 
all things to Phenician; says it is an oriental word, 
since the Arabians * call strangers and barbarians 
Agemion: as if, because the Phenicians traded 
antiently to Gaule and the British ilands, for co- 
lonies in them they planted none, they must have 
also imported their language; and, with their 
other commodities, barter'd it for something to 
the natives, naming their places, their men, and 
their gods for them. Our present Britons, who 
are at least as great traders, do not find they can 
do so in Phenicia, nor nearer home in Greece and 
Italy, nor yet at their own doors in this very Gaule : 
besides that Lucian does positively affirm Ogmius 
was a Gallic word, a word of the country\. This 
has not hinder'd a learned English physician, Dr. 
Edmund Dickenson, from hunting still in the east 
for a derivation of it; conjecturing Hercules to be 
.Toshua:};, who was surnamed Ogmius, for having 
conquei 'd Og king of Bashan : 

* In Geographia Sacra, sive Canaan, part 2. cap, 42. 

i ^a>vi: Tn iitiyw^lio, Ubl supra, 

X Josuam quoqtie spectasse videtur illud nomen, quo Galli cti. 
iiquitus Ilerculem nuncupabant. Unde vera O'/wwf? Annon ah 
>0g victo? Delph. Phcenicizant. cap. 3. 


O ! sanctas gentes ! quibus haec nascuntur ia hortis 


Juvenal, Sat. 15, ver. 10. 

I could make your lordship yet merryer, or rather 
angrier, at these forc'd and far-fetch'd etymologies, 
together with others hammer'd as wretchedly out 
of Greec, nay even out of Suedish and German. 
But the word Ogmius, as Lucian was truely in- 
form'd, is pure Celtic ; and signifies, to use Taei- 
tus's* phrase about the Germans, the Secret of 
Letters, particularly the letters themselves, and 
consequently the learning that depends on them, 
from whence the force of eloquence proceeds: so 
that Hercules Ogmius is tlie learned Hercules, or 
Hercules the protector of learning, having by many 
been reputed himself a philosopher f. To prove 
this account of the word, so natural and so apt, be 
pleas'd to understand, that, from the very begin- 
ning of the colony, Ogum, sometimes written 
Ogam, and also Ogmaij;, has signify'd in Ireland 
the secret of letters, or the Irish alphabet ; for the 
truth of which I appeal to all the antient Irish 
books, without a singlp exception. 'Tis one of 

* Literarum Secreta viri pariter ac foeminae ingnorant. De 
moribus Germanorum, cap. 19. 

t^supnyiuy}(ii\m,Scc. Palapliatifragmentumin Chroiaco AUxandrino, 'Ep«. 
KXnt AXX|i*iiviif iMoc TouTOv ifiXwo^aif I5-i)jm;o-i,&c. Sttsdos i» tioce 'EpaKXnt. Et diu 
ante Suidam audiebat apud Heraclitum, in Allegoriis Homerids, Avn; ifi^^m, 
x»i n^Mi m^a-iaii [iiv^ri;, uime^a nara ^aSsittj ayTjias »7riflE?uxi;i«y spsmje TW 

^ As in the Dublin college manuscript^ to be presently cited, 
K 2 


the most authentic words of the language, and 
originally stands for this notion alone. Indeed, 
after Patric had converted the nation, and, for the 
better propagating of christian books, introduc'd 
the use of the Roman letters, instead of the an- 
tient manner of writing, their primitive letters, 
very different from those they now use, bagan by 
degrees to grow absolete ; and at last legible only 
by antiquaries and other curious men, to whom 
they stood in as good stead as any kind of occult 
characters ; whence it happen'd that Ogum, from 
signifying the secret of writing, came to signify se- 
cret ivriting, but still principally meaning the ori- 
ginal Irish characters. There are several manuS' 
cript treatises extant, describing and teaching the 
various methods of this secret writing ; as one in 
the college-library of Dublin*, and another in that 
of his grace the duke of Chandois ■\. Sir James 
Ware, in his Antiquities of Ireland, relating how the 
antient Irish did, besides the vulgar cJiaracters, prac- 
tise also divers ivays and arts of occult writing, calVd 
Ogum, in ivhichthey wrote their secrets; I have, 
continues he J, an antient parchment book full of 

* 'Tis, among other pieces, in The Book of BuUimore ; being 
the 255th Tolum in the Dublin catalogue, in parchment, folio, 
P. 18. 

t Anonym! cujusdam Tractatus de variis apud Hibernos vete* 
resoccuitis acribendi formuUs, Hibernice O^umdictis. 

Ij: Praeter characteres vulgares utebantur etiam veteres Hibemi 
Tariis opcultis scribendi formulis seu artificiis, Ogvm dictis, qui. 


these, which is the same just now said to belong- 
to the duke of Chandois: and Dudley Forbes*, 
a hereditary antiquary, wrote to the rather labo- 
rious than judicious chronologist O'FIahertyf, in 
the year 1683, that he had some of the primitive 
birch-tables I, for those they had before the use of 
parchment or paper, and many sorts of the old 
occult wiiting by him. These are principally the 
Ogham-beith, the Ogham-coll, and the Ogham- 
craoth\, which last is the»old one and the true. 
But that the primary Irish letters, the letters first 
in common use, which in the manner we have 
shown, became accidentally occult, were origin- 
ally meant by the word ogum; besides the appeal 
made above to all antient authors, is plain in par- 
ticular from Forchern, a noted bard and philoso- 
pher, who liv'd a little before Christ. This learned 
man ascribing with others the invention of letters 
to the Phenicians, or rather more strictly and pro- 
perly to Fhenix, whom the Irish call Fenius far- 
saidh, or Phenix the antient, says, that, among 
other alphabets, as the Hebrew, Greec, and Latin, 
he also compos'd that of Bethluisnion an Oghuim\\, 

bus secreta sua scribebant : his refcrtum habeo libellum membra, 
naceum antiquum. Cap. 2. 

* Dualtach mhac Firbis. + Rudhruigh O Flaith-bheartuigh. 

+ Ogygia, part. 3. cap. 30. § Ogum.branches. 

II Fenius Farsaidh alphabeta prima Hebraeorum, Grascorum, 
Latinorum, et Bethluisnion an Oghuim, composuit. Ex For- 
cherni libro, octingentis retro annis Latins rsddito. 


the alphabet of ogum, or the Irish alphabet, mean- 
ing that he invented the first letters, ia imitation 
of which the alphabets of those nations were made. 
Ogum is also taken in this sense by the best mo- 
dern writers: as William O'Donnell*, afterwards 
archbishop of Tuam, in his preface to the Irish 
New Testament, dedicated to King James the First, 
and printed at Dublin in the year 1602, speaking 
of one of his assistants, says, that he enjoin d him 
to write the other part according to the Ogum and 
propriety of the Irish tongne; where Ogum, must 
necessarily signify the alphabet, orthography, and 
true manner of writing Irish. From all this it is 
clear, why among the Gauls, of whom the Irish 
had their language and religion, Hercules, as the 
protector of learning, shou'd be call'd Ogmius, the 
termination alone being Greec. Nor is this all. 
Ogma was not only a known proper name in Ire- 
land, but also one of the most antient; since Ogma 
Grianann, the father of King Dalboetius f , w as one 
of the first of the Danannan race, manv aues be- 
fore Lucian's time. He was a very learned man, 
marry'd to Eathna, a famous poetess, who bore, 
besides the fore-mention'd monarch, Cairbre, like- 
wise a poet: insomuch that Ogma was deservedly 
surnamed Grianann |;, which is to say Phebean, 
where you may observe learning still attending 

* William O Domhnuill, + Dealbhaoith. 

X Grim, is the sun, and Grianann, or belonging t» 
tlie sun. 


this name. The Celtic language being now al- 
most extinct in Gaule, except onely in lower Brit- 
tany, and such Gallic words as remain scatter'd 
among the French; subsists however intire in the 
several dialects* of the Celtic colonies, as do the 
word ^ogwm and ogma, particularly in Irish. Nor 
is there any thing better known to the learned, or 
will appear more undeniable in the sequel of this 
work, than that words lost in one dialect of the 
same common language, are often found in ano- 
ther: as a Saxon word, for example, grown obso- 
lete in Germany, but remaining yet in England, 
may be also us'd in Switzerland; or another word 
grown out of date in England, and flourishing still 
in Denmark, continues likewise in Iceland. So 
most of the,a«fiquated English words are more 
or less corruptly extant in Friezland, Jutland, and 
the Other northern countries ; with not a few in the 
Lowlands of Scotland, and in the old English pale 
in Ireland. 

XII, Now, from the name of Hercules let's come 
to his person, or at least to the person acknow- 
ledg'd to have been one of the heros worship'd by 
the Gauls, and suppos'd by the Greecs and Ro- 
mans to be Hercules. On this occasion I cannot 
but reflect on the opposite conduct, which the 
learned and the unlearned formerly observ'd, with 
respect to the Gods and divine matters. If, thro' 
the ignorance or superstition of the people, any 

* Tlwge are Brittislh, Welsh, Cornish, Irish, Manks, and Earse. 


fable, tho' ever so gross, was generally receiv'd in 
a religion; the learned being asham'd of such an 
absurdity, yet not daring openly to explode any 
thing wherein the priests found their account, ex- 
plain'd it away by emblems and allegories import- 
ing a reasonable meaning, of which the fii'st au- 
thors never thought: and if the learned on the 
other hand, either to procure the greater venera- 
tion for their dictates, or the better to conceal their 
sentiments from the profane vulgar, did poetically 
discourse of the elements and qualities of matter, 
of the constellations or the planets, and the like 
effects of nature, veiling them as persons ; the com- 
mon sort immediately took them for so many per- 
sons in good earnest, and render 'd 'em divine wor- 
ship under such forms as the priests judg'd fittest 
to represent them. Objects of divine worship 
have been coin'd out of ,the rhetorical flights of 
orators, or the flattering addresses of panegyrists : 
even metaphors and epithets have been transform'd 
into gods, which procur'd mony for the priests as 
well as the best; and this by so much the more, 
as such objects were multiply'd. This is the un- 
avoidable consequence of deviating ever so little 
from plain truth, which is never so heartily and 
highly reverenc'd, as when appearing in her na- 
tive simplicity ; for as soon as her genuine beauties 
are indeavour'd to be heightened by borrow'd or- 
naments, and that she's put under a disguise in 
gorgeous apparel: she quickly becomes, like 


others afFectiug such a dress, a mercenary prosti- 
tute, wholly acting by \anity, artifice, or interest, 
and never speaking but in ambiguous or unintel- 
ligible terms ; while the admiration of her lovers 
is first turn'd into amazement, as it commonly 
ends in contemt and hatred. But over and above 
the difficulty, which these proceedings have oc- 
casioned in the history of antient time, there arises 
a greater from time itself destroying infinite cir- 
cumstances, the want whereof causes that to seem 
afterwards obscure, which at the beginning was 
very clear and easy. To this we may join the 
preposterous emulation of nations, in ascribing to 
their own gods or heros whatever qualities were 
pre-eminent in those of others. That most judi- 
cious writer* about Jthe nature of the gods, com- 
monly call'd Phurnutus, tho' his ti-ue name was 
Cornutus, a stoic philosopher, whom I shall have 
frequent occasion to quote hereafter, " owns the 
" great vaiiety f, and consequently the perplexed- 
" ness and obscurity, that occurs in the history of 
" Hercules, whereby it is difficult to know certain- 

* *oufV5iiTou Bixfia OTpi T>ic fo* Sect <fu<r£«t, vulgo : sed, ut Ravii codex & 
Vaticamis Icgunt (notante doctissimo Galco) verus titulus est Kopwiwou im- 
hofA,>i TDv xala, Tijv 'EWmimv Biw^inf ffapaJiJo^£»*v. 

t To Je ^uihaxfila. ysyOKm -ra Ta 6bov iJia, awo rm OTfi TOu 'Hpaioc KOfOv[A.lml. 
Ta^a ^''" 1 ^^oitn x4i to powaXov ex nq vaKaM; SeoT^oyiu; eti roulov [A.iimny[>.a^ 
Ein ; (TfiSnyti yif auToy j/etc,«£kv nynSov, Km ?ro>i\a fiifo tus y«; [iiira, Jw«^e»c eweX- 
floyra, ouy' oiov te yi/jwyov EJoJay wepiEXnXuSEval f uXoj ftomi 0}is,\l(r[*inv : a>iXt toi? * 
EjritrnfiMf Tou flsou, fi'.rx Toy aira9ayaTi5-/i*ay, vira nrm Eu£{yETOi/,<«E?»/ iiai^s-;ivr(lja^ 
rif<i$i>Xn yap ExolEfsv tin pw/xijc k«i j'Si'miOTTiTSS. S;c. caf. 31, 

* Alii m.-.yn;. 


" ly what were his real atchievements, or what were 
" fabulously fathered uponhun: but having been 
" an excellent general, who had in diverse coun- 
*' tries signaliz'd his valor, he thinks it not proba- 
*' ble, that he went onely arm'd with a lion's skin 
*' and a club ; but that he was represented after 
" his death with these, as symbols of generosity 
" and fortitude, for ^hich reason he was pictur'd 
" with a bow and arrows." To this let me add, 
that several valiant men in several nations having, 
in imitation of some one man any where, been cal- 
led or rather surnam'd Hercules; not only the 
works of many, as subduing of tyrants, extermina- 
ting of wild beasts, promoting or exercising of 
commerce, and protecting or improving of learning, 
have been ascrib'd to one : bjit that also wherever 
any robust person was found represented with a 
skin and a club, a bow and arrows, he was 
straight deem'd to be Hercules; whence the Egyp- 
tian, the Indian, the Tyrian, the Cretan, the Gre- 
cian or Theban, and the Gallic Hercules. This 
was a constant way with the Greecs and Romans, 
who, for example, from certain resemblances per- 
fectly accidental, conjectural that Isis was ho- 
nour d by the Germans*, and Bacchus worshiped 

* Pars SucTorum & Isidi sacrificat. Unde causa et origo 
peregrlno sacro parum comperi; nisi quod signum ipsum, in 
modum Liburnie figuratum, docet advectam ReUgionem. Tacit, 
de mor. German, cap. 9. 


by the Jews*, which last notion is refuted even by 
their enemy Tacitus f. Such superficial discove- 
ries about the Celtic divinities I shall abundantly 
expose. Yet that Ogmius might be really the 
Grecian Hercules, well known in Gaule, it will 
be no valid exception that he was by the Druids 
theologically made the symboU of the force of elo- 
quence, for which that country has been ever dis- 
tinguish'd and esteem'd : since even in Greece he 
was, as Phnrnutus assures us, mystically account- 
ed, that reason which is diffused thrd all things, ac- 
cording to ivhich nature is vigorous and strong, in- 
vincible and ever generating; being the power that 
communicates virtue and Jinnness to every part of 
things-^.. The scholiast of Appollonius affirms, 
that the natural philosophers understood by Her- 
cules, the intelligence and permanence of beings%: 
as the Egyptians held him to be that reason, which 
is in the tvhole of things, and in every part\\. Thus 

* Plutarch, Symposiac, lib, 4- quem prolixius disserentem 
otiosus consulas, lector. 

f Quia sacerdotes eorum t\h\k tympauisque concinebant, he- 
dera Tinciebantur, vitisque aurea templo reperta, Liberum pa- 
trem coli, domitorem Orientis, quidam arbltrati sunt, nequaquam. 
congrqentibus. institutis: quippe Liber festos laitosque ritus 
posuit, Judaeorum mos absurdus sordidusque. Lib, 5. cap, 5. 

xoi a^a^iyw^Qi wa-n ; fj^era^orixos to^ue^, kUi thi; irufa [*efo^ a^X7]; vita^x'"^^' 
Vbi supra, 

§ napa ron $u«-iXOi{ o 'HpoxAnc trmrif xai a^xo Xaf/.^une-ra'. 

II Ton en wain, nm Jw 'jranram, ^OJ'on; non n\ion, ut corrnpte legi cum Gale# 
auspicor in lV[acrobi», Saturml. Kb, 1. cap. SO. 



the learned allegoriz'd away among otlieis, as I 
said before, the fabulous atchievenients and mira- 
culous birth of this hero, on which we shall how- 
ever touch again, Avhen we come to explain the 
heathen humor of making all exti'aordinary per- 
sons the sons of gods, and commonly begot on 
virgins ; tho' this last is not the case of Hercules^ 
who was feign'd to be the son of Jupiter by Alc- 
mena, another man's wife. This wou'd be rec- 
kon'd immoral among men, but Jupiter (said the 
priests) can do with his own what he pleases: 
which reason, if it contented the husbands, cou'd 
not displease the batchelors, who might chance 
to be sometimes Jupiter's substitutes. '' The Drnid- 
ical allegory of Ogmius, or the Gallic Hercules, 
which in its proper place I shall give you at large, 
is extremely l)eautiful: and, as it concerns that 
eloquence wliereof you are so consummate a mas- 
ter, cannot but powerfully charm you. 

XIII. In the mean time 'tis probable your lord- 
ship will be desireous to know, whether, besides 
the langauge and traditions of the Irish, or the mo- 
numents of stone and other materials which the 
country affords, there yet remain any literary re- 
cords truly antient and imadulteratcd, whereby 
the Jiistoiy of the Druids, with siu h other points 
of antiquity, may be retriev'd, or at Itp.t-t illustra- 
ted? This is a inalerial question, to which I rttJaii 
a clear and direct answer; that not onely there re- 
main vc i y many antient manuscripts undoubtedly 


genuine, besides such as are forg'd, and greater 
numbers interpolated*, several whereof are in Ire- 
land itself, some here in England, and others in 
the Irish monasteries abroad: but that, notwith- 
standing the long state of barbarity in which that 
nation hath lain, and after all the rebellions and 
wars with which the kingdom has been harass'd ; 
they have incomparably more antient materials of 
that kind for their history (to which even their my- 
thology is not unserviceable) than either the Eng- 
lish or the French, or any other European nation, 
with whose manuscripts I have any acquaintance. 
Of these I shall one day give a catalogue, marking 
the places where they now ly, as many as I know of 
them ; but not meaning every transcript of the same 
manuscript, which wou'd be endless, if not impos- 
sible. In all conditions the Irish have been strange- 
ly solicitous, if not to some degree supersitious, 
about preserving their bboks and parchments; 
even those of them which are so old, as to be now 
partly or wholly unintelligible. Abundance, thro' 
over care, have perished under ground, the con- 
cealer not having skill, or wanting searcloth and 
other proper materials for preserving them. The 
most valuable pieces, both in verse and prose, were 
written by their heathen ancestors ; whereof some 

* As t!ie Uraiceacht na neigios, i. e. the accidence of the art- 
ists, or the poets J which being the work of Forchern before. 
n?m'd, was interpolated, and fitted to his own time, by Ceaon 
Paoladh, the sob of Oiliojl, in the year of Christ 62S. 


indeed have been interpolated after the prevailing 
of Christianity, which additions or alterations are 
nevertheless easily distinguish'd: and in these 
books the rights and formularies of the Druids, 
together with their divinity and philosophy; espe- 
cially their two grand doctrines of tjie eternity and 
incorruptibility of the universe, and the incessant 
revokition of all beings and forms, are very spe- 
cially, tho' sometimes very figuratively express'd. 
Hence their allanhnation and transmigration. 
Why none of the natives have hitherto made any 
better use of these treasures; or why both they, 
and such others as have written concerning the 
history of Ireland, have onely entertain'd the world 
witli the fables of it (as no coun'try -wants a fabu- 
lous account of its original, or the succession of 
its princes) ; why the modern Irish liistorians, I say, 
give us such a medly of relations, unpick'd and 
imchosen, I had rather any man else shou'd tell. 
The matter is certainly ready, there wants but 
will or skill for working of it; separating the dross 
from the pure ore, and distinguishing counterfeit 
from sterling coin. This in the mean time is un- 
deniable, that learned men in other places, perceiv- 
ing the same dishes to be eternally served up at 
every meal, are of opinion that there is no better 
fare in the country ; while those things have been 
conceal'd from them by the ignorant or the lazy, 
that would have added no small ornament even 
to their classical studies. Of this I hope to con- 


vince the world by the lustre, which, in this work, 
I shall impart to the antiquities not only of Gaule 
and Britain, but likewise to numerous passages 
of the Greec and Latin authors. How many 
noble discoveries of the like kind might be made 
in all countries, where the use of letters has long 
subsisted! Such things in the mean time are as if 
they were not: for 

Paulum sepultae distat inertise 

Celata virtas. 

HoEAt. lib. 4. Od. S. 

The vise of letters has been very antient in Ireland, 
which at first were cut on the bark of trees*, pre- 
pared for that purpose; or on smooth tables of 
birch wood, which were call'd poets tables ■{; as 
their characters were in general nam'd twigs and 
hranch-lettersX, from, their shape. Their alphabet 
was call'd JBeth-luis-nion, from the three first let- 
ters of the same, B, L, N, Seth, Luis, Nion^: 
for the particular name of every letter was, for 
memory-sake, from some tree or other vegetable; 
-which, in the infancy of writing on barks and 
boards, was very natural. They had also many 
characters signifying whole words, like the Egyp- 
tians and the Chinese. When Patric introduc'd 
the Roman letters (as I said above) then, from a 
corruption of Abcedurium, they call'd their new 

* Oraium. + Taibhle Fileadh, % Feadha: Craohh Osham. 
§ Birch, Quicken, and Ash. 


alphabet Aihghittir* ; which, by the Monkish 
writers, has been latiniz'd Abgetorimnf. But 
there florish'd a great number of Druids, Bards, 
Vaids, and other authors, in Ireland, long before 
Patric's arrival; whose learning Avas not only 
more extensive, but al^o much more usefiU than 
that of their christian posterity: this last sort 
being almost wholly imploy'd in scholastic divi- 
nity, metaphysical or chronological disputes, le- 
gends, miracles, and martyrologies, especially 
after the eighth century. Of all the things com- 
mitted to writing by the heathen Irish, none 'W'ere 
more celebrated, or indeed in themselves more 
valuable, than their laws; which were deliver 'd, 
as antiently among some other nations, in short 
sentences, commonly in verse; no less reputed 
infallible oracles than the Lacedemonian i2e</ir<5:{:,' 
and, what's remarkable, the/are expresly term'd 
celestial judgements^; for the pronouncing of 

* At first it was very analogically pronounc'd Ab.lcedair, 
since the letter C then in Latin, as still in Irish and Brittisb, 
had the force of K no less before E and I, than before A, O, U; 
having never been pronounc'd like S by the antient Romans, who 
said Kilcero, kenseo, koechus, but not Sisero, senseo, soecus, when 
the words Cicero, censeo, coecus, or such like occurr'd : so that 
Ablicdair did naturally liquidate into Aibghittir, in the manner 
that all grammarians know. 

+ Scripsit Abgetoria [scilicet Patricias] 355, et eo ampH4s 
numero. Nenn, Hist. Britan. cap. 59. 

t rr.T/al, 

§ Brealha nimhe. 


which, the most famous were Forchern, Neid, 
Conla, Eogan, Modan, Moran, King Cormiac, his 
chief justice Fithil, Fachma, Maine, Ethnea, the 
daughter of Amalgad, and many more. Thesa 
celestial judgments were only preserv'd in tradi- 
tionary poems, according to the institution of the 
Druids, till committed to writing at the command 
of Concovar*, king of Ulster, who dy'd in the 
year of Christ 48, whereas Patric begun his 
apostleship but in the year 432. The poets that 
wrote were numberless, of whose works several 
pieces remain still intire, with diverse fragnaents 
of others. The three greatest incouragers of 
learning among the heathen Irish monarchs were 
first, King Achaiusf (surnamed the doctor of Ire- 
land), who is said to have built at Tarah, an aca- 
demy, call'd the court of the learned%. 'Twas he 
that ordain'd, for every principal family, heredi- 
tary antiquaries; or, in case of incapacity, the 
most able of the same historical house, with rank 
and privileges immediately after the Druids. The 
next promoter of letters was Kiijg Tuathalius§, 
whose surname is render'd Bonaventura (tho' not 
so properly), and who appointed a triennial revi- 
sion of all the antiquaries books, by a committee 
of three kings or great lords, three Druids, and 
three antiquaries. These were to cause whatever 
Was approv'd and found valuable in those books, 

* Conchobhar Nessan, i, e. Mac Neassa. + Eochaidh 01- 
lamhfodla. % Mar.OUarotiau. § TuathEil Teachtmliar. 



to be traiiscrib'd into the royal Book ofTarah*, 
which was to be the perpetual standard of their 
history, and by which the contents of all other 
such books shou'd be receiv'd or rejected. Such 
good regulations I say there were made, but not 
how long or how well observ'd; or, if truth is to 
be preferr'd to all other respects, we must own 
they were but very slightly regarded; and that 
the bards, besides their poetical licence, were 
both mercenary and partial to a scandalous de- 
gree. The ordinance, however, is admirable, and 
deserves more to be imitated, than we can ever 
expect it to be so any where. The third most 
munificent patron of literature was King Corniac, 
surnained Long-beard f, who renew'd the laws 
about the antiquaries, rebuilt and inlarg'd the 
academy of Tarah for history, law, and military 
prowess: besides that, he was an indefatigable 
distributer of justice, having written himself abun- 
dance of laws still extant. So in his Institution 
of a Prince-^, or his Precepts^ to his sou and suc- 
cessor Carbre || Fiffecair, who in like manner was 
not superficially addicted to the muses. Cormae 
was a great proficient in philosophy, made light 

* Leabhar Teamhra. + Ulfhada. 

t 'Tis, among otiur most Taluable pieces, io the collection 
call'd O DuTegan's, folio 190. a, now or late in the possessiou 
of the right honourable (he earl of Clanrickard. There are co- 
pies of it elsewhere, but tliat's the oldest known. 

§ Teagarg Riogli. H Cftirbre Lifiochair. 


of the superstitions of the Draids in his youth, 
and, in his old age, having quitted the scepter, he 
led a contemplative life, rejecting all the druidi- 
cal fables and idolatry, and acknowledging only 
one Supreme Being, or first cause. This short 
account of the primevous Irish learning, vfhereof 
you'll see many proofs and particulars in the more 
than once mention'd Dissertation concerning the 
Celtic Language and Colonies (to be annext to our 
Critical History), will, I am confident, excite 
your curiosity. 

XIV. The custom, therefore, or rather cunning 
of the Druids, in not committing their rites or 
doctrines to writing, has not depriv'd us (as some 
may be apt to itoagine) of sufficient materials to 
compile their history. For, in the first place, 
when the Romans became masters of Gaule^ and 
every where mixt with the natives ; ihef cou'd not 
avoid, in that time of light and learning, but ar- 
rive at the certain knowledge of whatever facts 
they have been pleas'd to hand down to us, tho' ijot 
always rightly taking the usages of other nations: 
as it must needs be from a full conviction of the 
Druidical fraudulent superstitions, and barbarous 
tyranny exercis'd over the credulous people, that 
these same Romans, who tolerated all religions, 
yet supprest this institution in Gaule and Britain, 
with the utmost severity. The I>ruids, however, 
were not immediately extkiguish'd, but only their 
barbarous, tyrannical, or illusory usages. And in- 



deed their human sacrifices, with their pretended 
magic, and an authority incompatible with the 
power of the magistrate, were things not to be in- 
dur'd by so wise a state as that of the Romans, 
In the second place, the Greec colony of Marseil- 
les, a principal mart of learning, cou'd not want 
persons curious enough, to acquaint themselves 
with the religion, philosophy, and customs of the 
country, Avherein they liv'd. Strabo, and others, 
give us an account of such. From these the elder 
Greecs had their information (not to speak now 
of the Gauls seated in Greece itself and in lesser 
Asia) as the later Greecs had theirs from the Ro- 
mans ; and, by good fortune, we have a vast num- 
ber of passages from both. But, in the third 
place, among the Gauls themselves and the Britons, 
among the Irish and Albanian Scots, their histo- 
rians and bards did always register abundance of 
particulars about the Druids, whose afiairs were 
in most things inseparable from those of the rest 
of the inhabitants; as they Avere not only the 
judges in all matters civil or religious, but in a 
manner the executioners too in criminal causes ; 
and that their sacrifices were very public, which 
consequently made their rites no less observable. 
One thing which much contributed to make them 
known, is,, that the king was ever to have a Druid 
about his person; to pray and sacrifice, as well as 
to be a judge for determining emergent controver- 
sies, tho' he had a civil judge besides. So he had 


©ne of the chief lords to advise him, a bard to sing 
the praises of his ancestors, a chronicler to regis- 
ter his own actions, a physician to take care of 
his health, and a musician to intertain him. Who- 
ever was absent, these by law must be ever pre- 
sent, and no fewer than the three controllers of 
his family ; which decern virate was the institution 
of King Cormac. The same custom was taken 
up by all the nobles, whereof each had about him 
his Druid, chief vassal, bard, judge, physician, 
and harper, the four last having lands assign'd 
them, which descended to their families, wherein 
these professions were hereditary, as were their 
marshal, and the rest of their officers. After the 
introducing of Christianity, the Druid was suc- 
ceeded by a bishop or priest, but the rest conti- 
nu'd on the antient foot, insomuch, that for a long 
time after the English conquest, the judges, the 
bards, physicians, and harpers, held such tenures in 
Ireland. The O Duvegans were the hereditary 
bards of the O Kellies, the O Clerys and the O Bro^ 
dins were also hereditary antiquaries : the O Shiels 
and the O Canvans were such hereditary doctors, 
the Maglanehys such hereditary judges, and so 
of the rest; for more examples, especially in this 
place, are needless; it wou'd be but multiplying 
of names, without ever making the subject clearer. 
Only I must remark here, from the very nature 
of things, no less than from facts, that (tho' Cesar 
Jbe silent about it) there were civil judges in Gaule 


just as in Ireland, yet under the direction and con- 
troll of the Druids. This has led many to ima- 
gine, that, because the Druids influenc'd all, 
there ,were therefore no other judges, which is 
doubtless an egregious mistake. 

XV, Further, tho' the Druids were exempted 
from bearing arms, yet they finally determin'd 
concerning peace and war: and those of that or- 
der, who attended the king and the nobles, were 
obserr'd to be the greatest make-bates and incen- 
diaries;. th« most averse to peace in council, and 
the most, cruel of all others in action. Some of 
'em were ally'd to kings, and many of 'em were 
king's sons, and great numbers of them cull'd out 
of the best families : which you see is an old trick, 
but has not been allyayg effectual enough to per- 
petuate an order of men. This, however, made his- 
torians not to forget them, and inde«l several of 
'em render'd thenaselves vei-y remarkable; as the 
Druid Trosdan, who found an antidote against 
the poyson'd arrows of certain Brittish invaders: 
Cabadius*, grandfather to the mo*t celebrated 
champion Cuculandf; Tages;}; the father of Mor- 
na, mother to the no less famous Fin mac Cuil^: 
Dader, who was kill'd by Eogain, son to Olill Olom 
king of Munster; Avhich Eogan was marry'd to 
Moiitic, the daughter of the Druid Dill. The 
Druid Mogruth,, the son of Sinduinn, Avas the 

» Catlibaid. + Cucbulaid. + Tadhg. § Fia mhac Cubhaill, 


stoutest man in the wars of King Cormac : nor less 
valiant was Dubcoraar*, the chief Druid of King 
Fiacha: and Lugadius Mac-Con, the abdicated 
king of Jreland, was treacherously run thro' the 
body with a lance by the Druid Firchisusf. Ida 
and Ona (lords of Corcachlann near Roscommon) 
were Druids ; whereof Ono presented his fortress 
of Imleach-Ono to Patric, who converted it into 
the religious house of Elphin, since an episcopal 
see J. From the very name of Lamderg§, or 
Bloody-hand, we learn what sort of man the Druid 
was, who by the vulgar is thought to live inchanted 
in the mountain between Bunncranach and Fa- 
then II, in the county of Dunnegall. Nor must we 
forget, tho' out of order of time. King Niall^ of the 
nine hostage's Arch-Druid, by name Lagicinus 
Barchedius **, who procured a most cruel war 
against Eocha, king of Munster, for committing 
manslaughter on his son ; and which the Druids 
making a common cause, there was no honour, 
law, or- humanity observ'd towards this king, whose 
story, at length in our book, will stand as a last- 

* Dttbhchomar. . + Fearchips. 

X Ailfinn, from a vast obelise that stood by a well in that 
place; and that fell down in the year 1675. The word signi. 
fies the white stone, and was corrupted into oil/inn. Some wou'd 
derive the name from the clearness of the fountain, but 'tis by 
torture: others from one Oilfinn, a Danish commander. 

iLambhdearg. j|,Taobhsaoil.treach. 5 Niall Naoighi.alUch. 

** Lnighichia mhac Barrecheadha. 


ing monument of druidical bloodyness, and a 
priest-ridden state. I conclude with Bacracli 
(chief Druid to Conchobhar Nessan, king of Ul- 
ster), who is fabl'd by the monks long after the 
extinction of the Druids, to have before it hap- 
pen'd, others say at the very time, describ'd the 
passion of Jesus Christ, in so lively and moveing 
a manner, that the king, transported with rage, 
drew his sword, and, with inexpressible fury, fell 
a hacking and hewing the trees of the wood where 
he then was, which he mistook for the Jews : nay, 
that he put himself into such a heat as to dy of 
this frenzy. But even O'Flaherty, fully confutes 
this silly action*, not thinking it possible that 
such circumstances cou'd be any Avay inferrd 
from an eclipse (which is the foundation of the 
story) nor that a clearer revelation shou'd be made 
of those things to the Irish Druids, than to the 
Jewish prophets : and, finally, by shewing, that 
Conchobhar dy'd quietly in his bed fifteen years 
after the crucifixion of Christ. Bacrach, how- 
ever, was a great man, and the king himself had 
a Druid for his step-father and instructor. 

XVI. It can be no wonder, therefore, that men 
thus sacred in their function, illustrious in their 
alliances, eminent for their learning, and honour'd 
for their valor, as well as dreaded for their power 
and influence, should also be memorable both in 

* Ogyg. 


the poetry and- prose of ^heir country. And so 
in fact they are, notwithstanding what Dudley 
Forbes, before mention'd, did^ in a letter to an 
Irish writer*, in the year 1683, affirm: namely, 
that, in Patric's time no fewer than 180 volumes, 
relating to the affairs of the Druids, were burnt 
in Ireland. Dr. Kennedy saysf, that Patric 
burnt 300 volumns, stuft with the fables and super' 
stitions of heathen idolatry; unfit, adds he, to he 
transtnitted to posterity. But, pray, how so : why 
are Gallic or Irish superstitions more unfit to be 
transmitted to posterity, than those of the Greecs 
and Romans ? Why shou'd Patric be more squeam- 
ish in this respect than Moses or the succeeding 
Jewish pi'ophets, who have transmitted to all ages 
the idolatries of the Egyptians, Phenicians, Cal- 
deans, and other eastern nations? What an irre- 
parable destruction of history, what a deplorable 
extinction of arts and inventions, what an unspeak- 
able detriment to learning, what a dishonor upon 
human understanding, has the cowardly proceed- 
ing of the ignorant, or rather of the interested, 
against unarm'd monuments at all times occa- 
sion'd! And yet this book-burning and letter-mur- 
dring humor, tho' far from being commanded by 
Christ, has prevail'd in Christianity from the be- 
ginning: as in the Acts of the Apostles we read, 

* O Flaherty. 

f Dissertation about thefamili/ oftlue Stuarts, pref. pag« 29. 



that ifittni; of them ithith believed, and us'd curims 
arU, hf'oiight their books together, and burnt thent 
Bsfdi-e all ifieii; and they counted the price of thetri, 
Md found it fifty thousand pieces of silver*, or 
about three hiltldred pounds sterling; This ^ras 
the first itiistancie of btirnihg books atnotig chris- 
tians; and fever since that tiilie the examjile has 
been better foUdW'd, than dny precept of the gospel. 
XVII. I^rom what tre have hitherto observ'd, 
yoii see that our historians, iny lord, do (in spitfe 
of all chances) abound with matter enough to re- 
tive and illusttrate the memory of the Druids. Be- 
sides that the rites and opinions of other nations 
serve not only to give light to theirs, but were 
many of them of Druidical ot Celtic extraction^ 
This no body will deny of the aboriginal Italians, 
who haviiig been often over-run by the Gauls, and 
luiving several Gallic colonies planted among them, 
they partook both of their language and religion ; 
as Avill be Very easily ovinc'd in our DissertatioUi 
and has been already tolerably done by Father 
Pezron in his Celtic originals. Diogenes Laer- 
tius, in the proem oi his philosophical history, rec- 
kons the Druids among the chief authors of the 
barbarous theology and philosophy, long anterior 
to the Greecs, their disciples : and Phurnutus, in 
his treatise of the Nature of the Gods, says most 
expressly, that " among the many and various 

* Acts 19. 19. 

QJf TUP DRUipS. 107 

f3,l}|#.s whJcU the E^ntient Greecs had about the 
GodSi some were 4mvetl from the Mages, some 

from thp Egyptians and Gauls, others frpm the 
Africans and Phrygians, and others from other na- 
tions*: for Ayhich he cites Jlomer as a witness, 
nor is there any thing that bears a greater witness 
to itself. This, however, is not all : for, over and 
above the several helps I have mention'd, there 
are likeAvise numerous monuments of the worship 
of the Druids, their valor, policy, and manner of 
habitation, still remaining in France, in Britain, in 
Ireland, and in the adjacent islands; many of 'em 
intire, and the rest by the help of these easily con- 
ceiv'd. Most are of stone, as the lesser ones are 
of glass, and others of earth bak'd extremely hard. 
The two last kinds were ornaments or magical 
gems, as were also those of chrystal and agat, 
either perfectly spherical, or in the figure of a !en- 
till ; or shap'd after any of the other ways, which 
shall be describ'd and portray'd in our book. The 
glass amulets or ornaments are in the Lowlands 
of Scotland, call'd Adder-stanes,'aind by the Welsh 
Gleini na Droedh, or Druid-glass, which is in Irish 
Glaine nan Druidhe, Glaine in this language sig- 
nifying Glass, tho' obsolete now in the Welsh dia 

* Ts Je mWiti x«i wowiXaj OTf 1 Bsm ytyarivai trapa toij vaXaioi; 'ETiXuri ituSovf 
iftff, a>i a^^a( fA£v ziri ^ayo:^ yiyovaa-iVy ah'Kai ^£ Trap* A{;/u?moic nai KsXrotc, xets 
Ai|3»iri, K»i iffufi, x«i Toif ttXXwc eSvsitj. Cap. 87. Thus the manuscript very 
accurately; but the printed copy has rm; aKxa; 'E^^aa•l superfluously in the 
end, and wants <tfv^, before, which is very essential, 



led, and preserv'd only in this Gleini na Droedh. 
But the more massy monuments shall, in a day or 
two, be the subject of another letter from, 

My Lord, 

Your Lordship's most obliged. 

And very humble Servant. 
June Hi 1718. 







I. Jr ERMIT me at this time, (my lord) according 
to the promise with which I concluded my last, 
to send to your lordship A specimen of the morm- 
ments relating to the Druids, that are still extant, 
either- intire or imperfect. I have ever indeavor'd 
to avoid deserving the blame, with which an ap- 
prov'd author charges those, who, while verj con- 
versant in the history of other places, appear to 
be absolute strangers in their own country; and 
as I know no man better versed in foren affairs, 
or in our own, (which an able statesman will nev^r 
separate) nor a greater master of antient or modern 
history than yourself; so I am apt to hope, that 
the collection of Brittish and Irish antiquities I 
here take the liberty to present to your lordship, 
may not prove altogether disagreeable. The 
French examples (a few excepted) I reserve for the 
larger work, and in the mean time I precede. 


On the tops of mountains and other eminences- in 
Ireland, in Wales, in Scotland, in the Scottish 
fends and the He of IMan, (where things have 
been least disorder'd or displac'd by the frequency 
of inhabitants, or want qf better ground for culti- 
vation) there are? great heaps of stones, like the 
mei-curial* lieapsf of theGreecs, whereof when we 
treat of the Celtic Mejrpury in particular. The 
heaps, which make my present subject, consist of 
»tones of all isorts, from one pound to a hundred. 
They are round in form, and somewhat tapering 
or diminishing upwards ; but on the summit was 
l»I«rays a flat stone, for a use we 0k^\l preseatly 
ei^Iain. These heaps are of all bignesses, some 
ei 'em containing at least a hufldf ed caydpfuj of 
stones y and if any of 'em be grown over with earth, 
"tis purely accidental in the long course of time 
whei'in they have beej^ uegiecte4; for BO such 
tiling was intended irj the first making of them, &s 
iu the sepulchral barrows of the Gothjp ^atjofts, 
which are generally of earth. Such a heap is in 
the antient Celtic language, and Jn every 4i^epi 
of it, call'd Cam, and every earn sq di^pos'4, as to 
be in sight of some other. Yet they are very dif^ 
ferent from the rude apd mux;h smaller pyrarpids, 
which the old Irish erect along tlie roads in me- 
Morj of the dead, by them caU'd t^e(iph4(t, w4 

* ITfiiwfMpsuotKri Jb rovi i-iSmt t)i; 'Ejij«ai,- ixa^a: tot xxfu:r>rj : EV> Ti»» utrmt 
-TMrE^siC, &c. Pbnrnnt. de Nat. Dear, cap, 16, 
t 'i-fnaut, i, «, Acci'vi Mercuiisles, 


hiade of the fil"st stones that offer. Frdft[, the do- 
vbtiondl rOuhds petforra'd about the earns in times 
of heathenism, and which, as we shall see anon, 
are yet continil'd in xtikay places of the Scottish 
Highlands and the Hebrides, any circle, or turn- 
itig about, is in Armorid call'd cern^, as cerna in 
that dialect is to make such a turn. On the earn 
Gaird Ctig-y-dyf-n, ih the parish of Tre'Iedh in 
Caermarthenshirej the flat stone on the top is 
tht-ee yards in length, five foot over, and from ten 
to twelve inches thick. The circumference of this 
earn at the bottom is about sixty yards, and 'tis 
about six yards high ; the ascent being very easy, 
tho' I suppose there was originally a ladder for 
this purpose. 

II. Let this earn serve fot an example of the 
rest, as to their form and bulk ; only we may take 
notice here by the way, what odd imaginations 
men are apt to have of things they do not under- 
statid. Thus Mr. William Sacheverellj governor 
of the He of Man under the right honorable the earl 
of Defby, in part of King William's reign^ mistaking 
these earns t hi his description of that iland, " The 
tops of the mountains (says he) seem nothing but 
the riibbish of nature, thrown into barren and un- 
fruitful heaps, as near two thirds of the iland are 
of this sort. Some seem particularly worthy our 
remark, as the two Barotvls, Skeyall, the watch- 

* C is pronoOnc'd 38 K. + Page 13. 


hill of Knock-U'low : but particularly Sneafeld, 
where it is not unpleasant (continues he) when the 
weather is clear and serene, to see three noble na- 
tions surrounding one of the most obscure in the 
universe: which is, as it were, the center of the 
Brittish empire." These heaps our author thought 
the work of chance, tho' artfully contriv'd in all 
the Celtic countries; as Dr. Martin thought a 
earn in the ile of Saint Kilda, whereof presently, 
to be a signal effect of Providence : But as for the 
Mannian nation (which is visibly the center of the 
Brittish world) it is very undeservedly become ob- 
scure, whether we consider what has been transact- 
ed in former ages, it having been the theater of many 
surprizing revolutions: or the particular usages 
in religious and civil affairs, that even now obtain 
there, especially their laws, which still continue 
luostly unwritten (for which reason they call 'em 
JBreast-laws) being without expense or delay, and 
imdoubted remains of the justice of the Druids. 
For, wherever they were not themselves a party, 
neither the Egyptians, nor Persians, nor Greecs, 
nor Romans, did surpass the wisdom, equity, and 
strictness of the Druids in the sanction or execu- 
tion of their laws ; which made all sorts of men 
leave their controversies of every kind to their de- 
termination, without any further appeal. Nor 
without some regard in fact, and a vast deal more 
in profession, to moral virtue, cou'd any set of im- 
p«, stors in any country possibly support their false 


doctrines and superstitious observances; which 
receive credit from hence, as the teachers of 'em 
do all their power and authority, in proportion to 
the austerities they practise, or the appearances 
they have of devotion. I say appearances, because 
this in most, join'd to real self-denial in a few 
(who by the rest are deem'd silly tho* useful crea- 
tures) will long uphold an institution both erro- 
neous and tyrannical : which is the reason that, to 
this hour, the memory of the Druids is highly ve- 
nerable among those of the lie of Man ; . and that 
their laws are infinitely preferr'd to all others by 
the Manksmen, who say the family of Derby 
comes nearest their excellence of any race of men 
now in the world. Wherefore, as well in these 
regards, as in many others essential to my design, 
I shall, in the body of the history, give a true idea 
of the past and present customs of this antient, 
tho' mixt people. Their numerous earns, of whose 
origin anon, are not the onely monuments they 
have of the Druids. But that the chief college 
of these philosophers was ever establish'd there, 
and mvich less any such college appointed by the 
kings of Scotland (as Hector Boethius feign'd) I 
shall demonstrate to be pure romance: and at the 
same time will not fail doing justice to the memory 
of the great hero and legislator of the iland, Ma- 
nannan ; reported, after the manner of those ages, 
to have been the son of Lear*, or th-e god of the 

* Manannan mhac Leir. 


sea, from his extraordinary skill in navigation and 
commerce. He was truely the son of Alladius*, 
who was of royal blood, and his own name Orbsen ; 
but call'd Manannan from his country, and kill'd 
by one Ullin near Galway, in Ireland: of all which 
the particulars will be given in their proper place, 
especially the republic of Manannan; who, from 
his instruction by the Druids, was reputed a con- 
summate magician, and was indeed most happy 
in stratagems of war both by land and sea. Mr. 
Sacheverell, except in affirming Manannan (whom 
he misnames Mannan) to have been the father, 
founder, and legislator of the islandlf, is out in 
every thing he says concerning him : for, instead 
of living about the beginning of the fifth century, 
he liv'd as many centuries before Christ; and so 
cou'd not be contemporary with Patric, the apostle 
of Man as well as Ireland. Neither was Manan- 
nan the son of a king of Ulster, nor yet the brother 
of Fergus II J:, king of Scotland: and as for his 
not being able to get any information what became 
of him, I have already told that he was kill'd in 
Ireland, and by whom. 

III. In process of time the earns, to which we 
now return, serv'd every where for beacons, as 
many of them as stood conveniently for this pur- 
pose: but they were originally design'd, as we are 
now going to see, for fires of another nature. The 
fact stood thus. On May-eve the Druids made 

* Allaid. + Page 20. + ibid. 


prodigious fires on those earns, which being every 
one (as we said) in sight of some other, cou'd not 
but aflFord a glorious show over a whole nation. 
These fires were in honour of Beal or Bealan, la- 
tiniz'd by the Roman authors into Belenus*, by 
which name the Gauls and their colonies under- 
stood the Sun: and, therefore, to this hour the first 
day of May is by the aboriginal Irish call'd La 
JBealteine, or the day of l^elen'sjire f. I remem- 
ber one of those earns on Fawn-hill within some 
miles of Londonderry, known by no other name 
but that of Bealteine, facing another such earn on 
the top of Inch-hill : and Gregory of Tours, in his 
book de Gloria Confessorum, mentions a hill J of 
the same name§ between Artom and Riom in 
Auvergne in France, from which Riom might be 
fairly view'd. But tho' later writers afiirm with 
Valesius, in his Galliarum notUia, this hill to be 
now miknown; yet Belen's heap on the top of it, 
is a sure mark whereby to discover it. His cir- 
cular temple, as we shall see hereafter, is still 
there, (if not the earn) having certainly existed in 
Gregory's time. Abundance of such heaps remain 
still on the mountains in France, and on the Alps. 

* Ilerodian. Auson, Capitolin. Tertul. &c. Videantur etiam 
Gruter. et Reines. ia inscriptionibus, 

i Etiam BealUaine, & antiquitus Beltine. 

X Cum [ex Artonensi vico\ venisset in cacutnea mentis Bele. 
natdnsis, de quo vici Ricomagensis positio coatemplatur, vidit 
hos, &c. De Gloria Confessor^ cap. 5, 

§ Mans Beknatensis. 



Those writers, however, are not to be blam'd, as 
being strangers to the origin or use of such heaps; 
and not able to distinguish them from certain 
other heaps, under which robbers and traitors 
were bury'd. These last are call'd in general by 
the Welsh Canv-Vraduyr and Carn-Lhadron* ; or 
particularly after the proper names of the underly- 
ing criminals, as Carnedh-Leuelyn, Carnedh-Da- 
vid, and such like. As far from Auvergne as the 
iland of Saint Kilda, in the 58th degree of north- 
ern latitude, there is another hill denominated from 
Belenus (which more consonant to the Celtic idiom 
Herodianf writes Beliii) corruptly call'd OtteV' 
Veaul'^, or Helens heigth; on which is a vast heap, 
whereof Doctor Martin^ in his account of that 
iland, did not know the use, as I said before §: 
but the earn being on the hill just above the land- 
ing place, he thinks it so order'd by providence; 
that by rouling down these stones, the inhabitants 
might prevent any body's coming ashore against 
their will. In the church of Birsa (near which 
stands a very remarkable obelise) at the west end 
of the iland call'd Pomona, or the mainland, in 
Orkney, there is an erect stone, with the v>'ord 
Sclus inscrib'd on it in antient characters. Yet 
whether this be any remembrance of Belenus (bet- 
ter according to the Irish idiom Belus) or be the 

* Traitor and thief s earn: in Irish Cam^bhrateoir Sf Cam an 

+ Lib. 8. cap. 7. % Uachdar Bheil. § Page 1 12. 


monument of a native prince so call'd, I shall not 
here decide. The fact itself is told us by Mr. 
Brand*, in his description ofOrlcney and Zetland. 
I wish he had also told us, of what kind those an- 
tient characters are, or that lie had exactly copy'd 
them: and if there be a man's portraitiu-e on the 
stone, as Dr. Martin affirms f, the dress and pos- 
ture will go a great way towards clearing the 

IV. But to make no longer digression, May-day 
is likewise call'd La Bealteine by the Highlanders 
of Scotland, who are no contemtible part of the 
Celtic offspring. So it is in the He of Man ; and 
in Armoric a priest is still call'd JBelec, or the ser- 
vant of Bel, and priesthood Belegieth. Two such 
fires, as we have mention'd, were kindl'd by one 
another on May-eve in every village of the nation 
(as well thro'out all Gaule, as in Britain, Ireland, 
and the adjoining lesser Hands), between which 
fires the men and the beasts to be sacrific'd were 
to pass; from whence came the proverb, between 
JBeVs tivoJires'\., meaning one in a great strait, not 
knowing how to extricate himself. One of the 
fires was on the earn, another on the ground. On 
the eve of the first day of November §, there were 
also such fires kindl'd, accompany'd (as they con- 
stantly were) with sacrifices and feasting. These 
November fires were in Ireland call'd Tine tlacKd- 

* Page 14. +Fage358. l/tfirdAo/AmeBheU. %Samhihmn. 


gJia, from tlacJid-gha*, a place hence so call'd in 
Meatb, where the Archdruid of the realm had 
his fire on the said eve; and for which piece of 
ground, because originally belonging to Munster, 
but appointed by the supreme monarch for this 
use, there was an annual acknowledgement (call'd 
sgreaboll) paid to the king of that province. But 
that all the Druids of Ireland assembl'd there on 
the first of November, as several authors injudici- 
ously write, is not only a thing improbable, but 
also false in fact; nor were they otherwise there 
at that time, nor all at any time together in one 
place, but as now all the clergy of England are 
said to be present in their convocations — that is, 
by their representatives and delegates. Thus 
Cesar is likewise to be understood, when, after 
speaking of the Archdruid of Gaule, he says that 
the Druids -f, at a certain time of the year, assemhVd 
in a consecrated grove in the country of the Car- 
MN/f5 J, tvhich is reckoned the middle region of all 
Gaule. But of these assemblies in their place. 
On the foresaid eve all the people of the country, 
out of a religious persuasion instill'd into them by 
the Druids, extinguish'd their fires as intirely as 
tlie Jews are wont to sweep their houses the night 

* Fire-ground. 

•I li IDmides'] certo anni tempore in finibus Carnutam, quae 
reglo totius Galllae media habetur, considunt in luco consecrato. 
De hello GallicOf lib, 6. cap, 13. 

+ Now le Pais Chartrain, the place Dreux. 


before the feast of unleavened bread. Then every 
master of a family was religiously oblig'd to take 
a portion of the consecrated fire home, and to kin- 
dle the fire a-new in his house, which for the ensu- 
ing year was to be lucky and prosperous. He 
was to pay, however, for his future happiness, 
whether the event prov'd answerable or not; and 
tho' his house shou'd be afterwards burnt, yet he 
must deem it the punishment of some new sin, or 
ascribe it to any thing, rather than to want of vir- 
tue in the consecration of the fire, or of validity in 
the benediction of the Druid, who, from offieiating 
at the cams, was likewise call'd Cairmach*, a 
name that continu'd to signify a priest, even in the 
christian times. But if any man had not clear'd 
with the Druids for the last year's dues, he was 
neither to have a spark of this holy fire from the 
cams, nor durst any of his neighbors let him take 
the benefit of theirs, under pain of excommunica- 
tion, which, as manag'd by the Druids, was worse 
than death. If he wou'd brew, therefore, or bake, 
or roast, or boil, or warm himself and family; in 
a word, if he wou'd live the winter out, the Druids 
dues must be paid by the last of October, so that 
this trick alone was more effectual than are all the 
acts of parliament made for recovering our pre- 

* This is the true origin of the word caimeach, as signifying 
a priest i but not deriv'd, as men ignorant of antiquity fancy, 
from QQroinemh, alluding to the crown.forsi'd tonsure of the 
Monks, not near S(> old as this vrord. 


sent clergy's dues; which acts are so many and 
so frequent, that the bare enumeration of them 
would make an indifferent volum. Wherefore I 
cannot but admire the address of the Druids, 
in fixing this ceremony of rekindling family-fires 
to the beginning of November, rather than to May 
or midsummer, Avhen there was an equal oppor- 
tunity for it. 

V. A world of places* are denominated from 
those earns of all sorts, as in Wales Carn-LJiech- 
art, Carn-Lhaid; in Scotland Carn-ivath, Carn- 
tuUocIc, Drum-cairn, Glen-cairn; in Ireland Curn- 
mail, Carn-aret, Carnan-tagher, Carnan-tober\ ; and 
in Northumberland, as in other parts of the north 
of England, they are sometimes call'd Laics or 
Loivs, a name they also give the Gothic barrows. 
The Lowland Scots call 'em in the plural num- 
ber Cairns, whence several lordships are nam'd, 
as one in Lennox, another in Galloway (to men- 
tion no more) from which the surname of Cairns. 
The family of Carne, in Wales, is from the like 
original: but not, as some have thought, the O 
Kearnys;}; of Ireland; one of which, Mr. John 
Kearny, treasurer of Saint Patric's in Dublin, was 
very instrumental in getting the Neic Tastament 
translated into Irish, about the end of the last 
century but one. As to this tire-worship, which 

* The places are numberless hi all these couutries. + Carnan 
is the diminutive of Cam, J Ccamaighf besides Ctathnr- 


(by the Way) prevail'd over all the world, the Cel- 
tic nations kindled other fires on midsummer eve, 
vfhich are still continu'd by the Roman Catholics 
of Ireland ; making them in all their grounds, and 
carrying flaming brands about their corn-fields. 
This they do likewise all over France, and in 
some of the Scottish iles. These midsummer fires 
and sacrifices, were to obtain a blessing on the 
fruits of the earth, now becoming ready for ga* 
thering; as those of the first of May, that they 
might prosperously grow : and those of the last 
of October, were a thanksgiving for finishing their 
harvest. But in all of 'em regard was also had to 
the several degrees of increase and decrease in the 
heat of the sun ; as in treating of their astronomy, 
and manner of reckoning time, we shall clearly 
show. Their other festivals with their peculiar 
observations, shall be likewise explain'd each in 
their proper sections; especially that of New- 
year's day, or the tenth of March (their fourth 
grand festival) which was none of the least solemn : 
and which was the day of seeking, cutting, and 
consecrating their wonder-working, All-heal, or 
misselto of oak. This is the ceremony to which 
Virgil alludes by his golden-branch, in the sixth 
book of the Aeneid, for which there is incontestable 
proof, which we shall giVe in a section on this sub- 
ject. 'Tis Pliny who says, that the Druids call'd 
it, ia their language, by a word signifying All- 



heal*; which word in the Armorican dialect is oU- 
yachi in the Welsh olrhiach, and in the Irish uil- 
iceach. Here, by the way, we may observe, that as 
the Greecs had many words from the barbarians, 
for which Plato in his Cratylus]', judges it would 
be lost labor to seek etymologies in their own lan- 
guage: so it is remarkable, that certain feasts of 
Apollo were call'd Carnea'^t from the killing of no 
body knows what Prophet Camus. Some said 
that he was the son of Jupiter and Europa, kill'd for 
a magician by one Ales : and others yet, that Cami 
■was a common name for an order of prophets in 
Arcanania. Apollo hiiriself was surnamed Car- 
nus§; and, from him, May was call'd the Camean 
month. Nay, there were Camean priests, and a 
particular kind of music, which we may interpret 
the Cairrirtunes, was appropriated to those festi- 
vals in May, perfectly answering those of the Cel- 
tic tribes. It is therefore highly probable, that 
the Gfeecs did learn these things from the Gauls 
their conquerors, and in many places seated 
among them ; or from some of their travellors in 
Gaule itself, if not from the Phocean colony at 
Marseilles, We know farther, that the making of 
hymns Avas a special part of the bards office; who 

* Otnnia-sanantem appellantes suo Tocabulo, &c. Lih. 16. 
eap. 44. 

t El TIC ?""> rtuird xala tuv E^^.nwx>ly ^mrnv, »f toixsTstif x«t«i ; «XXa ftv nay 
eteivOT, «* »f TO »«,«« ■tvy^ani », nvi» trt inrefoi ay. Inter opera, edit. Paris, 
vtil. 1 . jiog'. 409. 


by Strabo, are expresly term'd hymnTinaJcers* x 
and I showed before, that the antient Greecs (by 
their own ctwafession) leanat part of their philoso- 
phy, and many of their sacred fables, from the 
Gauls. So that this criticism is not so void of 
probability, as maiay which pass current enough 
in the world. However, I fairly profess to give it 
enely for a conjecture; which I think preferable 
to the farr-feteht and discordant accounts of the 
Greecs ; who, in spight of Plato and good sense, 
woai'd needs be fishing for the origin of every thing 
in their own language. In the mean time it is not 
tm worthy onr remark, that as prizes f were ad- 
j.iirdg'd to the victors in this Carnkan music among 
the Greecs: so the distributing of prizes to the 
most successful poets, was not less usual among 
the Gauls and their colonies ; whereof there is un- 
deniable proof in the Brittish and Irish histories, 
as will be seen in our section concerning the Bards. 
VI. Another criticism relating immediately to 
Apollo (for which I think this a proper fJace) 1 
give as something more than a conjecture. In the 
lordship of Merchiston, near Edinburgh, was for- 
merly dug up a stone with an inscription to Apollo 
Grannus; concerning which Sir James Dakymple 
baronet, in his second edition of Cmnbden's des- 
cription of Scotland, thus expresses himself after 

t TiftoSsj; 1» K.»ptM »)iu!il^oi*sntt Ptafarcft. in Apopltthegm, 



his author*. " Who this Apollo Grannus might 
be, and whence he should have his name, not one 
(to my knowledge) of our grave senate of antiqua- 
ries hitherto cou'd ever tell. But if I might be al- 
low'd, from out of the lowest bench, to speak what 
I think ; I would say that Apollo Grannus, among 
the Romans, was the same that ApoUon Akerse- 
komesf, that is Apollo with long hair, among the 
Greecs: for Isidore calls the long hair of the 
Goths Grannos." This consequence will by no 
means hold: for what are the Goths to the Ro- 
mans, who exprest this Greec by intonsiis Apollo? 
And since Goths speaking Latin had as little to 
do in the shire of Lothian, it will not be doubted, 
but that it was some Roman who paid this vow; 
as soon as 'tis known, that, besides the man's name 
Quintus Lusius Sabinianus, Grian, among the 
many Celtic names of the sun\, was one, being 

* This passage in Cambden is in the 897th page of Churchiirs 
edition, anno 1695. 

+ AffoXXcUV ttXEpff-£XO/A«ff : * item AHE^pEXOjUr^. 

* Resides the sun's Teligious attribute of Bel, Beal, Belin, or 
Belenus, it is call'd Hayl in Welsh, Haul in Cornish, Hcol in 
Armoric; in all which the aspirate h is put for s, as in a world 
of such other words : for any word beginning with ^ in the an. 
tient Celtic, does in the oblique cases begin with h. Yet s Is 
still retained in the Armoric Disul, in the Cambrian Dydhsycy 
and the Cornubian Jpexil; that is to say, Sundaj/. It was for. 
KCrly Diasoil in Irish, whence still remain Solus light, Soillse 
clearness, Soillseach ht'ight or sunny, Solkir manifest, and seve. 
ral more such. 'Tis now call'd Dia Domhnaigh, or Dies. Do- 
mhikus, according to the general use of all christians. 


the common name of it still in Irish : and that, from 
his beams, Greannach in the same language signi- 
fies long-hair d, which is a natural epithet of the 
sun in all nations. There is no need therefore of 
going for a Gothic derivation to Isidore, in whom 
now I read Scots instead of Goths ; and not, as I 
fancy, without very good reason. It wou'd be su- 
perfluous to produce instances (the thing is so 
common) to show that the Romans, to their own 
names of the Gods, added the names or attributes 
under which they were invok'd in the country, 
where they happen'd on any occasion to sojourn. 
Nor was this manner of topical worship unknown 
to the antient Hebrews, who are forbid to follow 
it by Moses in these words : " Enquire not after 
their Gods, saying, how did these nations serve 
their Gods? even so will I do lik^ise*." Grian 
therefore and Greannach explain the Lothian f in- 
scription very naturally, in the antient language of 
the Scots themselves (spoken still in the Highlands 

* Deut. 12. 80. 

+ This inscription, as given us by Cambdeii from Sir Peter 

Young, preceptor to King James VI. (for the Laird of Merchis- 

ton's Exposition of the Apocalyps I never saw) runs thus : 

Q. Lusius 


Proc* * Procurator. 

Aug* "Augasti. 

V. S. S. L. V. M. * * Votum susceptum solrjt 

iubent merit*. 


and Western lies, as well as in Ireland) without 
any need wf having recourse to Gothland, or other 
foren countries. 

VII. To return to our earn- fires, it was custom- 
ary for the lord of the place, or his son, or some 
other person of distinction, to take the ^itrails trf 
the sacrific'd animal in bis hands, and walkii^ 
barefoot over the coals thrice, after the flames had 
ceas'd, to carry them strait to the Druid, who 
waited in a whole skin at the altar. If the nobie- 
man escap'd harmless, it was reckon'd a good 
ovnen, wekom'd with loud acclaniatitms: but if be 
leceiivf'd any hurt, it was deero'd Hnlocky both to 
the community and to himself. Thus I have seen 
the people running and leaping thro' the St. 
John's fires in Ireland, and not onely proud of 
paissing unsing'd : but, as if it were some kind of 
Instralion, thinking themselves in a special mannw 
blest by this ceremony, of whose original never- 
theless they were wholly ignorant in their imper- 
fect imitation of it. Yet without being appriz'd 
of all this, no reader, however otherwise learned, 
can truely apprehend the beginning of the Consul 
Flaminius's speech to Equanus the Sabin, at the 
battle of Thrasimenus, thus intelligently related 
by Silius Italicus*. 

* Turn Soracte satum, prxstantem corpore et armis, 
^qoanum Doscens; patrio cui ritus ki arro, 
Dum pius Arcitenens incensls gaudet Acervis, 
Exta ter ioTiocuos ktt^ portare per ignes : 


Thm seelug Equaaus, near Soracte born, 
In person, as ia arms, the comelyest youth : 
Whose country manner 'tis, when th' archer keen 
Divine Apollo joys in burning Heaps, 
The sacred entrals thro' the fire unhurt 
To carry thrice : so may you always tread, 
With unscorch'd feet, the consecrated coals ; 
And o'er the heat victorious, swiftly bear 
The solemn gifts to pleas'd Apollo's altar. 

Now let all the commentators on this writer be 
consulted, and then it will appear what sad guess- 
work they have made about this passage; which 
is no less true of an infinite number of passages 
in other authors relating to such customs : for a 
very considerable part of Italy foUow'd most of 
the Druidical rites, as the inhabitants of such 
places happen'd to be of Gallic extraction, which 
was the case of many Cantons in that delicious 
country. But this is particularly true of the Um- 
brians and Sabins, who are by all authors made 
the antientest* people of Italy, before the coming 
thither of any Greec colonies. But they are by 
Splinus| from the historian Bocchus,by Servius^, 

Sic in Apollinea semper vestigia pruna 
Inviolata teras : victorque vaporis, ad aras 
Dona serenato referas Solennia Phoebo. 

Lib. 5. ver. 17S. 
* Dionys. Halicarnass. Aotiq. Rom. lib. 1. Plin. Hist. Nat. 
lib. 3. cap. 14. Flor. lib. 1. cap. 17, &c. 

t Bocchus absolvit Gallorum veterum propaginem Umbros 
esse, PoiyhiH. cap. 8. 

% San^ Umbros Gallorum Vfiteram propaginem esse, Marcut 
Antonius refert. /«/}*, li,MneU. unlefn. 


from the elder Marc An4;ony, by Isidore* also and 
Tzetzes f, in direct terras stil'd the issue of the an- 
tient Gauls, or a branch of them: and Dionysius 
Halicarnasseus, the most judicious of antiquaries, 
proves out of Zenodotus, that the Sabins were 
descendants of the Umbrians; or, as he expresses 
it, Umbrians under the nanic of Satins'^. The rea- 
son I am so particular on this head, is, that the 
mountain Soracte§ is in the Sabin country, in the 
district of the Faliscans about 20 miles to the 
north of Rome, and on the west side of the Tyber. 
On the top of it were the grove and temple of 
Apollo, and also his carn||, to which Silius, in the 
verses just quoted out of him alludes. Pliny has 
pre^erv'd to us the very ^ name of the particular 
race of people, to which the performing of the 
above describ'd annual ceremony belong'd : nor 
Was it for nothingthat they ran the risk of blistering 
their soles, since for this they were exemted from 

* Umbri Italix gens est, sed Gallorum veterum propago. 
Origin, lib. 9. cap. 2. 

t O/u^foi yiyti! raJMTuuv n raXsTwy. Schol. in LycophroD. Alex, ad ver, 

i Za|3inu; i^ OftfffMm. Antiq. Rom, liii, 1. 

§ Now Monte di San si/lvestro, 

II Acervus, 

f Haud procul urbe Romi, in Faliscorum agro famills sunt 
paucas, quae vocantur Hirpias; quxque sacrificio annuo, quod 
fit ad raoatem Soracte ApoUini, super ambustam ligni struem 
ainbulautes, iion aduruntur : et ob id perpetuo senatus consults 
militia;, aliorumque munerum, vacationem habent. Hist, Nat, 
lib, 2, cap. 3. Idem ex eodem Solin, Pott/hiit, nap, 8. 


serving in the wars, as well as from the expense and 
trohle of several offices. They were called Hirpins. 
Virgil, much elder than Silius or Pliny, introduces 
Aruns, one of that family, forming a design to kill 
Camilla, and thus praying for success to Apollo. 

O patron of Soracte's kigh abodes, 

Phebus, the ruling pow'r among the Gods ! 

Whom first we serve, whole woods of unctuous pine 

Burnt on thy heap, and to thy glory shine : 

By thee protected, with our naked spies 

Thro' flames unsing'd we pass, and tread the kindl'd coals. 

Give me, propitious pow'r, to wash away 

The stains of this dishonorable day*. 

Dri/den''i version. 

A Celtic antiquary, ignorant of the origin of the 
Umbrians and Sabins, wou'd imagine, when read- 
ing what past on Soracte, that it was some Gallic, 
Brittish, or Irish mountain, the rites being abso- 
lutely the same. We do not read indeed in our 
Irish books, what preservative against fire was us'd 
by those, who ran barefoot over the burning coals 
of the earns : and, to be sure, they wou'd have the 
common people piously believe they us'd none. 
Yet that they really did, no less than the famous 
fire-eater, whom I lately saw making so great a 

* Summe Deftm, sancti custos Soractis, Apollo, 
Quern primi colimus, cui pineus ardor Acervo 
Fascitur ; et medium, freti pietate, per ignem 
Cultores multa premimus vestigia pruoa : 
Da, pater, hoc nosttis aboleri dedecus armis. 

Aen. lib. 11. ver. 786. 


figure at London, men of penetration and iincor- 
rupted judgemients will never question. But vvc 
are not merely left to our judgements, for the fact 
is sufficiently arrested by that prodigy of know- 
ledge, and perpetual opposer of stipirstition, Mar- 
cus Varro; who, as Serving on the above-cited pas- 
sage of Virgil affirms *, desci-ib'd the very ointment 
oj" which the Hirpins made use, hesineanng their 
feet with it, when they ivalk'd thro' the fire. Thus 
at all times have the multitude (that common prey 
of priest and princes) been easily guU'd ; swallow- 
ing secrets of natural philosophy for divine mira- 
cles, and ready to do the greatest good or hurt, 
not under the notions of vice or virtue ; but barely 
as directed by men, ^vho find it their interest to 
deceive them. 

VIII. But leaving the Druids for a while, there 
are over and above the cams, in the highlands of 
Scotland and in the adjacent iles numberless Obe- 
lises, or stones sfet up an end ; some 30, some 24 
foot high, others higher or lower: and this some- 
times where no such stones are to be dug, Wales 
being likcM ise full of them ; and some lliere Are in 
the least cultivated parts of England, with ^ery 
many in Ireland. In most places of this last king- 
dom, the common people believe these Obelises to 

* Sed Varro, ubique Religionis espugnator, ait) cum quoddara 
medicameDtum describeret, eo uti solent H1RPINI,^m« ambula. 
tiiri per ignem, medicamento Plantas tingunt. Ad vtr. 787. 
lib, 11. Atnuid. 

OF TPE DRU11>S. 131 

be men, transforw'd into stones by the magic of the 
Pr^ids. This is j^lso the notion the vnlgar have 
in Oxfardshiw of Jfiollmigi't stones, and in Corn- 
waU of the hurlen; erect stones so caU'd, but be- 
longing to a different class frow the Obelises, where- 
of I now discourse. And indeed in every country 
the ignorant people ascribe to the devil or some 
supevnatural power, at least to giants, all works 
which seem to them to excede human art or abili^ 
ty, Thus among other things (for recording their 
traditions will have its pleasure as well as useful- 
ness) they account for the Roman camps and mili- 
tary ways, calling such the diveVs dt/kes, or the 
bite: while the more reasonable part are persuad- 
ed, that the erecf^ stones of which we speak, are 
the monuments of dead persons, whose ashes or 
bones are often found near them ; sometimes in 
uims, and sometimes in stone-coffins.wherein scales, 
hammers, pieces of weapons, and other things have 
been often found, some of them very finely gilt or 
polish'd. Dogs also have been found bury'd with 
their masters. The erect stones in the midst of 
stone-circles (whereof before I have done) are not 
of this funeral sort ; nor does it follow, that all those 
haye been erected in christian times, which have 
christian inscriptions or crosses on them: for we 
I'ead of many such Obelises thus sanctify'd, as they 
speak, in Wales and Scotland. And, in our Irish 
histories, we find the practice as early as Patric 
himself; who, having built the church of Douach- 



Patric on the brink of Loch-Hacket* in the county 
of Clare, did there on three colosses, erected in the 
times of Paganism, inscribe the proper name of 
Christ in three languages: namely, Jesus in He- 
brew on the first, Soter in Greec on the second, 
and Salvator in Latin on the third. That Obelise 
(if I may call it so) in the parish of Barvas in the 
iland of Lewis in Scotland, call'd the Thrushel- 
stone, is very remarkable; being not onely above 
20 foot high, which is yet surpassed by many 
others: but likewise almost as much in breadth, 
which no other comes near. 

IX. Besides these Obelises, there is a great num- 
ber of Forts in all the iles of Scotland, very dif- 
ferent from the Danish and Norwegian raths in 
Ireland, or the Saxon and Danish burghs in Eng- 
land: nor are they the same with the Gallic, Brit- 
tish, and Irish Lios, pronounc'd Lis'\-^ which are 
fortifications made of unwrought stones and unce- 
mented, whereof there are two very extraordinary 
in the iles of Aran, in the bay of Galway in Ire- 
land. Dun is a general Celtic word for all fortifi- 
cations made on an eminence, and the eminences 
themselves are so call'd; as we see in many pai'ts 
of England, and the sand-hills on the Belgic coast. 
Yet Rath and Lis are often confounded together, 
both in the speech and writing of the Irish. But 

* Formerly Dornhnaclumor and Loch-seal.; a, 
+ Lios in Irish, Les in Armoric, and Lhys in Welsh, signilu 5 
In English a Court ; as LiS'Lnin, Lynscmrt. 


the forts in question are all of wrought stone, and 
often of such large stones, as no number of men 
cou'd ever raise to the places they occupy, without 
the use of engines; which engines are quite un- 
known to the present inhabitants, and to their an- 
cestors for many ages past. There's none of the 
lesser iles, but has one fort at least, and they are 
commonly in sight of each other : but the Diin in 
St. Kilda (for so they call the old fort there) is 
about 18 leagues distant from North Uist, and 20 
from the middle of Lewis or Harries, to be seen 
only in a very fair day like a blewish mist: but a 
large fire there wou'd be visible at night, as the 
ascending smoak by day. In this same He of 
Lewis (where are many such DAns) there's north 
of the village of Brago, a round fort compos'd of 
huge stones, and three stories high : that is, it has 
three hollow passages one over another, within a 
prodigious thick tvall quite round the fort, with 
many windows and stairs. I give this onely as 
an example from Dr. Martin, an eye-witness, who, 
with several others, mention many more such 
elsewhere: yet (which is a great neglect) without 
acquainting us with their dimensions, whether 
those passages in the wall be arch'd, or with many 
such things relating to the nature of the work; 
and omitting certain other circumstances, no less 
necessary to be known. I mention these forts, 
my lord, not as any way, that I yet know, apper- 
taining to the Druids : but, in treating of the mp- 


iiuments truely theirs, I take this natural occasion 
of communicating, what may be worthy of your 
lordship's curiosity and consideration ; especially 
whw, like Episodes in a poem, they serve to re- 
lieve the attention, and are not \ery foren to the 
subject. Considering all things, I judge no mo- 
numents more deserving our researches; especi- 
ally, if any shou'd prove them to be Phenician or 
Massilian places of security for their commerce: 
since 'tis certain that both people have traded 
there, and that Pytheas of Marseilles (as we are 
inform 'd by Strabo) made a particular description 
of those ilands; to which Ces^r, among other de- 
scriptions, without naming the authors, does 
doubtless refer*. But my own opinion J think 
fit at present to reserve. 

X, From the conjectures I have about these 
numerous and costly foi'ts, in ilands so remote 
and barren, I pass the certainty I have concerning 
the temples of the J)ruids, Avhereof so many ai'e yet 
intire in those ilands, as well as in Wales and 
Ireland; with some left in England, where culture 
. has mostly destroy'd or impair'd such monuments. 
These tern pies are circles qf Obelises or erect stones, 
some larger, some narrower, (as in all other edifi- 

* fn hoc medio cursu [inter Hihemiam scilictt Sf Britaniam'] 
es! insula, qu^e appellatur Mono. Complures praeterea miao. 
les objectae iosulae existimantur, de quibus insults nonnalli 
scripserunt, dies contiauos SO sub bruma esse noctem. De 
Bella GuUkOf lib. &. 

or THE DRUIDS. 135 

ces) some more and some less maghificettt. They 
are for the greatest pavt perfectly circular, but 
some of them s^micii-cular : in others the obelises 
stand close together, but in most separate and 
equidistant. I am not ignorant that several, with 
Dr. Charlton in his StoM-kenge restored to the 
jyanes, believe those'circles to be Danish tvorks ; 
a notion I shall easily confete in due time, and 
6V^ now as I go along. But few have imagin'd 
'em to be Roman, as the famous architect Inigo 
JoheS wdU'd iieeds have thi« same Stom-hei^e 
(according to me one of the Druid cathedrals) to 
be the temple of Celtim or Terminus, in his StoM- 
henge restor'd to the Romans. Nevertheless, my 
lord, I promise you no lets than demonstration, 
that those circles were Druids temples^ agaiiist 
which assertion their frequenting of oaks, and per- 
forming no religious rites without oak-bfanches 
of leaves, will prove no valid exception ; no more 
tiian such circlefs being found in the Gothic coun- 
trieis, tho' without aUm-s, whereof we shall speak 
aftfer the temples. The outside of the churches 
m Spain and Holland is much the same, but their 
insid'C differs extremely. As for Inigo Jones, he 
cannot be too much commended for his generous 
efforts (which shows an unxrommon getiius) to in- 
troduce a 'b<?tter taste of architecture into England, 
where 'tis ^till so difficult a thing to get rid of Go- 
thic oddnesses ; and therefore 'tis no wonder he 
shou'd continue famous, when so few endeavow 


to excede him: but we must beg his pardon, if, 
as he was unacquainted with history, and wanted 
certain other qualifications, we take the freedom 
in our book to correct his mistakes. 

XI. In the iland of Lewis before-mention'd, at 
the village of Classerniss, there is one of those 
temples extremely remarkable. The circle con. 
sists of 12 obelises, about 7 foot high each, and 
distant from each other six foot. In the center 
.stands a stone 13 foot high, in the perfect shape 
of the rudder of a ship. Directly south from the 
circle, there stands four obelises running out in a 
line; as another such line due east, and a third to 
the Avest, the number and distances of the stones 
being in these wings the same: so that this temple, 
the most intire that can be, is at the same time 
both round and wing'd. But to the north there 
reach by way of avenue) two straight ranges of 
obelises, of the same bigness and distances with 
those of the circle; yet the ranges themselves are 
8 foot distant, and each consisting of 19 stones, 
the 39th being in the entrance of the avenue. 
This temple stands astronomically, denoting tlie 
12 signs of the Zodiac and the four principal 
winds, subdivided each into four others ; by which, 
and the 19 stones on each side of the avenue beto- 
kening the cycle of 19 years, I can prove it to have 
been dedicated principally to the sun ; but subor- 
dinately to the seasons and the elements, particu- 
larly to the sea and the winds, as appears by tlie 


rudder in the middle. The sea, consider'd as a 
divinity, was by the ancient Gauls call'd Anvana 
or Onvana, as the raging sea is still call'd Anafa 
in so many letters by the Irish*; and both of 'em, 
besides that they were very good astronomers, are 
known to have paid honor not only to the sea, but 
also to the winds and the tempests, as the Ro- 
mans f were wont to do. But of this in the ac- 
count of their worship. I forgot to tell you, that 
there is another temple about a quarter of a mile 
from the former; and that commonly two temples 
stand near each other, for reasons you will see in 
our history. East of Drumcruy in the Scottish 
He of Aran, is a circular temple, whose area is 
about 30 paces over: and south of the same vil- 
lage is such another temple, in the center of which 
still remains the altar; being a broad thin stone, 
supported by three other such stones. This is 
very extraordinary, tho' (as you may see in my last 
letter) not the onely example; since the zeal of the 
chi'istians sometimes apt to be over-heated, us'd 
to leave no altars standing but their own. In the 

* They vulgarly call the sea mor or muir^ mam, cuan,fairge, 

+ Sic fatus, meritos aris mactaTit honores : 
Tai^rum Neptuno, taurum tibi, pulcher Apollo ; 
Nigram Hyemi pecudem, Zephyris felicibus albam. 

Aen. lib. 3, 
Videatur etiam Horatius, Epod. 10. ver. ult. Cic. de nat, 
Deor. lib. 3. £t Aristoph. in Ranis cum suo Sc.holiayte. 



greatest Hand of Orkney * commonly call'd the 
Mainland, there are likewise two temples, where 
the natives believe by tradition, that the sun and 
moon were worshipt: which belief of theirs is very 
right, since the lesser temple is semicircular. The 
greater is 110 paces diameter. They know not 
what to make of two green mounts erected at the 
east and west end of it : a matter nevertheless for 
which it is not difficult to account. There's a 
trench or ditch round each of these temples, like 
that about Stonehenge; and, in short, every such 
temple had the like inclosure. Many of the stones 
are above 20 or 24 foot in height above the ground, 
about 5 foot in breadth, and a foot or two in thick- 
ness. Some of- 'em are fallen do\\Ti ; and the 
temples are one on the east and the other on the 
west side of the lake of Stennis, where it is shal- 
low and fordable, there being a passage over by 
large stepping stones. Near the lesser temple 
(which is on the east side of the lake, as the great- 
er on the west) there stand two stones of the same 
bigness with the restf; thro' the middle of one of 
which there is a large hole, by which criminals 

* The lies of Orkney are denominated from Orcas or Orca. 
which, in Diodorus Siculus and Ptolemy, is the ancient name of 
Caithness ; and this from Ore, not a salmon (as by some inter. 
preted)buta whale: so that in old Irish Orci is the Whale 
Islands. The words of Diodorus are, to ie i.7ro\w.,u£>,» [t,s BftT«n«] 

«ywsi» ^6v ifopousiv CIS TO WfXayB*, ovc/^djwfiai it OfMt, Lib. 4, 

+ Brand; pag. 44. 


and victims were ty'd. Likewise in the iland of 
Papa-Westra, another of the Orkneys, there stand, 
near a lake (now call'd St. Tredwell's loch*) two 
such obelises, in one of which there is the like 
hole: and behind them lying on the ground a 
third stone, being hollow like a trough. 

XII. These few I only give for examples out of 
great numbers, as I likewise take the liberty to ac- 
quaint you (my lord) that at a place call'd Biscau- 
woon, near Saint Burien's in Cornwall, there is a 
circular temple consisting of 19 stones, the dis- 
tance between each 12 foot; and a twentieth in 
the center, much higher than the rest. But I am 
not yet inform'd, whether this middle stone has 
any peculiar figure, or whether inscrib'd with any 
characters; for such characters are found in Scot- 
land, and some have been observ'd in Wales ; but 
(except the Roman and Christian inscriptions) 
unintelligible to such as have hitherto seen them. 
Yet they ought to have been fairly represented > 
for the use of such as might have been able per- 
haps to explain them. They would at least ex- 
ercise our antiquaries. The circle of Rollrich- 
stones in Oxfordshire, and the Hurlers in Corn- 
wall, are two of those Druid templeSi There is 
one at Aubury in Wiltshire, and some left in other 
places in England. In Gregory of Tours time 
there was remaining, and for ought I know may 
still be so, one of those temples on the top of Be- 

* Brand, pag. 58. 



lerCs mount between Arton and Riom in Au- 
vergne. It was within this inclosure that Martin, 
the sainted bishop, stood taking a view* of the 
country, as before-mention'd. Now of such tem- 
ples I shall mention here no more, but precede to 
the Druids altars, which, as I said before, do or- 
dinarily consist of four stones; three being hard 
flags, or large tho' thin stones set up edgewise, 
two making the sides, and a shorter one the end, 
with a fourth stone of the same kind on the top: 
for the.other end was commonly left open, and the 
■altars were all oblong. Many of 'em are not in- 
tire. From some the upper stone is taken away, 
from others one of the side-stones or the end. 
And, besides the alterations that men have caus'd 
in all these kinds of monuments, time itself has 
chang'd 'em much more. Mr. Brand, speaking 
of the obelises in Orkney, " many of 'em (says he) 
appear to be much worn, by the washing of the 
wind and rain, which shows they are of a long 
standing: and it is very strange to think, how, in 
those places and times, they got such large stones 
carry'd and erected f." 'Tis naturally impossible, 
but that, in the course of so many ages, several 
stones must have lost tlieir fisjure; their an^-les 
being expos'd to all weathers, and no care taken 
to repair any disorder, nor to prevent any abuse 

* Extat nunc in hoc loco cancellus, in quo Sanctus dicitur 
Stetisse. Gregor. Turon. de Gloria Confessor, cap. 5, 
+ Pag. 46. 


0f them. Thus some are become lower, or jagged, 
or otherwise irregular and diminish'd : many are 
quite wasted, and moss or scurf hides the inscrip- 
tions or sculptures of others; for such sculptures 
there are in several places, particularly in Wales 
and the Scottish ile of Aran. That one sort of 
stone lasts longer than another is true : but that 
all will have their period, no less than parchment 
and paper, is as true. 

XIII. There are a great many of the altars to 
be seen yet intire in Wales, particularly two in 
Kerig Y Drudion parish mention'd in my other 
letter, and one in Lhan-Hammulch parish in 
Brecknockshire ; with abundance elsewhere, dili- 
gently observ'd by one I mention'd in my first let- 
ter, Mr, Edward. Lhuyd, who yet was not certain 
to what use they were destin'd. Here I beg the 
favor of your lordship to take it for granted, that 
I have sufficient authorities for every thing I al- 
ledge: and tho' I do not always give them in this 
brief specimen, yet in the history itself, they shall 
be produc'd on every proper occasion. The Druids 
altars were commonly in the middle of the tem- 
ples, near the great colossus, of which presently; 
as there is now such a one at Carn-Lhechart, in 
the parish of Lhan-Gyvelach, in Glamorganshire, 
besides that which I mention'd before in Scotland. 
They are by the Welsh in the singular number 
call'd Kist-vden, that is a stone-chest, and in the 
plural Kistieu-vaen, stone-chests. These names, 


with a small variation, are good Irish: but the 
things quite different from those real stone-chests 
or coffins (commonly of one block and the lid) that 
are in many places found under ground. The 
vulgar Irish call these altars Dermot and Gra- 
nia's bed*. This last was the daughter of King 
Cormac Ulfhada, and wife to Fin mac Cuilf; 
from whom, as invincible a general and champion 
as he's reported to have been, she took it in her 
head (as women will sometimes have such fancies) 
to run away with a nobleman, call'd Dermot 
O Duvny:|;: but being pursu'd fvery where, the 
ignorant country people say, they were intertain'd 
a night in every quarter-land ^, or village of Ireland ; 
where the inhabitants sympathizing with their af- 
fections, and doing to others what they wou'd be 
done unto, made these beds both for their resting 
and hiding place. The poets, you may imagine, 
have not been wanting to imbellish this story: and 
hence it appears, that the Druids were planted as 
thick as parish priests, nay much thicker. Wher- 
ever there's a circle without an altar, 'tis certain 
there was one formerly; as altars are found where 
the circular obelises are mostly or all taken away 
for other uses, or out of aversion to this supersti- 
tion, or that time has consumed them. They, who, 
from the bones, which are often found near those 
altars and circles (tho' seldom witliin them) will 

* Leaba Dhiarmait agus Ghraine. + Finn mbac Cubhaill. 
1^ Diarmalt Duibhne. § Seisreach ^ Ccathramhach. 


needs infer, that they were burying places; forget 
what Cesar, Pliny, Tacitus, and other authors, 
write of the human sacrifices offer'd by the Druids : 
and, in mistaking the ashes found in the earns, 
they show themselves ignorant of those several an- 
niversary fires and sacrifices, for which they were 
rear'd, as we have shown above. The huge cop- 
ing stones of these earns were in the nature of al- 
tars, and altars of the lesser form are frequently 
found near them; as now in the great Latin and 
Greec churches, there are, besides the high altar, 
several smaller ones. 

XIV. There's another kind of altar much big- 
ger than either of these, consisting of a greater 
number of stones ; some of 'em serving to support 
the others, by reason of their enormous bulk., 
These the Britons term Cromlech in the singular, 
Cromlechu in the plural number; and the Iri&h 
Cr&mleach or Cromleac, in the plural Cromleacha 
or Cromleacca. By these altars, as in the center 
of the circular temples, there commonly stainds 
(or by accident lyes) a prodigious stone, which 
was to serve as a pedestal to some deity: for all 
these Cromleachs were places of worship, and so 
call'd from bowing, the word signifying the bow- 
ing-stone*. The original designation of the idol 
Crui^-cruach (whereof in the next section) may 
■syell be from Cruim, an equivalent word to Tair- 

* From crom or crum, which, in Armoric, Irish, and Welsh, 
«ignifies.Jc«?/ aod Lech or Leac, a broad s(one. 


■neafih Taran or Tarman, all signifying thunder; 
whence the Romans call'd the Gallic Jupiter Ta- 
ramis or Taranis, the thunderer: and from these 
Cromleachs it is, that in the oldest Irish a priest 
is call'd Cruimthear, and priesthood Cruimtheacd, 
Avhich are so many evident vestiges of the Druidi- 
cal religion*. There's a Cromlech in Nevern-pa- 
rish in Pembrokeshire, where the middle stone is 
still 18 foot high, and 9 broad towards the base, 
growing narrower upwards. There lyes by it a 
piece broken of 10 foot long, which seems more 
than 20 oxen can draw: and therefore they were 
not void of all skill in the mechanics, who could 
set up the whole. But one remaining at Poitiers 
in France, supported by five lesser stones, excedes 
all in the British ilands, as being sixty foot in cir- 
cumferencef . 1 fancy, however, that this was a 
roching-stone : There's also a noble Cromleach at 
Bod-ouyr in Anglesey. Many of them, by a mo- 
dest computation, are 30 tun weight: but they 
differ in bigness, as all pillars do, and their altai'S 
are ever bigger than the ordinary Kistiew-vaen. 
In some places of Wales these stones are call'd 

* Of the same nature is Caimeach, of which before : for So- 
gttrt, the ordinary word for a priest, is manifestly formed from 

f La pierre levee de Poitiers a soisante pieds de tour, & elle 
rst posee sur cinq autres pierres, sans qu'on sache non plus nl 
pourquoi, ni comment. Chevrcau, Memoires d'Atighteire, 
page 380. 


Meineu-guyr, which is of the same import witli 
Cromlechu. In Caithness and other remote parts 
of Scotland, these Cromleacs are very nume- 
rous, some pretty entire ; and others, not so much 
consum'd by time or thrown down by storms, as 
disorder'd and demolish'd by the hands of men. 
But no such altars were ever found by Olaus 
Wormius, the great northern antiquary (which I 
desire the abettors of Dr. Charlton to note) nor 
by any others in the temples of the Gothic nations ; 
as I term all who speak the several dialects of 
Gothic original, from Izeland to Switzerland, and 
from the Bril in Holland to Presburg in Hungary, 
the Bohemians and Polanders excepted. The 
Druids were onely co-extended with the Celtic 
dialects : besides that Cesar says expresly, there 
were no Druids among the Germans* with whom 
he says as expresly that seeing- and feeling was be' 
lieving (honoring onely the sun, the fire, and the 
moon, hy which they were manifestly benefited) and 
that they made no sacrifices at all: which, of 
course, made altars as useless there (tho' after- 
wards grown fashionable) as they were necessary 
in the Druids temples, and which they show 
more than probably to have been temples indeed ; 

* German! neque Druides habeat, qui lebus diTiDis prse- 

sint, neque sacrificits student. Deorum numero eos solos du. 
Cunt, qttos cernunt, et quorum operibus aperte juvantur ; Solem, 
et Vulcanum, et Lunam: reliquos ne fam^ quidem acceperunt. 
Be Bella GelUeo, lib. S. 



nor are they call'd by any other name, or thought 
to have been any other thing, by the Highlanders 
or their Irish progenitors. In Jersey likewise, as 
well as in the other neighbouring ilands, formerly 
part of the dutchy of Normandy, there are raafiy 
altars and Cromleclis. " There are yet remaining 
in this iland" (says Dr. Falle in the 115th page of 
his account of Jersey) " some old monuments of 
Paganism. We call them Pouqueleys. They are 
great flat stones, of vast bigness and weight; some 
oval, some quadrangular, rais'd 3 or 4 foot from 
the ground, and supported by others of a les» size. 
'Tis evident both from their figure, and great quan- 
tities of ashes found in the ground thereabouts, 
that they were us'd for altars in those times of 
superstition: and their standing on eminences 
near the sea, inclines me also to think, that they 
were dedicated to tlie divinities of the ocean. At 
ten or twelve foot distance there is a smaller stone 
set up at an end, in manner of a desk ; where 'tis 
suppos'dthe priest kneel'd, and perform'd some ce- 
remonies, while the sacrifice was burning on the 
altar." Part of this account is mistakeii, for the 
culture of the inland parts is the reason that few 
Pouqueleys are left, besides those on the barren 
rocks and hills on the sea side: nor is that situa- 
tion alone suflicient for entitling them to the ma- 
rine powers, there being proper marks to distin- 
guish such wheresoever situated. 

XV. But to return to our Croii^achs, the chief- 


est in all Ireland was Cruvi-cruach, which stood 
in the midst of a circle of twelve obelises on a hill 
in Brefin, a district of the county of Cavan, for- 
merly belonging to Letrim. It was all over co- 
ver'd with gold and silver, the lesser figures on the 
twelve stones about it being onely of brass; which 
mettals, both of the stones and the statues that 
they bore, became every where the prey of the 
christian priests, upon the conversion of that king- 
dom. The legendary writers of Patricks life tell 
many things no less ridiculous than incredible, 
about !&e destruction of this temple of 3Iot/slect*% 
or the field of adoration, in Brefin; where the 
stumps of the circular obelises are yet to be seen, 
and where they were ixoted by writers to have 
stood long before any Danish invasion, which 
shows how groundless Dr. Charlton's notion is. 
The bishop's see of Clogher had its name from 
one of those stones, all cover 'd with gold (Clochoir 
signifying the golden stone) on which stood Ker- 
raand Kelstach, the chief idol of Ulster |. Thia^ 
stone is still in being. To note it here by tlie way. 
Sir James Ware was mistaken, when, in his Anti- 
quities of Ireland, he said Arcklow and Wicklow 
were foren names : whereas they arc mere Irish, 
the first being Ard-cloch, and the second Buidhe- 
cloch, from high and yellow stones of this conse- 
crated kind. 'Tis not to vindicate either the Celtic 
nations in general, or my own countrymen in 

* Mash-tUuehu f Mercurius Celticus. 

148 *l'HE HISTORY 

particular, for honoring of such stones, or for 
having stony symbols of the Deity ; but to show 
they were neither more ig-norant nor barbarous 
in this respect than the politest of nations, the 
Greecs and the Romans, that here I must make 
a short literary excursion. Wherefore, I beg your 
lordship to remember, that Kermand Kelstach 
was not the onely Mercury of rude stone, since 
the Mercury of the Greecs was not portray'd an- 
tiently in the shape of a youth, with wings to his 
heels and a caduceus in his hand; but without 
hands or feet, being a square stone*, says Phumu- 
tus, and I say without any sculpture. The rea- 
son given for it by the divines of those days, was. 
" that as the square figure betoken'd his solidity 
and stability; so he wanted neither hands nor 
feet to execute what he was commanded by Jove. 
Thus their merry-making Bacchus was figur'd 
among the Thebans by a pillar oaelyf". So the 
Arabians worship I know not what God (says 
Maximus Tyrius:j;) and t^e statue that I saw of 
him, was a square stone." I shall say nothing 
here of the oath of the Romans per Jovetn JLapi- 
dem. But nobody pretends that the Gauls were 
more subtil theologues or philosophers, tlian the 

* nXaTTETttt ti Hat *X^'P» *"' *'^'"^5| X** TETpaywvo; T« r^^nfjirttrtf J'Epjtt>:f : tetm- 
j'ajve? jMEV, TO iifam ts itai air<{>aXcc SX^tf — ''X^'P ^^ **' a^ouj, ettej ovtl -jTiiSiuv nil ysj, 
fiov hnm, 5rptc to avuEtv to ^rpoxEijUEvov aurw. De Tfat. Dear, cap, 16. 
t iTi/Xoc ©E^'aioto-i AiwTOff-roc ffoXyyflSt)?, Clem. Ahx, Stromat, lib, 1, 
J ApaCisi ffl^tairi /wEvoiTiva J'lun tiJa : a« Je oj-aXjxa o ttJtv Xi8o« nt n-rfayifti-. 
Strm. 33. 


Arabians, Greecs, or Romans ; at least many are 
apt not to believe it of their Irish ofspring: yet 
'tis certain, that all those nations meant by these 
stones without statues, the eternal stability and 
power of the Deity*; and that he cou'd not be re- 
presented by any similitude, nor under any figure 
whatsoever. For the numberless figures, which, 
notwithstanding this doctrine, they had (some of 
'em very ingenious, and some very fantastical) were 
onely emblematical or enigmatical symbols of the 
divine attributes and operations, but not of the 
divine essence. Now as such symbols in differ- 
ent places were different, so they were often con- 
founded together, and mistaken for each other. 
Nor do I doubt, but in this manner the numerous 
earns in Gaule and Britain induc'd the Romans 
to believe, that Mercury was their chief Godf, 
because among themselves he had such heaps, as 
I show'd above; whereas the Celtic heaps were 
all dedicated to Belenus, or the sun. The Roman 
historians in particular are often misled by like- 
nesses, as has been already, and will not seldom 
again, be shown in our history; especially with 
regard to the Gods, said to have been worship'd 
by the Gauls. Thus some modern critics have 
forg'd new Gods, out of the sepulchral inscriptions 
of Gallic heroes. I shall say no more of such 

* To «»eixwis-ov Tou fleov xai f«0Hjt»ov. Id, Ibid, 

+ Deum tnazime Mercurium colunt. Hujus sunt pluriraa 
simulacra, &c. Cas, de bdlo Gallko, lib, 6. 


pillars, feut that many oi theiB have a cavity on 
tlie top, capable to hold a pint, and sometimes 
more; with a channel or groove, about an inch 
dicep, reaching from this hollow place to tlie 
ground, of the use whereof in due time. 

XVI. Nor will I dwell longer here, than our 
subject requires, on the Fatal Stone so cail'd, on 
which the supreme kings of Ireland us'd to be 
inaugurated in times of heathenism on the hillurf* 
Farahl; and which, being inclos'd in a woodea 

* Temnhuir, or in the oblique cases Teamhra^ whence cor. 
roptly Taragh, or Tarah. 

•h The true names of this stone are Lioig -fail, or the fetal stone, 
aii«l {Jlech na cineamhma, or the stone ^JbrtMne : both of them 
£rem a per&uasien the antient Irish lia4, that, in what country 
soever this stone remaio'd, there one of their blood was to reign. 
But this proT'd as false as such other protphesies for 300 y«ars, 
from Edward the First to the reign of James the First in England. 
The Druidical oracle is in verse, and in tiiese original words : 
Cioniodh scnit saor an €ae, 
Man ba breag an Faisdioe, 
Mar a bhfuighid an Lia-fail, 
'Dligbid flaitbeas do gbabbail. 
Which may be <read thus trnely, but mouki^ly translated, in 
Hector Boeilmts : 

Ni fallat fatum, Scoti, qaocun^ne locatuin 
Invenicnt lapidem hnoc, regnare tenentiu- ibidem. 
The iLowland Scots hare rhym'd it thus : 
•Except old Saws do feign. 
And wizards wits be blind. 
The Scots in place must reign. 
Where they this stone shall ftud. 
And some English poet has thns render'd it : 

Consider Scot, wher'e'er yon find this stone. 
If fatc»faU'n»t, there lixt must be your ttiroue. 

OF THE DRUms. 151 

chair, was thought to emit a sound under the 
rightful candidate (a thing easily manag'd by the 
Druids), but to be mute under a man of none or 
a bad title, that is, one who was not for the turn 
of those priests. Every one has read of Memnon's 
vocal statue in Egypt, This fatal stone was su- 
perstitiously sent to confirm the Irish colony in 
the north of Great Britain, where it continu'd as 
the corOnation-seat of the Scottish kings, even 
since Christianity; till, in the year 1300, Edward 

The Irish pretend to have memoirs concerning it for above 2000 
years: nay Ireland itself is sometimes, from this stone, by the 
poets call'd Inis-fail. But how soon they begun to use it, or 
■whence they had it, lyes altogether in the dark. What's cer- 
tain is, that after having long continu'd at Tarab, it was, for the 
purpose I have mentioned, sent to Fergus, the first actual king 
of Scots ; and that it lay in Argile (the original seat of the Scots 
in Britain) till, about the year of Christ 842, that Keneth the 2d, 
the SOB of Alpin, having inlarg'd his borders by the conquest of 
the Picts, transferr'd this stone, for the same purpose as before, 
to Scone. So great respect is still paid by christians to a heathen 
prephesy ! not onely false in fact, as I have this moment prov'd j 
but evidently illusory and equivocal, it being a thing most diffi- 
cult to find any prince ia Europe, who, some way or other, may 
not claim kindred of every other princely race about him, and 
consequently be of that blood. This is the case of our present 
soverain King George, ■who is indeed descended of the Scottish 
raccj but yet in propriety of speech is not of the Scottish line; 
but the first here of the Brunswick line, as others begun the Brit, 
tish, SaxoD, Danish, Saso-Danish, Norman, Sazo-Norman, arid 
Scottish lines. Yet this not being the sense in which the Irish 
and Scots understand the oralcle, they ought consequently at this 
very time to look upon it as false and groundjess. 


the First of England brought it from Scone, plac- 
ing it under the coronation-chair at Westminster : 
and there it still continues, the antientest respect- 
ed monument in the world ; for tho' some others 
may be more antient as to duration, yet thus super- 
stitiously regarded they are not. I had almost 
forgot to tell you, that 'tis now by the vulgar call'd 
Jacob-stone, as if this had been Jacob's pillow at 
Bethel*. Neither shall I be more copious in 
treating of another kind of stones, tho' belonging 
also to our subject. They are roundish and of 
Tast bulk ; but so artificially pitch'd on flat stones, 
sometimes more, sometimes fewer in number: 
that touching the great stone lightly, it moves, and 
seems to totter, to the great amazement of the ig- 
norant; but stirs not, at least not sensibly (for 
that is the case) when one uses his whole strength. 
Of this sort is Maeiv-amber in Cornwall, and ano- 
ther in the peak of Derby, whereof Dr. Wood- 
ward has given me an account from his own ob- 
servation. Some there are in Wales, one that I 
have seen in the parish of Clunmanyf, in the north 
of Ireland, and the famous rocking stones in Scot- 
land ; of all which, and many more, in our history. 
Yet I cou'd not excuse it to myself, if I did not 
with the soonest, let your lordship into the seci'et 
of this reputed magic; which the no less learned 
antiquary than able physician, Sir Robert Sib-v 

* Gen. 28. 11, 18, 19. f Cluainmaine. 


bald, has discover'd in the appendix to his History 
of Fife and Kinross. That gentleman speaking 
of the rocking-stone near Balvaird (or the bards 
town) " I am inform'd," says he, " that this stone 
was broken by the usurper (Cromwel's) soldiers; 
and it was discover'd then, that its motion was 
performed by a yolk extuberant in the middle of 
the under-surface of the upper stone, which was 
inserted in a cavity in the surface of the lower 
stone." To- which let me add, that as the lower 
stone was flat, so the upper stone was globular; 
and that not onely a just proportion in the mo- 
tion, was calculated from the weight of the stone, 
and the wideness of the cavity, as well as the oval 
figure of the inserted prominence; but that the 
vast bulk of the upper stone did absolutely con- 
ceal the mechanism of the motion ; and the better 
still to impose, there were two or three surround- 
ing flat stones, tho' that onely in the middle was 
concern'd in the feat. By this pretended miracle 
they condemn'd of perjury, or acquitted, as their 
interest or their affection led them; and often 
brought criminals to confess, what could be no 
other way extorted from them. So prevalent i^ 
the horror of superstition in some cases, Avhich led 
many people to fancy (and among them the other- 
wise most judicious Strabo) that it might be a 
useful cheat to society; not considering, that in 
other cases (incomparably more numerous and 
important) it is most detrimental, pernicious, and 



destructive, being solely useful to the priests that 
.have the management of it; while it not onely 
disfui-bs or distresses society, but very often con- 
founds and finally overturns it, of vt^hich history 
abounds with examples, 

XVII. I come now to the Druids houses, by 
which I don t mean their forts or towns, of which 
they had many, but not as church-lands ; nor yet 
the houses for their schools, situated in the midst 
of pleasant groves ; but I mean little, arch'd, round, 
stohe buildings, capable only of holding one per- 
son, where the retir'd and contemplative Druid 
sat, when his oak could not shelter him from the 
weather. There's another sol-t of Druids houses 
much larger. Of both these sorts remain several 
yet intire in the He of Sky, and also in some other 
ileS; being by the natives call'd Tighthe Tvan 
Druidhneach*, that is, Druids houses. Many of 
them are to be seen in Wales, and some in Ire- 
land; but different from those lilider-ground- 
houses, or artificial caves, which are in all those 
places, consisting frequently of several chambers, 
and generally opening towards rivers or the sea ; 
having beeli, as those of the Germans describ'd 
by Tacitus f, magazins against the extreme rigor 

* Corruptly Tinan. Druinich. 

+ Solent et subterraneos specus aperire, eosque multo insnper 
fimoonerant: suffugium hiemi, ac receptaculum frugibus; quia 
rigorem frigorura ejusmodi locis molliunt." Et si quando hostis 
advenit, aperta populatur : abdila autem et dcfossa aut ignoian. 


of winter, or hiding places for men and goo4s in 
time of war. The vulgar in the ilands do still 
show a great respect for the Druids houses, and 
never come to the antient sacrificeing aad fire-hal- 
lowing cams, but they walk three tiujes round 
them from east to west, according to the course 
of the sun. This sanctify'd tour, or round by the 
south, is call'd JJfeiseal*; as the unhallow'd con- 
trary one by the north, TuaphoU-\. But the Irish 
and Albanian Scots do not derive the first (as a 
certain friend of mine imagin'd) from Di-sul, which 
signifies Su^flay in Armorican British, as Dydh-syl 
in Welsh aud De-zil in Cornish do the same; but 
fropa Deas'\., the right (understanding hand) and 
s^eil, one of th,e an.tieut names of the sun, the right 
hand in this round b,eiug ever next the heap. The 
j)rotestants in the Hebrides are almost as much 
addicted to the Dsisiol, as the papists. Hereby 
,it may be seen, how hard it is to eradicate inv.ete- 
rate superstition. Tliis custom was us'd three 
thousand years ago, and God knows how long be- 
fore, by their ancestors .the antient Gauls of the 
same religion with them, who turnd round right' 
]iand-wi$e, tvhen they worshiped their gods, as Athe- 
neus§ informs us out o^ Posidonius, a much elder 
writer. Nor is this contradicted, but clearly con- 

tur, aut eo ipso fallunt, quod queerenda sunt. De moribtis 
German, cap. 3. 
* Dextrormm. + Sinistrorsum. * Item Deis, 

$ 'OuT«( fltoy; ■^rftjiiintvTif, STi ra Ssjia ^(I'ptfiiim, Lib. 4ii pag. 152. 



firmed by Pliny, who says, " that the Gauls, con- 
trary to the custom of the Romans*, turned to 
the left in their religious ceremonies ;" for as they 
begun their worship towardsthe east, so they turn'd 
about as our ilanders do now, from east to west ac- 
cording to the course of the sun, that is, from the 
right to left, as Pliny has observ'd; whereas the 
left was among the Romans reputed the right in 
augury, and in all devotions answering it. Nor 
were their neighbours, the aboriginal Italians 
(most of 'em of Gallic descent) strangers to this 
custom of worshipping right-hand- wise, which, not 
to allege more passages, may be seen by this one 
in the CwjTMZeo'f'of Plautus, who was himself one 
of them: " when you worship the gods, do it turn- 
ing to the right hand;" which answers to turning 
from the west to the east. It is perhaps from this 
respectful turning from east to west, that we retain 
the custom of drinking over the left thumb, or, as 
others express it, according to the course of the 
sun, the breaking of which order, is reckon'd no 
small impropriety, if not a downright indecency, in 
Great Britain and Ireland. And no wonder, since 
this, if you have faith in Homer, was the custom 
of the gods themselves. Vulcan, in the first book 

* In adorando dexteram ad osculum referimns, totumque cor- 
J)us circumagimus; quod in Isevuin fecisse Galli religiosius cre> 
«[unt, ' Hist. Net. lib. 28. cap. 2. 

+ Si Deos salutas, dextrovorsum ccnseo. jlct. 1. Seen, 1. 

ter. 70. 


of the Iliad*, filling a bumper to his mother 

To th' other gods, going round from right to left, 
Skenk'd Nectar sweet, ■which from full flask he pour'd. 

Butmoreof the righthand inthe chapter of ^w^wry, 
XVIII. To resume our discourse about the 
Druids houses, one of them in the iland of St. 
Kilda is very remarkable; and, according to the 
tradition of the place, must have belong'd to a 
Druidess. But be this as it will, it is all of stone, 
without lime, or mortar, or earth to cement it: 
'tis also arch'd, and of a conic figure; but open at 
the top, and a fire place in the middle of the floor. 
It cannot contain above nine persons, to sit easy 
by each other: and from this whole description 
'tis clear, that the edifice call Arthur's Oven in 
Sterlingshire, just of the same form and dimen- 
sions, is by no means of Roman original, what- 
ever our antiquaries have thoughtlesly fancy'd to 
the contrary. Some make it the temple of Ter- 
minus, and others a triumphal arch, when they 
might as well have fancy'd it to be a hog-trough: 
so little is it like any of those arches. As to the 
house in St. Kilda, there go off from the side of 
the wall three low vaults, separated from each 
other by pillars, and capable of containing five 
persons a piece. Just such another house in all 
respects, but much larger, and grown over with a 

J2v«j(«(, y>.mv nuraf tmo Xfnrapoc o-'i/virs-m. — II, 1. vcr, 597. 


green sod on the outside, is in Borera, an ile adja- 
cent to St. Kilda; and was the habitation of a 
Druid, who 'tis probable, was not unacquainted 
with his neighboring Druidess. Shetland abounds 
with another kind of stone houses, not unfrequent 
in Orkney, which they ascribe to the Picts; as 
they are apt ail over Scotland to make eyery thing 
Pictish, whose origin they do not know. Th£ 
Belgae or Firboigs share this honour with the 
Picts, in Ireland, and King Artliur is reputed the 
author of all such fabrics in Wales, except that 
those of Angle^sey father 'em on tlie Irish. These 
ijjstances I have given yoiir lordship, to convince 
you, how imperfect all treatises about the Druids 
(hitherto publish'd) must needs be ; since they con- 
tain nothing of this kind, tho' ever so esseatial to 
the sabject: and that none of tihese nionujiieats, 
very freqiuent in France, are there ascrib'd to the 
Druids^ their records about suoh things being all 
lost; while very many of ours happily reniaiu to 
clear them, since the usages were the same in both 
countries. Nor are those treatises less defective 
in the more instnictive part, concei'ning the Dru- 
idicall philosophy and politics, w hereof the mo- 
dern French and Brittish writervS, have in reality 
known nothiixg furtlier, than the classic authors 
(fiu-nish'd 'em ; or if they add any .thing, 'tis abso- 
lutely fabulous, ill-invented, and unauthoriz'd. 
These subjects I reserve intire for my greater 
work. John Aubrey, Esq. a member of the royal 


society (with whom I became acquainted at Ox- 
foM, when I was a sojourner there; and collect- 
ing during my idler hours a vocabulary of Armo- 
rican and Irish words, which, in sound and signi- 
fication, agree better together than with the Welsh) 
was the only person I ever then met, who had a 
right notion of the temples of the Druids, or in- 
deed any notion that the circles so often raention'd 
were such temples at all : wherein he was intirely 
confirm'd, by the authorities which I show'd him; 
as he supply'd me in return with numerous instan* 
ces of such monuments, which he was at great 
pains to observe and set down. And tho' he Was 
extremely superstitious, or seem'd to be so : yet 
he was a very honest man, and most accurate in 
his accounts of matters of fact. But the facts he 
knew, not the reflections he made, were what I 
wanted. Nor Will I deny justice on this occasion, 
to a person whom I cited before, and who in many 
other respects merits all the regard which the cu- 
rious can pay; I mean Sir Robert Sibbald, who, 
in his foresaid History of Fife (but Very lately 
come to my hands) affirms, that there are several 
Druids temples to be seen every where in Scot- 
land, particularly in the county he describes. 
*' These (says he) are great stones plac'd in a 
circle, at some distance from each other, &c." 
Mr. Ailbrey show'd me several of Dr. Garden's 
letters From that kingdom to the same purpose, 
but in whose hands now I know not. 


XIX. I shall conclude this letter with two ex- 
amples of such works, as tho' not (that I can hi- 
therto learn) belonging any way to the Druids, yet 
they may possibly be of that kind: or be they of 
what kind you will, they certainly merit our no- 
tice: as, together with those for which we can 
truely account, they highly serve to illustrate the 
antiquities of our Brittish world. My first example 
is in the Main-land of Orkney, describ'd among 
the rest of those ilands by Dr. Wallace and Mr. 
Brand; where, on the top of a high rocky hill at 
the west end of the iland near the village of Skeal, 
there is a sort of pavement, consisting of stones 
variously figur'd, some like a heart, others like a 
crown, others like a leg, some like a weavers 
shuttle, others of other forms : and so on for above 
a quarter of a mile in length, and from 20 to 30 
foot in breadth. In taking up any of these stones, 
the figure is as neat on the underside as the upper : 
and being as big as the life, all of one color, or a 
reddish kind of stone pitch'd in a reddish earth, 
and the pavement being so very long; it cannot 
possibly be any of the tessellated, or chequer'd. 
works of the Romans. " I saw a part of the gar- 
den wall of the house of Skeal, says Mr. Brand*, 
decorated with these stones : and we intended to 
have sent a parcel of them to our friends in the 
south, as a rarity ; if they had not been forgot, at 
our return from Zet-laud." Dr. Wallace f also 

* Pag. 43. + Pag. 55. 


says, that many of the stones are taken away by 
the neighboring gentry, to set them up like Dutch 
tiles in their chimneys: so that, at this rate, in less 
than a century, this pavement will in all likelihood 
subsist onely in books. All such monuments, 
when I go to Scotland, I shall so accurately de- 
scribe in every respect, and give such accounts of 
them where accountable; that I hope the curious 
will have reason to be satisfy 'd, or at least some 
abler person be emulous of satisfying the world, 
and me among the rest. Wherever I am at a loss, I 
shall frankly own it ; and never give my conjectures 
for more than what they are, that is, probable 
guesses : and certainly nothing can be more amiss 
in inquiries of this kind, than to obtrude supposi- 
tions for matters of fact. Upon all such occa- 
sions, I desire the same liberty with Crassus in 
Cicero de Orator e*: that I mat/ deny being able to 
do, ivhat Tme sure I cannot; and to confess that I 
am ignorant ofivhat I do not know. This I shall 
not onely be ever ready to do myself, but to ac- 
count it in others a learned ignorance. 

XX. But, ray lord, before I take my intended 
journey, I desire the favour of having your thoughts 
upon my next example. I speak of a couple of 
instances, really parallel; brought here together 
from parts of the world no less distant in their si- 
tuation and climates, than different in their condir 

* Mihi liceat negare possej qiod non potero; et fateri n«." 
scire, quod nesciam, IM, 2. 


tion and manners. Egypt, I mean, and the iles 
of Scotland. Yet this they have in common, that 
Egypt, once the mother of all arts and sciences, is 
now as ignorant of her own monuments, and as fa- 
bulous in the accounts of them, as any Highland- 
ers can be about theirs. Such changes, however, 
are as nothing in the numberless revolutions of 
ages. But to our subject. Herodotus says, in 
the second book of his history, that near to tke 
entry of the magnificent temple of Minerva at Sais 
in Egypt (of which he speaks with admii-ation) he 
saw an edifice 21 cubits in length, 14 in breadth, 
and 8 in heigth, the whole consisting onely of one 
stone; and that it was brought thither by sea, fi-om 
a place about 20 days sailing from Sais. This is 
my first instance. And, parallel to it, all those 
who ha^e been in Hoy, one of the Orkneys, do 
afiirra (wifliout citing, or many of them knowing 
this passage of Herodotus) that there lies on a 
barren heath in this iland an oblong stone, in a 
valley between two moderate hills, call'd, I sup- 
pose, antiphrastically, or by way of contraries, thfe 
Itivarfy-stone. It is 36 foot long, 18 foot broad, 
and 9 foot high. No other stones are near it. 
Tis all hoUow'd within, or (as we may say) 
scoop'd by human art and industry, having a 
door on the east side 2 foot square, with a stone 
of the same dimension lying about two foot from 
it, which was intended, on doubt, to close this 
entrance. Within there is, at the south end of it. 


cut out the fouiB of a bed and pillow, capable to 
hold two persons ; as, at the north end, there is 
another bed, Dr. Wallace says a couch, both very 
neatly done. Above, at an equal distance from 
both, is a large round hole, which is suppos'd, 
not onely to have been design'd for letting in of 
light and air, when the door was shut; but like- 
wise for letting out of smoke from the fire, for 
"whieh there is a place made in the middle between 
the two beds. The marks of the workman's tool 
appear every where ; and the tradition of the vul- 
gar is, that a giant and his wife had this stone for 
their habitation, tho' the door alone destroys this 
fancy, which is wholly groundless every way be- 
sides. Dr. Wallace thinks it might be the resi- 
dence of a hermit, but it appears this hermit did 
not design to ly always by himself. Just by it is 
a clear and pleasant spring, for the use of the in- 
■ habitant. I wish it were in Surrey, that I might 
make it a summer study. As to the original de- 
sign of this monument, men are by nature curious 
enough to know the causes of things, but they are 
not patient enough in their search; and so will 
rather assign any cause, tho' ever so absurd, than 
suspend their judgements, till they discover the 
true cause, which yet in this particular I am re- 
solv'd to do. / 

XXI. Now, my lord, imagine what you please 
about the religious or civil use of this stone, my 
difficulty to your lordship is, how they were able 



to accomplish this piece of architecture, among 
the rest that I have mention'd, in those remote, 
barren, and uncultivated ilands? And how such 
prodigious obelises cou'd be erected there, no less 
than in the other parts of Britain, and in Ireland? 
for which we have scarce any sufficient machines, 
in this time of learning and politeness. These mo- 
numents of every kind, especially the forts and 
the obelises, induc'd Hector Boethiue to tell strange 
stories of the Egyptians having been there in the 
reign of Mainus king of Scotland: nor do they a 
little confirm the notion, which some both of the 
Irish and Albanian Scots have about their Egyp- 
tian, instead of a Scythian, (or as I shall evince) a 
Celtic original ; tho' I assign more immediately a 
Brittish for the Irish, and an Irish extraction for 
the Scots. Nor is there any thing more ridicu- 
lous than what they relate of their Egyptian stock, 
except what the Britons fable about their Trojan 
ancestors. Yet a reason there i.«, why they harp 
so much upon Egyptians and Spaniards: but al- 
together misunderstood or unobserved by writers. 
But, not to forget our monuments, you will not say 
(what, tho' possible, appears improbable) that, ac- 
cording to the ceasless vicissitude of things, there 
was a time, when the inhabitants of these ilands 
were as learned and knowing, as the present Egyp- 
tians and the Highlanders are ignorant. But say 
what you will, it cannot fail diliusing light on the 
subject; and to improve, if not intiiely to satisfy, 


the inquirer. The He of Man, as 1 said above, 
does no less abound in these monuments of all 
sorts, than any Of the places we have nam'd; and 
therefore sure to be visited, and all its ancient re- 
mains to be examin'd, by, 

Mv Lord, 

Your Lordship's most oblig'd. 

And very humble Servant. 

July 1, 1718. 







I. Jl TAKE the liberty, my lord, to treble you a 
third time with the company of the Druids; who, 
like other priests, resort always to the place where 
the best intertainment is to be found : and yet I 
must needs own, it derogates much from the me- 
rit of their visit; that, in the quality of philoso- 
phers they know not where to find a heartier wel- 
com than in your lordship's study, Tho' I have 
very particularly explain'd the plan of my History 
efthe Druids, in the two last letters I did myself 
the honor to send you on this subject, yet the 
work being considerably large, and containing 
great variety of matter, I have still something to 
impart, in order to give the clearer idea of my de- 
sign. And it is, that, besides the citations of au--~ 
thors, indispensably requisite in proving matters 
of fact newly advanc'd, or in deciding of antient 
doubts and controveries (not to speak of such as 


come in by way of ornament, or that a writer mo- 
destly prefers to his own expressions) I have som- 
times occasion to touch upon passages, which, 
tho' I cou'd easily abridge, or needed but barely 
hint with relation to the purpose for which I pro- 
duce them ; yet being in themselves either very 
curious and instructive, or lying in books that 
come into few people's hands, I chuse to give 
them in my history intire. This method I have 
learnt from my best masters among the antients, 
who practis'd it with much success; tho', like 
them, I use it very sparingly. One or two instan- 
ces you'll not be sorry to see. The explication I 
have given, in the 11th section of my first letter, of 
Ogmius, the antient Gallic name of Hercules, I 
am no less certain you do not forget, than that you 
remember I promis'd to take an opportunity of 
sending you the whole piece; which I have thus 
translated from the original Greec, with the ut- 
tiiost accuracy. "The Gauls," says Lucian*, " call 
Hercules in their country language Ogmius. But 
they represent the picture of this God in a very 
unusual manner. With them he is a decrepit old 
man, bald before, his beard extremely gray, as are 
the few other hairs he has remaining. His skin 
is wrinkl'd, sunburnt, and of such a swarthy hue 
as that of old mariners: so that you wou'd take 

* Tflv *HpaxXea ci KEAroi OTMION ov^y-aTsvj-i ipvyn Tu e7r[;^fufi«, et qux seqiiun* 
tur in Heicule GaZ(ico; Grieca etcnim loiigiora sunt, qu^ai ut USc eom- 
Kiviiv iuseri possiiit. 


him to be Charon, or some lapetus from the ne- 
thermost hell, or any thing rather than Hercules. 
But the' he be such thus far, yet he has withall 
the habit of Hercules ; being clad in the skin of a 
lion, holding a club in his right hand, a quiver 
hanging from his shoulders, and a bent bow in his 
left hand. Upon the whole it is Hercules. I was 
of opinion that all these things were perversely 
done, in dishonor of the Grecian gods, by the 
Gauls to the picture of Hercules: revenging 
themselves upon him by such a representation, for 
having formerly over-run their country, and driv- 
ing a prey out of it; as he was seeking aftert he 
herd of Geryon, at which time he made incur- 
sions into most of the western nations. But I 
have not yet told, what is most odd and strange 
JH this picture; for this old Hercules draws after 
him a vast multitude of men, all ty'd by their ears. 
The cords by which he does this are small fine 
chains, artificially made of gold and electrum, like 
to most beautiful bracelets. And tho' the men 
are drawn by such slender bonds, yet none of 'em 
thinks of breaking loose, when they might easily 
do it; neither do they strive in the least to the 
contrary, or struggle with their feet, leaning back 
with all their might against their leader: but they 
gladly and cheerfully follow, praising him that 
dra'Ws them ; all seeming in haste, and desirovis to 
get before each other, holding up the chains, as if 
they should be very sorry to be set free. • Nor will 



I grudge telling here, what of all these matters 
appear'd the most absurd to me. The painter 
finding no place where to fix the extreme links of 
the chains, the right band being occupy'd with a 
club, and the left with a bow, he made a hole in 
the tip of the god's tongue, (who turns smiling to- 
wards those he leads) and painted them as drawn 
from thence. 1 look'd upon these things a great 
while, sometimes admiring, sometimes doubting, 
and sometimes chafing with indignation. But a 
certain Gaul who stood by, not ignorant of our 
affairs, as he show'd by speaking Greec in perfec- 
tion (being one of the philosophers, I suppose, of 
that nation) said, I'll explain to you, O sti-anger, 
the enigma of this picture, for it seems not a little 
to disturb you. We Gauls do not suppose, as 
you Greecs, that Mercury is speech or eloquence; 
but we attribute it to Hercules, because he's far 
superior in strength to Mercury. Don't wonder, 
that he's represented as an old man; for speech 
alone loves to show its utmost vigor in old age, if 
your own poets speak true. 

AH youDg men's breasts are with thick darkness fill'd; 

Bat age esperienc'd has much more to say, 

More wise and learned, than rude untaught youth. 

Thus, among yourselves, hony drops from Nes- 
tor's tongue; and the Trojan orators emit a cer- 
tain voice call'd Lirioessa, that is, a Jlorid speech; 
for, if I remember x\^h\.,Jio%vers are call'd Liria. 


Now that Hercules, or speech, shou'd draw men 
after him ty'd by their ears to his tongue, will be 
no cause of admiration to you, when you consider 
the near affinity of the tongue with the ears. Nor 
is his tongue contumeliously bor'd : for I remem- 
ber, said he, to have learnt certiain iambics out of 
your own comedians, one of which says. 

The tips of all prater's tongues are bor'd. 

And finally, as for us, we are of opinion, that 
Hercules accomplish'd all his atchievments by 
speech; and, that having been a wise man, he con- 
quer'd mostly by persuasion; we think his arrows 
were keen reasons, easily shot, quick, and pene- 
trating the souls of men; whence you have, among 
you, the expression of wing'd words. Hitherto 
spoke the Gaul." From this ingenious ^picture 
Lucian draws to himself an argument of consola- 
tion: that the study and profession of eloquence 
was not unbecoming him in his old age, being ra- 
ther more fit than ever to teach the Belles Lettres; 
when his stock of knowledge was most complete, 
as his speech was more copious, polish'd, and 
mature, than formerly. 

II. As my first instance is furnish'd by a man, 
who, for his eloquence and love of liberty (quali- 
ties no less conspicuous in your lordship) deserv'd 
to have his memory consecrated to immortality, 
which was all that the wisest of the ancients un- 
derstood by making any one a God; so ray second 



instance shall be taken from a woman, whose 
frailty and perfidiousness will serve as a foil to 
those learned Druidesses, and other illustrious 
hei'oines, which I frequently mention in my his- 
tory. I introduce her in a passage I have occa- 
sion to allege, when I am proving, that wherever 
the Gauls or Britons are in any old author simply 
said to offer sacrifice (without any further circum- 
stances added) this nevertheless is understood to 
he done by the ministry of the Druids ; it having 
been as unlawful for any of the Celtic nations to 
sacrifice otherwise, as it Avas for the Jews to do so 
without their priests and Levites. " The Druids," 
says Julius Caesar*, " perform divine service, they 
offer the public and private sacrifices, they inter- 
pret religious observ'^ances:"' and even when parti- 
cular persons would propitiate the Gods, for the 
continuing or restoring of their health; "they 
make use of the Druids," adds hef, " to offer 
those sacrifices." "'Tis the establish'd custom of 
the Gauls," says Diodorus Siculus:|;, " to offer 
no sacrifice without a philosopher," which is to 
.say, a Druid: and Strabo so expresses it, affirm- 
ing, that " they never sacrifice Avithout the 
Druids §." This unanswerable proof being pre- 

* lUi rebus dWinis intersunt, sacrificia publica ac privata pro. 
curant, religiones interpretantur. De Bello Gallico, lib. 6. cap. 1 2. 
+ Administrisque ad ea sacrificia Druidibus utuntur. Ibid. 

$ E&fl? 3'rtuTet? icl, fjfiiitya Qve-taTi ito(Hv av£L> *f•^^oo■•<]>ev. L,ib. 5. ptt^' 508. Edit. 
i EfluH h iwt Kvii) AfuiW. Lib, 4. 2>og-. 30S. Edit. Amstcl. 


mis'd, now follows one of the passages, wherein a 
Gaul being said simply to sacrifice, 1 think fit to 
relate the whole story. 'Tis the eigth of Parihe- 
nius of Niceas Love-stories, related before him (as 
he says) in the first book of the history written by 
Aristodemus of Nysa, now lost. This Parthe- 
nius addresses his book to Cornelius Gallus, for 
whose use he wrote it, being the same to whom 
Virgil inscrib'd his tenth JEclog. The story runs 
thus. " When the Gauls * had made an incursion 
into Ionia, and sack'd most of the cities, the Thes- 
mophorian festival was celebrated at Miletus; 
which occasioning all the women to assemble to- 
gether in the temple, that was not far from the 
city: part of the barbarian army, which separated 
from the rest, made an irruption into the Milesian 
territory, and seiz'd upon those women; whom the 
Milesians were -forc'd to ransom, giving in ex- 
change a great sum of gold and silver. Yet the 
barbarians took some of them away for domestic 
use, among whom was Erippef, the wife of Xan- 
thus (a man of the first rank and birth in Miletus) 
leaving behind her a boy onely two years olde. 
Now Xanthus, passionately loving his wife, turn'd 
part of his substance into money, and having 
amass'd a thousand pieces of gold, hecross'd over 
with the soonest into Italy, whence being guided 
hj some whom he had intertain'd in Gi'eece, he 

* 'OTf Js ii raXarai )!ttTtJpa|iuv tdv limay, et qiJiE seqnBntur, 

. t Aristodemus calls her Gythimia. 


came to Marseilles, and so into Gaule, Then he 
went to the house where his wife was, belonging 
to a man of the greatest authority among the 
Gauls, and intreated to be lodg'd there; where- 
upon those of the family, according to that na- 
tion's usual hospitality, cheerfully receiving him, 
he went in and saw his wife, who running to him 
with open arms, very lovingly led him to his 
apartment. Cavara* the Gaul, who had been 
abroad, returning soon after, Erippe acquainted 
him with the arrival of her husband ; and that it 
was for her sake he came, bringing with him the 
price of her redemption. The Gaul extoU'd the 
generosity of Xanthus, and strait inviting several 
of his own friends and nearest relations, hospitably 
treated him, making a feast on purpose, and plac- 
ing his wife by his side; then asking him by an 
interpreter what his whole estate was worth, and 
Xanthus answering a thousand pieces of gold, the 
barbarian order'd him to divide that sum into four 
parts, whereof he should take back three, one for 
himself, one for his wife, and one for his little son, 
but that he shou'd leave him the fourth for his 
wife's ransom. When they went to bed, his wife 
heavily chid Xanthus, as not having so great a 
sum of gold to pay the barbarian, and that he was 
in danger, if he could not fulfill his promise. He 
told her, that he had yet a thousand pieces more 

* So he's Ham'd by Aristodemus : and it i& to this day a com. 
mon name in Ireland. Fid. Aclftr attaintwg Shane O Neil. 


hid in the shoos of his servants ; for that he did 
not expect to find any bai-barian so equitable, 
believing her ransom v»rou'd have cost him much 
more. Next day the wife inform'd the Gaul what 
a great sum of gold there was, and bids him kill 
Xanthus ; assuring him, that she lov'd him better 
than her country or her child, and that she mortally 
hated Xanthus. Cavara took no delight in this 
declaration, and resolv'd in his own mind from 
that moment to punish her. Now when Xanthus 
was in haste to depart, the Gaul very kindly per- 
mitted it, going with him part of the way, and 
leading Erippe. When the barbarian had ac- 
company'd them as far as the mountains of Gaule, 
he said, that, before they parted, he was minded 
to offer a sacrifice; and havipg adorn'd the vic- 
tim, he desir'd Erippe to lay hold of it: which 
she doing, as at other times she was accustom'd, 
he brandish'd his sword at her, ran her thro', and 
cutoff her head; but pray'd Xanthus not to be 
at all concBrn'd, discovering her treachery to him, 
and permitting him to take away all his gold. 
'Tis no more hence to be concluded, because no. 
Druid is mention 'd, that Cavara offer'd this sacri- 
fice without the ministry of one or more such (un- 
less he was of their number himself, which is not 
improbable) than that a man of his quality was 
attended by no servants, because they are not spe- 
cially mention'd : for ordinary, as well as neces- 
sary circumstances, are ever suppos'd by good 


writers, where there is not some peculiar occasion 
of inserting them. 

III. In my.tliird instance I return again to Her- 
cules, of whojn a story is told in the same book, 
whence we had the last; which, tho' related and 
recommended by the author as a good argument 
for a poem, affords, however, no small illustration, 
to what I maintain, by much more positive proofs, 
viz. that " Great Britain was denominated from 
the province of Britain in Gaule, and that from 
Gaule the original inhabitants of all the Brittish 
Hands (I mean those pf Caesar's time) are descend- 
ed." Listen for a moment to Parthenius. " Tis 
said that Hercules*, as he drove away from Erj^- 
thiaf tlie oxen of Geryon, had pentrated into the 
region of the Gauls, and that he came as far as 
Bretannus, who had a daughter call'd Celtina. 
This young woman fallihg in love with Hercules, 
hid his oxen: and wou'd not restore them, till he 
shou'd injoy her first. Now Hercules being desi- 
rous to recover his oxen, and much more admi- 
ring the beauty of the maid, he lay with her ; and 
in due time was born to them a son nam'd Celtus;];, 
from whom the Celts are so denominated." INIany 

* AEXSTUt it nat 'HpttxXE*, «ts a^* EpuOeiaf T«f r«pu(i*oy 0qv^ nyttyn, aXw^no S»a 
T«f KeXt4>v X*P'*?» atfuXEfl-Qai Trapa BpSTawoy : tod Je apa VTCaf^tiv BuXarlaA^ KiKthzu 
'y<if/.a: Je, ifa.tr6f.uray Tou 'Hpait>.EOiif, xaraxpu^ai Tas /3(iut ; /xn SiXliy Tl aTro- 
Jouvai, II |U>i wpoTEpov «cuTil jUlj^6iiyal : xtv h HpaxXta, T» |U£v Toi xm TOC Couc tnayi^ 
jwav&y avaa-aitrairOai j iroXv fxaXKov to xrtXAof EKTX(f;-cvrrt m; Hop*if, avyytniFQtti qvtk : 
wi avnig, x'""J r.i-tr.xonO!, ysniSai TraiJa KtXTev, a-f' ou Se Ke^roi !rp(W):>0fEu6..- 
e-riv. Co;). jO. 

f i\ow CadK. + Gallus, Gttlli. 


of the antient writers raention the incursion of 
Hercules into Gaule, when he made war against 
Geryon in Spain; which the judicious Diodorus 
Siculus shows to have been at the head of a pow- 
erful army, not with his bare club and bow, as the 
poets feign; and that it was he who built the for- 
tress of Alexia, whereof the siege, many ages after 
by Julius Caesar, became so famous. Diodorus 
likewise tells this story of Parthenius, but without 
naming Bretannus or Celtiaa. He onely says*, 
" a certain illustrious man, that govern'd a pro- 
vince in Gaule, had a daughter exceeding the rest 
of her sex, in stature and beauty : who, tho' des- 
pising all that made court to her, being of a very 
high spirit; yet fell in love with Hercules, whose 
courage and majestic person she greatly admir'd. 
With her parent's consent she came to a right un- 
derstanding with this hero, who begot on her a 
son, not unworthy the pair from whom he sprung, 
either in body or mind. He was call'd Gtalatesf, 
succeeded his grandfather in the government, 
and, becoming renown'd for his valor, his subjects 
were call'd Galatiansij: after his name, as the 
whole country itself Galatia§," This is plainly 
the same story, onely that one writer supplies us 
with the names, which the other omits ; and Ar- 

fyEWTo, &C. [At^Bvp'a 5"6 tw 'HpaxXti jyiwJio-lv vw 0V9f*a, raXaTnv Trept^flTjTcj 

1 s-u/iTraira VajMria. rtftfnysflvh. Lib, 4. }iag, 303. 

+ Gallus. + Gain. § GalHa. 



morican Britain being probably the province, 
wherein Bretannus rul'd (since we find it insinua- 
ted, that Hercules had penetrated far to come to 
him) 'tis still more than probable, that it was de- 
nominated from him; as I shall prove beyond the 
possibility of contradiction, that our Britain had 
its name from that of Gaule, as New England has 
from the old. Hesychius, in the word Bretannus, 
is of the same opinion with me. So is Dionysius 
Periegetes *, with his commentator Eustathius f : 
and I am not a little countenanced by Pliny the 
elder, who places Britons:]: on the maritim coasts 
of Gaule over against Great Britain. But I have 
moi'e evidence still. To say nothimg at present of 
Csesar so many ages before Eustathius, Tacitus 
likewise among the antients§, Beda among thoso 
of the middle ages||, and some of the most cele- 

■ LySx BjSTavsi, 

Ytr. sa-t. 

5: A Scaldi incolunt extera Toxandri pluribus noininibus: 
(leinde Menapij, Morini, Oromansaci juncti Pago qui Gessoria. 
cus Tocatur: Brilanni*, Amljlan;, Bellovaci, Hassi. Nat. Hist, 
lib. 4. cap, 17. 

§ In uni?ersum tamea a:stimanti, Gallos vicinum solum occu. 
■passe credibile est: eorum sacra deprehendas, superstilionum 
persuasione: Sermo baud multum diversus, &c. Ht, Jgrk, 
cap. 11. 

II Ilaic Insula Britones solilni, a quibus nomen accepit, inco. 
las habuit; qui de tractu Armoricano, utfertur, Britanniam ad. 
vecti, australes sibi partes illius TJndicarunt. Hist. Eccles. lib. 1 . 
cop, 1, 

• In quibnsdara cxemplaiibus, sej perpeiafn, Ih ivmi. 


brated modern writers, are as express as words 
can possibly make any thing, that Britain was 
peopled from Gaule. Nor is the epithet of Great, 
added to our Britain, any more an objection to 
this assertion, than the coast of Italy, formerly 
call'd Magna Graecia, cou'd be made the mother 
country of Greece, when the cities of that coast 
were all colonies from thence: besides that Great 
Britain was anciently so call'd with respect to 
Ireland, which (before the fable of the Welsh co- 
lony in Gaule was invented) is call'd Little Britain, 
as you'll see anon. These disquisitions come not 
into the History of the Druids, but into the annext 
Dissertation concerning the Celtic language and 
colonies. There you'll see the folly of deriving 
Britain from the fabulous Irish hero Briotan, or 
from the no less imaginary Brutus the Trojan; 
nor is the word originally Pridcain, Prytania, Bri- 
dania, or descended from either Phenician, or 
Scandinavian, or Dutch, or even any Brittish 
words. The insular Britons, like other colonies, 
were long govern'd by those on the continent; 
and by the neigboring provinces, who join'd in 
making settlements here. It was so even as low 
down as a little before Julius Caisar's conquest; 
in whose Commentaries* it is recorded, that "those 
of Soissons had within their memory (says the am- 

* Saessones esse suos finitimos, latissimos feracissimosque agros 
possidere : apud eos fuisse Regem nosti;\ etiam inetnoriik Divitia. 
cura, totius GalliiE potenlissiinum; qui, cum raagn» partis harum 


bassadors of Rheims to him) Divitiacus* for their 
king, the most potent prince of all Gaiile: who 
sway'd the scepter, not onely of a great part of 
those regions, but also of Britain." In the same 
dissertation, after exploding the Welsh fable about 
Britain in France, you'll read as positive proofs, 
that the ancient Irish, not one of their colonies ex- 
cepted (the Nemetes, the Firbolgs, the Danan- 
nans, and the Milesians) were all from Gaule and 
Great Britain ; whose language, religion, customs, 
laws and government, proper names of men and 
places, they constantly did and do still use; 
whereas (to forbear at present all other arguments) 
not one single word of the Irish tongue agrees 
with the Cantabrian or Biscaian, which is the true 
old Spanish; the present idiom being a mixture 
of Latin, Gothic, and Arabic. Besides this, all 
the antients knew and held the Irish to be Bri- 
tons, as Ireland itself is by Ptolomy call'd Little 
JBritain'\. They were reckoned Britons by Aris- 
totle, who in his book de Mwndo, calls the coun- 
try lerneX; as Orpheus before him Ierms\, if 
Onomacritus be not the author oiiheArgonauticaf 

rpgionum, turn etiam Britannise imperium obtinnerU. De BeUo 
Gallico, lib. 2. cap, 1. 

* Different from DiTitiacus the Eduan or Burgundian. 

t Mixji BpErl-via, lu Algamest. lib. 2. cap. 6. 

} Ev TouTM -/£ ^Ev [mwoj] nni ^eyirai te Tuy;^fl«;..-iv urat Ji:, BfSTOHxai I'.tyt' 
ftEvai, AX|3i(jv y.m Isfvn. C.ip, 3. 

TiK/ ^'a:a HJ5-W a.ufnTwiffvi^a— — Vcr. I-.'IO, 


or rather, as Suidas asserts, Orpheus of Crotona, 
contemporary with the tyrant Pisistratus. And 
if this be true, Archbishop Usher did not gascon 
nade, when he said, that the Roman people cou'd. 
not any where be found so antiently mention 'd as 
lernis*. Dionysius Periegetes, before cited, is of 
the same opinion in his Description of the world ^j 
that the Irish were Britons: as Stephanus Byzan- 
tins names it British Juvernia, the least of the two 
ilandsX- Diodorus Siculus mentions the Britons 
inhabiting the Hand calVd Iris^, a name better ex- 
pressing Mre (vulgarly Erinn) the right name of 
Ireland, than Jerne, Juverna, Hibemia, or any 
name that has been either poetically or otherwise 
iis'd. Strabo stiles Ireland Brittish lei-naW, as 
his antient abridger calls the Irish, the Britons in- 
habiting' lema^: and, if we may intermix ludi- 
crous with serious things, where 'tis now read in 
the same Strabo, that the Irish yvere great eaters**, 
his said abridger reads it herb^aters1i1[, which 
wou'd induce one to believe, that so long ago 
Shamrogs were in as great request there as at 
present. Pliny says in express words, that " every 
one of the Brittish Hands was call'd Britain j 

* Primord. Eccles. Britatmicar. pag. 724. 

t /iio-a-os yijiTw earl Bfe'rlmiiei awio Fnniu. Ver. 566. 

4: iDuCf Ria V Tifermnirji, rmn <(tra examroin. ' 

§ 'na-vcf xai TUB BfeTOTun, iws xaroimunTag mn mOfiiaZ<ll*eMn iji». 

Lib. 5. pag. 309. 
II 'Oi TUB B jeTanwnn If mm i JwiTfj, &c. Lib, 1. pag. HO. 
T 'Oi Tun isefHiy nrri Mmiw/iiei BpsTani. Lib. 3> 



wheras Albion was the distinguishing name of the 
Britain now peculiarly so call'd, and so famous 
in the Greec and Roman writings *." These parti- 
culars (I repeat it) much below the dignity of our 
history, will be found in the before-mention'd dis- 
sertation; which, tho' infinitely less useful, I dare 
prophesy will be full as much read, if not much 
more relish'd. The greatest men, however, have 
not thought it unbecoming them, to search at their 
leisure into such originals: and I, for my part, 
found it almost a necessary imployment, consi- 
dering the light it adds to ray principal work. 

IV. To return thither therefore, there are di- 
verse passages, some longer, some shorter, in the 
most ancient Greec authors we have, or copy'd by 
these from such as are quite lost; which, tho' ge- 
nerally neglected and unobserv'd, will be no small 
ornament to the history I have taken in hand. 
And, to say it here by the m ay, 'tis certain that 
the more antient Greec writers, such as Heca- 
teus, Eudoxus, Hipparchus, Eratosthenes, Poly- 
bius, Posidonius (not to speak of Dicearchus and 
others) knew a great deal of truth concerning the 
Brittish ilands: by reason of the frequent naviga- 
tions of the Greecs into these partb;, after the way 
was shown them by the Pheniciaus; so antient 
an author as Herodotus affirming, that his coun- 

* Britannia clara Graecis nostrisque scriptoribus Albion 

ipsi nomen fuit, cum Britanniae vocarentur omnes. [Insulae 
nempe Britannicae.J Nat, Hist. lib. 4. cap. 16. 


trymen had their tin from hence*, tho' he cou'd give 
little account of the iland. But this commerce 
being interrupted for several ages afterwards, the 
later writers did not onely themselves vend abun- 
dance of fables about these northern parts of the 
world ; but treat as fabulous, what their predeces- 
sors had recorded with no less honesty than exact- 
ness. Of this I shall have occasion to give some 
convincing proofs in this very letter. But not to 
forget the passages of the antients, when you call 
to mind those rocMng'Stones set up by the Druids,, 
describ'd in the 14th and 16th section of our se- 
cond letter, and whereof several are yet standing; 
you'll not doubt but 'tis one of them, that is men- 
tion'd in the abridgement we have of Ptolomy 
Hephestion's history: who, in the third chapter 
of the third book, is said " to have written about 
the Gigonian Stone'\ standing near the ocean; 
which is mov'd with such a small matter as the 
stalk of asphodel, tho' immoveable against the 
greatest force imaginable." This passage needs, 
in my opinion, no comment. But we are to note, 
when those old writers talk of any thing near the 
ocean with respect to the straights of Hercules |, 
and without specifying the place; that it may then 

• __OvTe nnvt « Ja Kaa-e-irsfii»s Itvrat^ s» rm « xafcrmfn i)^t» ifoiTa, Lib, 

3. caf. 115. 

t nifi T«c ffipi va flxtavw Tiymnat irsrfu;, ««i «ti /»««• «o-i)>iiJi?M» urtfirai, Wfoj 

X Now of Gibraltar. 



be on the coast of Spain, or of France, in the 
Brittish ilands, or on any of the northern shores. 
It is onely to be discover'd either by matter of 
fact, or by probable circumstances: as this Gigo- 
nian stone (iov example) was necessarily in some of 
the Celtic or British territories, whose Druids alone 
set up such stones. So were the birds, whereof I 
am now going to speak. " What Artemidorus has 
deliver'd concerning the ravens (says Strabo*) 
sounds very much like a fable. He tells us, that 
there is a certain lake near the ocean, which is 
call'd the lake of the two ravens, because two 
ravens appear in it, which have some white in 
their wing: that such as have any controversy to- 
gether came thither to an elevated place, where 
they set a table, each laying on a cake separately 
for himself: and that those birds flying thither, 
eat the one while they scatter the other about; so 
that he, whose cake is thus scatter'd, gets the bet- 
ter of the dispute. Such fables does he relate!" 
But I wou'd ask Strabo, Avhat is there fabulous in 
all this? or why shou'd the rude Gauls and Britons, 
being iafluenc'd by the eating or not eatuig of ra- 
vens, be thought more strange or fabulous, than 
the tripudium solistimum of chickens among the 

» TiuTB i' en fjuSuhftfty iipwt» ApTE/niSiifif, « wifj nut Kopixaf £ruf«fiair;v. 
Aiftiva yap tiv» to} irafMimilitot ir»p« S^o iM)pax»> fVoniMO^OfAitot ; '^meiat i' 
ir rotrrai ivo xopaxiif, tuv Sefla» trilfuya wapaVuito» t^orTat ; TOaf ow wipi Tiv»va/ii. 
fia-gnroinlat, a<f>j!to^£»ouc hvfO t<fi' vf^nhov rovou, <ra»>Ja Sivtbc, im|S«)v)i(i» -^aura 
fm-rifin yx,/; : tovj i'o^nis t^iirrmrafla fMv Krfl,nr,lait irxopmjjiiv; ot, i' it, rxi- 

;-.ir6(;1(!.J-Cira,E)lI.K)». THuVa ^i» OUT /MuSwJtrlJO M}li, /,i6. 4,^)U£^. 303. 


polite Romans? which Casaubon, I will not say 
how truely, thinks was deriv'd from these very 
ravens*. If Strabo had said, that the divination 
itself "was superstitious and vain, or that it was 
ridiculous to ima^in the ravens cou'd discern the 
cake of the guilty from that of the innocent (tho 
they might greedily eat one of them when hungry, 
and wantonly sport with the other when their bel- 
lies were full) no man of judgement, wou'd contra 
diet him. As for ravens having some white in 
their wings, it contains nothing fabulous, I myself 
having seen such, and no ornithologists omitting 
them. I will own, indeed, that so uncommon a 
thing as white in the wing of a raven, and for a 
couple of them to hold a place so cunningly to 
themselves,*was enough to work upon the super- 
stitious fancies of ignorant people, who laid such 
stress above all nations upon augury; so that in 
this whole story of the two ravens, nothing appears 
to me either fabulous or wonderful. Nay, 1 am 
persuaded Artemidorus was in the right, there 
being examples at this time of ravens thus securing 
a place to themselves ; and the first I shall give is, 
for ought any body knows, the very place hinted 
by Artemidorus. Dr. Martin, in his Description 
of the lies of Scotland, discoursing of Bernera 
(which is five miles in circumference, and lyes 
about two leagues to the south of Harries) "in 

* la Anaotatione nd hunc S'raboais locam. 


this iland," says he*, " there's a couple of ravens, 
■which beat away all ravenous fowls; and when 
their young are able to fly abroad, they beat them 
also out of the iland, but not without many blows 
and a great noise." In this iland, moreover, to 
3-emark a farther agreement with Artemidorus, 
there's a fresh-water lake call'd Loch-bruist, where 
many land and sea-fowl build. He tells usf else- 
where of another such couple, which are of the 
same inhospitable, or rather cautious and frugal 
disposition, in a little iland near North-Uist; and 
Ktill of such another couple ij:, in all respects, upon 
the ile of Troda near Sky. But as eagles were no 
less birds of augury, than ravens, the doctor, in 
his account of a little iland near the greater one 
of Lewis §, says, that he saw a couji!e of eagles 
there; which, as the natives assur'd him, wou'd 
never suffer any other of their kind to continue in 
the iland : driving away their own young ones, as 
soon as they are able to fly. The natives told him 
further, that those eagles are so careful of the 
place of their abode, that they never kill'd any 
sheep or lamb in the iland; tho' the bones of 
lambs, fawns, and wild-fowl, are frequently found 
in and about their nests: so that they make theii* 
puichase in the opposite ilands, the nearest of 
which is a league distant. There's such another 
oMple of eag'ios, and as tender of injuring their 
native country, on the north end of St. Kilda||, 

*IVge47. +Pi<ge60. J Page 166. § Page 26. || Page 29?. 


which Hands may be view'd ia the map of Scot- 
land. I must observe on this occasion, that there's 
no part of our education so difficult to be eradi- 
cated as superstition; which is industriously iu- 
still'd into men from their cradles by their uuises, 
l)y their parents, by the very servants, by all that 
converse with them, by their tutors and school- 
masters, by the poets, orators, and historians which 
they read : but more particularly by the priests, 
who in most parts of the world are hir'd to keep 
the people in error, being commonly back'd by the 
example and authority of the magistrate. Augury 
was formerly one of the most universal supersti- 
tions, equally practis'd by the Greecs and the bar- 
barians ; certain priests in all nations, pretending, 
tho' by very contrary rites and observations, to 
interpret the language, the flight, and feeding of 
birds: as Eneas thus addresses Helen the priest 
of Apollo *, 

Trojugena, interpres Divum, qui numlna Phoebi, 
Qui tripodas, Clarii l^uros, qui sidera sentis, 
Et Tolucrum lingaas, et pra«petis omina pennae, 
Fare age. 

Now to comprehend what deep root superstition 
takes, and how the sap keeps alive in the stump, 
ready to sprout forth again, after the t»unk and 
branches have for many ages been cut off; I beg 

* Vlrg. Aen. lib. 3. 


your patience to hear the following story, espe- 
cially since we are upon the subject of ravens. 
When I was in Dublin in the year 1697, I walk'd 
out one day to the village of Finglass, and over- 
took upon the way two gentlemen of the old Irish 
stock, with whom I had contracted some acquain- 
tance at the coflfee-house. They told rae they 
were going a good way further, about a business 
of some importance; and not many minutes after 
one of 'em cry'd out with joy to the other, see cou- 
sin, by heaven matters will go well: pointing at 
the same instant to a raven feeding and hopping 
hard by, which had a white feather or two in the 
wing that was towards us. The other appear'd 
uo less transported, nor would they stir till they 
saw what way the raven flew ; which being to the 
south of them, and with a great noise, they were 
fully confirm'd about the success of their business. 
This brought to my remembrance that oblative 
augury in Virgil*: 

Scarce had he said, when full before his sight 
Two dores, descending from their airy flight, 

Secure upon the grassy plain alight • 

' With watchful sight 

Observing still the motions of their flight, 

Geminaa cim forte Columbae 

Ipsa sub ora riri coelo Tenure volantes, 

lilt viridi sedSre solo Testigia pressit, 

Obseinins quae signa ferant, quo fendere pergaot. 

Jcreid. Kb. 6. ver. 190. 


What course they took, what happy signs they shew ; 

They fled, aad, flutt'ring by degrees, withdrew &c. 

Urydew'i translat. 

Nor was I unmindful, you may be sure, of that, 
passage in Piautus*, 

'Tis not for nought, that the raven Sings now on my left ; 
And, croaking, has once scrap'd the earth with his feet. 

Upon my putting some questions to those gentle- 
men, they said it was certain by the observation 
of all ages, that a raven having any white in its 
wings, and flying on the right hand of any person, 
croaking at the same time, was an infallible pre- 
sage of good luck. I us'd a great many arguments 
to show them the vanity and unreasonableness of 
this piece of superstition, comparing it among 
other extravagancies, to the no less absurd one of 
dreams; where if one happens by chance to come 
to pass, while ten thousand fail, these are forgot 
and the other remember'd. But I am persuaded 
all I did or cou'd say, even my argument ad ho- 
minem, in proving that augury was specially for- 
bid by the law of Moses, wou'd have made little 
impressibn on them; had it not been that they 
miscarry'd in what they went about, as one of 
them candidly own'd to me some weeks after- 

,* Nod tenter^ est, quod corTos cantat mihi nunc ab laera 
Semel radebat pedibus terrain, et voce crocitabat sua. 

Aulul. Act, 4. Seen, 3, ver. I. 


wards, who cou'd then listen to my reasons, and 
seem'd to taste them. Thus far have I been led 
"by the ravens of Artemidorus. But I have not 
rambl'd yet so far after birds as the old Gauls, 
"Avhereof a part (to use the words of Justin after 
Trogus*) settl'd in Italy, which took and bunit 
the city of Rome; while another part of them pe- 
netrated into the Illyric bays, by the slaughter of 
the barbarians, and under the guidance of birds, 
(for the Gauls excell all others in the skill of au- 
gury) settl'd in Pannonia": telling next, how, 
after dividing their forces, they invaded Greece, 
Macedonia, and most parts of Asia, where they 
founded the Gallogrecian tetrarchy. But still 
you see they were birds, that guided those fa- 
mous expeditions. 

V. I have by good authorities shown before, 
that the antientest Greec writers had much greater 
certainty, and knew many more particulars, con- 
cerning the Brittish ilands, even the most remote 
and minute, than such as came after them; by rea- 
son that the Grecian trade hither, open first by 
the Phenicians, had been for a long time interrup. 
ted, or rather quite abandon'd. Thus in time the 
original relations came to be look'd upon as so 
many fables, at which I do not so much wonder 

* Ex his portio Id Italia consedit, quite et utImoi Romam cap. 
tara incendit; et portio Illyricos sinus, ducibus Avi'bns (nam 
Augurandl studio Galli praeter ceteros callent) per s( rages bar. 
barorum penetrawt, et ia Pannonia cousedit. Lib, 24. cop. 4. 


in any man, as in the most judicious of all geo- 
graphers and the most instructive, I mean the 
philosopher Strabo. These later Greecs were 
implicitly credited and transcrib'd by the Roman 
writers, till Britain came to be fully known, hav- 
ing rather been shown than conquer'd by Julius 
Cesar; and scarce believ'd to be an iland, tho' it 
was constantly affirm'd to be so by the most antient 
discoveries, till Vespasian's lieutenant, Agricola, 
found it beyond all possibility of contradiction to 
be an iland*, part of the Roman fleet sailing round 
it. But of the remotest ilands there has been no 
exact account from that time to this. That of 
Donald Monro, in James the Fifth of Scotland's 
time, is very imperfect: and tho* in our own time 
Doctor Martin, who is a native of one of those 
ilands, has travell'd over them all to laudable pur- 
pose; yet his descriptions are in many instances 
too short, besides that he omits several observa- 
tions, ^^'hich his own materials show he ought to 
have frequently made. Considering, therefore, 
the curious things out of him and others, that may 
be agreeably read in my too former letters (toge- 
ther with many more accounts of monuments 
there, which I have from good hands) I own that 
I am passionately desirous to spend one summer 
in those ilands, before the History of the Druids 

^ Hanc Oram novissimi mans tunc primuin Romana Classis 
circumrecta, insulam esse BrltanDiam affirmaTit. Tacit, in Viia 
Jgriccqp, 10. 



makes its public appearance in the world. But I 
return to the antient writers who mention the re- 
motest Brittish ilands, of whom Pytheas of Mas- 
silia, a Greec colony in Gaule (now Marseilles) is 
the very first on record. He liv'd in the time of 
Alexander the Great, and publish'd his geographi- 
cal work, or rather his voyages, intitul'd the Tour 
of the Earth*, before his contemporary Timeus 
wrote, or Dicearchus, or Eratosthenes, or Poly- 
bius, who follow'd each other, and who in some 
things disagree. This Pytheas, and also one 
Euthymenes, were sent by the senate of Marseil- 
les to make discoveries, the former to the north, 
the latter to the south. Euthymenes, sailing 
along the coast of Africa, past the line; and Py- 
theas, landing in Britain and Ireland, as well as 
on the German coast and in Scandinavia, sail'd 
beyond Iceland. Both the one and the other 
made such discoveries, as long past for fables: 
but time, by means of our modern navigation, has 
done both of 'em justice. Pytheas, on his part, 
was terribly decry'd by Strabo, who without cere- 
mony calls him a most lying fellow\ ; tho" he's 
since found, and now known by every body, to be 
much more in the right than himself. IS'othing 
is more exact, than what he has related, or that 
is related after him, of the temperature of the Brit- 

• rii( wtpioJo;. Scholiast, in Apollonii Argonautica, lib, -4, ad 
vers. 761. 

t rjyQeaf afff 4'£^5(f«TP; t^nraira'. Lib. 1, jp. 110. 


tish climate, of the length of the nights and days, 
of the strange birds and monstrous fishes of the 
northern ocean: nor is it a small loss, that a trea- 
tise he wrote in particular of the ocean has perish'd 
with his other works, whereof we have onely a few 
fragments. He was the first, for ought appears, 
that mention'd Thule, meaning thereby the utmost 
inhabited iland beyond Britain, from which he 
says it is about six days sail*, and near the frozen 
sea, which perfectly agrees to Iceland. But 
Strabo denies that there was ever any Thule f, 
or that any thing beyond Iceland (which he places 
to the north of Great Britain, wheras it is due 
west of it) either was or cou'd be inhabited. 
" They," says he in his first book J, " who have 
*seeu Brittish Ireland, speak nothing about Thule, 
but onely that there are several small ilands near 

irgof etpnrw ; tyyv^ Jetva; taj TTitnyuia^ flaXorlij^. Libt 1. p. 109. 

f Tul in the ancient language signifies naked and bleak, as, 
Iceland has neithpr tree nor shrub ; so that TuLi, without any 
alteration, is the naked iland, the most proper name for Iceland, 
and which foreners must have naturally learnt of the Britons, 
.whether Ibernian or Albionian. Tulgachni nocht, Tul is every 
naked thing, says O'Clery in his Vocabulary of obselete words. 
It was a slender affinity of sound, that made lla (one of the 
western Scottish lies) to be taken for Thule; for neither is it the 
utmost land of Europe, nor yet of the Brittish ilands themselTe;. 
See what I have written in the second book concerning the dis- 
putes about Thule. 

■ysnis fu^fits wift rm BftToviit>iV. Ibid. pag. 310. 


Britain." In tlie second book be says*, " the ut- 
most place of navigation in our time, from Gaule 
towards the north, is said to be Ireland, which 
being situated beyond Britain, is, by reason of the 
cold, with difficulty inhabited; so that all beyond 
it," continues he *' is reckon 'd uninhabitable." This 
of Ireland, namely, that it is the north of Britain, 
and scarce habitable for cold, he repeats again in 
two or three places; from which he draws this 
conclusion, that there is no Thule at all, since no- 
thing is habitable beyond Ireland; which, there 
fore, according to him, is the most northerly part 
of the habitable earth. You see here how much 
more in the right Pytheas was, who liv'd in the 
time of Alexander, than Strabo who livd in the 
time of Augustus and Tiberius; and that it is a 
proceeding no less impertinent than unjust, to 
have any man contradicted who was upon the 
spot, but by such others as were also there, un- 
less the things related be manifestly impossible, 
or that the relator is no competent judge ; as if a 
traveller, who understands no mathematics, should 
affirm the Malabrians to be the best mathemati- 
cians in the world. But Strabo, who, notwith- 
standing all these gross mistakes in the extremi- 
ties of Europe, is one of the foremost authors in 
my esteem: Slrabo, I say, a little lower in the 

• "O ie yi am mj KtXT«»t itfo; apKrcv, irXouc trj^tim; \iytTcu irofa tkc tut, > irj 
T'.n jEjunt, sireitEiva fssv u^av tut BfSTanit>i{, aSxiiij it tut 4u;jos- mmu^ojt; mj-j t« 
iiTEXFt^s y<ij.iii^iif aeutira. Id, lib. S, fug. 124, 


same book, as doubting whether he was in the 
rig'ht, and pretending it was no great matter shou'd 
he be in the wrong, affii-ms that at least it is not 
known whether there be any habitable place be- 
yond Ireland (which he still places to the north 
of Britain), *' nor is it of any importance to the 
prince*," says he, " to have an exact notice of such 
regions or their inhabitants, especially shou'd 
they life in such Hands, which cannot contribute 
any thing to our damage or profit (meaning the 
Romans) there being no intercourse between us." 
This reflection might perhaps be true with respect 
to the emperor and the empire; yet it is a very 
lame reason for a geographer, who is accurately 
to describe all places, let them have relation to 
his prince or not. But the truth of it is, he wou'd 
not believe the antient Greec and Massilian sail- 
ors, neither had he any better information him* 
self, wherby to supply or ta correct them. 

VI. As for Ireland, it was very well known to 
the more antient geographers, as I show'd before ; 
it being directly in the way of the Phenicians (Avho 
are said by Aristotle f to have discover 'd it) when 
they sail'd for Britain. Lying therefore so con- 

jl^jjttC Hat Tou? eixowTrt? : xat /AaTn^A ei vtiTavs otxeitTotavra^f Oi /w-jitc ?,u7reiv fAU'ro 
•f^tf^etv «]^(K ^uwjvTa fMi^eVf ha td wtenvffKcvtvi. Ibid. pag. 176. 

+ Ey th fla^ays'D, to c|» 'HfOuMmi ^nxm, <^acrni vjm yiaf^^nimtamrnnnn 
epnjUHn, e^ova-an v>.nn re'tranrosa'Trtij ttat 'jrorafxavo' irhairovr, xar rote" Koittoiit Kae- 
woiir 9auji*ariB, aTtexovran, ievheionxn efiefxn; ct quae seqnuntnr illic itliqna, 
lliberois imprimis convenientia. De MiraMl. tlusmltat. 


veniently for the Phenicians, Grecians, Spaniards, 
and Gauls, it was always a place of great trade: 
and for this reason Tacitus * says (agreeable to 
the Irish annals) " that its ports were better known 
for trade, and more frequented by merchants, 
than those of Britain. Neither is Pytheas's ac- 
count of the frozen sea, any more than that of 
Thule, a fable. Whoever was in Greenland, knows 
it to be literally true. It is, therefore, in the an- 
tient Greec and Roman books, call'd the icy, the 
slowf, the congeal'd, the dead sea; as I have read 
that it is in some Arabic books very properly 
written, the dark sea and the sea of pitch. In the 
oldest Irish books 'tis call'd by words ;]: that import 
the Joul, and the foggy sea; and likewise Mitir- 
chroinn, or the coagulated sea§, from the word 
Croinn, which signifies close and thick as well as 
round ||. From this original, which Pytheas and 
other travellors learnt no doubt from the Britons, 
this sea was nam'd Oowmm^: and not (as after- 

* Melius aditus portusque, per commercia et negoUatores, 
eogniti. Vit. Jgric. cap. 24. 

+ Mare glaciale, pigrum, congelatum, roortnuni. 

X Muircheachtf Muircheoach. 

§ Mare coDCretum. 

II Crunn has the same signification in Welsh, and Cronni or 
Croinnigh in both the languages signifies to gather, to obstruct, 
to heap, and particularly Cronni to thicken or stagnate waters; 
so that this derivation of the Cronian, and congeal'd sea, cannot 
be reasonably. call'd in question. 

*i 'A^^ Hfonn. 


wards invented from the mere sound) because 
Cronos, or Saturn, was inchanted in Ogygia, an 
Hand west of Britain ; which is fabulously reported 
by Plutarch* and other writers, who have hitherto 
been inconsiderately follow'd by every body. I 
wonder they do not affirm after them, since they 
may do so with e^ual reason, that some of the 
west and north Brittish ilands are possest by he- 
roes and departed souls f . The northern sea, even 
before one comes to the icy part, and perhaps 
most properly, may be term'd slow and dead, by 
reason of the Rousts, or meetings of contrary 
tides ; whose conflict is sometimes so equal, that 
they are a great impediment to the boat or ship's 
way: nay somtimes, tho' under sail, they can make 
no way at ^l; but are very often impetuously 
whirl'd round, and now and then quite swallow'd 
up. This kind of ship wrack is no less naturally 
than elegantly describ'd by Virgil, when he relates 
the fate of Orontes who commanded a ship under 
Eneas : 

Ipsius ante oculos ingens a verttce pontus 
In puppim ferit ; excutitur, pronusque magister 
Volritur in caput : ast illam ter fluctus ibidem 
Torquet agens circum, et rapidus Torat aequore vortex, 

Aen, lib. 1. 

* De facie in orbs Lunce: de Defectu Oracular. Videndi 
etiam Orpheus in Argonauticis, Plinius, Solinus, Isaacius Tzet. 
zes in Lycophronis Alexandrani, &c. 

t lidem consulendi, quorum in Annotatione praecedenti men. 
tio : nee non in Horatii Epodam 16 commentantes legend!. 



I shou'd not forget here, that, upon the discovery 
of Thule by Pytheas, one Antonius Diogenes 
■ivrote a romance in twenty four books, which he 
intitul'd the Incredibilities of Thule; where he laid 
his scene, and whereof Photius has given some 
account *. I have dwelt the longer upon these 
ilands, because they did not onely, like the other 
parts of Britain, abouad with Druids, who have 
there left various memorials of themselves: but 
also because the last footing they had in the 
■world was here, which makes it little less than 
essential to my subject. Nor was it in the lie of 
Md.n alone, that a peculier government was set 
up by their procurement or approbation ; as you 
have read in my second letter of their disciple, the 
admirable legislature Manannan. There was like- 
wise another government of their erection, singu- 
lar enough, in the Hebudesf; where better provi- 
sion was made against the changing of an elective 
into a hereditary monarchy, and against all other 
exorbitances of the prince, than ever I read in any 
author antient cr modern. Solinus, speaking of 
these ilands, " there is one king," says he ;]:, " over 

* T«» uTre; eiuJint ttTrirow X»y«i »,i. In Bibliotlieca, cod. 166. 

+ Another name for the Western lies, cqniTalent to the He. 
bridti : if they were not originally the same, having perhaps by 
the mistake of transcribers been written for each other ; nothing 
being easier, thaa to confound ui with ri, or ri with ui, as an. 
tiently written. 

+ Rex unus est unirersis : nam quotquot sunt, omnes angusta 
iHt«rla?iedi»id«i>tdr. Rex nihil snum habt?t, omnia unirei so- 


them all; for they are, as many as be of them, di- 
vided onely by narrow channels. This king has 
nothing of his own, but shares of every thing that 
every man has. He is by certain laws oblig'd to 
observe equity: and lest avarice shou'd make him 
deviate from the right way, he learns justice from 
poverty; as having no manner of property, being 
maintained upon the public expence. He has not 
as much as a wife of his own, but by certain turns 
makes use of any woman towards whom he has 
an inclination; whence it happens, that he has 
neither the desire nor the hope of any children." 
'Tis pity this author has not specify'd those laves, 
by which equity was prescrib'd to the Hebudian 
monarch, in injoying what was proper for him of 
other men's goods : and that he has not told us, 
how those vicissitudes were regulated, whereby he 
had the temporary use of other men's wives, who 
nevertheless -were to father all the children. , As 
I show'd this passage one day to a couple of my 
friends, one of them readily agreed, that the state 
must needs find their account in this constitution- 
both as it sav'd the expence of treasure in main- 
taining a numerons royal progeny, and as it sav'd 
the expence of blood in settling their several claims 

rum. Ad aequitatem certis Legibus stringitur; ac, ne aTaritiA. 
dirertat a rero, discit paupertate justitiam : utpote cui nihil sit 
rei familiaris, verum alitur e publico. Nulla illi datur fcemina 
propria; sed per vicissitudines, in quacunque commotus sit, usu. 
rariata sinaU unde ci »ec Totum, nee spes, Liberornm. Cap, 22< 


or contentions: but had it not been, said he, for 
the strict care taken against accumulating riches 
or power on the prince, 1 should have naturally 
thought, that it was one of those Druidical priests, 
who had thus advantageously carv'd for himself. 
Hereupon the other reply'd, that he fancy'd such 
priests wou'd be contented to have plentiful eat- 
ing apd drinking, and variety of women, thus es- 
tablish'd by law for them; since it was for no 
other end, he conceiv'd, but to obtain these, that 
they struggl'd so hard any where for power and 
riches. But if this were so, the Druids cou'd be 
at no manner of loss about their pleasures; consi- 
dering the sway they bore in the civil authority, 
and their management of the much more power- 
ful engine of superstition: for " without the 
Druids, who understand divination and philoso- 
phy," says Dion Chrysostom*, "the kings may nei- 
ther do nor consult any thing ; so that in reality they 
are the Druids who reign, while the kings (tho' they 
sit on golden thrones, dwell in spacious palaces, 
and feed on costly dishes) are onely their minis- 
ters, and the executioners of their sentence." 
Judge now what influence those priests had upon 
the people, when they might thus control the 
prince; and conseqviently, whether they could 

* KeXTO* Jt ouf ovpftajous-i Apulia;, niu toutouj Trtfi /uayriiiiiy cvtos xai my a^Xw 
re(J)iay, aiy etvEu Tfli? BairtXEyo-jv ou^ey e^HV TTgetTTSiv ouS'g &t)u\£a-Qat; eoyi th fXEv ct^nOsc 
fusmvq ttp^siVf Toy? 5¥ ^ttg-iMcti auran u7rep»jT*s k*( hattoYov; yiyvtQaj ttj? yvaj^nf, cy 
0povot? ;^py0'fli? HadiijUEVou?, xat oixta? juE^a^a? oiKtvna^, x«tt <iTo>^vrifMti iyoi^9vfAiywt< 
De recustttione Magistrat. in Stnatu, pag, 538. Edit, Paris, 


possibly want any thing, that brought 'em either 
pleasure or power. The kings bore all the envy, 
and the Druids possest all the sweets of autho- 

VII. But leaving both for a while, I submit to 
your lordship's consideration, upon such eviden- 
ces and proofs as I am going to produce; whether 
the Hyperborean iland, so much celebrated by an- 
tiquitj-, be not some one or more of the remotest 
ilands : and particularly the great iland of Lewis 
and Harries, with its appendages, and the adja- 
cent iland of Sky; which in every circumstance 
agree to the description that Diodorus Siculus 
gives of the iland of the Hyperboreans. Let's 
mention some of those circumstances. He says * 
that the harp was there in great repute, as indeed 
it is still; every gentleman having one in his 
house, besides a multitude of harpers by profes- 
sion, intertain'd gratis wherever they come. He 
tells us, that above all other Godsf they worshipt 
Apollo; which, in my first letter, I evidently show 
they did under the name of Belenusij;; He says 
further, that besides a magnificent sacred grove, 
Apollo's remarkable temple § there was round, 
whereof I have given a particular description and 

* Tan it xaTomowToJv a.vny nil! w^eifouf imi KiSapirt;, Lib, 2. pag, 130. 
t Tov AttoXXu fAA'^KO' Twv tt.'Khm dE«v TTfCp* avTOK; Tfjuettrdat. Ihid, 

X lo the Celtic language Beal and Bealan. 

yoi, muOrj/tari ttoMou iuiu>a-iiK/A,tvot, r^flifoti Ju t« f}(«f*ar!. Ibid. 

C C 


plan in my second letter*, it subsisting in great 
part still. He affirms that they had a peculiar 
dialect, which in reality continues the same to 
this day; it being Earse, or the sixth among the 
Celtic dialects I enumerated in my first letter: 
and approaching so near to that of the Irish, that 
these and the ilanders discourse together without 
any difficulty. But, omitting several other mat- 
ters no less concordant, he adds, that the iland 
was frequented of old by the Greecs-}-, and in 
friendship with them; which will be easily ad- 
mitted, after perusing the fourth and fifth section* 
of this present letter, where I manifestly prove 
this intercourse. I very well know, that others, 
Avho are far from agreeing among themselves, do 
place the Hyberboreans elsewhere: nor am I ig- 
norant that diverse, after the example of Antonius 
Diogenes' s Thulian Romance"^, have indeavor'd to 
divert their readers, no less tha« themselves, with 
Hyperborean fictions; and so made such variations 
of site or circumstances, as best suited their se- 
veral plans, to spealc^ nothing of such as were 
grossly ignorant in geography. Allowances ought 
to be made for all these things. And the Hyper- 
borean continent (which was questionless the most 
northern part of Scytkia, or of Tartary and Mus- 
covy, stretching quite to Scandinavia, or Sweden 

* Section XI. 

,t np«{ T«uj 'EXXivat oiKtiiTUTa Ji«exsi5-9ai, S^c, Ibiif, 

t See the lait section. 


and Norway) this Hyperborean continent, I say, 
must be carefully distinguish'd from the Hyper- 
borean iland; whose soil was more temperate and 
fertile, as its inhabitants more civiliz'd, harmless, 
and happy. But, to prevent all cavils, I declare 
before-hand, that as by Thule I mean onely that 
of Phytheas, or Iceland, and not the conjectures 
or mistakes of people that liv'd long after him; 
some making it to be Ireland, others Schetland 
(which I believe to be the Thule of Tacitus*) 
others the northermost part of Great Britain, and 
others other places I : so by the iland of the Hy- 
perboreans, I mean that describ'd by Diodorus 
Siculus after Hecateus and others, as being an 
iland "in the ocean beyond Gaule to the north |," 
or under the Bear, where people liv'd with no less 
simplicity than indolence and contentment; and 
which Orpheus, or, if you please, Onomacritus, 
very rightly places near the Cronian§ or Dead 
sea. 'Tis by this situation, as hereafter more 
particularly mark'd, that I am willing to be 

* Insulas, quas Orcadas vocani, inrenit domuitque. Despecta 
est et Thule, quam hacteous nix et hiems abdebat. In vita 
Agric. cap. 10, 

f See the Essay concerning the Thule of ike antientSy by Sir 
Bobert Sibbald. 

- E» tut afTHWpan th; KiXrMvq rsiruf, xara Tof nueatn, tmi »a«v, ax 

£?.aiT?W TI3J 2ltl1i^lAS ; T«yT«V WTTapp^EiV fxiy MATO. TOUf dpJtTOOf. Uh, 2. pUg. 130. 

§ — — ■ K^arioi'TE firnxXno-xeuiTt 

Argonaut, ver. 107?. 


judg'd: showing it also to bean iland near the 
Scots, whether Hibernian or Albanian; who are, 
by Claudian*, made borderers on the Hyper- 
borean sea. From this iland the Argonauts, 
after touching there coining out of the Cronian 
ocean, according to Orpheus, saii'd tof Ireland in 
the Atlantic ocean; and so to the pillars ;]; of Her- 
cules, where they enter'd again into the Mediter- 
ranean §. No marks can be plainer, so there is no 
other iland (those of Faroe and Iceland excepted) 
but the northwest Brittish Hands, between the 
Cronian and the Atlantic ocean, as every one 
knows that has once look'd into a map; which 
expres situation of the Hyperborean iland, toge- 
ther with its being said by Diodorus to ly beyond 
the Gallic regions towards the north, or the Bear, 
the frequent use of the harp there, and the %vor- 
ship of Apollo in a round temple, amounts I think 
to as full a proof as any thing of this nature re- 
quires. Diodorus adds, in the place where I last 
quoted him, that the Hyperborean city and temple 

* Scotumque yago mucrone secutus, 

Fref^it Hyperboreas remis audacibus undas. 

ZJe 3 Cons. Honor, ver. 55. 

+ AyKAloq J'olttKttf l7rir*,WSV»ff ETiTttlyS, 

Hap ^'MpA ncoy OfxitQiv lEpvi Ja 

Jbid. ver, lirs. 

Hid. ver. 1S40. 
§ Now the Straits of Gibraltar. 


"were always govern'd by the family of the* Bo- 
" reads f who with no more probability were the de- 
scendants of Boreas, an imaginary person or deity, 
than the Hyperboreans were so caXVd, from being 
situated more rtortherly than the north-ivindl: 
but in reality they were then, as they are still, go- 
vern'd by their chiefs or heads of tribes, whom 
they call'd in their own language Boireadhach; 
that is to say, the great ones, or powerful and va- 
liant men, from Borr, antiently signifying gran- 
deur and majesty §. The Greecs have in a thou- 
sand instances ap.ply'd foren words to the very 
different sense of other words approaching to the 
same sound in their own language. Their first 
sailors into those parts gave the ilanders the name 
of Hypethoreans, from their lying so far towards 
the north with respect to the straights of Hercu- 

Vofeaiat, avoyonov; omai; SOfeov, xai narayenoi oi« haie}(a^9ai to; apx^f* •'^'''• 
i.pag. ISO, 

+ Boreadea. 

J Ave ra jrpoo-s'aiTejw Kf ia-3a>1i{ Sofeiou enons. Lib. 2. pag, 130. 

§ As for these words Borr and Buireadhach or Bbinadhach 
(the Towels u and o being with us most frequently put for each 
other) I might appeal to several authentic manuscripts, but, be. 
cause such are not obrious to many, I chuse rather to refer my 
readers to the Seanasan nuadh, or printed vocabulary of obsolete 
words by O'Clery, and to Lhudy's printed Irish.English Die. 
tionary: so that these words are no children of fancy, as but too 
frequently happens in etymologies. From the same root are 
Borrogach couragious, and Borrthoradk awe or worship, witk 
the like. 



les% for which I have indisputable authorities; 
and after having once thus stil'd them, they gree- 
dily catch'd at the allusive sound of their leaders 
or magistrates, Grecizing those grandees, or Boir- 
eadhach, into Boreades : which was literally un- 
derstood in Greece of the fabulous descendants of 
Boreas, very consonantly to their mythology, or, 
if you will, to their theology. But I noted beforef, 
that Plato, in his Cratylus, was of opinion J the 
Greecs had borrow'd many words from the bar- 
barians ; " especially," adds he, " such of the 
Greecs as liv'd in the barbarian territories:" 
which may be fairly suppos'd to include those 
who navigated, or that drove any traffic among 
them. And hence the divine philosopher him- 
self draws this accurat§ inference, " that if 
any man wou'd indeavor to aidjust the etymolo- 
gies of those words with the Greec language, and 
not rather seek for them in that to which they 
originally belong, he must needs be at a loss." 
'Tis farther most deserving observation, that Era- 
tosthenes, an antient chronologer and geographer of 
vast reputation for learning, speaking of Apollo's 
famous arrow, with which he slew the Cyclopes, 
and in honor of which one of the constellations is 

» Now of Gibraltar. + Letter II. Section V. 

% Evvow yap, bte 7^o^^a oi E?*,X*JV6f evo,UttTA, aNXw; t8 xat oi utto TOif |3a()€a:oic «iJ*;i- 
>7Ec, ircLfx ToJi- /3ap££tp«v ti\r,<^aa-i. Inter Opemy Edit, Paris* Vol. 1, pag, 4i.9. 

$ E( T(c ^nTO( TrtuTtt x.ava ttjv ^EWnviH/iV (Jiwvflv tuf EotKOTWf XEiT<x(. uXXa **n JteiT* 
^jtiiv^iy f| n; TO evo/^A rvy^uyu ov^ qut&a Qjt ttTTQ^n nr. Ibid* 


SO call'il, says that* "he hid it among the Hyper- 
bor^ns, where there is his temjple made of wings, 
or a wii;iged temple," the words being capable of 
both senses. If the latter was the meaning of 
Eratosthenes, we have already given the descrip- 
tion of such a winged temple, yet standing there: 
and if the former, no place under heaven cou'd 
furnish more feathers, nor of more various kinds, 
to adorn men or buildings, than those same ilands ; 
where many of the inhabitants pay their rent with 
t|iem, aud make a considerable profit besides. 
For this reason perhaps, and not from its pro- 
mqntoqes, the lie of ,Skie is in the language of the 
natives call'd Scianach'f, or the winged iland, 
whereof the English name Skie is an abbreviation 
or corruption. Now, if the Hebrides were the 
hyperboreans of Diodorus (as I fancy it can 
scarce hereafter be doubted) then the most cele- 
brated Abaris was both of that country, and like- 
wise a Druid, having been the:{; priest of Apollo, 
Suidas, who :knew not the distinction of insular 
Hyperboreans, makes him a Scythian; as do some 
others misled by the same vulgar error, tho' Dio- 
dorus has truly fix'd his country in the iland, not 

* EKpvl'S Js auTt [t» toJixo»] £» virifPtfiiut, nu x«i t y«m s WTtfiwc. Jk Cataste- 
rimtis, inter Opuscula Mythologica et.Physica, Edit. Amst. fag. 124. 
.+ Oiiean Sciathanach. 

X To ^Ev yap flTt roy juupov ^fvfouv «we5'£t^6v AlJapt J* Tw ^TffBp^opew, iinac-avrt avTOt 
A7ro^^wa £'»«> TO* £» 'TWEp3«psOi{, ovircf m isfws A0api;, BeZaiotra ai{ rouro aXuSef 
viSfvM.tmi. Forpkyrius in vita Pythagor<e, Eadem, et iisdem eqiiidem verbit 
habet Jamiliehits, Lib, 1. cap. S8. 



on the continent. And indeed their fictions or 
blunders are infinite concerning our Aharis. This 
is certain however among 'em all, that he travell'd 
quite over Greece*, and from thence into Italy, 
where he familiarly convers'd with Pythagoras; 
Avho favor'd him beyond all his disciples, by im- 
partinghis doctrines to him (especiallyhis thoughts 
of nature) in a more compendious and plainer me- 
thod, than to any others. This distinction cou'd 
not but highly redound to the advantage of Aba- 
ris. For, the reasons of Pythagoras's backward- 
ness and retention in communicating his doctrines, 
being, in the first place, that he might eradicate (if 
possible) out of the minds of his disciples all viti- 
oiis and turbulent passions, forming them by de- 
grees to a habit of virtue, which is the best prepa- 
rative for receiving truth ; as, next, to fit them, "by 
a competent knowlege of the mathematical sci- 
ences, for reasoning with exactness about those 
higher contemplations of nature, into which they 
were to be initiated; and, lastly, to have repeated 
proofs of their discretion in concealing such im- 
portant discoveries from the ignorant and the 
icicked, the latter being unworthy, and the former 
incapable of true philosophy: it follows, therefore, 
thathejudg'd Abaris already sufliciently prepared 
in all these respects, and so he obliged him with an 
immediate communication of his most inward sen- 

Ice. Vlii supra. 


tijnents; conceal'd from others under the vail of 
numbers, or of some other enigmatical symbols' 
The Hyperborean in return presented the Samian, 
as if he had equall'd Apollo himself in wisdom, 
with the sacred arrow ; riding astride which he's 
fabulously reported by the Greec writers, to have 
flown in the air over rivers and lakes, forests and 
mountains: as our vulgar still believe, and noi 
where more than in the Hebrides, that wizards 
and witches waft whither they please upon broom- 
sticks. But what was hid under this romantic 
expedition, with the true meaning of the arrow 
itself, the nature of the predictions that Abaris 
spread in Greece, and the doctrines that he learnt 
at Crotona; with the conceit of these Hyperbo- 
reans that Latona the mother of Apollo, vvas born 
among them, nay that he was so too, and their 
most exact astronomical cycle of nineteen years: 
these particulars, I say, you'll read at large in my 
History of the Druids, stript of all fable and dis- 
guise; as well as a full discussion of the question 
(about w^hich antient writers are divided) " whe- 
ther the Druids learnt their* symbolical and enig- 
matical method of teaching, together with the 
doctrine of transmigration from Pythagoras, or 
that this philosopher had borrow'd these parti- 
culars from the Druids?" The communication 
between them was easy enough, not only by means 

f >i«-ai. biogen, Laert. in prooem. Sect. e. 


of such travellers as Pythagoras and Abaris, but 
also by the nearness of Gaul to Italy: tho' there 
will still j-emain another question, viz. whether 
the Egyptians had not these things before either 
of them; and therefore whether they did not both 
receive them from the Egyptians? 

VIII. Yet before all things we must here ex- 
amine what can be ofFer'd, with any color, against 
our account of the Hyperborean iland ; after that 
so many circumstances, and particularly the situ- 
ation, seem to point demonstratively to the true 
place: nor certainly, when things are duely cpn- 
fsider'd, will the objections that have been .started 
in private conver,sation (as I know of no other that 
can be ,publickly made) be found to have the least 
di^culty. fThule or Iceland, rightly plac'd by 
Claudian in the Hyperborean* climate, besides 
the incongruities of |the soil and the intern pqrate- 
ness of the air, isdistinguish'd by Diodorus him- 
self frppa the iliE|.nd in question: and the ilgs pf 
JFaroe, being onely a parcel of barren rocks pf 
very small extent, without any monument of anti- 
quity, deserve not so much as, to be mentipn'd on 
this pccasion. Neitlier indeed has any, of my ac- 
quaintance insisted on either pf the^e. But J)io- 
dorus (says one of 'em) tho' exactly agreeing to 

* Te, qu6 libet, ire, sequemur : 

T.e vel Hyperboreo damnatam sidere Thulen, 
Tq vel ad incensas Dbyae comitabor arenas. 

In Ru/in. lib. 2. 


your situation or that of Orpheiis, and that your 
other circumstances do perfectly tally to this des- 
cription : yet is different in this, that he speaks 
onely of one iland, not less than Sicily* 5 where 
as you understand this of several ilands, which al- 
together have scarce that extent. I answer, that 
the marks of the right place which I have men- 
tioned already, and such others as I shall present- 
ly alledge, will more than counterbalance any mis- 
take (if there be any) about the bigness of the 
iland. Travellers and mariners, who either have 
not been ashore or not staid long enough in any 
place to survey it, are known to speak onely by 
guess, and frequently very much at random. Has 
not Great Britain itself (so much celebrated, as 
Pliny justly writesf, by the Greec and Bioman 
authors) been taken to be of vast extent, and not 
certainly knov^^n by the Roinans to be an iland, 
till the time of Vespa^an;!:? Endless examples 
of this kind might easily be prodiic'd. And as 
for the multitude of those ilands, which are sepa- 
rated onely by narrow chanhels, it makes nothing 
at all BigainSt me. For, besides that such an ag- 
gregation of ilands is often taken in common 
speech for onely one; as not to go out of our own 
dominions, such is Schetlaud, in name one cotm- 
try, but in effect consisting of more than 30 ilands : 
so there are several indications, join'd to the tra- 

t Sea Section III, t See Sectioa V. 


dition of the inhabitants (of which see Dr. Martin 
in his Account of Saint Kilda and elsewhere) that 
some of those western ilands have been formerly 
imited, and many of them nearer each other than at 
present. However, taking them as they now are, 
Lewis, otherwise call'd the longiland, being at least 
a hundred miles in length*, Skie forty, "^ . veral of 
the rest above four and twenty each, and all ap- 
pearing as one iland (having many winding bays 
or inlets) to one who sails without them, or that 
touches onely at some of the greatest; considering 
this, I say, the mistake will not be reckon'd so 
enormous in a sailor or stranger, if he compares 
them in the lump to Sicily for extent. Another 
person granting all this, objects that Diodorus re- 
presents the Hyperborean iland a very temperate -|- 
region; which, according to ray friend, cannot be 
said of any place in the northern latitude of 58, 
and partly of 59. But whoever has travell'd far 
himself, or read the relations of such as have, 
will be convinc'd that the seasons in every region 
of the world, do not always answer to their posi- 
tion: of which the causes are various, as huge 

* I reckon as Dr. Martin and the natives do, from the most 
northerly point of Lewis to Bernera south of Barra, this string of 
islands being onely divided by channels mostly fordable; and if 
it be consider'd that I make use of Scottish miles, every place is at 
least a third part more, according to the English or Italian mea. 

tOwa»5" a<jlm t,iyt.M% m, va/^'pofav, sli h «uH{«(rl« J»atf{Oayi(y, 
tloc- en^eieit na^iroua-,. UH supra. 


litlges of mountains, the neighbourhood of vast 
lakes or marches, winds blowing from places co- 
ver'd with snow, or the like. Thus Britain and 
Ireland are known, not onely to be much more 
temperate than the places on the continent of the 
same position with them, but even than some of 
such as are more southerly; by reason of the salt 
vapors and continual agitations of the suyround- 
ing ocean, which dissolve, allay, and mitigate the 
frosts and winds blowing from the continent. 
This holds as true with regard to the Hebrides, 
which by experience are allow'd to be, yet more 
temperate; the snow not lying near so long as in 
Britain, and a tepid vapor being very sensible 
there in the midst of winter. This was enough 
to fill the Greec sailors with admiration, which to 
us ought to be none ; since their learned men often 
spoke of many places, not as they actually were 
in themselves, but as in their speculations they 
imagin'd they ought to be: without considering 
whether there might not occur some of the diver- 
sifying circumstances we have just now hinted, or 
any others begetting the like influences. But that 
most sagacious interpreter of nature, Hippocrates, 
knew better things, when he taught what he learnt 
by experience (having been an ilander himself) 
that Hands situated far* in the sea, are kindly 

#t>6iV0Tepai Tov YitfAMVA ; JioTi at p^toyef Kat wayot sv /msv tri^iv n'i^Bifoiriv £^ovo-t rairiv, 
5-«»-i» 11 j(;Mf««yi. Be Diceta, lib. 2. cap. 3. 

E e 


warm, and that no snow can lie on them in win- 
ter; while such as are near the shore become 
scarce habitable for cold, by reason of the sjiow 
and ice remaining on the continent, \\ hich from 
thencee transmit bleak winds into those iland^-. 
The antients, who judg'd of places^ where they 
never were by their bare positions, did conge- 
quently enough from thence conclude the torrid 
zone to be inhabitable: but since this zone has 
not onely been frequently visited, but is daily pe- 
netrated to the temperate and cold zones beyond 
it, 'tis not onely found every where inhabited ; but 
those breezes and showers, with other causes, that 
make living there very comfortable, are the common 
themes of philosophers. This brings me to the 
last, and seemuigly the strongest objection, viz. 
that the Hyperborean ilaud of Diodoi-us, or rather 
of Hecateus and others long before him, ^\ as no 
plentiful as to have two crops a year*. Yet this 
expression, upon a fair construction, will be so 
far from embarayning, that it will highly illustrate 
my explication. It onely signifies great plenty 
and abundance, which I cou'd instance by many 
passages of the antients; but shall chuse the 
nearest home I can, and that is what Virgil f says 
of Italy : 

* Read the Note immediately preceding, bateing one. 
+ Hie ver assiduum, atque alienis mensibus ajstas ; 
Bis grarida pecudes, bis pomis utilis arbos. 

Georgic, lib. 2. 

or THE DRUIDS. 215 

Perpctnal spring our happy climate sees, -j 

Twice breed the cattle, and twice bear the trees ; > 

And summer suns recede by slow degrees. * 

Dryden's Translation. 

3!5ut who is ignorant, that this is not literally true? 
and as to the plenty meant by it in general, 'tis 
certain that no country abounds more with the 
necessaries of life, and at less labor or charge, than 
the Hebrides. I shall dwell so much the longer 
on this head, as my history may possibly reach 
further than the Celtic nations. Wherefore, in 
the first place, there is known to be in those ilands 
a prodigious plenty of flesh and fish. Their 
cattle of all sorts (as cows, sheep, goats, and 
hogs) are exceeding numerous and prolific : small 
indeed of size, as are likewise their horses, but of 
a sweet and delicious taste. So are their deer, 
which freely range in herds on the mountains. 
No place can compare with this for tame and 
wild fowl, there being of the latter no where in the 
world a greater diversity, many sorts of 'em ex- 
tremely beautiful or rare, and utterly unknown 
elsewhere. The like may be said of their various 
amiDhibious animals. Numberless are their foun- 
tains and springs, rivulets, rivers, and lakes, very 
wholesom in their waters, and every where super- 
abounding with fish, especially the most delicate, 
as trout and salmon : nor is it by herrings alone 
that all Europe knows no seas to be better stor'd, 
nor with more kinds, from the shrimp to the 

E. e2 


whale; as no harbors or bays are superior, whe- 
ther regard be had to number or commodiousness. 
Add to this their variety of excellent roots and 
plants, particularly those of marine growth, every 
one of them serving for food or physic. Their 
pastures are so kindly, that they might live ou 
milk alone, with that inconceivable quantity of 
eugs they yearly gather of the desart rocks and 
ilets. But flesh and fish, milk-meats, eggs, and sal- 
lads in the greatest abundance (some will be apt 
to say) are slender and comfortless food without 
the staff of bread. On this assertion, tho' I might 
fairly dispute it from the practice of whole na- 
tions, and the experience of particular persons no 
strangers to me, I will not however insist; bread, 
among their other productions, being plentiful 
enough in the Hebrides, which sometimes cannot 
be said of the neighbouring ilands. The ground 
is generally allow'd to be much richer than on the 
Scottish continent, some parts whereof are not 
f-eldom supply'd hence with corn*: and I have 
also fiudi ])iOofs of it from Dr. IMartin (who, when 
he wrote his Description of those Hands, wa^ far 
from dreaming of the Hyperboreans) as will suffi- 
ciently justify the expression of Diodorus about 
their crops or harvests. Lewis is very fruitful: 
and tho' barley, oats, and rye, be the cyily grain 
sown there at present: vrt the ground both in 
that, and in most of the other ilaiuisf is lit to bear 

*SeeDr. Martin's Descrijiitionjpnje 140. +PageS3,337 .tc. 


wheat, and consequently legumes of all sorts. 'Tis 
truely amazing they have any crop at all, consi- 
dering how unskilful they are in agriculture, how 
destitute of the properest instruments to till the 
ground, and that they scarce vise any other manure 
but sea-wrack or tangles. From the ignorance of 
the inhabitants in these respects, as also in plant- 
ing, inclosing, and draining, many fruitful spots 
ly uncultivated: but the abundance of choice eat- 
ables (and namely the most nourishing shell-fish 
of various. kinds) with which they are richly sup- 
ply'd by bountiful nature, contributes more than 
any thing to that indolence, which the antient 
Greecs esteem'd their happiness. The goodness 
of the soil appears by nothing more evidently, 
than by the want of cultivation, whereof I have 
been just complaining. Dr. Martin, who was ara 
ey-witness, and strictly examin'd the fact, aflGirms* 
that in Bernera, near Harries, the produce of 
barley is many times from twenty to thirty-fold; 
that in Harries and South-Uistf one barley-grainy 
sometimes produces from seven to fourteen ears, 
as in North-Uist from ten to thirty-fold J in a 
plentiful year: that at Corchattan, in Skie, the 
increase^ amounted once to thirty-five; that if the 
ground be laid down for some time, it gives a 
good crop II without dunging, some fields not having 
been dung'd in forty years; and that he was in- 

* Page 42. f Ibid, t Page 53, § Page 132, | Page 139. 


form'd a small track of groiuld, at Skorry-breck* 
in the said ile of Skie, had yielded a hnndred-fold. 
Nay, I have been told myself by a native of that 
ile, that the people there believe they might have 
two crops a year, if they took due pains. For this 
I beg'd their pardon, but allow'd what was tanfa- 
moiint, since the words of Diodorus may no less 
Justly be render'd a double crop, than ttpo crops f , 
which last, however, is in sOrae respects literally 
true. For with regard to their pastures (of whicli 
somewhat before) nothing is more comroo« than 
for a sheep to have two Iambs;}; at a time. This 
not ont'ly confirms my construction, and puts me 
in mind of that verse in Virgil §, 

She suckles twins, and tvsice a day is milk'd: 

but also of what the so often mention'd Dr. Mar- 
tin relates on this|| occasion; which is, that be- 
.lides the ordinary rent a tenant paid, it was a cus- 
tom in the ilands, if any of his cows or sheep 
brought two yoimg ones at a time, one of them 
was to go to the landlord: Avho, on his part, was 
oblig'd, if any of his tenant's wives bore twins, to 
take one of them into his own family; and that 
he himself knew a gentleman, who had sixteen of 
Jliese twins in his house at a time. Tis no won- 
der they are populous. Even the wild goats on 
the mountains, lor such there- are in Harries, are 

* Ibid, i i^nlws xxfirmt. X fage 108. § Bis venit ad mulc- 
tiam, bir.os alit ubeie fictus. Echg. 3. I'cr. L'O. |j Page 109, 


observ'd to bring* forth their young twice a year: 
ail which put together, makes the last objection 
against me to be none, and therefore finally justi- 
fies my explication of the passage in Diodorus. 
From hence 'tis evident, My Lord, that those 
Hands are capable of great improvement, as they 
abound likewise in many curiosities, especially in 
subjects of philosophical observation. Nor is 
it less plain by the many antient monuments re- 
maining among them, and the marks of the plow 
reaching to the very tops of the mountains (which 
the artless inhabitants think incapable of culture) 
that in remote ages they were inafar more flourish- 
ing condition than at present. The ruins of spaci- 
ous houses, and the numerous obelises, old forts, 
temples, altars, with the like, which I have de- 
scrib'df before, undeniably prove this: besides 
that the country was formerly full of woods, as 
appears by the great oak and fir trees daily dug 
out of the ground, and by many other tokens; 
there being several small woods and coppices still 
remaining in Skie, Mull, and otlier places. Tho' 
I don't pretend, no more than Diodorus, that these 
were tlie fortunate Hands of the poets, or the ely- 
zian-fields of the dead, by some plac'd in those;]; 
seas, as by others elsewhere ; yet the following 

* Page 35. 

f Letter II. Sections VIII, IX, X, &c. 

X Videas Annotitlpnem 63 & 64. 


lines of Horace* agree to no s^pot Letter, than the 
ilands we have been just describing. 

• . From lofty liills 

With murmuring pace the fountain trills. 

There goats uncall'd return from fruitful vales, 

And bring stretch'd dugs to fill the pails. 

No bear grins round the fold, no lambs he shakes; 

No field swells there with poys'nous snakes. 

More we shall wonder on the happy plain : 

The watr'y east descends in rain, 

Yet so as to refresh, not drown the fields ; 

The temperate glebe full harvest yields. 

No heat annoys : the ruler of the gods 

From plagues secures these blest abodes. 

Creech'' s translation. 

The inhabitants, (that I may make a complete cora- 
mentary on the passage of Diodorus) are not to be 
mended in the proportion of their persons : no pre- 
posterous bandages distorting them in the cradle, 
nor hindring nature from duely forming their limbs ; 

* Montibus altis 

Levis crepante lympha desilit pede. 
Illic injussx veniunt ad mulctra capellae, 

Refertque tenta grex amicus ubera. 
Nee vespertinus circumgemit ursus ovile, 

Nee intumosi-it alta viperis humus. 
Pluraque felices mirabimur: ut neque largis 

Aqunsus Eurus arva radat imbribus, 
Pinsuia nee siccis urantur semina glebis; 

Utrumque Rege lemperaute Coelitum. 

Epod. 16. v^r, 47. 


•which is the reason, that bodily imperfections of 
anj sort are very rare among them. Neither doe« 
any over-officiously preventive physic in their in- 
fancy, spoil their original constitution; whence 
they have so strong a habit of body, that one of 
them requires treble the dose, as will purge any 
man in the south of Scotland. But what contri- 
butes above all things to their health and longe- 
vity, is constant temperance and exercise. As 
they prefer conveniency to ornament both in their 
houses and their apparel (which last 1 think not 
disagreeable) so, in their way of eating and drink- 
ing, they rather satisfy than oppress nature. Their 
food is commonly fresh, and their meals two a day, 
water being the ordinary drink of the vulgar. 
They are strangers to many of the distempers, as 
they are to most of the vices of other nations, for 
some of which they have not so much as a name : 
and it may no less truely be observ'd of these than 
of the ancient Scythians, that* the ignorance of 
vices has had a better effect upon them, than the, 
knowlege of philosophy upon politer nations. 
They owe every thing to nature. They cure all 
disorders of the body by simples of their own 
growth, and by proper diet or labor. Hence they 
are stout and active, dextrous in all their exer- 
cises ; as they are withall remarkably sagacious, 
choleric but easily appeaz'd, sociable, good natur'd, 

* Tanto plus in ilUs proficil Titiorum ignoratio, quam iq his. 
l_Gra.<:it Nimiruml cognitio TJrtutis. Justin. Hist, lib, 2. cap 2. 

F f 


ever cheerful, and having a strong inclination to 
music: all which particulars, with the other parts 
of their past and present character, I have not 
onely learnt from the concurrent testimonies of 
several judicious authors; but also from the inti- 
mate knowlege I have had myself of many scores 
of the natives, as well in Scotland as elsewhere. 
They are hospitable beyond expression, intertain- 
ing all strangers of what condition soever gratis; 
the use of mony being still in some of those ilands 
unknown, and till a fewr ages past in all of them. 
They have no lawyers or attomejs: which, no 
more than several other particulars here specify'd, 
I do i:ot understand of the Highlanders on the 
continent; tho' speaking the same language, and 
■wearing the same dress with them. The men and 
women plead their own causes ; and a yery speedy 
decision is made by the proprietor, who's perpe- 
tjial president in their courts, or by his bailiff as 
his substitute. In a word, they are equally void of 
the two chief plagues of mankind, luxury and 
ambition; which consequentlyf rees them from all 
those restless pursuits, consuming toils, and never- 
failing vexations, that men suffer elsewhere for those 
^iry, trifling, shortliv'd vanities. Their contempt 
of superfluities is falsly reckon'd poverty, since 
their felicity consists not in having much, but in 
coveting little; and that he's supremely rich, who 
■wants no more than he has: for as they, who ]i\e 
acconling to nature, will never be poor; so they. 


who live according to opiaion, will never be ricli. 
'Tis certain that no body wants, what he doea- 
not desire: and how much easier is it not to desire. 
certain things, than otherwise? as it is far more 
healthy and happy to want, than to injoy them. 
Neither is their ignorance of vices in tliese ilands 
any diminution to their virtue, since (not being by 
their situation concern'd in any of the disputes 
about dominion or commerce, that distract the 
world) they are not onely rigid observers of justice, 
but show less propensity than any people to tu- 
laults; except what they may be unwarily led 
into by the extraordinary deference they pay to 
the opinion of their chiefs and leaders, who are 
accountable for the mischiefs they sometimes 
bring (as at this very time*) on these well-meaning 
Hyperboreans. For Hyperboreans I will now 
presume to call them, and withall to claim Abaris 
as a philosopher of the Brittiah world, v/ hich has 
principally occasion'd this digression; on that ac- 
count not improper, nor, I hope, altogether uselessc 
in other respects. Be this as your lordship shall 
think fit to judge, I will not finish it before I have 
acquainted you with an odd custom or two, that 
have from time immemorial obtain'd in Barra and 
the lesser circumjacent ilands, which are the pro- 
perty of Mac-neil. The present is the thirty-fifth 
lord of Barra by uninterrupted lineal desceutr a- 


thing whereof no prince in the world can boast; 
and he's regarded, you may imagine, as no mean 
potentate by his subjects, who know none greater 
than he. When the wife of any of 'em dies, he 
has immediate recourse to his lord, representing 
first his OAvn loss in the want of a meet help*; and 
next that of Mac-neil himself, if he should not go 
on to beget followers for him. Hereupon Mac- 
neil finds out a suteable match (neither side ever 
disliking his choice, but accepting it as the high- 
est favor) and the marriage is celebrated without 
any courtship, portion or dowry, But they never 
fail to make merry on such occasions with a bottle 
er more of usquebah. On the other handf , when 
any woman becomes a widdow, she's upon the 
like application soon provided with a husband, 
and with as little ceremony. Whoever may dis- 
like this Hyperborean manner of preventing delay, 
disdain, or disappointment, yet he cannot but ap- 
prove Mac-neil's conduct, in supplying^ any of 
his tenants with as many milch-cows, as he may 
chance to lose by the severity of the weather, or 
by other misfortunes ; which is not the less true 
charily, for being good policy. Most worthy like- 
wise of imitation is his taking into his own family 
(building a house hard by on purpose for them) 
and maintaining to the day of their death, as many 
old men, as, thro' age or infirmity §, become unfit 

# Martin, page 97. i Ibid. J Ibid, | Page 98, 


for labor. Bui I shou'd never have done, if I pro- 
ceeded with, the particular usages of the north 
and west ilanders. Several of them retain'd from 
the remotest times of the Druids, are explaiu'd in 
this and the preceding letters. Yet one custom 
(very singular) I cannot help relating here, tho' 
long since grown obsolete; or rather that it has 
been in disuse, ever since their conversion to 
Christianity. When a man had a mind to have a 
wife *, as soon as he gain'd the consent of the maid 
he lik'd, he took her to his bed and board for a 
whole year; and if, upon thus coming thoroly ac- 
quainted with the conditions both of her mind and 
body, he kept her any longer, she then became 
his wife all her days: but if he dislik'd her t» 
such a degree on any account, as to be perswaded 
she shou'd not make him easy during life, he re- 
turn'd her (with her portion, if she had any) at the 
twelve month's end to her parents or guardians; 
legitimating the children, and maintaining them 
at his own charge, in case there were such. Nor 
was this repudiation any dishonor o* disadvanr 
tage to the young womar»in the eyes of another 
man, who thought she wou'd make hifll a better 
wife, or that be might to herie ahbetter husband. 
It was a custom, I must own, like to prevent a 
world of unhappy matches; but, according to our 
modern ideas, 'tis not onely unlawful, piit als© 

* Page 114. 


IX. To retwrn whence I digress'd, having thus 
happily discover'd arid asserted the country of 
Abaris, and also his profession of a Druid; I shall 
give here some account of his person, referring to 
another place the history of his adventures. The 
orator Himerius, tho' one of those, who, from the 
equivocal sense of the word Hyperborean, seems 
to have mistaken him for a Scythian ; yet accu- 
rately describes his person, and gives him a very 
noble character. That he .spoke Greec with sf» 
much facility and elegance, will be no mattei- of 
wonder to, such as consider the antient intercourse, 
which we have already prov'd between the Greecs 
and the Hyperboreans : nor wou'd the latter, to 
be sure, send any ambassador (as we'll see pre- 
sently they did Abaris) to the former, unless, 
among the other requisite qualifications, lie per- 
fectly understood their language. But let's barken 
a while to Himerius. " They relate," says he, 
" that Abaris the sage was by nation a Hyperbo- 
rean, become a Grecian in speech, and resembling 
a Scythian in his habit and appearance. When- 
ever he niov'd his tongue, you wou'd imagine him 
to be soixtd one out of the midst of the academy 
or very lyceum*. Now that his habit was not 
tliat of a Scythiau ever cover d with skins, but 

•■ A^apir fisr c-i^ar ytnt |u£» 'Twspffof siw \iym7(t, 'e Wn»a h famr yeyens^M, run 
aiuflm («l» »xpi roXr; Je aai rxi/Mcrn;. Ei Je mu yXirr7av umcrstt, todti £«£.>:y « 
M.|We3Tic AxaJn^/a; itsi .urou Avxsiou n^i^Eirfiai. Ex Oralime ad Uriiehon aand 
Ihstium in. BM'wth. mi, S4J, edit. Roi}i^mits- poff. DSj. 


what has been in all ages, as generally at this 
present, worn in the Hebrides and the neighbo- 
ring Highlands, it needs onely to be describ'd for 
removing all doubts and scruples. " Abaris came 
to Athens," continues Himerius *, " holding a bow, 
having a quiver hanging from his shoulders, his 
body wrapt up in a plad, girt about his loins with 
a gilded belt, and wearing trowzers reaching from 
the soles of his feet to his waste." A gun and 
pistol, being of modern date, cou'd make no part 
of his equipage: and you see he did not make his 
entry into Athens riding on a broom-stick, as fe,- 
bulously reported, but in the native garb of an 
aboriginal Scot. As for what regards his abili- 
ties, 'twas impossible for his principals to have 
made a better choice; since we are inform'd by 
the same Himerius f, that "he was affable and 
pleasant in conversation, in dispatching great af- 
fairs secret and industrious, quick-sighted in pre- 
sent exigences, in preventing future dangers cir- 
cumspect, a searcher after v/isdom, desirous of 
friendship, trusting indeed little to fortune, and 
having every thing trusted to him for his pru- 
dence." Neither the academy nor the lyceum 
cou'd furnish out a man with fitter qualities, to go 

* 'Hhew Aj3rtp*5 *A0>)yft^E'T(j^rt B^uy, <J>apSTpav Ji^u^EVef ti? o/^mvj ^Xa-fAuh cr<piyyoixi- 
yo?: ^uvti 15V KaT* (|it«v ;^pyfl"w, ava^v^i^lg EA Tctpff-iwv ax^aiv a^fi KAt y}^ovrm aytirs:V6v- 
e-tu. Id, Ibid. 

t Hv iijuff syrv^m, ^EiV(r? ntrv/jn f^syaXm "rr^a^tv g^yac-ae-QAtj c^u; t5 ^apcv ijsiv, Tr^se- 
f4*]8i)f TO ^eXAov ^yXrtTlErfl**, ^atjxft? wt/wv, Epafjjy "fiXiftf, fl?\[y« ^Bv Tv^n ■fftg-tuuff 
yia/j^ti Je t« 7r«yT» mftvi^m;. Id, Ibid. 


SO farr abroad and to such wise nations, about af- 
fairs no less arduous than important. But if "we 
attentively consider his moderation in eating, 
drinking, and the use of all those things, which 
our natural appetites incessantly crave; adding the 
candor and simplicity of his manners, with the 
solidity and wisdom of his answers (all which we'll 
find sufficiently attested) it must be own'd, that 
the world at that time had few to compare with 

Thus I have laid before your lordship a speci- 
men of my History of the Di-uids. Give me leave 
to send you with this letter two small pieces 
which I don't doubt will be agreeable to you. 
One is Mr. Jones's Answer to Mr. Tate's ques- 
tions about the Druids, and the other Brittish anti- 
quities, whichltranscrib'd from a manuscript in the 
Cotton Library*; and the other, some collections 
mentione'd in one of my letters -f, shewing the affi- 
nity between the Armoric and Irish language, &c. 
■ — I am, 

My Lord, 
Your Lordship's most obliged. 

And very humble Servant, 

April 18, 1719. 

* Vitel. E. V. 6. t Letter II. §. 18. pajf. J.5». 









I. xSY what names were they call'd by the Brit- 
tons, which the Latins call DruidcB or Druides? 

II. Whether the Druids and Flamens were all 
one, and the difference between them? how the 
Flamens were called in Brittish, and their anti- 
quity and habits? 

III. What degrees were given to the professors 
of learning? when, where, and by whom, and 
their habits or apparel? 

IV. Whether the Barth had any office in war 
answering our heralds? their garments and en- 
seigns? and whether, they us'd the Caduceus? 
many fetching the original thereof from the Brit-^ 
ton's charming of serpents. 



V. What judges and lawyers had the Brittor.s 
that foUow'd the king? and what are Tri auhep- 
cor JBrenhin, and their use? 

VI. What judges and lawyers were there resi- 
dent in the country? their number? what judges 
were there ^er dignitatem Terrae? and what their 
duty? and how were they assembl'd to do the 

VII. It appeareth there were always many kings 
and princes in this realm before the coming in of 
the Saxons: were their countries divided into Ta- 
laitJis, as all between Severn and the sea was after 
their coming? 

VIII. Was there any division into shires befoi-e 
the Saxon's coming, and what difference betwixt 
a shire and a Swydh? There were anciently with 
you Maenors, Commods, Cantretks, answerable 
vt'hereunto are our Ma7wrs, Tythings, Hundreds. 
And that maketh me to encline that Swydh shou'd. 
be like our shire, as Swyd caer JB/iyrdin, Swyd 
AymvytJiig, Swyd caer Wrangon; and the general 
officers of them were called Swydogion,, under 
whom were 3Iaer, Gnghellawr, Rhinghill, Ophi- 
riat, and Sratfdur tnryr Stvyd, except all bear 
the name of Swydogimi. 1 hnd in an ancient book 
of Landaff Gliiiguis or Glivisus king of Demetia 
(which of this king is call'd Gfengttissig) of whom 
it is said seplem pagos rexit, whereof Glamorgan, 
now a shire, was one; and pagus is us;'d for a 


IX. Whether the Britons had noblemen bearing 
the name of Duces, Cantites, Sarones? and what, 
they were called in Brittish? In the book of Lan-- 
dafF I find it thus written, Gandeleius Rex totain, 
regionem suam Cadoco Jilio suo commendavit, pri- 
vilegiumque concessit, quatenus a fonle Faennun 
Itaen donee adingresswmjlummis Nadavan perveni- 
tur, omnes Reges et Comites, Optimates, Tribuniy 
atque domestiei in Coenobij sui coemeterio de Lan- 
carvan sepeliantwr. And K. Ed. I. enquiring of 
the laws of the Brittons, demandeth how the Welsh 
barons did administer justice, and so distinguisht 
tliem from Lords Marchers. 

X. What is the signification of the word Assacht 
A statute of K. Hen. 6, saith, some ofFer'd to 
excuse themselves by an Assach after the custom 
of Wales ; that is to say, by an oath of 30 men. 

XI. What officer is he that in the laws oiHoivel 
Da is called Distein^ and the signification of the 

XII. What do you tliink of this place of Petrus 
Ramus in his book de moribus veterum Gallormn: 
Hue civitates Srutos suos habehant. Sic a Caesars 
nominantur Senatiis Eburonicum, Lexobioriim, Fe- 
netormn. Was there any counsil or senate in the 
Brittish government, and by what name were they 

ft g: 2' 



I. TO the first I say, that Druides or Druida: 
is a word that is derived from the Brittish word 
Drudion; being the name of certain wise, discreet, 
learned, and religious persons among the Brittons. 
Drudionis the pluralnumber of this primitiveword 
Drud. By adding ion to the singular number, 
you make the plural of it secundum Jorniam JBri- 
tannorum; sic Drud, Drudion. This primitive 
word Drud, has many significations. One signi- 
fication is Dialwr, that is a revenger, or one that 
redresseth wrong: for so the justicers call'd Dru- 
dion did supply the place of magistrates. Ano- 
ther signification Krevlon, and that signifies cruel 
and merciless; for they did execute justice most 
righteously, and punisht offenders most severely. 
Drud signifies also gletv and prid, that is, valiant 
or hardy. Drud is also dear or precious, unde 
venit Dnidanieth, which is dearth. These Drud- 
ion among the Brittons by their office did deter- 
mine all kind of matters as well private as pub- 
lick, and where justicers as well in religious mat- 
ters and controversies, as in law matters and con- 
troversies, for offences of death and title of laws. 
These did the sacrifices to the Heathen gods, and 
the sacrifices cou'd not be made without them, 
and they did foi!)ivl sacrifices to be done by any 


man that did not obey their decree and sentence. 
All the arts, sciences, learning, philosophy, and 
divinity that was taught in the land, was taught 
by them; and they taught by memory, and never 
wou'd that their knowledge and learning shou'd 
be put in writing: whereby when they Avere sup- 
prest by the emperor of Rome in the beginning 
of Christianity, their learning, arts, laws, sacrifi- 
ces, and governments were lost and extinguisht 
here in this land ; so that I can find no more men- 
tion of any of their deeds in our tongue than I 
have set down, but that they dwelled in rocks 
and woods, and dark places, and some places in 
our land had their names from them, and are called 
after their names to this day. And the iland of 
Mone or Anglesea is taken to be one of their 
chiefest seats in Britain, because it was a solitary 
iland full of wood, and not inhabited of any but 
themselves; and then the ile of Mone, which is 
called Anglesea, was called yr Inys JDoivyll, that 
is, the dark iland. And after that the Drudiont 
were supprest, the huge groves which they favor'd 
and kept a-foot, were rooted up, and that ground 
tiird. Then that iland did yield such abundance 
and plenty of corn, that it might sustain and keep 
all Wales with bread; and therefore there arose 
then a proverb, and yet is to this day, viz. Mon 
mam Gymhrv, that is, Mon the mother of Wales, 
Some do term the proverb thus, Mon mam Wynedd, 
that is, Mon the mother of Northwales, that is, 


that Mon was able to nourish and foster upon 
bread all Wales or Northwales. And after that 
this dark Hand had cast out for many years such 
abundance of corn where the disclos'd woods and 
groves were, it surceas'd to yield corn, and yield- 
ed such plenty of grass for cattle, that the coun- 
trymen left off their great tilling, and turn'd it to 
grazing and breeding of cattle, and that did con- 
tinue among them wonderful plentiful, so that it 
was an admirable thing to be heard, how so little 
a plat of ground shou'd breed such great number 
of cattle; and now the inhabitants do till a great 
part of it, and breed a great number of cattle on 
t'other {Jiftrt. 

II. As for the second question, I do refer the 
exposition of it to those that have written of the 
Flamens in Latine. The Dnidion in Britain, ac- 
cording to their manner and custom, did execute 
the office and function of the Flamens beyond the 
sea; and as for their habits, I cannot well tell you 
how, nor what manner they were of. 

III. To the third question: There were four 
several kinds of degrees, that were given to the 
professors of learning. The first was, Disgibliys- 
bas, and that was given a man after three years 
studying in the art of poetry and musick, if he by 
his capacity did deserve it. The second degree 
was Disgibldisgyhliaidd, and that m as given to the 
professor of learning after six years studying, if 
hf; did deserve it. The third degree was Dis^ihl- 


penkerddiaidd, and that was given to the professor 
of learning after nine years studying, if he did de- 
serve it. And the fourth degree was Penkerdd 
or AthrOy and Athro is the highest degree of learn- 
ing among us, and in Latine is called doctor. 
All these degrees were given to men of learning, 
as well poets as musicians. All these foresaid 
degrees of learning were given by the king, or in 
his presence in his palace, at every three years 
end, or by a licence from him in some fit place 
thereunto (appointed) upon an open disputation 
had before the king or his deputy in that behalf, 
and then they were to have their reward accord- 
ing to their degrees. Also there were three kinds 
of poets. The one was Prndudd: the other was 
Tevluwr: the third was Klerivr. These three 
kinds had three several matters to treat of. The 
Prududd was to treat of lands, and the praise of 
princes, nobles, and gentlemen, and had his cir- 
cuit among them. The Tevluwr did treat of 
merry jests, and domestical pastimes and affairs, 
having his circuit among tL>e countrymen, and bis 
re wait! according to his calling. Tlie Clerivr did 
treat of invective and rustical poetry, differing 
from the Prududd and Tevluwr; and his circuit 
was among the yeomen of the country. As for 
their habits, they were certain long apparel down 
to the calf of their leggs, or somewhat lower, and 
were of diverse colours. 

JV, To the fourtli questioii I say, the Bard wa.s 


a herald to, record all the acts of the princes and 
nobles, and to give arms according to deserts. 
They were also poets, and cou'd prognosticate 
certain things, and gave them out in metre. And 
further there were three kinds of Beirdd (the 
plural of Bardd) viz. Privardd, Posivardd, Ar- 
wyddvardd. The Priveirdd {jp\nv2L\\y) were Merlin 
Silvester, Merlin Ambrosius, and Taliessin; and 
the reason they were call'd Priveirdd, be- 
cause they invented and taught such philosophy 
and other learning as were never read or heard of 
by any man before. The interpretation of this 
word Privardd is prince, or first learner, or learn- 
ed man : for JBardd was an appellation of all learn- 
ed men, and professors of learning, and prophets, 
as also were attributed to them the titles of Pri- 
vardd, Posvardd, and Artiyddvard, Sardd Telyn. 
And they call Merlin Ambrosius by the name of 
Sardd Gortheyrn, that is, Vortiger's Philosopher, 
or learned man, or Prophesyer. Sardd Telyn is 
he that is doctor of the musicians of the harp, and 
is the chief harp in the land, having his abode in 
the king's palace: and note no man may be called 
Privardd, but he that inventeth such learning, 
and arts, or science, as were never taught before. 
The second kind of Bardd is Posvardd, and those 
Posveirdd were afterwards Prydiddion: for they 
did imitate and teach vhat the Priveirdd had set 
forth, and must take tlicir author front one of them ; 
for they themselves are no authors, but registers 


and propagators of the learning invented by the 
others. The third kind is Arivyddvard, that is 
by interpretation an Ensigvrbard, and indeed is a 
herald at arms; and his duty was to declare the 
genealogy and to blazon the arms of nobles and 
princes, and to keep the record of them, and to 
alter their arms according to their dignity or de- 
serts. These were with the kings and princes in 
all battles and actions. As for their garments, I 
think they were long, such as the Prydiddion had ; 
for they challenge the name of Beirdd ut supra. 
Whereas some writers, and for the most part all 
foreners that mention the Beirdd, do write that 
JSard has his name given him from one Bardus, 
who was the first inventor of Barddonieth, and 
some say he was the fourth l^ing of Britain ; I say 
it is a most false, erroneous, and fabulous surmise 
of foren writers, for there never was any of that 
name either a king or king's son of Britain. But 
there was a great scholar and inventor both of 
poetical verses and musical lessons that was some 
time king of Britain. His name was Blegywryd 
ap Gdsyllt, and he was the 56th supreme king of 
Great Britain, and dy'd in the 2067th year after 
the deluge, of whom it is written that he was the 
famousest musician that ever lived in Britain. No 
writer can show that Bard had his name from 
Bardus, it being a primitive British word that has 
the foresayd significations. And Barddonieth 
(which is the art, function, and profession of the 

H h 


Bardd) is also us'd for prophesy and the inter- 
pretation thereof, and also for all kinds of learn- 
ing among us that the Beirdd were authors of. 

V. As for the fifth question, the king had al- 
ways a chief judge resident in his court, ready to 
decide all controversies that then happen'd, and 
he was called Egnat Llys. He had some privi- 
lege given him by the king's houshold officers, and 
therefore he was to determine theii* causes gratis. 
As for the tri anhepkor brenin, I think it super- 
fluous to treat of them here, seeing you have this 
matter in my book of laws more perfect than I 
can remember it at this time. Look in the table 
among the trioedd kyfraith, and those are set down 
in two or three several places of the book. And 
if you cannot find it there, see in the office of 
Egnat Llys, or Pen tevlu, or yffeirinid llys, and 
you'll be sure to find it in some of those places. 
I do not find in my book of laws, that there were 
any officers for the law that did dwell in the king's 
palace, but onely his Egnat Llys, that was of any 
name, or bore any great office: for he was one of 
the tri anhepkor brenin. 

VI. As for the sixth question, I say that there 
were resident in the country but Egnat Comot, 
that I can understand. But when an assembly 
met together for the title of lands, then the king 
in his own person came upon the land ; and if he 
cou'd not come, he appointed some deputy for 
him. There came with the king his chief judge, 


and called unto him his Egnat Komot, or coun- 
try-judge, together with some of his council that 
dwelt in the Komot, where the lands lay that were 
in the controversy, and the free-holders also of 
the same place, and there came a priest or prelate, 
two counsellors, and two Rhingill or Serjeants, 
and two champions, one for the plaintiff and ano- 
ther for the defendant; and when all these were 
assembled together, the king or his deputy viewed 
the land, and when they had viewed it, they caused 
a round mount to be cast up, and upon the same 
was the judgment seat placed, having his back to- 
ward the sun or the weather. Some of these 
mounts were made square and some round, and 
both round and square bore the name of Gorsed- 
devy dadle, that is, the mount of pleading. Some 
also have the name of him that was chief judge or 
deputy to the king in that judicial seat; and it 
was not lawful to make an assembly no where for 
title of lands, but upon the lands that were in con- 
troversy. These Gorsedde are in our country, 
and many other places to be seen to this day; and 
will be ever, if they be not taken down by men's 
hands. They had two sorts of witnesses, the one 
was Gwyhyddyeid, and the other Amhiniogev. 
The Gicylyddyeid were such men as were born in 
the Komot, where the lands that were in contro- 
versy lay, and of their own perfect knowledge did 
know that it was the defendants right. And Am- 
kiniogev were such men as^ had their lands raear- 


ing on the lands that were in controversy, and 
hemmed up that land. And the oath of one of 
those Amhiniogev, otherwise called Keidweid, was 
better than the oath of twain that were but Gw^- 
hyddyeid. Look in the table of my book of laws 
for the definition of Keidweid, Amhiniogev, and 
Givybyddyeid, and how the king did try his caus- 
es ; and that will manifest it more at large. The 
Mayer and the Kangellaivr had no authority 
amongst the Britons for any lands but the kings 
lands ; and they were to set it and let it, and to 
have their circuit amongst the king's tenants; and 
they did decide all controversies that happened 
amongst them. Vide in the table of my book of 
laws for the definition of Mayer and KangeUamr. 
VII. To the seventh question, I say that there 
were in this land about a hundred superial kings, 
that governed this land successively; that were 
of the British blood : yet notwithstanding there 
were under them divers other princes that had the 
name of kings, and did serve, obey, and belong to 
the superial king, as the king of Alban or Prydyn 
or Scotland, the king of J^ymbery or Wales, the 
king of Gwneydd or Venedotia. Yet notwith- 
standing the same law and government was used 
in every prince or king's dominion, as Mas in the 
superial king's proper dominion; unless it were 
that some custom or i}ri\ilegf' did belong to some 
place of the kingdom more than to another: and 
every inferiour king was to execute the law upon 


all transgressors that offended in their dominion. 
In the time of Kassibelanus there arose some 
controversy between the superial King Kaswal- 
lawne and Ararwj', king of London, one of his 
inferior kings, about a murther committed. The 
case is thus. The superial king keeping his court 
within the dominion of one of the inferior kings, 
a controversy falling between twain within the 
court, and there and then one was slain, the ques- 
tion is, Whether the murtherer ought to be tryed 
by the officers and privilege of the superior king, 
or of the inferior king. I think that the murtherer 
ought to be tried by the law and custom of the 
inferior king's court, because it is more seemly 
that the superior king's court, which did indure 
in that country but a week or twain, or such like 
time, should lose his privilege there for that time, 
than the inferior king's court should lose it for 
ever. Vide in lihro meo de legibus. It may seem 
to those that have judgment in histories, that this 
was the very cause that Ararwy would not have 
his kinsman tried by the judges and laws or privi- 
lege of Kaswallawne, whose court did remain in 
the dominion of Aranvy but a little while, but 
wou4d have the felon tried by his judges and his 
court. There is no mention made of Talaith any 
where amongst the Britons before the destruction 
of Britain, but that there were in Britain but one 
superial crown and three Talaith or coronets or 
Prince's crowns ; one for the Alban, another for 


Wales, and the third for Kerniw or Komwale. 
There were divers others called kings which never 
wore any crown or coronet, as the kings of Dyved 
in South Wales, the king of Kredigion, and such, 
and yet were called kings, and their countries 
were divided as you shall see in the next question. 
VIII. To the eighth question, I say, that ac- 
cording to the primitive law of this land, that 
Dyfivwal Mod Mvd made, for before the laws of 
Dyfnwal Moel Mvd the Trojan laws and customs 
were used in this land, and we cannot tell what 
division of lands they had, nor what officers but 
the Druidion, he divided all this land according 
to this manner, thus : Trihud y gronin haidd, or 
thrice the length of one barly corn maketh a 
Modvedd or inch, three Modvedd or inches mak- 
eth a Palf or a palm of the hand, three PaJf or 
palm maketh a Troedvedd or foot, 3 feete or Tro- 
edvedd maketh a Kam or pace or a stride, 3 Kam 
or strides to the Naid or leape, 3 Naid or leape 
to the Grwmg, that is, the breadth of a butt of 
land or Tir; and mil of those Tir maketh 3IiI- 
tir, that is, a thousand Tir or mile. And that 
was his measure for length which hath been used 
from that time to this day; and yet, and for su- 
perficial measuring he made 3 hud gronin Iiaidd, 
or barly corn length, to the Modvedd, or inch, 3 
Modvedd or inch to the Paff or hand breadth, 3 
Pa{/' to the Troedvedd or foot, 4 Troedvedd or 
foot to the Veriav or the short yoke, 8 Troedvedd 


or foot to the Neidiav, and 12 Troedvedd or foot 
in the Gesstiliav and 16 Troedvedd in the Hiriav. 
And a pole or rod so long, that is 16 foot long, 
is the breadth of an acre of land, and 30 poles or 
rods of that length, is the length of an Erw or 
acre by the law, and four Erw or acre maketh a 
Tyddyn or messuage, and four of that Tyddyn or 
messuage maketh a Rhandir, and four of those 
Jthandiredd maketh a Gqfel or tenement or hoult, 
and four Gqfel maketh a Tref or township, and 
four Tref or townships maketh a Maenol or Mae- 
nor, and twelve Maenol or Maenor and dicy dref 
or two townships maketh a Kwmwd or Gemot, 
and two Kwmwd or Gemot maketh a Kantref or 
Cantred, that is a hundred towns or townships. 
And by this reckoning every Tyddyn containeth 
four Eriv, every Rhandir containeth sixteen JEnr, 
and every Gafel containeth sixty-four Erw. 
Every town or township containeth two hundred 
fifty six Eriv or acres, these Erws being fertile 
arable land, and neither meadow nor pasture nor 
woods. For there was nothing measured but 
fertile arable ground, and all others was termed 
wastes. Every Maenol containeth four of these 
townships, and every Kwmwd containeth fifty of 
these townships, and every Cantred ii, hundred of 
these townships, whereof it hath its name. And 
all the countries and lords dominions were divided 
by Comtreds or Cantre, and to every of these Ca/i- 
tredSf Gomot$i Mamors, Towns, Gafels, were given 


some proper names. And Givlad or country 
was the dominion of one lord or prince, whether 
the Givlad were one Cantred or two, or three or 
four, or more. So that when I say he is gone 
from Givlad to Givlad, that is, from country to 
country, it is meant that he is gone from one 
lord or prince's dominion to another prince's do- 
minion; as for example, when a man committeth 
an offence in Gwynedd or Northwales, which con- 
taineth ten Cantreds, and fleeth or goeth to Powi/s, 
which is the name of another country and prince's 
dominion, which containeth ten other Cantreds, 
he is gone from one country or dominion to ano- 
ther, and the law cannot be executed upon him,- 
for he is gone out of the country. Tegings is a 
country and containeth but one Cantred, and 
DyfrvH Glwyd was a country, and did contain 
but one Cantred. And when any did go out of 
Tegings to Dyfrvn Ghvyd, for to flee from the 
law, he went out from one . country to another. 
And so every prince or lord's dominion was 
Gwlad or country to that lord or prince, so that 
Givlad is Pagus in my judgment. Sometimes a 
Cantred doth contain two Comot, sometimes three, 
or four, or five; as the Cantrefe of Glamorgan or 
Morganwg containeth five Comots. And affer 
that the Normans had won some parts of the 
country, as one lord's dominion, they constituted 
in that same place a senescal or steward, and that 
was called in the British tongue Swifddog, that is 


an officer ; and the lordship that he was steward 
of was called Swydd or office, and of these Swyd- 
dev were made shires. And Gwydd is an office 
be it great or small, and Sicyddog is an officer 
likewise of all states ; as a sheriff is a Swyddog, 
his sheriff-ship or office, and the shire whereof he 
is a sheriff, is called Swydd. So that Swydd doth 
contain as well the shire as the office of a sheriff, 
as Swydd Amwythig is the shire or office of the 
steward, senescal, or sheriff of Salop, &c. 

IX. As for the ninth question, the greatest and 
highest degree was JBrenin, or Teyen, that is, a 
king; and next to him was a Twysog, that is 
a duke; and next to him was a Jarll, that is 
an earl; and next to him was an Arglwydd, that 
is a lord ; and next to him was a Banvn, and that 
1 read least of. And next to that is the Sreir or 
Vchelwr, which may be called the squire: next to 
this is a Gwreange, that is a yeoman; and next to 
that is an Alttud\ and next to that a Kaeth, which 
is a slave; and that is the meanest amongst these 
nine several degrees. And these nine degrees had 
three several tenures of lands, as Maerdir, Vche- 
lordir, Priodordir. There be also other names 
and degrees, which be gotten by birth, by office 
and by dignity; but they are all contained under 
the nine aforesaid degrees. 

X. As for the tenth question, I do not find nor 
have not read neither to my knowledge, in any 
chronicle, law, history or poetry, and dictipnary, 

I i 

246 't^v:. HISTORY 

any such vf^ord: but I find in tlie laws and chro- 
nicles, awd in manj- other places this word' Rhaith 
to be used for the oath of 100 men, or 200 or 300*, 
or such like number, for to exCii'Se some heinous 
fact; and the more heinous was the fact, the more 
men must be had in the Rhaith to excuse it; 
and one must be a chief man to excuse it amongst 
them^ and that is called Penrhaith, as it were the 
foreman of the jury, and he must be the best, 
wisest, and discreetest of all the others. And to 
my remembrance the RJiaithw^r, that is the men 
of the RJmith, must be of those that are next of 
kin, and best known to the supposed offender, to 
excuse him for the fact. 

XI. As for the eleventh question, I say that I 
find a steward and a controller to be used for a 
Distain in my dictionary. 1 canliot find any 
greater definition given it any where, then is given 
it in my b(/ok of laws. Vide Distaine, in the table 
of my book of laws. 

Xir. To the twelfth question, I say, that the 
Britons had many councils, and had their coun- 
sellors scatter'd in all the lordships of the land. 
And when any controversy or occasion of counisel' 
happened in Stcynedd, the king called his connsel- 
lors that had their abode there, for to counsel for 
matters depending there, together with those that 
were there of his court or guard: for the king hlid 
his chief judge and certain of his council always 
in his company; and when the king had any oc- 

OF ^HE DRUim. 247 

casij,0» of (COUJjsd for matters depending in D^jsje- 
tia, or Powys, or Cornwal, he called those of his 
cowjqisel that dwelled in those coasts for to coun- 
sel with them. And they went to a certain pri- 
vate Jj^ouine or tower on a top of a hill, or some so- 
litary place of counsel far distant from any dv/el- 
ling, and there advised unknown to any man but 
to the counsellors themselves; and if any great 
alteration or need of counsel were, tljat did per- 
tain to all the land, then the king assited unto him 
all his counsellors to some convenient place for 
to take their advice; and that happen 'd but very 

Dii Gallorum. 



Belenus, vel 


Onvana. ^nqra, Hib. 


Adraste. Andate. 


Yergobretus. < brethr, 
t Hib. 

Officioeum MAXiaiR 



Bardi. Bard, Baird,B.. 
Droi, Dru- 

Eubages, corrupt^ pro 


r Droi, 
t idJte, 







MiLiTUM Species, 

Ga^late. ^Gaiscio- 
Lghach, H. 

Bagaudae. Bagadai. 

Armorum Nomina. 









Tard, Hib. 


f Carnan, vide- 
las, quaeras. 

MachincB Sellica. 






Curruum Nomina. 







Vestium Nomina. 





Bardiacus, pro Bardis. 

* Linna, saga quadra et mollia sunt, df quibus Plaut. Linnar 
tooperta est textrino Gallia. Isidor. 

Linna Diodoro est «■«)"« '(•""t, et Varroni mollis sagus, Hiber- 
bIs hodiernis indusium est non una mutata littera. 


Bai'dociicuUus, etiam pro Bartlis. 
Braccjfi, pro omnibus, JSreaccan. 

Atiimalium Nomina. 

Marc, Equus. 
Rhaphius, Lupus Cervinus. 
Abrana, Simla. 
Barracaceae, Pellium, &c. 
Lug. Cornix. Mus. 
Clupea. Piscis species. 





Note I. — Page 54. 
y3 MONG those institutions which are thought to be irrecoverably 
tost, one is that of the Druids, ^c. — This mistake is founded oa 
the opinion that the Druids were a religious sect totally distinct 
from all others; and that, as they committed nothing to writing, 
their institutions perished when the order became extinct. But 
Druidism was only a branch of the worship of the sun, at one 
time universal; and so long as the well authenticated history of 
that worship in any nation remains, the history of Druidism caa 
never be completely lost. 

Note II.— Page 57. 

Since the Anglo Saxons having learned the word Dry from, 
the Irish and British for a magician, Sfc. — This etymology of 
the Saxon Dry from the Celtic Draoi or Draoid, pronounced 
Drui and Druid, is confirmed by Dr. Smith in his History of the 
Druids, and by Dr. Jamieson in his- History of the Culdees. 
The absurd custom of deriving every thing from the Greek and 
Latin is now, and indeed very properly, losing ground. The 
Celtic Druid literally signifies a magician; and hence the trans, 
lators of the New Testament into Gaelic, finding no other word 
in that language fit for their purpose, rendered Simon Magus^ 
SimOn the Druid. In the Gaelic, ao is equivalent to the Greek 
Ypsilon, but has been commonly, though very erroneously, ren- 
dered by the Saxon y. Hence it is obvious that the Sason Dry, 
the Greek Drys, with the addition of the terminating Sigma, and 
the Gaelic Drui, are the same. The name appears, from the 


254 NOTES. 

fabulous accounts of the Hamadrt/ades, to be of the most remote 
antiquity. These nymphs were said to be born, and to die with 
their favourite oaks. But from this we can only with certainty 
infer, that certain individuals were, at a very early period, so 
much addicted to particular trees, or rather groves, that when 
these were cut down they disappeared. Dri/s in the Greek does 
not radically signify an Oak, but a Tree. The Saxon Dry, pro- 
nounced Dree, is the modern English Tree. By far the most 
probable etymon of the word Draoi, pronounced Drui, is from 
Dair, an oak, and Aoi, a stranger or guest. Hence we have the 
compound word Dairaoi, and by abbreviation Draoi, signifying 
an inhabitant of the oak; a term exactly corresponding with the 
notion entertained of the Hamadryades by the ancient Greeks. 
To those better acquainted with the Greek than the Celtic it was 
very natural to derive Druid from the Greek Drys; but the fact 
is, that the Greek Dri/s is the Celtic Draoi, Griecally terminated. 

Note III.— Page 57. 

Of these degrees, the Arch-Druid excepted, there's little to be 
found in the classic authors that treat of the Druids ; iho^ tifj/ 
7nuch and very particularly in the Celtic writings and monuments. 
—No man had better access to know, or was better qualified to 
judge of the Celtic writings than Mr. Teland. As I will have 
occasion, in a future note, to enlarge' on this head, I shall only 
at present endeavour to impress on the reader's mind, that the 
Irish manuscripts are of great antiquity, and contain many im- 
portant particulars respecting the Druids. 

Note IV.— Page 59. 
While they had the address to get themselves exempted /rom 
hearing arms, Sfc. — This exemption is mentioned by Casar, lib. 
4. cap. 14. Druides a hello abesse consueverunt, neque tribitta 
•una cum reliquis pendunt ; militia: vacationem, omnium que rerum 
hahent immunitaiem : i. e. " The Druids are accustomed to be 
absent from war, nor do they pay tribute along with the rest,- 

NOTES. 255 

they are exempted from military service, and possess, in ail 
things, tlie most extensive immunities." 

Note V.— Page 59. 

These privileges allured great numbers to enter into their com- 
munities, Sfc. — 'Caesar, lib. 4. cap. 14. Tantis excitati prcemiis ; 
et sua sponte multi in disciplinam conveniunt, et a propinqvis pa^ 
rentibusque mittuntur. Magnum ibi numerum versvum ediscere 
dicuntur. Itaque nonnidli annos vicenos in disdplina permanent^ 
i, e. " Allured by these rewards many voluntarily enter into their 
discipline, and many are sent by their parents and relations. 
There they are said to get by heart a great number of verses. 
Therefore some remain twenty years under their discipline." 

Note VI.— Page 62, 

The pretensions of the Druids to work miracles, Sfc. — A man 
Ignorant of the history of the Druids may perhaps be startled at 
the knowledge of astronomy here ascribed to them. Ccesar, 
■who had good access to know the fact, says lib.- 4. cap, 14. 
Multa preterea de sideribus, atque eorum motri, de mundi ac ter- 
rarum magnitudine; de rerum natura^ de Deorum immortalium 
VI, ac potestale disputant, et Juventuti transdunt, i. e. " They 
have besides many disquisitions, concerning the heavenly bodies, 
and their motions, concerning the size of the world, and the 
different parts thereof; concerning the nature of the universe 
and the strength and power of the immortal gods, and these 
they communicate to their pupils." As miracles among the hea- 
then nations were only natural phaenomena misunderstood, or 
rather not understood at all, it must be owned that the Druids, 
with one half of the knowledge here ascribed to them, had ample 
means of imposing on their ignorant followers. 

I Note VII.— Page 62. 

For true religion does not consist in cunningly devised fables, 
in authority, ddminion or pomp; but in spirit and truth^ in shn~ 

K k2 

256 KOTES. 

plicitii and social virtue, in a filial l»ve and reverence, not in a 
servile dread and terror of the divinity.— M.t. Toland has oftea 
been accused of Atheism, &c. whereas on the contrary he has 
always been forward to advocate the cause of true religion. It 
has often been said by his enemies that he wrote his History of 
the Druids with a view to substitute Druidism in place of Chris- 
tianity. How well this charge is founded the reader has now 
an opportunity of judging for himself. 

Note VIIL— Page 61. 
Though I shall prove that no Druids, except such as, iozcards 
their latter end^fled thither for refuge, or that went before uilk 
Celtic invaders or colonies, were ever among the Gothic nations. 
— There are many and unquestionable traces of the Druidical 
rites to be found among the Goths. Pinkarton, whom no man 
TFill accuse of partiality to the Celts, admits that they were the 
first inhabitants of Europe. Throughout the whole extent of 
ancient Scythia, their language can be clearly traced in the 
names of places still remaining. They gave name to the Cimbric 
Chersonese, hodie Jutland. The Baltic sea evidently takes its 
name from Baltac, the diminutive of the Celtic Bait. Baltac 
signifies the little Belt. Pinkarton found a Promontorium Ccl. 
ticcE near Moscoze. There is an Innertiel on the Rhine, and 
another near Kirkcaldi/. We find a Clud (Clyde) at the source 
of the Wolga, another in Lanarkshire, and a third in Wale:. 
Danube is evidently the Gaelic Dal-Nubadh pronounced Bal. 
Nubay, and abbreviated Danuhay, i. e. the cloudy dale. Bui. 
na evidently corresponds with the Duin or Doone in Ayrshire. 
The numerous Dors on the Continent correspond with the Gaelic 
Dor, an abbreviation of Dothftr, i. e. a river. Instances of the 
same kind are almost innumerable. So far with respect to the 
Temains of the Celtic language among the Goths. As to their 
religion, Tacitus, speaking of the Sueri, says, J'etustissimos ,<e 
nobilissimosque sucvoriim semnones memorant. Fides antiquifa. 
tis religione finnatur. Stalo tempore in siloam A>;guriis Paini}H 
*t pviscaformidine sacranij oinnes ejuidem sanguirus pcpuUlega. 

NOTES. 257 

tlonibus coeuni, ceesoque publice homine, celebrant Barhari ritus 
horrenda primordia. Est et alia luco reverentia. Nemo nisi 
Vinculo ligatus ingredttur, ut minor et petestatem numinis prts 
seferens. Si forte prolapsus est; attolli et insurgere haut licitum. 
Perhumumevolvuntur, coqiie omnis super stitio respicit, tmiquam. 
inde initia gentis, ibi regnator omnium Dews, ccetera subjecta at. 
que parentia, i. e. " The Simnones give out that they are the 
most noble and ancient ot the Suevi; and their antiquity derives 
credibility and support from their religion. At a stated 
season of the year, all the nations of the same blood meet by ap. 
pointment, in a wood rendered sacred by the auguries of their 
ancestors, and by long established fear ; and having slain (sacri. 
ficed) a man publicly, they celebrate the horrid beginning of their 
barbarous rites. There is also another piece of reverence paid 
to this grove. Nobody enters it unless bound, by which he is 
understood to carry before him the emblems of his own inferio- 
rity, and of the superior power of the Deity. If any one chances 
to, fall, he must neither be lifted up nor arise, but is rolled along 
upon the ground till he is without the grove. The whole super, 
stition has this meaning — that their God, who governs all things, 
shall remain with the first founders of the nation ; and that all 
others shall be obedient and sukject to them." — De Morib, 
Germ. cap. 12. 

The same author, speaking of the Germans in general, says, 
Tieorum maxime Mercurium colunt, cut certis diebus, humaniS' 
quoque hostiis litarefas habent, ^c. i, e. " Of all the Gods, the, 
chief object of their worship is Mercury, to whom, on certain 
days, they hold it lawful to offer human sacrifices." In the 
same chapter he informs us, that a part of the suevi sacrifice to 
Isis, and calls this advectam religionem, i. e, a foreign religion. 
— De Morib, Germ. cap. 4. 

Est in insula oceani castum nemus, dicaluin in eo vehiculum 
veste contectiim, attingere uni sacerdoti concessum, Sfc. i. e. There 
is, in an island of the ocean, a consecrated grove, and in it a 
chariot dedicated to some goddess, and covered with a veil, which 

258 NOTES. 

no one but the priest is allowed to touch. He perceives when 
the goddess enters the chariot, and follows her, drawn by white 
heifers, with the most profound veneration. Then are joyful 
days — then the priest honours every festive place with his pre- 
sence and hospitality — then they do not enter into wars — then 
they do not take up arms : every sword is sheathed — peace and 
tranquillity are then only known, then only regarded; till at 
length the same priest restores the goddess, satiated with the con- 
versation of mortals, to her temple. Immediately the chariot, 
the veil, and, if you will believe it, the goddess herself, is washed 
in a secret lake, and the servants, who assisted at this religious 
procession, are instantly drowned in the same lake. Hence there 
springs a holy ignorance, a secret terror, and men blindly won. 
ier what that can be, which cannot be seen without subjecting 
the beholders to certain death. — Tacitus de Morib. Germ. cap. 13. 

Having clearly established that sacrifices were offered in Ger- 
jnany, it remains to be proved that these sacrifices were not of- 
fered by Germans. Caesar having given an account of the Cel- 
tic religion, and particularly of their human sacrifices, proceeds 
to give us an account of the Germans in these words — Germani 
mulium ab hac consuetudine differunt. Nam neque Druides ha. 
heat qui chvinis rebus pre sint, neque sacrificiis student, i. e. " The 
Germans differ much from this custom, for they neither have 
priests (Druids) who preside in divine affairs, nor do they trou. 
ble their head about sacrifices at all." — De Bella GallicOy lib. 6. 
cap. 21. 

Thus it is clearly established by Cffisar, that the Germans or 
Goths had neither priests nor sacrifices, and, by Tacitus, that 
both priests and sacrifices were to be found in Germany, parti, 
cularly among the Suovi, who deduced their origin from the 
Semnones, i. e. the Galli Senones, a Celtic tribe who burnt 
Rome, besieged the capital, and were afteryvards overcome by 
Camillus. Hence we do not hesitate to ascribe to the Celts, 
whatever Druidical rites and monuments we find in Germany. 
And as the Celts were the presecursors of the Goths, and at all 

NOTES. 259 

times iatermixed with them, it cannot be doubted but that, on 
the suppression of Druidism in Gaule by the Romans many of 
the Druids would take shelter among their friends in Germany. 

Note IX.— Page 6S. 
Much of the antient Irish mythology still extant in verse, Sfc.-~ 
That so many antient Irish manuscripts should still remain un. 
published, is matter of regret to every friend to Celtic literature. 
Pinkarton and Innes exclaim, why did not the Irish historians, 
who quote these manuscripts publish them ? But how would these 
gentlemen look were we to retort the request on them. Pin. 
karton says, he read 2,000 volumes. Innes was also a laborioas 
reader. Now supposing these gentlemen had perused only 
1,000 volumes, and these in manuscript like the Irish, how 
would they have looked, had we desired them to publish these 
manuscripts. It is matter of satisfaction that these manuscripts 
exist, more so that the most in^terate enemy's of the Irish, dare 
not deny their existence, but the publication of them is a work 
of such immense labour, that no individual is adequate to the 
task. I hope, however, the day is not far distant when this im- 
portant business will be taken up by the Highland Society, or 
by the British empire at large. 

Note X.— Page 65. 
Druida, ^c— Mr. Toland's remarks on the propriety of raa. 
king a distinction betwixt Druidw and Druides, tho' the an- 
tients used them indiscriminately, ought by modern writers to 
be strictly attended to, as it would prevent much confusion. 
Poor Pinkarton, willing to swallow any thing that could favour 
his Gothic si/stem, tells us that 'Druidca is feminine, and that after 
a certain period only Tiruidesses are to be found. It was unfor- 
tunte he did not also discover that the Cellae were all females. 
The Belga, Sarmatce, ifec, and his own beloved Getae must have 
shared the same fate. Cut this is not be wondered at in an au- 
thor so deranged by the Gothic Mania, as repeatedly to affirfflj 
thvit tola Gallia signifies the third part of Gaul. 

260 NOTES. 

Note XL— Page 68. 

Their only word for a magician is Druid, ^c.~Innes says, in 
the Latin lives of St. Patrick and Cloumba, the Druids are called 
Magi. Critical Essay, vol. 2. p. 464. Ambrosias Calepine, 
under the word Magus reckons the Persian Magi, the Greec 
Philosophoi, the Latin Sapientes, the Gallic DruidcE, the Egyp. 
tian Prophetce, the Indian Gymnosophista, and the Assyrian 
Chaldea. He also informs us that Magus is a Persian word sig. 
nifying a wise man. — Diet, page 742. 

Pliny, book 16. cap. 44. says, the Gauls call their Magi, 
Druids. Nihil habent Druidae (ita suos appellant Magos) visco, 
et arhore in qua gignatur (si modi sitrobur) sacraiius. 

Note XII.— Page 69. 

The Druid's Egg, Sfc. — This was the badge or distinguishing 
ensign of the Druids. The following account of it giyen by 
Pliny, will be acceptable to the classical reader: 

Praeterea est ovorum genns, in magna Galliarum fama, omh. 
sum Graecis. Angues innumeri aestate convoluti, sidivis fan. 
cium, corporum que Spumis ariijici complexu glomerantur, an. 
guinum appellatur. Druidae sibilis id dicunt sublime jactarif 
sagoque oportere intercipi ne tellurem atlingat. Profugere rap. 
iorem equo; serpentes enim insequi, donee arceantur amnis alien, 
jus interventu. Experimentum ejus esse, si contra aquas Jluitet 
vel aiiro vinctum. Atque, ut est Magorum Solertia occultanitis 
fraudibus sagax, certa Luna capiendum censcnt, tanquam con- 
gruere operationem earn serpentium humani sit arbitrii. Vidi 
equidem id ovum mali orbiculati modici magnitudine, crusia car. 
tilaginis, velut acetabulis hrachiorum Polypi crebris, insigne 
Druidis. Ad victorias lilium, ae regum aditus, mire laudalur : 
tantae vaniiatis, ut habentem id in lite, in sinu Equitem Romanum 
e Vocontiis, a Divo Claudia Principe interemptum non ob aliud 
*«■«;«,— Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. 29. cap. 3. 

i. e. " There is besides a kind of egg held in high estimation 
by the inhabitaats of all the CaulSf unnoticed by the Greec 

NOTES. 201 

writers. It is called the serpent's egg; and in order to produce 
it, an immense number of serpents, twisted together in summer, 
are rolled up in an artificial folding, by the saliva of their mouths, 
and the slime of their bodies. The Druids say that this egg is 
tossed on high with hissings, and that it must be intercepted ia 
a cloak, before it reach the ground. The person who seizes it 
flies on horseback, for the serpents pursue him, till they are 
stopped by the intervention of some river. The proof of this 
egg is, that tho' bound in gold, it will swim against the stream. 
And, as the Magi are very artful and cunning in concealing 
their frauds, they pretend that this egg can only be obtained, at 
a certain tijne of the moon, as if this operation of the serpents 
could be rendered congruous to human determination, I have 
indeed seen that egg of the size of an ordinary round apple, wora 
by the Druids, in a chequered cover, resembling the numerous 
calculi in the arms of a Polypus. Its virtue is highly extolled 
for gaining law.suits, and procuring access to kings ; and it is 
worn with so great ostentation, that I knew a Roman knight 
by birth a Vocontian, who was slain by the Emperor Claudius 
for no cause whatever, except wearing one of these eggs on his 
breast during the dependence of a law.suit." 

Pliny has, no doubt, given us this enigmatical account of the 
serpent's egg, in the words of the vulgar tradition in Gaul; for 
the Druids were of all men the most studious to conceal their 
tenets, and it does not appear he could have had access to it by 
any other means. Dark and disguised as it is, it contains some 
important facts, on which I shall hazard a few conjectures. 1. 
The serpent in early times was the emblem of wisdom, and the 
cobglomeration of the serpents to produce this egg, appears io be 
figurative of the wisdom of the Deity in creating the universe. 
2. That this egg was tossed on high, and must be intercepted 
before it fall to the ground, seems to denote that the true philo- 
sopher must direct his eyes upward, and be always on the alert 
to observe the phajnomena of nsiture, before they are out of his 
reach. 3, The flying on horseback, and the pursuit of the ser- 
pents till they are stopped by some river, clearly intitnate^ that^ 

262 NOTES. 

though there are many obstacles in the way of philosophers, still 
these have their bounds, and may be overcome by exertion and 
perseverance. I cannot here help remarking that this Druidical 
notion of serpents, or evil spirits, not being able to pass a stream 
of running water, can be still recognized among the lower ranks 
of Scotland, for a full account of which, I beg leave to refer the 
leader to Burns' Tarn O'Shanter. 4. That this egg is proved by 
its floating against the stream, implies that the philosopher is able 
to stem the torrent of public prejudice, and chalk out a contrary 
path to himself. 5. That this egg can only be obtained at a 
certain season is expressive of that attention and assiduity which 
ought to characterize the philosopher, in watching the motions 
and revolutions of the heavenly bodies. 6. The persuasion that 
it procured success in law.suits, and access to kings, is founded 
in fact. The egg in question was the distinguishing badge of the 
Druids, who were the supreme judges in civil as well as religious 
cases, and certainly had more wisdom than to decide against 
themselves ; and so exorbitant was their power, that even the 
king himself was subject to them. 7. The Vocontii were a people 
of Gallia Narbonensis, and the Roman knight slain by the Em. 
peror Claudius, was in all probability a Druid. Druidism was 
abolished by the Emperor Tiberius, as Pliny informs us, nam- 
que Tiberii Caesarsis Principatus SastuUt Druidas eorum, Sfc, 
i. e. For the emperorship of Tiberius Caesar abolished their 
Druids, — Nat. Hist. lib. 30. ea-p. 1. . 

Note XIII.— Page 70. 

^Many places in Great Britain and he/and still retain the names 
of the Druids, Sfc. — In addition to tke list of names here given 
by Toland, it may be proper to add (he following, vii. Drys- 
dale, i. e. Drui-dal, i. e. the Dale of the Druids near Lockarby. 
Jnis Druineach, the antient name of Jona, and -vihich signifies 
the island of the Druids. Dritdal, i. e. Drui.dal, i. e. the Dale 
of the Druids, in the parish of Tynron. The grave of the Druids 
in the island of Jona, —, i. e. the grave of the 
Druids, near Brechin, &c. yet, strange to tell, Pinkarton asserts, 

NOTES. 263 

that there is no proof whatever of the Druids ever having beea 
in North Britain. Dreux, the place of their general annual 
assembly in France, literally signifies the Druids. Stephanus 
gives us three other places of the same name, viz. Drijs a oily of 
Thrace, Drys a city of the QSnotri, and liri/s a village of Lycia^ 
near the river Arus. — Vide Stephanum in verba Drys. 

Note XI v.— Page 71. 

Gealcossa, Sfc. — Toland reckons Gealcossa, i. e. ■white^egged, 
a Druidess. He also reckons Lambdearg, (page 56) i. e. 
Bloody.hand, a Druid. Both belong to Ireland. The curious 
reader will see the story of Lamhdearg and Gealcossa, at consi. 
derable length in Ossian's Poems; Fingal, book 6, page 97 — 
Johnston's edition, 1806. Fingal having lost his son, Rmo, 
in his expedition to Ireland, was anxious to bury him in honour, 
able ground ; and seeing a tomb near, thus addresses his bard 
Ullin : — " Whose fame is in that dark green tomb ?" &c. UlHn 
replies — ■" Here said the mouth of the song, here rests the first 
of heroes. Silent is Lambderg in this tomb, and Ullin, king of 
swords. And who, soft smiling from her cloud, shews me her 
face pf love? Why, daughter, why so pale, art thou first of the 
maids of Cromla? Dost thou sleep with the foes in battle, GeL 
chossa, white bosomed daughter of Tuathal? Thou hast been tha 
love of thousands, but Lambderg was thy love. He came to 
Selma^s mossy towers, and, striking his dark buckler, said — • 
Where is Gelchossa, my love, the daughter of the noble Tuathal?" 
&c. Such a coincidence betwixt Toland and M'Pherson, is a. 
strong proof of the authenticity of Ossian's Poems, Toland de- 
rived his information from the Irish manuscripts and traditions— ■ 
M'Pherson his from those of the Highlands of Scotland. Now if 
both concur that Ireland was the country of Lamderg and Ge/- 
f^hossa, the point may be considered determined that they were 
real, not imaginary characters ; and it will naturally follow, that 
the poems of Ossian are genuine and authentic. Toland, who 
wrote 50 years before M'Pherson, surely cannot be accused of 
•nventing this story to support the authenticity of Ossian's Poem»'' 

l1 2 

264 NOTES. 

It has often been objected to Ossian, that he makes do men- 
tion of the Druids. A noble instance to the contrary will be 
found in this very passage. Latnderg not being able to discover 
Gelchossa, says to Ferchois — " Go, Ferchois, go to AUad, the 
grey haired son of the rock. His dwelling is in the circle of 
stones. He may knovr of Gelchossa." 

Note XV.— Page 72. 

Sard, ^c— The office of the Bards is vrell described by Toland. 
This ofiiceexisted long after the'extinction of the Drnids. Taci- 
tus, speaking of the Germans, has the following remark : — Ituri 
in prcelia Canunt. Sunt Hits haec quoque carmina relatu quo. 
rum quern Barditum vacant, accendunt animos. — De Morib. 
Germ. cap. 1. i. e. — " When going to battle they sing. They 
Lave also a particular kind of songs, by the recital of which they 
inflame their courage, and this recital they call Bardilus. Now 
this word Barditus, is the Gaelic Bardeachd, pronounced Bard, 
eat, or Bardit,a.vd latinically terminated. It signifies Bardship^ 
or Poetry. Pinkarton has exerted all his ingenuity to show 
that Ossian's Poems were borrowed from the Gothic war songs. 
But from the testimony of Tacitus, it is clear that the Goths bor- 
rowed their war songs from the Celts, else they would have had 
a name for it in their own language, without being obliged to 
borrow one from the Celts. Bardeachd is no more Gothic, than 
Philosophi/, Physiology, Phlebotomy, &c. are English. 

Note XVI.— Page 72. 

Misselto, Sfc. — Pliny gives the most particular account of the 
Misselto, and its uses. Nihil habent DruidcB (ita stios appellant 
Magos) visco et arbore in qua gignatur {si moda sit robnr) sa. 
tratitts. Jam perse roborum eligunt lucos nee vlla sacra sine ea 
fronde conjtciunt, ut indeappellati quoque interpretatioiie Grceca 
possint DruidcE videri. Eninwero quicqnid adnascatur Hits, e 
ewlo missum putant, signumque esse electee ab ipso Deo arboris^ 
Est itutem id rarum admodum inventUf et repertum mc^na reli- 

NOTES 265 

gtone petitur : et ante omnia sexta luna,'quc£ principia tnensuiiit 
annorumque kisfacit, et seculi post tricesimum annum, quia jam 
virium abunde habeat, nee sit sui dimidia. Omnia sanantem ap- 
pellantes mo vocabulo, sacrifidis epulisque sub arbore prtepara- 
tis, duos admovent candidi coloris iauros, quorum cornua tune 
primum vinciantur. Sacerdos Candida veste cultus arborem scan- 
dit: fake aurea demetit. Candida id excipitur sago. Turn de. 
mum victimas tmmolant, precantes ut suum donum deus prospe- 
rumfaciat his quibus dederit. Fcecunditatem co poto dari cuicun. 
que animall sterili atbitrantur, contraque venena omnia esse re. 
medio.— Nut. Hist. lib. 16. cap. 44. i. e. " The Dniids (fop 
so they call their Magi) have nothing more sacred than the Mis. 
selto, and the tree on which it grows, provided it be an oak. 
They select particular groves of oaks, and perform no sacred 
xites without oak leaves, so that from this custom they may seem 
to have been called Druids (Oakites), according to the Greek 
interpretation of that word. They reckon whatever grows ott 
these trees, sent down from heaven, and a proof that the tree it- 
self is chosen by the Deity, But the Misselto is very rarely 
found, and when found, is sought after with the greatest religi- 
ous ardour, and principally in the sixth moon, which is the be. 
ginning of their months and years, and when the tree is thirty 
years old, because it is thin not only half grown, but has attain, 
ed its full vigour. They call it All-heal (Uil' ice) by a word in 
their own language, and having prepared sacrifices and feasts 
under the tree with great solemnity, bring up two white bulls, 
whose horns are then first bound. The priest, clothed in a whit« 
surplice, ascends the tree, and cuts it off with a golden knife, and 
it is received in a white sheet (Cloke). Then they sacrifice the 
victims, and pray that God would render his own gift prosper- 
ous to those on whom he has bestowed it. They reckon that 
the Misselto administered in a potion can impart foecundity to 
any barren animal, and that it is a remedy against all kinds of 

We are not to infer from these words of Pliny, that the Druids 
kad no other medicine except the Misselto, but only that they 

266 NOTES, 

had nihil sacratiut, i, e. none more respected. The Herha Eri. 
iannica, of which Amhroslus Calepine gives the following ac- 
count, may be fairly ascribed to them. Plin. lib. 23. cap. 3. 
Herba est foliis oblongis et nigris, radice item nigra, nervis tt 
dentibus salutaris, et contra anginas, et serpentium morsus effi. 
caxremedium habens. Hujus Jiores vibones vocantiir; quibus 
ante tonitrua degustatis, milites adversusfulminum ictus prorsvs 
securi reddebantur. Scribit Plinius loco jam citato, promotis a 
Germanico trans Rhenum castris, in mariiimo tractufontemfuisse 
inventum aquce dulcis qua pota, intra biennium dentes deciderenl, 
compagesque in genibvs solvercntur. Ei autem malo Brilanni- 
cam herbam auxiliofuisse, a Frisiis Romano Blilili commonstra. 
turn. — Vide Calepinum in verbo Britannica. i. e. " This herb 
hath oblong black leaves, and a black root. It is salutary for 
the nerves and teeth, and a sovereign remedy for the squiacy 
and the sting of serpents. Its flowers are called Vibones ; and 
the soldiers having tasted these before a thunder storm, were 
rendered completely secure against its effects. Pliny writes, in 
the passage before cited, that Germanicus having moved his camp 
across the Rhine, found in the maritime district, a spring of sweet 
water, of which, if any one drank, his teeth fell out, and the 
joints of his knees were loosened, within two years; but that 
the Herba Britannica, pointed out by the inhabitants of Fries, 
land to the Roman soldiers, was a remedy for these maladies." 

Note XVII.— Page 74. 
That oiit of the tracts of his chariot, SfC. — To the Celtic read, 
er, this fragment of a Gaelic song preserved by Athenxus, cannot 
fail to be acceptable. It is nineteen hundred years old, and mav 
serve as a caution to those who deny the antiquity of Celtic 
poetry. Pinkarton says Gaslic poetry is not older than the 12th 

Note XVIII.— Page 75. 
Ollamh, i5 c— This word is pronounced by the Celts Olluv, 

NOTES. 267 

and by the English OUaw : it signifies a doctor or graduate. 
The etymology of this word, as far as I know, has not been at- 
tempted. It is compounded of the Gaelic adjective oil, signi. 
fying all, and lamh, a hand, and imports the same thing as all. 
handed, or what the Romans would term omnium rerum expcrtus. 
Lamh, pronounced lav, and sometimes laf, is the radix of the 
Saxon loof, i. e. the palm of the hand ; but such is the disingc. 
nuity of Pinkarton and his Gothic adherents, that, when they 
have once gothicized a Celtic word, they claim it altogether. 
Perhaps the Latin lavo, to wash, is derived from the same radix. 

Note XIX.— Page 76. 

Parliament at Drumcat, S(c. — The true orthography, as Mr. 
Toland informs us, is Druini'Ceat, i. e. the hill of meeting. C 
in the Celtic, as well as in the Greek and Latin, is always pro. 
Dounced hard as jBT. A very great affinity betwixt the Greek, 
Roman, and Celtic languages, can be clearly traced. In the 
present instance, it is sufficient to remark, that the Roman 
CcBtus, is merely the Celtic Ceat latinically terminated. Chris, 
tianity was introduced into Ireland about the middle of the fifth 
century, and from the sameaera we may date the decline of Drui. 
dism in that kingdom. Hence the "Bards, freed from the re- 
straints of their superiors the Druids, appear to hare run into 
great irregularities ; and to counteract these was the object of 
the present council. 

NotE XX.— Page 77. 
Third order of the Celtic literati. — Mr. Toland refkons only 
three orders of Celtic literati, viz. Druids, Bards, and Ouateis. 
Ammianus Marcellinns, lib. 15. pag. 51. has the same classifi. 
cation, with this difference, that instead of Ouateis, he mentions 
Etibages. This Mr. Toland, with good reason, supposes a cor. 
ruption of Ouateis. Dr. Smith, in his History of the Druids, 
has so servilely followed our author, that in all matters of im- 
portance, he may be properly denominated the Tolandic Echo. 

268 NOTES. 

In some points of inferior moment he has aimed at a little orlgi. 
nality, and in the present case, gives the etymology of Eubage.s, 
viz, Deu' Phaiste, and in the oblique cases 'eu vaiste, -which he 
translates, good or promising youths, and latinizes Eubages, 
On this OTCrstrained and unnatural analysis, I leave the classical 
reader to make his own remarks. If Eubages is not a corrup. 
tion of the Greek Ouateis, it can admit of a satisfactory solution, 
as compounded of Eu.Faigh, i. e. a good poet. Eu has the 
same signification in the Greek and Celtic, with this difference- 
that in (he former it is an adverb, and in the latter an adjective, i 
Faidh, a poet or prophet, is sometimes written Faigk. Vide 
Shaa's Gaelic Dictionary. Every one knows that Taigh (the 
grandfather of Fingal) is latinized Tages ; and by the same ana- 
logy, Eu.Faigh would be latinized Eufages, which might very 
easily degenerate into Eubages. 

What renders this etymon more probable is, that a turn for 
poetry was an indispensible requisite with the Druididal sect, 
through all its subdivisions. Cssar, as has already been no. 
ticed, says they learned so great a number of verses, as cost 
them sometimes twenty years' study. Dr. Smith (page 5th) agrees 
with Toland, that the Eubages were the lowest order of the 
Druidical sect. Ammianus JMarcellinus is of the same opinion, 
when he proceeds thus : — Eubages Scrutantes serin et sublimia 
naturcB pandere conabantm . Inter hos Druides ingeniis celsio. 
res, SjC. Et Bardi quidemfortia virorum illustrium facta heroi. 
cis composita versibus, cum dulcibus lyree viodulis cantitarunt. — 
Lib. 15. page. 51. i. e. " The Eubages investigating the seri- 
ous and sublime things of nature, endeavoured to explain them. 
Among these the Druids were men of more exalted genius, &c. 
And the bards too sung the brave actions of illustrious men 
composed iu heroic poetry, to the sweet strains of the lyre. 

Note XXI.— Page 78. 
One of the prime Druids, ^c. — This Archdrvid was Divitia. 
cu» the Eduan, the friend and intimate acquaintance of Cscsar, 

NOTES. 269 

It is rather remarkable that CiEsar, who had a high esteem for 
him, did not inform us of this circumstance. Toland's quota, 
tiou from Cicero may be rendered in English thus,—" And there 
are also Druids in Gaul, of whom I myself was well acquainted, 
with Dlvitiacus the Eduan, your entertainer and panegyrist, who 
declared that the study of nature, which the Greeks call physi- 
ology, was well known to him ; and partly from augury, partly 
from conjecture, foretold future events."' 

Had Cicero not given us this information, there is a passage 
in the lAfe of Divitiacus, which must for ever have remained in- 
explicable. Caesar ordered Divitiacus to make head against his 
brother Dumnorix. Divitiacus, among other things, says — ■ 
Quod si quid ei a Ccesare grdvius accidtsset, quum ipse eum locinn 
amiciticE apud eum teneret, neminem existimaturmn, nom sua vo. 
hintate factum ; qua ex refuturutn, uii totius Gallice animi a se 
avertereniur. — Cassar, lib. 1. cap. 20. i. e. "If Caesar should 
inflict any severe punishment on his brother, whilst he himself 
stood so high in Csesar's friendship, every one would imagine it 
was done with his concurrence, and hence the affections of all 
Gaul would be alienated from him." How should a private indi- 
vidual in the petty state of the ^^dui, be afraid of losing the 
good opinion of all Gaul ? The question is unanswerable, till 
we are made acquainted that he was their Archdruid, and thea 
every difficulty vanishes. 

Note XXII.— Page 79, 

Proposes taking a journey for six months, S^c, — Mr. Toland 
Lad it in contemplation to write a larger History of the Druids, 
which he did not live to accomplish. What is now offered to 
the public is contained in three letters, addressed to the Lord 
Viscount Molesworth, his patron and benefactor. It was never 
intended to meet the public eye, but was published, along with 
some other posthumous pieces, about five years after his death. 
The last of these letters is dated April 18, 1719, and he died 
the 11th Marchj 17i22. Posterity has long regretted, and will 

M m 

270 NOTES, 

always regret, that a man so eminently qualified for the task, 
did not liTe to accomplish it. The present work professes to be 
nothing more than a specimen or prospectus of his larger one. 
Summary and brief as it is, it is twice as long as Dr. Smith's, 
which is held out to be a detailed and complete history. There 
is not one fact of importance ia Dr. Smith's history, which has 
not been anticipated by Mr. Toland. As to the uncandid man- 
ner in which the reverend doctor has dealt with oar author, I 
leave it to the impartial reader to determine ; but I do not hesi. 
tate to affirm., that had not Mr. Toland led the way, Dr. Smith's 
history had never m^de its appearance. 

Note XXIK.— Page 81. 

Ogmius, Sfe, — From this piece of masterly criticism. It will 
appear how impossible it is to explain many passages in the Greek 
and Roman classics, without a knowledge of the Gaelic Ian. 
guage. Respecting the Gaelic Hercules, Toland has been so 
full, as to leave no room for me, or any one else, to enlarge on 
the subject. I must, however, request the reader to bear in 
mind (as it is a subject to' which I will have occasion to recall 
his attention) how perfectly the Gaelic philosopher or Druid, 
mentioned by Lucian, spoke the Greek language, and how inti- 
mately he was acquainted with the Greek poets and the Grecian 

Note XXIV.— Page 92 & 93. 

Mr. Toland's remarks on the Irish manuscripts deserve parti, 
cular attention. Though Pinkarton, Innes, &c. have indulged 
themselves freely in reprobating these manuscripts, on account 
of the foolish and improbable stories they contain, yet Mr. To. 
Jand, in this respect, has outdone them all. It is remarkable, 
that the interpolations and alterations of ancient manuscripts 
may principally be dated from the commencement of the chris- 
tian aera. Before that period the heathen nations had nothing, 
Jjeyoud tlie Umits of their authentic history, but fable and coii- 

NOTES. 271 

jecture to guide them. This is remarkably the case with the 
Greek and Roman mythology. Whateter historian could invent 
the most plausible story, was sure to be listened to, and at the 
same time could not be detected, because there was no certain 
criterion whereby his works could be tried. 

At the christian asra a very different scene presented itself. 
The history of the world, from its creation, and an accurate 
chronology of all events recorded in the sacred scriptures, was 
displayed ta mankind. The heathen nations, sensible that their 
histories could not stand the test of this criterion, made the ne- 
cessary alterations, principally in point of chronology. The 
histories of Greece and Rome were, however, at this period, so 
widely disseminated^ that it would have been madness to risque 
the attempt. 

Another cause of these alterations was the well meant, though 
most unjustifiable conduct of early christians, who moulded 
many of their ancient books to promote the cause of Christianity. 
Hence we have the prophecies of Zoroaster, Hystaspes, and the 
Sybills respecting the Messiah — the character and description of 
the person of Christ in Josephus, &c. &c. But these interpola- 
tions are so palpable that they are easily detected. 

On the other hand, when the Irish historians deduce their ori. 
gin from Cassarea, Noah's niece, or from the three daughters of 
Cain, and mark such events as took place prior to the christian 
aera, with the letters A. M. — i. e. anno mundi, or year of the 
world, it is evident these alterations, additions, and interpola. 
tions, must have been made since the introduction of Christianity j 
but it does not follow that the date of these manuscripts must be 
as late as the christian aera, otherwise it must follow that Zoroas- 
ter and the Sybills also wrote posterior to Christianity, which, we 
know, was not the case. 

But an unquestionable proof of the antiquity of these manu- 
scripts is, that they contain the rites and formularies of the 
Druids, and must consequently have been written prior io the 
christian aera j for it is a fact, that St. Patrick and his successors, 
instead of recording the rites of the Druids, did every thing in 

M m. 2 

272 NOTES. 

their power to consign them to utter oblivion. All that is there- 
fore wanting, as Toland justly remarks, is a skilful hand, to 
separate the dross from the ore. 

Note XXV.— Page 95. 

The use of letters has been very antient in Ireland. — This point 
has been most strenuously controverted. The antiquity of the 
use of letters among the Celts stands on incontrovertible evi- 
dence; but as I wish the reader to have perused the History of 
Abaris, before I enter into this discussion, I shall conclude my 
notes with two short dissertations, in the first of which I shall 
prove that the use of letters among the Celtic tribes is much 
more early than is generally allowed, and in the second endea- 
Tour to account for the great number, and high antiquity of the 
Irish manuscripts. 

Note XXVI.— Pagb 102 & 103. 

Mr. Toland here gives an enumeration of Druids which conld 
have been no where found but in the Irish manuscripts. Indeed 
it is his intimate aiquaintance with these manuscripts, and the 
Celtic language, that constitutes the peculiar excellence of the 
work. Dr. Smith, in his Histort/ of the Druids, (page 11) caa 
find no authority that the Druids had wives, except in this pas. 
sage of Toland, which he quotes. In quoting it he uses that dis- 
ingcnuity which characterises his whole conduct to Toland, and 
quotes his own poem of Dargo Macdruibheil first, and then To- 
land. This Dargo Macdruibheil is * Gaelic poem which the Dr. 
wrotedown from oral recitation, and orthographized, as bethought 
fit, lictT.iwsX^teiiiDargothesonof the Druid of Beil. Any man 
ef candour will be cautious of quoting one of his own works, to 
support another of them, particularly, as from the silence of 
Ossian respecting the Druids, there is more than reason to sus. 
pect, that this as well as some other circumstances have been 
modelled to supply the defect. That the Dr. could not find one 
Pruid in Scotland married or unmarried, till he modelled a sir. 

NOTES. 273 

name for the purpose, whilst Mr, Toland from the Irish records 
has given us a dozen, is a very singular fact. I shall, however, 
in my dissertation on the antiquity of the Irish manuscripts, ac- 
count for this singularity. 

Note XXVII.— Page 104. 

Bachrach, Sfc. — This is another of these well intended, though 
disingenuous attempts, to propagate Christianity by falsehood. 
It stands in no need of such surreptitious aid. It is, however.' 
no small proof of the authenticity, as well as the antiquity, of the 
Irish records, that the eclipse which happened at that memo, 
rable crisis, was observed and transmitted to posterity by the 

Note XXVIII.— Page 105, 

■ That Patric burnt 300 volumes, 8^c. — Having reserved my re- 
marks on the antiquity of the use of letters in Ireland, till to- 
■wards the close of these notes, I shall only point out {o the read- 
er, that the use of letters must have been long known in Ireland, 
prior to Patric's arrival, else he could have found no books to 

Note XXIX.— Page 107, 
Adder-stanes, £{c. — Mr. Toland is here perfectly correct whea 
he ascribes this name to the lowlands of Scotland. I have in my 
younger days heard the tradition respecting them a hundred 
times. The very same story is told of the Adder-stanes, which 
Pliny relates of the Druid's Egg, without the omission of one 
single circumstance. The reader will see the Druid's Egg treat- 
ed of at length in the 12th note. 

Note XXX.— Page 107, 

Glaine nan Druidhe, — This was the Druid's Egg already 
treated of. If we may credit Dr. Smith, he tells us (page 62) 
that, this glass physician is sometimes sent for fifty miles to cure 

274 NOTES. 

diseases. Ilis account is by no means improbable, for (his aniB- 
kt was held in high estimation, and superstition is very difficolt 
to be eradicated. The Dr. might have given Mr. Toland credit 
for being the first who pointed out the name. But be adopts it 
as his own, without making the slightest acknowledgment. He 
imagines the word Glaine exclusively Gaelic, and hence infers 
that the Druids were great glass.manujacturers. He says they 
practised the art in gross on their vitrified forts, and improved 
it to that degree, that at last they constructed telescopes. 

Pliny in his natural history, and particularly book 36. chap. 
26. treats fully of the invention and manufacture of glass. It is 
on all hands allowed to have been invented by the Phcenicians, 
and the name is also probably Phoenician, the name of every new 
invention being generally introduced with the invention itself. 
The word is not exclusively Gaelic. In the Greek language, 
Glene signifies the pupil of the eye, brightness, Sec. Id the 
Gaelic language Glaine, besides glass, signifies clearness or 
brightness; and to anyone acquainted with the force of the 
Greec Ela, it will at once occur, that these words are nearly 
sytionimous in sound, and completely so in signification. 

The doctor's telescopic hypothesis rests on the mistaken 
meaning of a quotation from Hecateus, who sai/s, the Boreadee 
bring the moon very near them. This the doctor imagines could 
not be done without telescopes. Now though we grant the doctor's 
postulatum, that the Boreadte were Bards or Druids, still the 
hypothesis is as objectionable as ever. 

The doctor tells us, that the proper signification of Druid is a 
magician; and it is really astonishing that he should not have 
known that it was the prerogative of all magicians^ dcducert /m- 
warn, i, e. "to bring down the moon." Virgil, eclogue 8th, 
says — " Carminavel cccloposstint deducere Innam, i. e. " Charms 
can even bring down the moon from heaven." 

Ovid, in bis Metamorphoses, book 7, fab. 2. makes a famous 
witch say — " Te quoque luna traho, i, e. " I also bring down 
the moon." 

Horace, in his 17th epode, makes Canidia say, 

KOTES. 275 

-et pola 

Deripere lunam vocibus possim meie. 

i. e. " And I can pull down the moon from heaven by tny words.'* 
It is not once to be imagined that the Druids, who highly ex- 
celled in magic, would not have a pull at the moon, as well as 
other magicians; but I think we may safely infer, that it was 
not, by telescopes, but by incantations, that this operation was 
performed. See Dr. Smith's Hist. Druid, page 62, 63, 64. 

Note XXXI.— Page 107. 
Mr. Toland, in these pages, says, that many nations borrow- 
ed part of theie rites from the Gauls. He also enumerates seve- 
ral of the Druidical monuments ; but as all these particulars are 
separately treated of, in a subsequent part of the history, I shall 
advert to them respectively in the order in which they occur. 
In translating the Greek quotation from Diogenes Laertius, Mr. 
Toland has rendered Keltois Gauls. In this there is no error; 
still I wish he had rendered it Celts, that name being not only 
much older, but, in fact, the original name; and Gauls (Galli, 
Latine, Galtach, Galice), being more modern alterations of it. 

Note XXXri.— Page 110. 

Cam, tfc. — The particular kind of Cams here spoken of, were 
constructed for the great public solemnities of the Druids, as 
the temples were for the more stated and ordinary purposes of 
religion. The altar on the top sufficiently distinguishes them 
from any other description of Cams. 

Note XXXIII.— Page 115. 

Beal or Bealan, — This was the chief deity of the Celts, and 
(ignifies the Sun. It is the same with the Phoenician Baal, the 
Indian Bhole, the Chaldaic Bel, q.nd the Hebrew Bahal. Cale- 
pine, under the word Baal, gives the following explanation of it. 
£st nomen apud Tyrios quod datur Jovi, Nam Baal Pnnici 
vidtntur dicere JPominum^ wade Bwhamariy quasi Dominum 

276 NOTES. 

Cwlidicant; soman quippe apud eos Ccelumappellatar,i. e. "It 
is a name giTen by the Tyrians to Jupiter. For the Phosnicians 
seem to call Baal a lord or ruler, whence Baal-saman, a phrase 
of the same import as if they said, the lord of the skj, for the 
sky is by them called Soman." We need not be surprised at 
finding a Roman mistaking Baal for Jupiter. Pliny also con- 
founds them. When speaking of Babylon he says — " Durat 
adhue ibi Jovis Belitemplum, i.e. " There remains still there a. 
temple of Jupiter Belus. — Nat, Hist, lib, 6. cap. 26. 

The Phoenician Saman, the Hebrew Semin, and the Gaelic 
Saman, are all so similar in sound and signification, thit there 
can be no doubt of their having been radically the same. Sam, 
in the Gaelic, signifies the Sun, and Saman is its regular diminu. 
tive. When the Celts call Beal by the name of Sam, or Saman, 
they only use the same eliptical mode of expression which the 
Romans do, when they call Apollo Jntonsus, Jupiter Oli/mpiiis, 
&c. It is only substiuting the epithet or attribute, instead of 
the name. 

In the county of Aberdeen there is a parish named Culsalmond, 
but pronounced Culsamon, This is merely a corruption of the 
Gaelic Cill-saman, and signifies the temple of the Sun. The In. 
dian Gymnosphistce were subdivided into Brachmannce, and Sa. 
manaei, the former being hereditary and the latter elective philo. 
sophers, Vide Strabonem lib. 15. The affinity between the Bra. 
minical and Druidical philosophy is so great, as to leave no 
doubt of [their having been originally the same. Samanai is 
merely the Gaelic adjective Samanach (descended of, or belong. 
iag to the sun), grascized Samanaioi, and thence latinized Safua. 
noi, in the same manner as Judach and Chaldach are rendered 
Judcei and Chaldai. 

Doctor Smith in his History of the Dritids, (page 16) with his 
usual Celtic Juror, tears the monosyllable Beal to pieces, and 
etymologizes it Bca' uil, i. e. the life of all things. No philolo. 
gist should venture to blow up a monosyllable, unless there are 
the most unecj^ivocal marks of a Crasis. Here there are none, 
and the import of the word both in theJEIebrew aud Fhcenician Ian. 

NOTES. 277 

guages !s point blank against his hypothesis. But what renders 
the matter still worse, he tells us that Tuisco of Germany, 
and the Teutates of Gaul have exactly the same meaning. These 
two Gods have been generally reckoned the same. Cicero de 
Natura Deorum, lib, 3. page 301, reckons him the 5th Mercury y 
and says, Hunc Mgyptii Theutatem appellant, eodemque nomine^ 
anni primus mensi.i apud eos vacatur, i. e. The Egyptians call 
him Teutates, and the first month of their year is called by the 
same name. In the margin he gives us the synonimous name 
Thein, which every one knows is the Gaelic Tein, and signifies 
Fire. Such a coincidence in the Egyptian and Gaelic languages 
was hardly to have been expected. 

But Cicero, in the margin, gives us a third name of this god, 
viz. Tlioyth, As y occurs only in such Latin words as are of 
Greek origin, Thoyth is evidently the Greek TItouth, adopted by 
the Romans. In the Greek it is now obsolete. Thoyth or 
Thouth is evidently the Gaelic Theuth or Tenth, signifying fire 
or heat, and is synonimous with Tein before-mentioned. 

Theuiates, or Teutates, is the most common and modern name, 
and is evidently the Gaelic Teothaighte or Teuthaighte (pro. 
nounccd Teutait), and signifying warmed. In the Gaelic lan- 
guage we have many affinitives of this word, viz. Teth, Teit/i, 
and Teuth, i. e. heat or hot. Tiothan, Tiotan, Tithin, Tethin, 
' and Titan, i. e. the Sun, Teutham, Teotham, Tetham, and 
Titam, i. e. to warm, &c. &c. That the name, as well as the 
etymon of this Egyptian deity, can be clearly traced in the 
Gaelic language, is a strong evidence that these languages were 
originally the same. 

By Teutates the Romans understood Mercury ; but the mo. 
derng probably considered him as Mars ; for that day of the 
■week which the Romans named Dies Martis, we name Tuesday, 
which is only an abbreviation of Teutates^ day, or Teuth's day. 

Titan, by which the Greeks and Romans meant the sun, is, if 
not a Celtic, at any rate an Egyptian deity; and,' in the course 
of the notes, I will have occasion to shew that most of the 
^rsek gods are borrowed. The utmost that can be granted ta 

N tt 

278 NOTEiS. 

Dr. Smith is, that Beal and Teiitates are attributes of the same 
god, in after times individually deified; but they are no more 
s/noaimes than Areltenens and Intonsus. 

Note XXXIV.— Page 116. 

Cam Lhadron. — The reader will here notice a word of the 
same import with the Roman Latro. The similarity betweea 
the Greek, Roman, and Gaelic languages, is strongly marked. 
This Gaelic word has also got into our colloquial language ; for 
there is nothing more common among the vulgfir, than to call a 
worthless person o. filthy laydron. The Celtic language only 
gare way, on the continent of Europe, in Britain and Ireland, 
la. proportion as the Gothic encroached ; and hence the Celtic 
language was not expelled, but merely gothicized, as will most 
obTiousIy appear to any one acquainted with the structure of 
these languages. It would be in vain to search for the radix of 
Laydron in the Gothic language. 

Note XXXV.— Page 116. 

Otter. — The proper signification of this word is a rock.^ or 
shelve, projecting into the sea. (jun.otler, in the vicinity of 
Stonehaven, is a noble illustration of this analysis, both in name 
and situation. Dun-otter literally signifies the ybrf on the rock 
projecting into the sea. 

Note XXXVT.— Page 117. 

Between Bel's two fires, — As Mr. Toland, tit his note on this 
passage, informs us, the Irish phrase is Ittir dha theine Bheil, 
Dr. Smith has also given us the Scottish phrase, Gabha Bheil^ 
i, e, the jeopardy of Bel. Both agree that these expressions de» 
note one in the most imminent danger. Mr. Toland says Ihs 
men and beasts to be sacrificed passed between two fires, aiul 
that hence the proverb originated. Doctor Smith, on the con. 
trary, imagines that this was one of the Druidical ordeals, 
whsreby ciiminaU were triefl; and, instead of making them 

NOTES. 279 

pass betwixt the flreSj mbkes them match, directly across them. 
Indeed he supposed the Druids were kind enough to anoint the 
feet of the criminals, and render them invulnerable by the flames. 
If so, there could have been neither dangef nor trial. It may 
also be remarked, that had the doctor's hypothesis been well 
founded, there was no occasion for two fires, whereas, by th» 
phrase, between Bel's two fires, we know that two were used. 
Doctor Smith has evidently confounded the Gabka Bheil, with a 
feat practised by the Hirpins on Mount Soracte, of which I shall 
take notice in its proper place. 

Note XXXVII.— Page 118. 

Archdruid, Sfc. — On the testimony of Cajsar, all the Druid» 
were subject to an archdruid. His autem omnibus Druidibus 
jtrceest utius qui summatn inter eos habet auctoritatem. — Lib, 6, 
capt 13. i. e, " One Druid presides over all the rest, and is 
possessed of supreme authority among them." 

Coibh'i, the Gaelic name of this archdruid, is mentioned by 
Bede in his Ecclesiastical History, book 2, chap, 13. — Cut pru 
mus pontificum ipsius Coifi continuo respondit, ^c, Adjecit au- 
tem. Coiji, quia vellet ipsum Paulinum diligentiiis audire de Deo. 
quern prcedicdbat, Ifc. i. e. " To whom Coifi, his chief priest, 
immediately replied, &c, Coifi also added, because he wished 
to hear Faulinus more diligently concerning :the god whom he 
preached, &c." This Coifi was chief priest and counsellor ta 
Edwin, king of Northambria, when converted by Paulinus, ia 
the beginning of the 7th century, Mr. M'Pherson, in his Z)?f. 
sertdiioH on tke Celtic Antiquities, is (as far as 1 know) th.e firsts 
who takes notice of this remarkable passage in Bede, 

The nameCoiS/i/is also preserved in the following Gaelic pro.^ 
verb: — Gefogasg clach do lar, tsfiaug' no sin cobhair Choihidh. 
i. e. " The stone cleaves not faster to the earth than Corn's help- 
to the needy." — Mcintosh's Gaelic Proverbs, page 34, 

Dr. Smith, in h\s Hislort/ of the Druids (page 8th), has given 
us the same Gaelic proverb. 

Coifi.Dru!j or £?ry, is a phrase still used iathe Highlands-of 
N a- 

280 NOTES. 

Scotland, and signifies a person of extraordinary merit. — Jamie. 

son's Hist. Culdees, p. 27. 

Dr. Jamieson mentions an old man who never addressed the 
Deify by any other name than that of Archdruid or Coifi. — Hist. 
Culdees, page 29. 

From these quotations there can remain no doubt that this 
■word exists in the history of Bede, and in the language, pro- 
verbs, and traditions of the Highlands of Scotland. The true 
matter of surprise is, that no one has attempted to explain the 
word. Even Dr. Jamieson himself, in his History of the Cul- 
dees, published about a year ago, expresses his wonder that it 
has not been done, but without remedying the defect. 

This appears to me the more extraordinary, as the word still 
exists in the Gaelic language. Caobhadh, or Cobhaidh, or Coib- 
hidh (for they are all the same), signifies a man expert at arms; 
a protector or helper. Coibham signifies to protect. Coibhan 
signifies a person noble, or highly exalted. Coibha signifies 
knowledge or nobility. Coibhantadh means helped or protected. 
These words are respectively pronounced Coivi, or Coivai/ — 
Coivam — Coiva, and Coivantay. Hence I do not hesitate to ren- 
der Coibhi', helpful, and CoiSAi' Drui, the helpful Druid. This 
explanation is strongly corroborated, not only by the Gaelic 
proverb before inserted, wherein the principal stress and empha. 
iis rests on the word help ; but by two collateral instances, which 
I shall adduce from the Greek and Roman mythology. 

Ovid, lib. 1. fab. 9. makes Phoebus (the same with the Celtic 
Bel) enumerate his titles and inventions to Daphne, and, among 
the rest, mention, 

• Opifcrqne per orbem 


I. e. " I am called the help.bearcr over the world." 
Callimachus, in his hymn to Apollo, expresses himself thus: — 

Polloi se Bocdromion caleousi — i. e. " Many call thee the auxi.. 

liator or helper." — Tytler^s Edition, line 69. 

Thus we see the Gaelic Coibhi, the Latin Opi/er, and the 

NOTES. 281 

Greek Boidromios, strictly synonimous. Ovid informs us, be. 
sides, that Opifer was Apollo's universal title. If so, Coibhi' 
must have been one of his names or attributes, in the Gaelic Ian. 
guage, and was, no doubt, assumed by his chief priest, by way 
of distinction and pre-eminence — a custom not uncommon among 
the heathen priests. 

Note XXXVIII.— Pa«x 119. 

Under pain of excommunication, Sfc. Caesar has transmitted 
to us the most prominent particulars of the Druidical excommu. 
nication, lib. 6. cap. 13. — Si quis aut privaius aut publieus 
eorum decretis non stetit, sacrificiis interdicunt. Hee'e pwna 
apud eos est gravissima, Quibus iia est inierdictum, ii numero 
impiorum ac sceleratorum habentur ; lis omnes decedunt; aditum 
eorum sermonemque defugtunt: ne quid ex contagione incomm»di 
accipiant : neque iis petentibus jus redditur, neque honos ullus 
communicatur — i. e. " If any person, either private or public, 
does not acquiesce in their decisions, they interdict him front 
their sacrifices. This is, among them, the severest punishment. 
They who are thus interdicted, are reckoned impious and ac- 
cursed; all men depart from them; all shun their company and 
conversation, lest they sustain some misfortune from their conta. 
gion ; the administration of justice, and the protection of the laws» 
is denied to them ; and no honour is conferred on them. 

Note XXXIX.— Page 120. 

A world of places are denominated from these cams, ^c— It 
would be endless to enumsrate all the Cams, that occur in Great 
Britain and Ireland. They are also numerous over the continent 
of Europe, and Asia. Carna, or Carnia, or Cardinia, was a 
goddess who presided over human vitals. Ovid lib. 6. Fast. 
Carneus, a name of the sun. C'allimachus' hymn to Apollo, Car- 
nana, a city of the Minesi. Steph. Lexicon. Carnantce, a nation 
near the Red Sea. Ibidem, Carnapee, a nation near Maeotis, 
Plin, lib. 6. cap, 7. Carne, a town of Phoenicia, nefir Mount 

282 NOTES. 

Libanas. P/in, lib. B. cap. 20. Came, a city of MoYis. Vide 

Stcphmum. Carni, a people bordering on the Istri. Plin. lib. 

3. cap. 18. t'amon, or Carnion, a city of Arcadia. Plin. lib. 

4. cap. 6. Carnodunum, a town of Vindelicia, on the Danube. 
Ptolein. lib. 2. cap. 13. Carnorum, the same with Carnules, a 
region in France. Calepin. Dictionarium. et Caesar, lib. 6. cap. 
13. Car«Mn<«7K, a town on the confines of i'anwoma. Plin. lib. 
37, cap. 3, Car»«nf(, the inhabitants of said town, Plin. lib. 4. 
cap. 12, Camus, an island of Acarnania; vide Stcphanum. 
These are only a few of the many similar names, which might be 
collected. They are, however, sufficient to establish the great 
extent of the Celtic possessions. The attention of the reader is 
particularly requested to Carnodunum, which is the Celtic Cam- 
Dun, i.c, Cairn-Town, of ivhich we have many in Scotland, par- 
ticularly one at Newton, near Arbroath, and another in the pa. 
rish of Fordoun nea.T Monboddo. Dun, pronounced Toon, is the 
radix of the English Town. Cam is a word so peculiarly Celtic^ 
that wherever we find any place so denominated, we may with 
certainty infer that it was inhabited by one or other of the Celtic 

Note XL.— Page 121. 

Were a thanksgiving for finishing their harvest. — This was 
the grandest of all the Celtic festivals. Hallow even, is still 
memorable in our days, for the number of fires kindled, and the 
arts or cantrips that are used to pry into futurity. This is 
also the night on which, according to vulgar tradition, the tear. 
locks atid wiidies (Druids and Druidesscs) mounted on broom. 
slicks, black cats, &c. used to transport tl.emseWes through the 
sir, in Laplaud, the moon, &c. It is needless to enlarge ou 
castonis so well known, but wiiocvcr would see a more full ac- 
count of them may consult Burns' Hallow e'en. There is no- 
thing aaalagous to these customs in the christian system j and 
we n'.ay therefx»re conclude, thpy were of Druidic origin. To 
the sam-3 source we may safely asc-ribe ail th^ vulgar notions of 

NOTES. 283 

witchcraft, Fairies, &c. and the Tarlous cures and antidotes 
against witchcraft still preserved j of which I shall gire one ex. 

Roan tree and red thread. 
Put the witches to their speed. 

The rejoicing for the finishing of the harvest is, in most places 
of Scotland called Kirn, a corruption of the word Cam or Cairn, 
I have remarked, in a former note, that the more solemn and ex- 
traordinary acts of religion were performed at the Cairn, and 
hence this feast or rejoicing, being one of the greatest solemnity, 
and always held at the Cairn, was by way of pre-eminence, dig- 
nified with the name. In later times this feast has been called 
a maiden, if the harvest is finished before Michaelmas, and if after 
it, a Carlin. In some places it is called the Claybck, which is 
a corruption of the Gaelic Cailoch, i. e, an old woman, and is 
synonimous with the before-mentioned Carlin. But by far the 
most general name is Kirn or Cairn. 

Note XLI.— Page 121. 

To which Virgil alludes in his Golden Branch.— The interview 
of jEneas and the Cumaoean Sybill, in the 7th book of Virgil, is 
extremely beautiful, but by far too long to be inserted in these 

^neas, wishing to visit the Infernal Regions, applied to the 
Cumacean Sybill for advice and direction. She tfUs him he 
must first search for a Golden Branch, and carry it as a present 
to Proserpine. 

Latf t Arbore opaca 
Aoreis et foUis et lento vimine ramus< 

i. e. "A branch with golden leaves and a slender stalk, is con- 
cealed in a dark tree," 

Sed non ante datur telluris operta subire 
Anricomos quam quis decerpserit arbore fcetut. 

i. e. ** But no one can desceud to the infernal regions, till he 
lias first plucked this golden branch from the tree." 

284 NOTES. 

JKaeas, by the guidance of two doves, discovers this golden 
l)ranch, which is thus dsscribed. 

Quale Solet Sylvis Brumali frigore viscum, 

Fronde virere nova, ' 

Talis eiat species auri froadentis, npaca 

i, c. " Such |was the [appearance of this golden branch on the 
dark oak, as when the Misletoe uses to flourish with new vigour 
in the woods, during the winter.cold." 

There were ten Sybills, viz. the Persian, the Lybian, the Del. 
phian, the Cumcean, the Erythroean, the Saniian, the Cnmanian, 
or Eolian, the Hellespontlan, the Phrygian, and the Tiburtinian. 
• — Vida Calepinum. 

GcUius, lib. 1. cap. 19. relates the manner in which these 
books called the Sybilline, were sold to Tarquinius Priscus, by 
an old woman, supposed the Curoanian Sybill. They were kept 
in the capitol with the greatest care, and consulted as an oracle 
on all emergencies. These books were burnt by Siilico, when 
he rt'belled against Honorious and Arcadius. These Sybills are 
so famous in Roman history, that I shall only endeavour to ana. 
lyze the name. 

Si/LUl has been uniformly derived from the Greek Theobule, i. 
e. " the council of God." There are, however, only two of 
these Sybills, to whom the Greeks can have even the slightest 
claim. Had these Sybills been of Grecian origin, we might 
have expected, to have found at least the Delphic one, mentioned 
by Potter in his antiquities, when treating of the Delphic oracle. 
The fact is, Apollo himself is not a Grecian god, but borrowed 
from the Celts, as I shall presently shew. 

Siiadh or Suidh (the radix of the Latin Suadoo) is pronoun- 
ced Sui, and signifies counsel or advice. Suidh.Bheil, pronoun- 
ced Siii.Beil, signifies the counsel ef Bel, and determines that 
these Sybills were exclusively prophetesses of Bel or Apollo 
whereas the Greek Tlieobnk, besides its utter incongruity to 
the word Sybill, would make them prophetesses at large without 
astiictiiig them to any particular deity, and must therefore b» 

NOTES. 285 

rejected. I have, in a former note, shewn that the Celtic Drui^ 
was by the Greeks rendered Dry, with the addition of their ter. 
minating sigma. What in the Celtic is sounded ui, the Greeks 
render by their Ypsilon. Hence Sui.Bel, would be Graecized 
Syhela, which might easily degenerate into Syhilla. Pliny men- 
tions a people in Aquitania (a part of Gaul) named the Sybil, 
lates; so that the Celts have more claims than one to the Sybills. 
Nat. Hist. lib. 4. cap. 19. The Gaelic etymon of Si/bill ma.kes 
her peculiarly the prophetess of Bel or Apollo. Virgil makes 
her exactly the same. Erery one knows that gold does not grow 
on the branches of trees, and this golden branch is only the yel. 
low (croceum) misletoe, poetically hyberbolized. I do not, 
therefore, imagine, there can remain the least doubt, that the 
golden branch of Virgil was the misletoe of the Druids, or that 
the Cumcean Sibyll was a Druidess. For the etymon of Apollo 
see next note. 

Note XLII.— Page 122. 

Carnea, 8fc. — The Sun was the earliest, as well as the most 
universal object of idolatrous worship. As such, hia first name 
on record is Bel. Early after the deluge, we find mankind 
erecting to him a superb monument or temple at Babel. I have 
often wondered that none of our Celtic etymologists have ren- 
dered this word Bal-Bheil, i. e. " the house or temple of Bel." 
They have given us a thousand etymologies far less probable. 
It was built on the vale of Skinar (Gallice seanar pronounced 
Shinar) i. e. " the vale of the Senior or Elder," in antient times a. 
title of the highest distinction, and was probably a sepulchral 
monument erected to the memory of their ancestor Noah, or 
some other distinguished individual. In the neighbourhood of 
Forfar we have a collateral instance, viz. Bal-naSkinar, i. e. 
" the house of the Senior or Elder." Ur of the Chaldees was 
the next edifice dedicated to Bel, and on or Heliopolis of JEgypt, 
was perhaps erected about the same time, Ur signifies light or 
fire, and is found in every dialect of the Celtic, It is also He- 

o e 

286 NOTKS- 

brew, and is the radix of the Greek Uranos, the Latin wro, &c. 
A parish in iGalloway is still named Ur. Heliopolis is com. 
pounded of the Hebrew El, or Eli, i. e. " God and Pol, a city." 
The proper signification of Pol, is a circle, cities being antiently 
built in that form. Condudere Sulco, that is to encircle with a 
furrow, is a common phrase for marking out the boundary of a 
city or edifice. Most cities were built on eminences, for the 
sake of defence ; and this was particularly the case in Egypt, 
■where they had the inundation of the AV/e to guard against. 
Hence the various significations of Pol, viz. a circle, the top of 
a hill, the crown of the head, a well or pool of water, a city, &c. 
Pol is the radis of <he Greek Poleo, Polls, and Polos. In the 
Gaelic it is written Poll, and signifies a pool, &c. El, or Eli, 
is the radix of the Greek Elios, i. e. the sun. In the €raelic 
this word is written Al or Ail, that is, a roch ; and the adjective 
Alia signifies rochy, or the most high. From the Gaelic Jl, the 
Greeks seem to have formed their Alios, the same with Elios. 
AH is in Turkey a title of the highest distinction. When Jacob 
went to Fadan Aram, he set up a pillar, and called it Bfth.el, 
i. e. the house of God. This, in the Gaelic, would be Bvlh, or 
Jieth.ail, i. e. the house of the Rock, In scripture the Deity i? 
called the Rock of Ages. The Strength of Rocks is ascribed to 
him, &c. Hence it is doubtful whether the Celts have not re^ 
tained the radical, and the Hebrews, Egyptians, and Greeks, 
only the figurative meaning of the word. 

The etymon of Apollo has been uniformly mistaken. Calepin 
(vide Dictionarium) derives it frpm the Greek verb Apollumiy 
and instead of the Opifer, or benefactor of mankind, makes hint 
Apolhjon, or the destroyer. There are several other derivations, 
but all equally absurd. Apollo is merely a corruption of the 
Gaelic Abellio, or AbaUa, pronounced Apellio, or Apalla, i. e. 
the son of the most high, and differs little in orthography, and 
nothing in signification, from the Greek Ap'-L/io, or Jp^-Alt'o, 
i. e. the descendant of the sun. Most of the Celtic gods, Ale!. 
ifjV), Saman, Bealan, &c. are diminutives. Thus, I hope, it is 
flear, thit Llios, or Alios^ as well as their compound Apolh, 

NOTES. 287 

were bwfo-Wed dfeHles; find hence it will not appear •wondei'ful 
tfiat the Greeks borrowed the religious rites peculiar to this 
deity at the sdme time. 

The Dorians, instead of Apolhm, used Apellbn, which ap. 
preaches mmh nearer to the Gaelic Abellio. It may be here ne- 
cessary to remark, that Ullapool^ m RoBS-sMre (Gaillice Ulla- 
Poll) sFgiJifiea the circle of demotion. Vila is perhaps merely a 
corruption Of the Gaelic Alia, whence the Saxons formed their 
Hallow and Hdly, now written Hoii). If so, the Egyptian Heli. 
pol^ the Greek Heliopolis, and the Ga«lic Ullapoll, are strictljr 
synonimous. The Egyptians also named this city On, Now 
Vim in the GaeMc still signifies a stone. The origin of this city 
was, therefore, most probably, a stone set up in honour of the 
Deity, such as Jacob set up at Bethel, and, when a city wa* 
added, it received the name of Helipci, u e. the city or circle of 
the Deity ; for all ancient cities were circular, or as nearly s» 
as the nature of the emtneDceg on which they were built wottld 
a>drait. This we kiiow was the form of Troy, Ca:rthage, the 
Acropolis of Athens,. Rome, and a thousand others. Nay, Rome 
itself derives its name from this very circumstance, and not from 
Jiomulm,as generally imagined; for it is the Greek Rome, sig. 
nifying a strength or fort, synonimous with the Gaelic Dun, and 
derived from the Greek verb KoOf or Bonijim, to surround or 
eneifcle. Hirtius, in his book de Bella Hispaniensif cap, S. 
mentions a city near Cordova of the name of Vila, perhaps the 
Promontorium Sacrum (hill of worship) mentioned by Pliny, 
lib. 4. cap. 22. This city stood on the river Bcetis; and the 
same author, speaking of this district, informs us, lib. 3. cap. I. 
" that it was inhabited by Celts, and that it was manifest from 
their sacred rites, language, and names of towns, that they were 
descended from the Celiiberi of Lusitania." We need not, 
therefore, hesitate to assign a Celtic origin to Vila, and identify 
it with Vllapool before.mentioned. The circular mode of build, 
ing before stated was borrowed from the circularity of the Sun^ 
the supreme object of Ethnic adoration. 

I hope I have alreaJy sufficiently evinced, that Apollo is not 


288 ■ NOTES. 

of Grecian, but Celtic origin ; and if any thing further were 
•wanting to establish this point, it is presumed that Carnea will 
compensate the deficiency. These Carnea were feasts held in 
htfnour of Apollo, over all Greece, but chiefly at Sparta, where 
Callimachus (see his hymn to Apollo) says they were first iotro- 
dared. This festival was celebrated at Sparta in the month 
Carneus, and at Athens in the month Metageitnion, both cor- 
responding to our month of May. The whole festival was 
clearly descriptive of a military expedition. Nine tents were 
erected, and the festival lasted nine days. The chief priest was 
called Agetes, i. e. general. Oat of every tribe five ministers 
•were chosen, named Carneatai, i. e., or attendants at 
the Cam. The hymns sung were called Cameioi nomoi, i. e. 
Cam tunes, or hymns. The musicians, on these occasions, con. 
tended for victory. The first prize was won by Terpander. — 
See Potter's Antiquities of Greece, vol. 1. p. 374 & 380. 

With regard to the etymon of Carneus, and the origin of this 
festival^ there has been much diversity of opinion. Bryant and 
Z>r. Tytler derive Carneus from the Greek Keren, which Bry. 
ant renders a Horn, and Dr. Tytler a Stork, informing us at the 
same time that Clarios is a name of the same import, whereas 
Claries is evidently derived from Claras, a city of Ionia, famous 
for an oracle of Apollo, See Tytler' s Callimachus, p. 44. & 45. 
Others have imagined that Carneus is a corruption of Cyreneus, 
from Cyrene, a town of Lybia. This idle idea is sufficiently 
confuted by Callimachus in the following lines elegantly trans- 
lated by Dr. Tytler : — 

Some Bordromiiij, Clarios some implore, 
But naoi'd Carneus ou my native sliore. 
Tliec, great Carneus ! Sparta first possessd. 
Next Thera's isle was with thy presence bltss'd, 
you cross'd the swelling main from Thera's bowers 
And then resided in Cyrmc's towers, i:c.— p. 4-1. & 4:i. 

Thus we see that Apollo was named Carneus at Sparta, long 
before he was known at Cyrene. It would be almost endless to 
jidvert to all the groundless opinions vented on this head. It is 

NOTES. 289 

sufficient for my purpose to have incontroTcrlibly established 
that Carneus was, among the Greelcs, a name of Apollo, and 
that in their language, no rational or satisfactory etymon of the 
word can be found. Indeed when we see such eminent Greek 
scholars as Mr. Bryant and Dr. Tytler rendering Carneus a. 
horn, or a stork, and at the same time mailing it synonimous 
with Clarios, it is evident the Greek analysis is untenable, and 
must be given up. Such has been, and always will be, the fate 
of hunting for etymologies in a language where they are not to 
b6 found. 

Cam is a word so peculiarly Celtic, that it can hardly be mis- 
taken. Its regular adjective is Carnach, Carneach, Carnadfi. 
This last is pronounced Camay, to which the Greeks added their 
termination os, and formed Carneios, It signifies any thing per. 
taining to a Carn, and hence frequently signifies a priest. Apollo 
was named Carneios, from being worshipped at the Cams, in the 
same manner as Jupiter was named Olympius from being wor> 
shipped at Olympus, or the said Apollo Delphicus from being 
-worshipped at Delphi. Indeed Mr. Bryant very rationally sup. 
poses, that the numerous appellations of the deities originated 
in the Greeks mistaking the place of worship for the deity wor. 
shipped, so that the different names of the gods were only the 
names of as many temples. If so, what name could have been 
found in the Celtic districts, more appropriate to Apollo thaa 
Carneios. See BryanVs Mythology, vol. 1. p. 107. In the Cel- 
tic we have many derivatives of Car«, viz. Carnan, a little Carn, 
Carnam, to make a Carn,^ Carnal, a heap of stones, Carnfa, 
piled up, &c. Sec. 

Fortunately the Spartans have preserved to us In their month 
Carneus the name of the deity worshipped, and the Athenian? 
in their month Metageitnion, which signifies a transvicination, 
or change of neighbourhood, have preserved the important fact, 
that this festival was introduced into Greece by foreigners, 
I have already observed that both these months are the same, 
and this Celtic colony which migrated to Sparta must have been 
very powerful, otherwise the Spartans and Athenians would npt 

200" NOTES. 

each hate denorttinated one of their months to perpefsate fho 
memory of the event. The nine tents and nine days whith th* 
f«ast lasted, pwbaWy poiirt (Jie time this colony took »p in mi- 
grating to Greece. Solas Grecian acccm»ts say they came fron* 
Melite, others from Miletus or Acarnania. Though we should 
grant all, or any one of these positions, it will, instead of iirya- 
lidatittg, greatly confirm the Celtic cldiioi to this colony. If from 
Melite (he Carthaginians bnilt this city, and (he Pbcenician and 
Celtic religions rites bear sach a resemblance that Pinkarfon 
pronounces them the same. If from Miletus, it is well knon-n 
the Milesians make a conspicuous figure in the Irish annals ; 
and as to Aearttania, it is merely the Gaelie A'carnunaeh, (Ach- 
Carnanach, i. e. the Cam Hill, orr hill aboendiag witb caros]| 
terminated according to the Greek idiom. 

Fattsanias makes £0:0, a Delphian lady say, that Olen -with 
the Hyperboreans founded the Delphic oracle, and was the first 
wbot rettfrned answers in heroic Terse. The passage is thas 
ti-sDsIated by Mr. Hatchin. 

No Grecian yet warm'd with poetic fire 

Could fit th' unpolisli'd language to the l^re. 

Till the first priest of Phoebus Olen rose. 

And chang'd for smoother verse their stunning prose. 

See Potter's /intiquities of Greece, vol. 1 . p. 24i, 245. 
Fytha'goras, to make men believe that he was the Hyperbo- 
rean Apollo, shewed one of his thighs all of gold in a full assem. 
biy at the Olympic games, if we credit Jamblicus and Porphy- 
rias. See Dacier^s life of Pythag, p. 69. 

As I will frequently have occasion fo revert to this point, I 
shall only remark, that Mr. Potter is of opinion that the Gre- 
cian religion was a compound of every (hing, and borrowed 
from all the surrounding nationsw See Antiquities ofGreect, 
vat. l.p. 173. 

Note XLIII.— Pace 126, 
Turn Soracle solum, Sfc. — Dr. Smith, p. 47, has inserted this 
tjaotation at full length, but omitted Mr. Toland's translation 
of it. Qn the contrary he has oraittcd the original quotation of 

NOTES. 291 

Mr. Toland from Virgil's Mneid, i.e.'* Summe De&m, sancte 
custos, Sfc." and given as Mr. Dryden's translation of it. See 
Dr. Smith's Hidory of ike Druids, p. 48, and Toland' s Histo. 
ry of iite Druids, p. 126 if 127. Both these quotations, and 
their translations stand at full length in Toland's history, but 
the doctor, in order to conceal his obligations to Mr, Toland, 
has given us the original of the one, and the translation of the 
other. ladled, if the reader will give himself the trouble to 
collate Dr. Smith's and Mr. Toland's history, he will at once 
perctiive that he has made use of the whole of Toland's notes 
and materjals, without making the slightest acknowledgment. 

Note XLIV.— Page 128. 

Umhrians under the name of Sabin^s. — Mr. Toland has so fully 
proved the Umbrians or Sabins to be Celts, that he has left me 
little to do on this head. But as Mr, Tolatjd's work is only a. 
brief summary, I hope the reader will pardon me if I go a little 
into detail. Independant of historic testimony, the very name 
is Celtic. The Gaelic verbs Umbracam and Druidftm are syno- 
nimous, and signify to embrace, shut up, or inclose. The 
Gaelic adjectives Umbracht and Druidie are also synonimous, 
and signify, shut up, or inclosed, i. e. " retired or contemplative 
men." Plin. lib. 3. cap. 14, derives Umbri, ab Imbre, i. e. 
" from rain," because, as he says, they were tiifi most ancient 
inhabitants of Itaiy ; and alone survived the deluge. This is 
another instance of the folly of the Greeks and Romans, who 
endeavoured to find the etymon of all words in their own Ian. 
gija.ge5. Cdlepine derives Umbri from Umbra, on account of 
the umbrageeus nature of the country. But this is a mistake 
of the same kind, for it is extremely probable that the Romans 
derived thuitUuibra, as well as all its derivatives from the Gaelic. 
C^ljepine says it contained 300 cities before they were destroyed 
by the Etrusci. Were the names still remaining in antient 
coHutries clearly ascertained to be Celtic, duely weighed, they 
yro»\i furnish perhaps the best criterion, to delermine the Cel- 
tic migraticTas. In antient Umbrin we find thcriTer Umber {ho. 

292 NOTES. 

die Umbro, as theltalians use the Ablative Instead of the Nomina. 
tive) the same with the Humber in England. In the same district 
we find a town of the name of Narnia, the same with Nairn in 
Scotland. Here we also find a man of the name of Tages (Gallice 
Tagh or Tadgh, the same name as that of the grand father of 
Fingal) of whom Cicero, de divinatione, lib. 2, gives the follow- 
ing account. Tages Quidam dicitur, in agro Tarquiniensi, 
quum terra araretur, et sulcus altius impressus, extitisse repente, 
et eum affatus esse qui arabat, &c. i. e. " When a man was 
plowing in the Tarquinian field, and had drawn a deep furrow, 
a certain one Tages is said to have started up suddenly, and ad. 
dressed him." But this Tages, according to the books of the 
Etrusci, is said to have had the appearance of a boy, but the 
wisdom of an old man. When the plowman, terrified at the 
sight of him, had raised a loud cry, the people assembled, and 
all Etruria convened in a short time to that place. Then Tages 
spoke many things in the audience of the multitude, who marked 
all his words, and committed them to writing. But his whole 
speech was confined to the Haruspicinian doctrine, i. e. "the 
art of divination by the entrails of victims, &c." Ovid. lib. 15. 
Metam. mentions this same Tages. 

Indigent dixcre Tagem, qui primus Hetruscam 
Edocuit gentem casus aperire futaros, &c, 

i. e. " The aboriginal inhabitants call him Tages, who first 
taught the Tuscan nation to disclose future events." 

Were we in this manner to pervade Europe, and contrast 
the names found therein, with the names in any particular dis- 
trict of Britain or Ireland, we might form a tolerable conjectare 
of the origin of the inhabitants. The Fir.Bolg of Ireland (Tirt 
Belgici,) are unquestionably a colony from Belgic Gaul. 
Caernarvon in Wales, (Civitates Narbonensis) derives its name 
from Narhhonne, a town in Gallia Narbonends. The Taixali of 
Aberdeenshire were ^ircbabiy from the Tcxelln Holland. The 
Fins are frequent in Br.tiin and Ire'and, and on the Baltic we 
find a wliole district (Fiulan !) bearfng their name. Tacitus rfc 

NOTES. 293 

Morib. Genn, cap. 1 5. gives a particular description of these 
Fenni or Finni. Nor is tiiis mode of reasoaing, if kept within 
reasonable bounds, either fanciful or hypothetical. We knovr 
for certain that British colonists have carried British names to 
every quarter of the globe, particularly to Artierica and the 
West Indies. Were all authentic history lost, still the identity 
of these names, with names still remaining in Britain, would 
clearly establish their origin. Mankind in all ages have evinced 
the strongest attachment to the names of their progenitors, bene- 
factors, deities, and native soil, and these they have generally 
carried along with thum, and preserved under every difficulty 
and danger. 

Note XLV.— Page 129. 

O patron ofSoractfshigh abodes, Sfc. — Within the country of 
antient Umbria stood the celebrated hill of Soracte. ' Of this 
•word I have been able to find no satisfactory analysis. In the 
Gaelic language we find Sorach or Sorch an eminence, and the 
adjective Sorachta acervated, perhaps in allusion to the Acervus- 
or Corn of Apollo, which stood on this hill. That the Greeks 
and Romans might render the Gaelic Sorachta in their language 
Soracte is by no means improbable. What will add weight to 
this conjecture is that the Greek verb Soreuo and the Gaelic 
verb Soracham are synonimous, both signifying to acervate. 
On this hill the Hirpins (see Toland's quotation from Pliny) 
performed' their yearly sacrifice to Apollo. One of the feats 
practised on these occasions by them was dancing over the fire 
barefooted, for which they enjoyed many important immunities 
by a decree of the Roman senate. These Hirpins used to be- 
smear their feet with a certain ointment (see Toland's quotation 
frem^Varro) which rendered them invulnerable to the fire. 
That such an ointment was known to the antients is beyond all 
doubt. Ovid, lib. 2. Fab. 1. clearly alludes to it in the follow- 
ing words: 

Turn pater ora sui sacro medicamine nati 
GoDtigit, & rapida: fecit patientia flanmie, 
P p 

294 KOTES. 

i. e. " Then the father (Phoebus) rubbed the face of his son 
(Phaethon) with a sacred ointment, and made it capable of en- 
during the rapid flame." 

I have observed, in a former note, that Dr. Smith confounds 
the Gabha-bkeil (jeopardy of Beal) with this juggling trick of 
the HirptHS, and (p. 46) gives us a particular description of, 
'what he imagines, a fiery ordeal, or tryal by fire, Gabha-Bheil, 
(the clutches of Beal) is a proverbial expression importing that 
every victim devoted to that deity must be sacrificed. Though 
there are not wanting instances where a victim has escaped, still 
■these instances are extremely rare, and hence the Gabha-Bheil 
signifies the most imminent danger. Between Bets two fire* 
(Ittir dha tbeine Bheil) is a phrase of the very same import. 
As io the Hirpins there was no ordeal at all in their case. Thejr 
were supported at the public expence. They were no criminals, 
And as to the effects of the fire, they were sufiiciently guarded 
against it by the ointment before mentioned. It is very extraor. 
4linary that any man should have dreamed of an Ordeid, where 
there was neither criminal, trial, nor danger. The custom itself 
is, however, unquestionably Dniidical, and a convincing proof 
that the Umbrians were Celts. 

The only other Celtic peculiarity which I shall notice in this 
district is the Etruscan god Msar, See Antient Universal Histo- 
ry, vol. 18. p. 540 ^ 342, Sfc. Several attempts have been made 
to derive this god from the Hebrew ; from the Celtic Esus, &c. 
The fact is the word is pure Gaelic, as any one capable of turn. 
jng up a Gaelic dictionary will at once perceive. Eas, and 
Easar or Aes, and Aesar (for the Gaelic orthography is not 
well settled) are synonimous, and signify a Cataract, and hence 
£guratively, any thing impetuous or irresistible. It i» a beauti. 
tiful and appropriate emblem of the omnipotence of the deity. 
This word Aes occurs frequently in Italy. Aeds, a river of 
Vmbria, mentioned by Pliny, lib. 3. cap. 14. Aesis, a town of 
the same region, mentioned by Ptolemy, Mdiim, mentioned 
by Strabo, the same as the preceding. Aesinafes, the iuhabi. 
tauta of the said tpwn, PHn^f lib, 3, cap. 14, Aeiidum, a towu 

NOTES. 295 

of the Up'bri, f'tik Ptolnm. Aesa, a town of Thrace, nide Ste. 
p&ttasm. AesarnSy a itver sear Crotooa, in Magna GrsKaa,. 
StrabOy Hb. 7, 

Notnit!i4(andiag the many cotrjectm'es respectjog the Tascaa 
god Mi-ar, H is the Umbriaa, or (which is the same thing) the 
Celtic Aesar, adopted by the Tuscaas, the conquerors of the- 
Umbrians. The Celtic god Ems, about Mthora there have a!so' 
been many grvBiidtess ctMijectuTes, is merely the Gaelic Aes^ or 
Eas, or M», (for they are all the same) ktinicaUy terminated 
Mstts. Aesfheter, in the Gaelic language, stiil signifies god, and 
literally meaBS the men of the Cataract. 

Note XLVI.— Pace 131, 

/« most places of this last kingdom, the common people delieve 
these obelises to be men transformed intb stones by the magic of 
the Druids. — We find the very same idea mentioned in the Ara- 
hian Nights'' Entertainments. Druid and magician are synoni. 
mens terms, and what could be more natural, than that tha 
ignorant vulgar should ascribe to the magical power of fhs 
Druids, such works as seemed to exceed human exertion. A 
Roman causey through Lochar Moss, in Dumfries.shire, is still 
ascribed td the magic of Michael Scott. A thousand such in. 
stances might be condescended on. 

Note XLVII.— Page 131. 
We find the practice as early as St. Patrick himself, tch», hav. 
ing iuilt the church of Donach.Patrick, ^c. — That St. Patrick 
should have sanctified obelises or colosses, erected in the times 
of paganism, is a very extraordinary circumstance, and deserves 
particular attention. That idolatry originated in a snperstitioug 
respect for the dead, can hardly be doubted. Be this as it may, 
we find the ancient places of worship extremely simple. Jacob 
set up an obelise, or single erect stone, at Bethel. Apion ac- 
cuses Moses of departing from the established custom of wor- 
shipping at obelise*. — Vide Josephum, p. 734. — ^Aiaong the 

p P 2 

296 NOTES. 

Celts, obelises, or erect stones, were the only places of worship. 
The obelises sanctified by St. Patrick were undoubtedly Druidi- 
cal places of worship, and he could have no possible motive for 
consecrating them, except that of converting them into christian 
churches. On the other hand, it can hardly be imagined that 
he should have been so circumscribed as to be obliged to make 
use of the Drnidical temples, or that he could have done so 
without the consent of the Druids. The most natural inference 
is, that, seeing the -Irish addicted to their idolatrous temples and 
priests, St. Patrick sanctified the former, and converted the lat- 
ter, making both subservient to the important purpose of propa. 
gating Christianity. Indeed Mr. Toland asserts, that none came 
sooner into the christian religion, or made a better Jigure in if, 
than the Druids. 

If this hypothesis is well founded, it clears up some points in 
our ecc'esiastical history, on which we have hitherto little more 
than mere conjecture. There appears to have been a studied de- 
sign in St. Patrick and his successors, to consign the very name 
of Druid to oblivion. It is not mentioned (as far as I know) 
ly any ecclesiastical writer from the 4th to the 15th century, 
though it stitl existed in the Gaelic language, and in the nume. 
Tous names of temples, and other places denominated from the 
Druids. This policy of the early ecclesiastics in Ireland was 
"founded on expediency, as well as necessity. The name Druid 
was one of the very first respect among the Celts. It was no- 
where mentioned in the sacred records, and there was conse- 
quently uo express scriptural command to eradicate this parti- 
«alar species of idolatry. To remedy this defect, the name ap- 
pears to have been altered to Magi and Chaldei (Magicians and 
Chaldees), names strictly synonimous with that of Drttid, and 
clearly condemned in scripture. Innes, in his Critical Essai/ 

(as has been noticed in a former note), vol. 2. p. 464. says 

" in the Latin lives of St. Patrick and Columba, the Druids are 
called Magi." In Adomnan's Life of St. L'oiumba, we have an 
account of an interview betwixt that saint and a few of these 
Magi, at tht palace or castle of Brudi, king of the Pitts, in the 

NOTES. 297 

following words: — " Sed et illud noti est taceridum quod a!i- 
quando de tali incomparabili vocis ejus Sublevatione juxta Bru- 
daei regis manitionem, accidisse traditnr. Nam ipsesanctus cura 
paucis fratribus extra Regis munitionem dum Ttspertinale's Dei 
laudes ex more celebraret, quidam Magi ad eos propius acceden- 
tes ia quantum poterant prohibcre conabantur, ne de ore ipso- 
rutn- divinae laudis sonus inter Gentiles andiretur. Quo com- 
perto sanctus quadragesimum, et quartum Psalmum decantare 
caspit. Miruraque in modum ita vox ejus in acre eodem me- 
mento instjir alicujus formidabiiis tonitrui elevata est, ut et rex 
et populus intolerabili essent pavore perterriti." i.e. " Nor must 
I omit to mention that incomparable elevation of his voice, which 
is said to have happened near the castle of King Brudi. For 
when the saint, with a few of his brethren, according to custom, 
was celebrating the evening praises of God, certain Magi ap. 
preaching near to them, did every thing in their power to pre- 
vent the Gentiles from hearing the sound of the divine praisn 
which proceeded from their mouths. Which being known, the 
saint began to sing the fortieth and fourth psalm. And his 
voice was, in a wonderful manner, in that very moment, elevated 
into the air, like a formidable clap of thunder, so that the king 
and the people were struck with intolerable fear." Messingham, 
in his life of the same saint, lib. 1. ch. IS. p. 168, gives us a si- 
milar instance in these words, — " Eodem in tempore vir vene. 
randus quandam a Eroickano it/ago Scoticam postulavit servam, 
humanitatis miseratione liberandam — i. e. " At the same time 
the venerable man (St. Columba) demanded from Broichanus tha 
magician, a certain Scottish maid-servant, whom, from motives 
of pity and humanity, he intended to set at liberty." It is wor- 
thy of remark, that St. Columba converted and baptized Brudi 
in 565, at which time the Magi or Druids before-mentioned were 
found at his court — a clear proof that the Romans did not com- 
pletely extirpate the Druids in Britain, as generally imagined. 

Merlin the mid, commonly called Merlinus Caledonius, an 
inhabitant of Alcluid, and unquestionably a Druid, ilourished 
about 570. The English Merlin, or Merlin the Magician, aU* 

293 NOTES. 

a Druid, lived abont a century earlier. Of the Scottish MerKn, 
or Merlin the wild, ve bare a curioos account furnislied bjr 
Pinkarton (vol. 2, page 275 — 276) in a qaotaticn from Geofrey 
of Monmouth : — 

Dux Venedatornm Feridums BeJIa gerebat 
Contra Gueonolouni, Scotias qai regoa rejebat.-— 
Venerat Meriinus ad bellnm cum Feridnro, 
Kex qnoqiie Cambrsrnm Rodarcits, — 
licce victori venit ebvins alter ab aala 
Rodarchi Regis Cambroram, qui Ganiedam 
Duxerat uxorem, formosa conjuge felix ; 

Itlerliui soror ista fuit 

Aferriqne jubet vestcs, Volncrc! «jnc, CancsqBe, 
Quadrupedesqfie cite?, aDnrm, geaimmtfue mirantes, 
Poct)Ia qu!e scolpsit GaietaudHS in ncbe sigeni. 
Singula pr^eteadit Vati Rodarcbus et offcct, — 
Corruet urbs Acelud, &c. 

i. c. " Feridiurus g^eneial of the Yencdati, made war on Gueno. 
lens king of the Scots. Merlin had accompanied Feridurns to 
the war, as also Rodaichus king of the Cambri. Lo there 
comes another from the hall of Rodarchus king of the Cambii, 
tomeettbeceDqueror, who had married Ganieda, and was happy 
ia a. beautiful wife. She was tli£ sister of Merlin. And Ro. 
darchus orders garments, hawks, hounds, swift steeds, gold, 
shiniGg gems, and goblets wiuch Guielandas had carved in the 
city Sigeni, to be brought, and. presents and oJTers them one bj 
one to the prophet. The city Alcluid shall fall," &c. 

We thus see that Merlia the wild (Meriinus Sylvestris) was 
no mean person. His sister Ganieda nobly married, and 
he himself for his vaticinatioa, which was a prominent part of the 
Df iridical office, received a present whkh might have suited an 
em^peror. It were an easy matter to trace Druids even down to 
the present day under thfi different denominations of warlocks^ 
magicians, inchaniers, charmers, fortune tellers, jugglers, &c. 
But this is unnecessary, as it must occur to every intelligent 
person, that Dcuidlsm, though it bais changed its name, is not 
extinct, but ia more or k»9 practised in every district, aod almoKt 

NOTES. 299 

in etery family of the kingdoni. So far respecting the Druids 
nnder the name of Magi. 

In treating of the Druids under the name of Chaldees, or as it 
has been corruptly written Culdees, and by the monks latinized 
Culdai, Keldcei, and Kelidcoi, I am well aware that I have many 
difficulties to contend with. One party maintain that they were 
presbyterian, and another that they were episcopalian. Their 
origin is totally unknown, and even the very name has afforded 
scope for more than a dozen etymologies, all equally plausible, 
and equally unsatisfactory. In this state of things, it will 
readily be admitted, that the origin, name, and history of the 
Culdees, are involved in great obscurity. Pinkarton, (vol. 2. 
page 272 and 273) asserts that they were all Irish, and conse. 
quently they must have received Christianity from St. Patrick or 
his successors. But it is admitted, on all hands, that they were 
Im/ Ecclesiastics, a circumstance which could not have happened, 
had ihey been regularly ordained by St. Patrick or his succes- 
cessors, and sent to convert Scotland. To whatever side we 
turn ourselves, if we follow the common opinion respecting the 
Culdees, we find uncertainty and inconsistency. But if once 
we admit that the Druids were Culdees, every difficulty vanish- 
es, tind the simple fact is, that St. Patrick availed himself of the 
aid of the Druids to convert Ireland. That, in compliance with 
popular prejudice, he sanctified and made use of as many of their 
temples, as suited his purpose. That these Druids were kept in 
the subordinate station of lay ecclesiastics, and not admitted 
to the dignity of regular clergy. That by degrees they returned 
to Scotland, from which they had been expelled by the Romans, 
and formed settlements to themselves independent of St. Patrick 
and his successors, and maintained themselves in these settle, 
ments till finally supplanted by the regular clergy about the 
middle of the 13th century. 

In the register of the priory of St. Andrews, we have sjme 
important facts relative to the Culdees. " Habebautur taraen in 
Ecclcsia S'ti Andtex, quota et quanta tunc erat, tredecim per 
successionem carnalem quos JSeledeos appeljant, qui secundum 

,•500 ' ""■ NOTES.. 

suam aestiraationem^ et hominum traditionem, magis quam se- 
cundum sanctorum sl^tuta patrum, yivebant." i. e. " Yet there 
were in the church of kt. Andrew, such as it then was, thirteen 
by carnal succession, whom they call Keldees, who lived accord- 
ing to their own opinion, and the tradition of men, rather than 
according to the statutes of the holy fathers." 

And further, " Personas autem supra memoratae redditus et pos- 
sessiones proprias habebant ; quas cum e vita decederent, uxores 
eorum, quas publice fenebant, filii quoque, vel filiiB, propinqni 
vel Generi, inter se di?idebant." i. e. " Bat the persons be- 
fore mentioned (the Keldees) had proper incomes and posses- 
sions, which, when they* died, their wives whom they kept pub- 
licly, their sons, daughters, relations, or sons. in. law, divided 
among themselves." 

The dedication of this Culdee settlement, then named Kilri- 
mont, i. e. " the temple on the king^s mount," to St. Andrew, is 
narrated in the said register as follows. " Locum vero ipsum nota 
evidente designatum, ex magna dcvotione septies circumierunt. 
Rex Uungus, et ipse Episcopus Regulus, et Viri Caeteri, circui. 
tione et perambulations ita disposita sf-ptena prajcessit Episcopus 
Kegulus super caput suum cum omni veneratione Reliquias S'ti 
Apostoli deferens, suo sacro conventu Episcopum cum Comiti- 
bus Hymnidicis sequente. Illos vero devotus secutus Rex Han. 
gus est pedentim, Deo intimas preces et gratias fundens devotas. 
Regem vero secuti sunt viri optimates, totius regni nobiliores. 
Ita locum ipsum Deo commendarunt, et pace regia munierunt. 
In signum vero Regias commendationis, per loci circuitum divi- 
sim 12 Cruces lapideas viri Sancti erexerunt ; Pt Deo cseli hu- 
militer supplicabaut, ut omnes in il!o loco menle devota, et pura 
jntentione orationis suaepetitionis efficaciam obtinerent." i. e. 
" They, seven times, with great devotion, circumambulated thit 
place, marked out witli distinct li.T)its, King Uungus, Bishop 
Ilegulus himself, a^d their other alten'lants, ordered the manner 
of this sevenfold citcumambulaiion as follows. Bishop Regulus 
■went first, carrying on his head, with all due veneration, the 
relics of the holy apostle, tlie sacred conveation fpUowiDg the 

iroTES, 301 

bishop, with their attendants, iinging hymng. ThedevoutKing 
Hungus (Ungust) followed them on foot pouring out sincere 
prayers and devout thanks to God. The king was followed by 
the grandees and nobles of the whole kingdom. In this manner 
thpy commended the place to God, and fortified it by royal 
permission. As a monument of this royal commendation, these 
holy men erected twelve stone crosses, at equal distances, encir. 
cling the place, and humbly supplicated God, that all in that 
place, who had holy minds and pure hearts, might obtain the 
fulfilment of their prayer and supplication." 

This dedication of Kilrimont, a Ctddee establishment, took 
place about 825; nor did the Culdees at this time leave it; for 
we are further told — Kelidei namque in angulo quodam ecclesicBf 
qu<B modica nimis erat, suum qfficium more suo celebrabant, i. e. 
" For the Guldees performed divine worship in a certain corner 
of the church, after their own manner, which was too small for 
their accommodation," The register further adds — Nee potuit 
tanium auferri malum, usque ad temjms felicis , memories Regis 
Alexandri, i. e. " Nor could this evil be removed till the time 
of King Alexander, of blessed memory." This Alexander died 
in 1124, so that the church of Kilrimont presents the singular 
phenomenon of the regular clergy and Culdees performing divine 
worship in one, and the same church, during nearly 300 years. 

After the relentless massacre of the Druids in the island of 
Mona (Anglesey), mentioned by Tacitus, in his annals, lib. 14. 
ch. 5. they appear to have kept carefully out of the way. The 
Roman authors make no mention of them afterwards, till Am. 
mianus Marcellinus found them in the Isle of Man. In Caesar's 
time (vide lib. 6. cap, IS.) the chief school of the Druids was in 
Britain; and he hence infers, that Druidism was invented ia 
Britain, and thence translated into Gaul. Pliny (lib. 30, cap. 1.) 
hazards a conjecture equally groundless, when he tells us, " that 
Britain celebrated Magic (synonimous with Druidism) in such, 
an astonishing manner, and with such great ceremonies, that it 
appears to have given it to the Persians." The fact is, that the 
Sruidi f^und the turbulent and warlike state of Gaul ill suitad 

e q 

502 ^'OTES. 

■to their, contemptatire studies, and transferred their chief scho'ol 
to Britain. On the inrasion of Britain by the Romans, they 
would donbtless use the same precaution, and transfer their re- 
cords and chief establishment to Ireland. This sufficiently ac- 
counts for the number and antiquity of the Irish manuscripts. 
The Irish were Celts, and certainly had their Druidical establish, 
ments long prior to this period. And there cannot remain a 
<Ioubt that the British Druids found Ireland their last asylum. 
That an order of men, so numerous, so learned, and so highly 
venerated by all ranks, should have totally disappeared, on the 
arrival of St. Patrick, is not once to be imagined. On the testi- 
mony of Giraldus Cambrensis (quoted by Mr. Toland in the 
6th note on his first letter) there never was a martyr to Chris, 
tianity in Ireland, so that the Druids did not fall victims to the 
new order of things. Another proof that the Druids made 
little or no resistance to Christianity is St. Patrick's burning 
from 180 to 300 volumes of their records, as related by Dudiey 
Forbes and Dr. Kennedy, see Toland's history, page 105. 
That any individual, however respectable, conld have compelled 
the Druids to give up their records, in order to be destroyed, is 
not once to be imagined ; and this great sacrifice must be consu 
dered as a voluntary act of piety, similar to that reccfrded in the 
Acts of the Apostles, ch. 19. v. 19. St. Patrick's prjecursor, 
Palladius (see Pinkarton, v. 2. p. 263.) was wholly unsuccess- 
ful in his mission to Ireland, and found it in a state of Paganism. 
St. Patrick's success was, probably, in a great measure, owing, 
to his using the Druidical temples as places of worship, and gain- 
ing over to his interest the Druids, the then established clergy, 
hy which means the deeply rooted prej udices of the nation were 
in a great measure complied with, and at any rate not directly 
thwarted. The numerous places of christian worship still be- 
ginning with the word Kil in Ireland and Scotland, which is Uie 
most appropriate Gaelic name for a temple, clearly indicate that 
tliey were Druidical temples appropriated to the purposes of 

In Irclandj UiB Culdees seem to have risen to little or no emi* 


n<;ti<?e^ being iil^ayS sabject to, atid early i«cr«>rp"oVatea ^ith tlife 
j-egUl&r Irish clergy. It is in Scotland that they aiake ilie rtibst 
conspicuous figdVfe, %here they formed themselTes into sddbiliti^, 
or fraternities, independent of the Irish clergy, or those of Jona, 
Indeed, if <?e crfedit Kiikarton, (v. 2. p. 273.) tiiey were all 
Irish, (that is, ongiiialiy from Ireland) and the oniy clergy in. 
Scotland, from the time of Colulnba till the 11th centtry. Thfg 
pgrioi! excfeeds fite htindi'ed years. 

Dr. jAtnie'son '(s6fc his History of ike Culdees) expres'stes a 
donbt whether the Magi at the court of King Brudi were Druids', 
but admits that tb«y were beMh^n priests. Caesar (lib. 6, cap;- 
21.) asserts that the Ge^rmans (Goths) had neither prJfeSts bop 
sacrifices. Tliere is not a teslige of religion thronghotit tha 
wbolfe extent of Germany, mentioned by Tacitus, which cannot 
be clearly proved to be Drnidical, and derived from the Celts-^ 
the praecursors of the Gotlis. So late as the beginning of the 7th 
century (see note 33d), Edwin, king of Northumbria, a Saxon 
(Gothic) prince, when converted by Paulinus, Tvas attended by 
bis Cdifi, or Archdrnid. That, therefore, the Magi, mentioned 
fa the Latin lives of St. Patrick and Colurnba, were Druids (as 
mentioned by bines), can admit of co doubt. 

It IS eiqnally probable that the Culdees were converted Drnids; 
and if this is admitted, every difficulty vanishes; every thing 
respecting their name, origia, alid history, becones. clear and 
consistent ; but as I kiaow of rio direct authority to support this 
hypothesis, and as Keith, Dalrymple, Jamieson, and othei-s who' 
have written on the subject, have taken oppostto ground, I mere, 
ly hazard it as a probable conjecture, and with that difadence 
which becomes a candid enquirer after trstb^ when traversing' 
uncertain ground. 

NoxE XLVIII.— Paoe 87» 

TAe temples of the Druids. — ^In the Gaelic we have several 
Words signifying a templej or church, as Eaglais, 7'eampul, 
Daimhleach,' Annoid, Lann, DurteOCh, Cilh The two first are 
evident corruptions of tfae Roman Esksiii and Templum, a^A 


304 NOTES. 

crept into the language when Christianity was introduced, 
Daimhleach means the stone of the learned, and is a term nearly 
synonimous with Cloch-an.Dichtor, i. e. the stone of the teacher. 
Annoid is probably An.noid, i. e. the congregation or assembly. 
Durteach (Durum Tectum) means the hard or durable house, 
religious edifices being built more durably than ordinary houses, 
which were constructed of wattles and mud. Lann is rather 
peculiar to the Welch dialect. Cill, or Ceal, pronounced Keel, 
radically signifies the heaTen, or sky, and hence figuratively, 
any thiag circular. It is synonimous with the Latin Ccelum, 
and the Greek Coilon, and perhaps the radix of both. When 
figuratively taken to signify a place of worship, it is also the ra- 
dix of the Latin Cella, Cill apppears to have been by far th« 
most appropriate and general word for a Druidical temple, and 
it every where occurs. Such places as bear the name of temples, 
are mere translations of this word. 

Note XLIX.— Page ISr. 

Commonly two temples stand near each other, for reasons you 
will see in our history. — This history Mr. Toland did not live to 
accomplish; and Dr. Smith, who servilely follows Mr. Toland 
ID every point of importance, must have been well aware of this 
passage, though he neither attempts to solve the difficulty, nor 
so much as once alludes to it. In whatever manner Toland 
might have explained the matter, it is evident he was well ac- 
quainted with it. He was the first who pointed out the circum- 
stance ; and no man else, up to the present day, has attempted 
a solution of it. 

In examining the Druidic antiquities, and particularly theiT 
eircles, it cannot be too frequently, nor too strongly inculcated, 
that they were the supreme judges in all matters, civil as well as 
religious, and from their decision there lay no appeal. Cajsae 
(lib. 6. cap. 13.) i^ extremely particular on this head; nor is 
he contradicted by any author, ancient or modern. Acting in 
this double capacity of priests and civil magistrates, it was na. 
turally to be expected that they would be provided wish ajudi- 

NOTES. 305 

cial, as well as a religious circle. Whoever minutely examines 
the Druidical circles will find this distinction well founded. The 
sun (Beal or Bealan) was the principal Celtic deity, and the 
cast, or sun rising, the most honourable point. The religious 
circle occupied this honourableposition and the judicial one stood 
commonly due west of it. The former was generally larger and 
more magnificent than the latter. The temple consisted of one 
circle of erect stones. In the centre stood an erect stone larger 
than any of the rest. Near this, and generally due east of it, 
lay an oblong flat stone, which served the purpose of an altar. 
On the north point, which was the door or entry, stood a trough, 
filled with water, with which every one who entered was Sprink. 
led. It appears to have been the same as the Greek Perirrantem 
rion, and to have served exactly the same purpose. See Fetter's 
Antiquities of Greece, v. 1. p. 176. These circles consist of 7, 
12, or 19 erect stones, all of which are supposed to have had 
their respective astronomical references, to the number of days 
in the week, the signs of the Zodiae, or the cycle of the moon. 
These particulars may suffice as the outlines of a Draidical temple. 
Though the judicial circle in the exterior differed nothing from 
the temple, in the interior it differed widely. There was commonly 
no obelise in the centre, no altar, no perirranterion, or sprink. 
ling trough. It consisted always of one, sometimes of two, and 
when the establishment was of great magnificence, of three septs 
or divisions, being three circles all terminating in the sonthera 
point, and intended to accommodate the three different ranks o£ 
the Celts, whom Csesar (lib. 6. cap. 13,) divides into Druides. 
equites, and plebs — i. e. Druids, nobility, and commons. Aa 
ignorance of, or want of attention to the above distinction, haj 
led those who are Celtie.mud to imagine that all these circle^ 
were Druidic temples, whilst Pinkarton, who was certainly 
Gothic-mad, asserts that they were, without exception, Gothic 
courts of justice. Both are extreraei, and truth lies between. 
This diversity of opinion obliges me to treat the Druidic circle;} 
in two different points of view — Imo, as temples ; 2do, as courts 
•f justice. 

306 NOTES. 

THE nnniwc circles considered as te»plis. 

When Pinkarton asserts (v. 1. p. 405.) that Druidism was of 
Phoenician origin, and again, (ibid. p. 407.) that the Druids had 
no temples, but worshipped in groves, he stews his utteTignv. 
ranee of ancient history. The Carlhagenians (see Huid's Ee. . 
ligi'ous Rites and Ceremonies, p. 28.), the Tyrians, the Pbceni- 
■cians, the Philistines, and Canaanites, were one and the same 
peopfe, and had one and the same religion. The MoabiteSj 
I^oenicians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and even the Hebrews, were 
worshippers of Baal. See Brown's Dictionari)%f the Bible, (p. 
166.) The worship of Baal (the same as the Celtic Beal) was 
(he favourite sin of the jews ; and hence, in the sacred records, 
which I consider as the best of all evidence, many interosttng 
particulars are preserved respecting this worship. Moses, at the 
foolof Monnt Sinai, built an altar, and sorronnd^d it with twelve 
Mo'ne pillars. See Exodus, ch. 24. v. 4. As Moses hid hither, 
to received no express command respecting a temple, it may be 
presaiued he took the model of this one from his Ethnic oeiglr. 
botirs. It is vTorthy of remark, that by far the greater ntimljer 
of the Drntdical temples are sarronnded by twelve pillars. The 
children of Israel served Baalim. — Judg. 2. 11. They served 
Baal and Ashtaroth — i. e. the snn and the moon. — Jud,^. 2. 13. 
They served Baalim and the groves. — Judg. 3. 7. The altar 
and grove of Baal are mentioned Judgts 6. 25. The Isradiles 
serve Baalim and Ashtaroth, and a long list of other gods,- — 
Judg. 10. 6. The Israelites pnt away Baalim and Ashtaroth.'^^ 
1st Sam. 7. 4. Ahab reared np an altar for Baal in the House 
of Baal, which he had built at Samaria. This is, at least, one 
instance of a temple. Jehu decoyed the priests and worshippers 
of Baal into the house of Baal, and slew them. He broke down 
the images of Baal, and the hoase of Baal, and went to the city 
of the house of Baal. In this instance we find Baal had not only 
a house, (temple) but even a city dedicated to him. Many 
»ach instances might be condescecded on. 

Moses, who certainly knew something of the matter, com. 
maxids- tbe jews- tff destroy tkyr aiiars, <o break down theit 

NOTES. 307 

iniag«S (lUeraliy pillars), to cut down their groTes, and to bum 
their graven images with fire. — Deutron, 7. 5. He repeats the 
same command in these words^ — " ye shall utterly destroy all th« 
places wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their 
gods upon the high mountains, upon the hills, and under every 
green tree. And you shall orerthrow their altars, and break 
their pillars, and burn their groves with fire ; and you shall hew 
down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of 
them out of that place,''— X)eai. 12. 2 and 3. The temples of 
Baal, here mentioned, were erected by the Pfaffinicians in the 
land, of Canaan, prior to the entry of the children of Israel; and 
had Moses been interdicting the temples of the Druids in Great 
Britain or Ireland, he could not have given a more exact des. 
Cfiption of them. The groves, the pillars or erect stones, the 
altars, the images, and even their situation on eminences, are all 

That groves were the most antient places of worship, is suffi- 
ciently evident from the sacred records. Abraham, after Ms 
departure from Ur of the Chaldees, built an altar in a grove," 
The Sun, under many diiferent names, was the earliest, as well 
as the most general object of idolatrous worship. He was ori- 
ginally worshipped in groves, and for this reason the jews were 
prohibited (Deut. 12 — 3, 16, 21) from planting groves near 
their, altars, and commanded to, cut down the groves of the Ca- 
naanites. To whatever nation we turn our eyes, we find groves 
the first places of worship; but the simplicity of the early ages 
S9on yielded to a more splendid order of things, and the magni. 
ficence of the temples kept pace with the progress of the arts. 
In cities, groves were not to be obtained, and were often dispens- 
ed with. The Druidff, of all the worshippers of Baal, retained 
their groves to the last. This has made Pinkarton conclude that 
they worshipped in groves, and had no temples at all. The 
passage in Tacitus, on which he founds this erroneous hypothe- 
sis, is as follows : — Igkur Monam Insulam incolis validam, et rs- 
ceptaculum perfugarum aggredi parai navesque fabricatur piano 
ukeo, adiitrsus bnve Uttus et incertum, Sicpedites (guiles vado 

308 NOTES. 

secuti, aut altiores inter undas adnantes equis transmisere. Sta. 
bat pro littore dieersa acies densa amis, virisque intercursantibus 
fceminis, in modumfuriarum, vesleferali, crinibus dejectis faces 
prcfferebant, Druidaqiie circum, prcces diras sublatis ad calum 
manibusfundentes, novitate aspectus perculere militem ui, quasi 
heerentibus membris, immobile corpus vulneribus praberent. 
Dein cohortationibus ducis, et se ipsi stimulantes, ne muliebre et 
fanaticum agmen pavescerent, inferunt signa, sttrnunt que obvi. 
ot, et igni suo involvunt. PreEsidium posthac impositum victis^ 
excisique luci scevis superstitionibus sacri. Nam cruore captivo 
cdolere aras, et hominum fibris consulere Deosfas habebant. — 
Annal. lib. 14. cap. 5. i. e. " Therefore he prepares to attack 
the island Mona (Anglesy), powerful in inhabitants, and a re- 
ceptacle of deserters. He builds flat-bottomed ships, suited to 
the shallow and uncertain channel. The infantry following the 
cavalry, passed over that part which was fordable, but where the 
■water was too deep, laid hold of the horses, and by their aid 
swam over. A motley army stood on the shore, thick with 
arms, and women running up and down among the men, with 
mournful garments, and loose hair, in tlie manner of furies, car- 
ried torches before them. The Druids also, with their hands 
lifted up towards heaven, and pouring out their direful prayers, 
J80 terrified the soldiers with the novelty of the sight, that, as if 
.they had been deprived of the use of their limbs, they suffered 
themselves to be wounded without resistance. But being ex- 
horted by their general, and mutually encouraging each other 
npt to be terrified by a womanish and fanatic rabble, they ad 
Tance the standards, defeat their opponents, and involve them 
in their own fires. A guard was placed on the conquered, and 
the groves, sacred to cruel superstitions, were cut down ; for 
they held it lawful to sacrifice captives on their altars, and t» 
consult the gods by human entrails." 

Tacitus does not here mention (he temples of the Druids, but 
he particularly mentions the groves, altars, and human sacrifices. 
The truth is, some authors nitution one appendage, and others 
another, of the Druidic worship. Cicsar, lib. 0. cap, 17, t»kes 

NOTES. 309 

no notice of the groves or altars, but particalarly mentions the 
tBmplcs. Multis in civitatibas harum rerum extructos tumulos 
iocis consecratis conspicari licet — i. e. " In many cities, you may 
see heaps of these (warlike spoils) piled up in consecrated places." 
It was not likely that the temples in cities would have the ap. 
pendage of a grove annexed to them. Tacitus, however, in the 
above cited passage, puts theexistenceof the altars of the Druids 
beyond a doubt, and has thus subverted one material part of the 
Pinkartonian system. He gravely tells us (vol. 1. p. 414.) that 
these cross stones (altars) were conveniences to the chiefs to get 
up and speak to the people. Tacitus assigns them a very differ, 
ent use; and his opinion is not only founded on fact, but coin. 
cides with that of every impartial enquirer who has written oa 
these monuments of antiquity. If, however, Mr. Pinkarton will 
take the trouble to look into Chambers' Cyclopedia, or any topo. 
graphical description of Anglesey, he will find that their altars, 
temples, and rocking stones still remain. Tacitus gives us an 
account of what was demolished; and Mr. Pinkarton hence in. 
fers that nothing more existed. But here, on the evidence of 
Tacitus, Mr. Pinkarton is evidently wrong, for the altars,' though 
mentioned, are not said to have been demolished ; and if the al> 
tars were spared, why might not the temples also ? 

A similar instance occurs in the pariah of Holywood, which 
derives its name from a Druidical grove. Holj/wood, or as it is 
pronounced by the vulgar Haly Wid, is merely the Gaelic Alia. 
Feadk^ Sasonically pronounced, and signifies the holy grove. 
John de Hulywood, by the Monks commonly called Joannes d& 
Sacro Bosco, also derived his name from this grove. In the me- 
mory of some persons still alive, the vestiges of the grove could 
be clearly traced. The roots of the trees are said still to remain, 
and the circle of stones forming the temple in the interior of tha 
grove is still intire. Now though this grove has been transmitted' 
to. posterity in the name of the parish, as well as in that of Joan~ 
nes de Sacro Bosco, there is no tradition whatever concerning 
the temple which it contains. The grove here, like that at An. 
glesey, has fallen before the axe, or yielded ta liiae. Bat, suck 

K r 

310 NOTES, 

is the fate of things, that both these groves have been outlifed 
by their respectire temples, concerning which history and tradi- 
tion are equally silent. In the present case, no quibbling wil» 
avail Mr. Pinkarton, This sacred or holy grove must have con- 
tained a religious, not a judicial circle ; and I defy Pinkarton, 
or any man else, to point out a Gothic judicial circle, surround, 
ed by a sacred grove. See Statistical Account ofHolywood. 

Many of these circles still bear the name of temples, temple- 
stones, and temple-lands. There is a in the parish 
of Closeburn, another in the parish of Lochmaben, at the junc- 
tion of the Kinnel and Ae, The Temple ofKineffia the name of 
a farm on the estate of Fernyflat, near Bervie. The Temple, 
stones is the name of a small Druidical temple on the farm of 
Auchlee, near Elsick. A hundred such instances might be con. 
descended on, but these may su£Sce as a specimen, being oalj 
translations from the Gaelic. The most general name for a tem. 
pie in the Gaelic, is Ceal or Cil, pronounced Keel or Kil, These 
kills abound every where, and by far the greater part have beea 
luperseded by christian churches. In this list I shall only men- 
tion Kilbarchan, Kilberry, Kilbirny, Kilbrandon, Kilbride, KiL 
ealmonell, Kilchoman, Kilchrenan, Kilconquhar, Kildonan, KiL 
drummy, Kilfinan, Kilfinichen, Kilallan, Killarrow, KilbrandoHy 
Killean, Killearn, Killearnan, Killin, Kilmadan, Kilmadock, 
Kilmalcom, Kilmanivaig, Kilmarnock, Kilmartin, KUmaurs, Kil- 
ineny, Kilmorack, Kilinore, Kilmorich, Kilmory, Kilmuir, Kit- 
winian, Kilninver, Kilpairick, Kilrennj/, Kilspindie, K.ilsyth, 
Kiltarlity, Kilteam, Kilvicewen, Kilwinning. These are all 
parishes, which have derived their names from Druidical tem- 
ples, in the same manner as Holi)Wood took its name from the 
sacred grove, and though in most of them the zeal of Christians 
has left no vestige of Drnidism, still as much remains as will il- 
lustrate the truth of this position. In the parish of KilbarchttH, 
two miles west of the village, is an oval stone, 22 feet long, 19 
broad, and 12 high, containing above 3000 solid feet. It still 
bears the name Clock o Drich, (Cloch an Druidh) i. e. " the 
stone of the Druids." This was undoubtedly a rocking stone 

NOTES. 311 

made use of by the Druids in their judicial capacity, and Kilbar. 
chart, with the transposition of the letter r, rendered Kilbrathan 
or Kilbrachan, would signify the circle of judgment. The pa. 
risb of Kilmorach still contains many Druidical circles. Killar. 
lity also contains a few Druidical circles. In the parish of 
Kiltearn is an oval or elliptical temple bearing a striking resem. 
blaoce to Stonehenge, though on a smaller scale. To this list I 
may add the parish of K«//} in Gallowaywhere a rocking stone 
about 10 ton weight still remains. 

In Ireland these Kills are also numerous, as Yiiikenmj, Kii. 
leamey, Kildare, ^c. This last literally signifies, the temple of 
rove. In Wkles these temples are generally known by the 
name of Kerig.y.Dri/dion — i. e. " the stones of the Druids," or 
Maen Amber — i, e. the Holy Stones, These temples are nume. 
rous OTer all the Celtic districts ; and such is their peculiarity, 
that he who has seen one, may form a correct idea of the whole. 
Th« reader may think I hare been unnecessarily minute in 
proving these circles of stones to be Druidical temples, but it 
was necessary, as Mr. Pinkarton has denied that there was ever 
a Druid in North Britain or Ireland. But if we find the very 
same monuments in both these kingdoms, which we find in Gaul 
and Wal«s, countries confessedly Druidical, it is impossible to 
ascribe them to any other than the Druids. Indeed Pinkarton 
himself (vol. 1. p. 415.) i« reluctantly obliged to admit, that 
some of these circles might be temples of small deities; and' as 
this is all I am contending for, it is unnecessary to enlarge far- 
ther on this head. In a philological point of view, it may, how- 
ever, be necessary to point out the great affinity betwixt the 
Gaelic Ceal or Cil, and the Hebrew Chil. Reland defines Chil 
to be Proteichisma, or Spatium antimurale, occupying the space 
betwixt the mount of the temple and the court of the women. 
He also states that neither the Gentiles, nor those polluted by tb« 
dead, entered this Chil. Lightfoot gives nearly the same defini. 
tion, adding that Chil was ten cubits broad, divided from the 
court of the Gentiles by a fence ten hand.breadths in height. 
Chil was that space within the court «f the Gentiles, which imme* 

R r2 

312 NOTES. 

diately surrounded the mount of the temple, and in no materia! 
circumstance dififered from the Gaelic C'il, which denoted the 
circle enclosing the temples of the Druids. 


As the Druids were the ministers of religion, and at the same 
time the supreme judges in civil causes, it is extremely probable 
that they had their judicial, as well as their religious circles. 
On any other hypothesis it would be difficult to account for two 
Druidical circles generally being found near each other. For 
the purpose of religion one was sufficient. Nor is it once to be 
imagined that men of such pretended sanctity should throw open 
their temples to be profaned by the admission of all ranks for 
the administration of justice. 

Independent of these considerations, we find a characteristic 
difference in the Druidical circles. Many of them are still tra. 
ditionally reported to have been, and still bear the name of teoa. 
pies. These are still regarded by the vulgar with a degree of 
superstitious veneration. Ask the meanest day-labourer what 
the large circle of stones at Bowertree Bush, near Aberdeen, 
had been — he will immediately answer, that it was a. place of 
worship. Mr. Robertson, of Struan, last year wished to demo, 
lish a Druidical circle on his estate, named Cliian Beg (the little 
enclosure or temple), but his servants, rather than commit what 
they deemed sacrilege, chose to be dismissed his service. These 
are the circles of'religion, and contain the large centre stone, 
the altar, the purifying trough, &c. 

But the other description of circles are regarded with little or 
no veneration. Concerning the smaller circle at Bowertree Bush, 
tradition does not even hazard a conjecture. The same remark 
will apply to the judicial circles in general. They have no cen. 
tre stone, no altar, no purifying trough, &c. and are never de. 
nominated temples. They generally have no name at all, and 
are frequently divided into two or three different septs or enclo- 
sures, to accommodate the different ranks of the Celts. These 
are the judicial circles of the Druids, and are in many instances 
.found intire, whilst the temples are almost, without a single ex. 

NOTES. 313 

ceptioD, mtitUated and injured. I have examined above fifty 
Druidical temples, but never found one of them in all respects 
iatire. This is easy to be accounted for. The temples being 
dedicated to the purposes of religion, fell a sacrifice to the per. 
scenting fury of the Romans, and the blind zeal of christians. 
In the south of Scotland, where the religious circles are denomi. 
nated Kills or Temples, the judicial circles are denominated 
Girths. These Girths are numerous, such as Auld Girth, Apple 
Girth, Tunder Girth, Girthon, Girthhead, &c. &c. In the He- 
brides these Girths are still more numerous, and the tradition 
respecting them is, that people resorted to them for justice, and 
that they served nearly the same purpose among the Celts, that 
the cities of refuge did among the Jews. In all stages of society, 
but more so in a savage state, man is prone to avenge his own 
wrongs ; and -we cannot sufficiently admire the address of the 
Druids, who appointed these Girths, or judicial circles, in the 
vicinity of their temples, where their transcendant power was 
sufficient to protect the injured, and check, or overawe the most 
daring and powerful. 

Dr. Smith, in his History of the Druids, says the Highlanders 
call the rocking stones Clacha Breath — i. e. the stones of judg- 
ment. But this must be a mistake j for as no two ror^king 
stones are ever found together, the Highlanders would not apply 
the plural Clacha (stohes) to a single stone; but as the rocking 
Etones formed an appendage to the Clacha Breath, or judicial 
circles, it is not improbable that the Highlanders may have in. 
eluded both under this general denomination. 

In the parish of Coull there is a judicial circle, which the 
writer of the statistical account terms Tamnavrie, and translates 
the hill of worship. This is another striking instance of the 
folly and absurdity of reckoning all the Druidical circles places 
of worship. The writer thought he could not err in rendering 
this circle the hill of worship, because all Druidical circles were, 
according to the common opinion, places of worship. But the 
fact is, the real name is, being the common pro- 
■uneiation of Ihc Gaelic Tom-na-Dhrailh, which signifies tjjehill 


314 NOTES. 

of judgment. In the word Bhraith, Bh Is pronounced V, and 
th final is quiescent. This is another incontrorertible instance 
ihat the Druids had judicial circles, as well as religions ones. 

In the parish of Closeburn, on a farm named the Cairn, within 
my rGcoUection, there existed the Cairn on ifhe top of the hill to 
the west of the farm steading. A few of the temple stones re- 
mained immediately behind the dwelling-house. The Auld 
Girth is situated at the eastern extremity of the farm, and gives 
name to a small bridge there, as well as to a farm in the •vicinity. 
The new Girth, or judicial circle, stood on the north side of the 
hill, on which the Cairn is situatpd, and near a small stream 
named Clackarie, or Clachawrie Burn. It is easy here to trace 
the affinity of this word to the before-mentioned Tom-na.crie. 
It is Clacha-vrie, with the Saxon w substituted for the Gaelic 
Ik, equivalent to v, conformable to the dialect of that district. 
The word is Clacha Bhraith (the same with Dr. Smith's dacha 
Breath) pronounced Clacha vray or wray, and signifies the stones 
of judgment. Whoever wishes to see a Druidical judicial circle, 
will have his curiosity gratified at Bower.tree Bush, about mid. 
■way from Stonehaven to Aberdeen. The temple first catches the 
eye, of which only four erect stones remain ; but the judicial 
circle, situated about two hundred yards west of it, and divided 
into three septs, is as complete as that day it was erected. 

I hope enough has been advanced to convince every unpreja. 
diced man that the distinction betwixt the religious and judicial 
circles of the Druids is well founded. There are another kind 
of edifices which appear to combine in one both the temple and 
the judicial circle, of which kind is Stonehenge, but I shall re. 
serve my remarks till I h(\ve occasion to treat of this remarkable 

But Pinkarton has a reason, and a most imperious one too, 
for denying the existence of Druidical temples. CiEsar (lib. 6. 
cap. 21.) gives us an epitome of the German or Gothic religion. 
Nam neque Dfuides habent qui divinis rebus preesint, neqve sa. 
trifdis student— i. e. " for they neither have priests (Druids) 
■who preside over divine things, nor do they oiler sacrifices aj; 

NOTES. 315 

all. To such a people temples were totally useless. Tacilasj 
in his admirable treatise, De Maribus Germanqrum, has givea a. 
few instances of sacred groves and humau sacrificeSj but these 
were chiefly found among the Suevi^ who were descended of the 
Senones. The same auilior informs that the Marsigni and Burii 
resembled the Suevi in their language and dress, and that the 
Gothini and Osi were not Germans, because the one spoke the 
Gallic, and the other the Fannonian language. — De Morib. 
Germ. cap. 13. Ad Jinem. — CiESar and Tacitus strictly agree, 
-with this difference, that Csesar treats of the customs of the Ger. 
mans, in contradistinction to those of the Gauls, whilst Tacitua 
takes Germany in toto, and gives us an account, not only of the 
custams of the Germans, properly so called, but of the Celtic 
tribes settled among them. I am, however, far from contending 
that the Germans in all instances kept themselves untainted with 
the religion of the Druids, which was admirably calculated to 
impose on the human mind. Druidism, or the worship of Baal, 
was the favourite sin of the jews, though they lived under a spe. 
cial theocracy, and had the light of divine revelation to direct 
them. Several of them, like the Ubii (on the testimony of 
Caesar), might be GalUcis adsu»ti moribus-A. e. *' bad con. 
formed to the customs of the Gauls." 

But the most prominent feature in the character of the Ger. 
mans (who had neither temples nor sacrifices) is their public 
meetings, in which every one had a vote. As the Germans were 
contiguous to, and intermixed with the Celts, they could not fail 
to remark the use of their judicial circles, and imitate them in 
this particular. Pinkitrton has clearly established that in Scan, 
dinavia and Iceland, are found judicial circles, under the name 
o( Dom-thing, nearly synonimous with the Gaelic Clacha Bhraitk 
— i. e. '^ courts of justice." But this argument, instead of sup. 
porting Mr. Pinkarton's theory, completely subverts it. That 
the Celts were the priecursors of the Goths, he has clearly ad- 
mitted ; and that the Celts had temples, whilst the Goths had 
none, is equally clear from the testimony of Cxsar. The sum of 
the matter is, that the Goths or Germans, who had no sacrifices. 

316 NOTES. 

and, consequently, no use for temples, imitated tbcir prsecursors, 
the Celts, in the use of the judicial circle, omitting the temples 
altogether, or, which is more probable, devoting such temples as 
the Celts left behind them to judicial purposes. The Celts used 
these stone circles as temples and courts of ^ustice^ the Goths 
used them only as courts of justice. 

Note L. — Page 91. 

Stonehenge, t^c. — There has been much ditersity of opinion 
respecting this remarkable edifice. Some make it Roman, and 
others Danish. Toland, Stukely, Grose, S^c, make it Druidical. 
That it is such, is clearly evinced by the altar sixteen feet long 
and four broad, and the rocking stone which still esists. It is 
the most remarkable Druidical structure in the world, and said 
to contain no less than 146 erect stones. For a full description 
of Stonehenge, see Chambers' Cydopeedia, Stukely, Grose, ifc. 

The name is evidently modern, and imposed by the Saxons to 
express the appearance of the building, which is so constructed, 
that the stones appear to hang or depend from one another. 
Stonehenge is Saxon, and imports the hinged or hanging stone. 
Most Druidical circles in South Britain bear the name of Maeii 
Amher — i. e. " the holy stones," and from the vicinity of State, 
henge to Ambersburff, which signifies the holy city, it is likely 
the original name was Maen Amber. The Welsh call it CAoir 
Gout — i. e. " the great assembly." At Stonehenge alone, the 
altar and rocking stone are found together, and from this, with 
the number of septs, some of them circular, others elliptical, it 
is most probable this magnificent structure combined in one the 
religious and judicial circle. Pinkarton, with his usual gothi. 
cism, reckons it the supreme court of the British Be/gee. Th» 
rocking stone, however, precludes his Gothic claim to this struc. 
ture; for he admits (v. 1. p. 409 & 410.)that no rocking stonea 
haye been remarked in Scandinavia or Germany. Wormius, the 
great northern antiquary, did not find a single altar in any 
of the circle* of Germany. Let Piukartoo condescend oa 

NOTES. 317 

any Gothic judicial circle in Germany, with the appendages of 
the attar and rocking stone, and the contest is at an end. 

The loss of the original name has greatly obscured the history 
of Stonehenge. Gelcossa's temple in Ireland, (seeToland, p. 71.) 
and a Druidical circle near the house of Cli/ne, in the parish of 
Kiltearn, in Scotland, are diminutire imitations of Stonehenge. 
Will Pinkarton also insist that these were the supreme courts of 
the British Belgae ? 

Caesar informs us (lib. 6. cap. 13.) that the chief school of the 
Druids was in Britain, and that those who wished to study their 
doctrines more perfectly, used to repair thither for that purpose. 
Now as Stonehenge is a structure of unequalled extent and mag. 
niiicence, is it not most natural to infer that it was the chief set. 
tl^ment and school of the Druids in Britain ; and erery one will 
admit that it was well situated for an easy intercourse with the 
Continent, whence (Cajsar says) students resorted. If this hy. 
pothesis is well founded, then the Welsh name Choir Gout — i. e. 
f the great assembly, or school," is extremely appropriate. 
The Celts have always been remarkable for denominating places 
or things from the use to which they were applied. Cassar (lib. 
6. cap. 13.) says " the Druids assemble in a temple (consecra. 
ted place) at a certain season of the year, in the territories of the 
Carnutes, which is reckoned the centre of all Gaul." Here is 
another Druidical temple for Mr. Pinkarton. In the Gaelic 
language Caer signifies a city, and Noid or Nait, (pronounced 
iVu^) a congregation or assembly. Caer.noitf or Caer.nut, thea 
signifies the town of the assembly, to which the Romans added 
their termination es, and formed Carnuies. 

Note LI.— Page 143. 

Human sacrifices offered by the Druids, Sfc. — Dr. Smith, ia 
his History of the Druids, has strained every nerve to prove that 
they offered only criminals. But this will not do. Caisar (lib. 
6. cap. 16.) is so particular on this head, as to leave not even a 
shadow of doubt on the subject. " They reckon," says hp, 
" those who have been taken in theft, robbery, or any other 

% s 

318 NOTES. 

crime, more acceptable sacrifices to the gods, but when there is 
a deficiency of this description, they have recourse even to the 
sacrifice of the innocent." Tacitus says, " they heid it lawful 
to sacrifice captives on their altars, and to consult the gods by 
human fibres."— ^Mwa^, lib. 14. cap. 5. Pliny is still more se- 
vere — " Non satis astimari potest, quantum. Romanis debealur, 
qui sustulere monstra, in quihus liominem occidere rel/giosissitnum 
eratf mandi vera etiam saluberritnum." — Nat. Hist, lib, 30. cap, 
1. i. e. " It cannot be sufficiently estimated how much mankind 
are indebted to the Romans for destroying monsters (the Druids) 
who reckoned the sacrifice of a man the greatest act of religion, 
and his flesh the most salubrious food." 

There is hardly a nation on earth who has not, at one time or 
other, offered human sacrifices. The propitiation was indeed 
inadequate, but the idea was founded on the basis of moral rec. 
titude. Man was the sinner, and he was the proper victim. 
When, in order to appease the wrath of the deify, he offered 
what was most dear to him, (generally his first-born) he could 
not go further. Isaac was offered by substitute, as were also all 
the first-born of the Jews, after the passover. Jephthah's daugh. 
ter was really sacrificed ; and the whole gospel dispensation 
rests on the merits of the great human sacrifice of the Messiah. 
Human sacrifices among the Jews by substitute, were, no doubt, 
crdained, and among the Gentiles, in reality, permitted, by an 
all.wise God, that they might typify the sacrifice of Christ, the 
only true, and the only sufficient propitiation for the sins of the 

Note LII.— Pace 143. 

Cromleth. — Mr. Toland has treated the Crotnleck at some 
length, but not with his usual perspicuity. The grand distin. 
guishing feature of the Cromlech is, that it is never surroundid 
by a circle of stones, but has only one obelisk standing nenr it. 
Anof Iier criterion is, that it is elevated from five to ten feit abo\-e 
the level of the ground, whereas the altars in the temples are scl. 
,dum, if ever, elevated above one foot. Another distinct mark 

NOTES. 319 

of the Cromlech is ita immense size. Many of them contain a 
surface of 400 feet, whereas the altar at Stonehenge, the most 
magnificent Druidical temple now known, contains only 64 feet, 
being sixteen feet in length, by four in breadth. The altar of 
Crum-Crwach, said by Mr. Toland to stand in the midst of 
tweWe obelisks, does not seem to merit the name of a Cromlech, 
unless by this term he understands an altar of any size. Dr. 
Smith, whose History of the Druids is only a superficial trans, 
cript of Toland's, evidently did not know what a Cromlech was. 
He mistakes the Colossus, or erect obelisk, mentioned by To. 
land, (p. 144.) at Neverq, in Pembrokeshire, for the Cromlech 
itself. — See his Hist. Druids, p. 27. The erect stone was not 
the Cromlech, but the image, or pedestal of the image of the 
deity, to whom the sacrifices on the Cromlech were offered. Dr. 
Falle, as quoted by Toland, (p. 146.) gives a very distinct ac- 
count of these Cromlechs, or (as be calls them) Pouqueleys; and 
the quantity of ashes found near them clearly shews that they 
•were used as altars for sacrifice. Mr. Pinkarton (v. 1. p. 412.) 
says the Celts never raised hillocks over their dead, and that the 
plain Cromlech, or heap of stones, was more consonant to their 
savage indolence. Hence we may infer that he considered the 
Cromlechs as sepulchral monuments. But will any rational man 
believe that it was more difficult to erect a hillock cf earth, than 
a Cromlech, many of which weigh above a hundred tons, and 
were besides to be quarried, and often transported from a con. 
siderable distance ? 

Mr. Toland has mentioned several of these Cromlechs, and I 
shall here mention a few more. Keyzler, in his Northern Anti. 
quitieSy mentions a stone of this kind in Alsace, 36 feet in circum. 
ference, 12| broad, and 4 thick. There is another at Lanyon^ 
in Wales, 19 feet long, 47 in circoraference, and 2 in thickness, 
resting on four pillars, at such a distance from the gronnd, that 
a man on horseback may easily ride under it. Its form is that 
of an ellipse, standing north and south. At Plas Newydd, ia 
Wales, is another in the form of an irregular square, 40 feet ia 
circumference, and 4 in thickness, raised so high on iupporterSj, 

s s 5 

320 NOTES. 

that cows usually take shelter under it. In Great Britain and 
Ireland it were easy to add to the above a numerous list, but I 
shall content myself with the following quotation from Olaus 
Wormius, — ' ' Ararum structura apud nos varia est. Maxima ex 
parte congesto ex terra constant tumulo, in cujus summitate tria 
ingentia saxa, quartum illudque majus, latins ac planius, susti. 
nent,/ulciunt, ac smtentant, ut insiar mensce tribus fulcrit enixae 
emineat.'^ — i. e. " The structure of altars with us is various. 
Foi; the most part they consist of a raised hillock of earth, on the 
summit of which three huge stones sustain, prop, and support a 
fourth one, larger, broader and plainer, so that it overtops 
them, like a table leaning on three feet." Though this great an. 
fiquary never found, in Scandinavia or Germany, a single altar 
within any of the stone circles, yet the Cromlech has, in the 
above passage, been accurately described. Nor is it at all won. 
derful that Celtic monuments so gigantic and durable, should last 
so long, though it is nearly 2500 years since the Celts were ex- 
pelled from Scandinavia and the north of Germany. So far with 
regard to the existence of Cromlechs. 

Before we attempt to determine their use, it is necessary to 
recapitulate their discriminating characteristics. The Crom. 
Ipch was by far larger than the altars in the temples, or on the 
sacred cams, and hence we may infer that it was calculated for 
the oblation of a plurality of victims. All other altars were en. 
circled by a sacred earn, or temple, but this was surrounded by 
no sacr.pd pale; whence we may conclude that all might approach 
it. All other altars were nearly level with the ground, but this 
was elevated like a theatre, that all might behold. The 16th 
chapter of the 6th book of Ceesar throws considerable light on 
this point, and I shall here translate it — " All the nation of the 
Gauls is greatly addicted to t'jperstitions, and for that reason, 
they who are afflicted by more severe diseases, and who are ex. 
posed to battles or dangers, either olfer men for victims, or vow 
that Ibey will offer thi»m, and they make use of the Druids as 
ministers to offer these sacrifices, because they think the wrath 
of the imtnorlal gods cannot be appeased, unless the life of a man 

KOTES. 321 

is paid for the life of a man ; and they have sacrifices of this kind 
publicly instituted. Others have images of immense size, vthose 
members are woven of wicker work, which they fill with living 
men, which being set on fire, the men enveloped in the flames 
are burnt to death. The sacrifice of those who have been taken 
in theft, robbery, or any other crime, they reckon more accep. 
table to the immortal gods; but, when there is a deficiency of 
this description, they have recourse to "the sacrifice, even of the 
innocent." Caesar here mentions two ways of disposing of a 
plurality of victims. The first was at sacrifices publicly insti. 
tuted for the purpose, where they were sacrificed in the usual 
manner ; and the second was enclosing them in huge images of 
basket work, where they were burnt to death. The same author 
tells us (lib. 6. cap. 17.) " that when they have resolved on war, 
they generally vow, that they will offer to Mars, whatever they 
shall have taken in battle." Tacitus (Annal. lib. 13. cap. 5.) 
Bays they sacrificed captives on their altars. 

From these authorities it is evident that the human victims 
offered on particular occasions were numerous. The ordinary 
altars in the temples could not contain above two or three vic- 
tims. And from all the characteristics of the Cromlech, I think 
we may infer that it was erected as an altar for these hecatombs 
of human victims which were publicly offered. Two, and some- 
times three, of these Cromlechs are often found together, as it 
seems to have been a fixed rule with the Druids to make an altar 
of one intire stone only. Though Toland has confounded the 
Cromlechs with the other Druidical altars, and Dr. Smith has 
totally mistaken them, I am decisively of opinion that they form 
quite a distinct class. Ancient Customs, though often modified, 
or new modelled, are seldom totally eradicated, and I am verily 
persuaded that the Cromlech on which criminals were burnt, (for 
it was only when there was a deficiency of these that they sacri- 
ficed the innocent) furnished the model of our present scaffolds 
or platforms on which criminals are executed. 

As to the name, viz. ike bowing stone, it is extremely appro- 
priate, and there can remain little doubt that the surrounding 

.122 NOTES. 

Diultitade knpeled down daring this great public sacrifice, (ob 
the testimony of CiEsar) the most acceptable of all others to the 
gods. Some people have imagined that these Cromlechs were 
used by the Druids for astronomical purposes, and indeed, from 
their size and tabularity, they were well calculated for the most 
extensiye mathematical delineations. Many of these Cromlechs 
were capable of containing from one io two hundred victims; 
and where three of them are found together, it is a moderate cal. 
cnlation to say that from three to four hundred might haye been 
sacrificed at once. From the words of Caisar, " sacrificia pub. 
lice insiiiuta—i. e. " sacrifices publicly instituted," or (in other 
■words) " to which all had access," we may infer that they had 
others of a more private nature to which the multitude were not 
admitted-; and from the small size of many of (he Droidical tem. 
pies, it is probable the multitude were never admitted within the 
circle of erect stones, but stood in the outer court, betwixt the 
circle and surrounding grove. Fanciful people may imagine 
what they please about these Cromlechs, but the very name is 
sufficient to establish that they were appropriated to the worship 
of the gods. 

Note Llfl.— Page 145. 
Bnt no such altars izere ever found by Olaus JVormiKs, the 
great northern antiquary, Sfc. — Mr. Pinkarton, who abuses Mr. 
Toland most unmercifully (v. C. p. 17.) on bis supposed disbe- 
lief of the scriptures, dare not here enter the lists with him. It 
was certainly easy for Mr. Pinkarton to have said whether 
Olans Wormius found altars in the Gothic circles or not. He 
knew he must have answered in the negative, which would have 
blown up his whole Gothic hypothesis. In order to slim the 
matter over, and sneak out of the dilemma, he admits (v. 1. p. 
409.) that no rock idols, pierced stones, rocking stanes, or rocifc 
basons, hare been remarked in^ Scandinavia or Germany, bnt 
passes ow?r the altars in profound silence. The altar is the true 
criterion betwixt the religious and judicial circle. 

NOTES. 323 

Note LIV.— Page 149. 

That Mercury teas their chief god, Sfc. — All travellers hara 
generally fallen into the same mistake, of tracing vestiges of 
their own religion in foreign countries. Tacitus found Jsis m 
Germany. Nay the Apostle Paul himself was mistaken for 
Mercury at Lycaonia. Our own christian missionaries have 
found traces of Christianity in almost every quarter of the globe. 
Among the Greeks and Romans, Mercury was considered as the 
god of high ways ; and it was customary to erect heaps, or earns 
to him, near the public roads. The Druids erected earns io 
Beal ; and from the resemblance of these to the Mercurial heapSy 
the Romans concluded that Mercury was the chief Celtic deity. 
But though CiBsar mistook Beal for Mercury, he has handed 
down to us a point of much importance, when he tells us " Hu- 
jus sunt plurima simulacra — i. e. " There are very many images 
of this deity." Hence it is clearly established that'the Druids 
had very many images of their gods. 

Note LV.— Page 150. 

Many of them have a cavity on the top capable to hold a pint, 
§-c. — This cavity on the top of one of the stones in the Druidi. 
cal temples has been often noticed. It was intended to catch 
the dew or rain pure from heaven. The Druids had their holjj 
isater and holy fire, as well as the Jews, and other nations. 
Among the Greeks, every one who was admitted into the tem- 
ple was sprinkled with holy water. He who was not admitted 
was called Bebelos — i, e. " debarred from the porch, or «n. 
trance." The coincidence betwixt the Gaelic and Greek Ian. 
guages is here remarkable. In the Scots dialect of the Gaelic, 
B>al signifies a house. In (he Irish dialect, Bail ha.s, the same 
signification. The Greek Bel, divested of its peculiar termina- 
tion OS, signifies the porch or entrance of a house, and hence the 
house itself. There is not the slightest diiference, either in sound 
or gigtiification, betwixt the Irish Bail and the Greek .Bel. 

324 NOTES. 

Appion accuses Moses of departing from the primitive casfom 
of worshipping at Obelisks, and of erecting stone pillars, with 
basons in such a manner, that as tlie sun moTed, his shadow 
falling on these basons, moved along with him. — Joseph, contra 
Jppion, page 724. 

Appion could not possibly describe a non.entity, and must 
have seen something resembling what he here describes; nor is 
it unlikely that the Druids, as well as other Ethnic religious 
sects, had vessels to catch the reflection of the heavenly bodies. 
The vulgar among ourselves, even at the present day, fill a vessel 
with water during an eclipse of the moon, and think they see it 
more distinctly by (he reflection in the water. It is to be re- 
gretted, that Dr. Smith did not advert to this primitive and sim- 
ple method of bringing down the moon. It would have saved 
him the trouble of ascribing telescopes to the Druids, at least 
1500 years before they were invented. 

Whether the cavity before-mentioned was occasionally used 
by the Druids to catch the reflection of the heavenly bodies, I 
shall not pretend to determine. But from the perforation reach, 
ing from the cavity to the boitom of the pillar, whereby the wa- 
ter could be drawn off at pleasure, it is evident its principal end 
was to supply them with holy water, pure from heaven. 

Note LVI.— Page 150. 

Fatal Stone, Sfc. — This was the marble chair so famous in th* 
Scottish annals. Mr. Toland, with great propriety, calls it the 
most ancient and respected monument iu the world. Its anti. 
quity and existence are so well established, that it is unnecessary 
for me to enlarge on either of these heads. Poor Mr. Piukar. 
ton, sensible that he could not claim it to his belorsd Gotlis, 
has, throughout the whole of his Hutory of Scotland, hardly once 
dared to hint at it. When any thing suits his Gothic hypotlie. 
»is, he grasps it totis viribus, but when any thing makes against 
it, he passes over it in profound silence. Admirable and canditl 
historian a ! 


Note LVII.— Page 152. 

Clunmany — Signifies the inclosure or temple of stones. These 
names are also frequent in Scotland. , Clvan.Beg and Cluan- 
Mor, i. e. " the little and large circle or temple," stand on the 
estate of Mr, Robertson, of Strowan, near Dunkeld. In Fife, 
we have Dalmeny (Dalmaine) the dale of stones, and Kilmeny, 
(CilUmaine) the temple of stones. We have a parish in Perth- 
shire of the name of Cluni/, and another in Aberdeenshire. This 
last contains three Druidical circles. Clyne is merely a corrup- 
tion of Cluan, or Cluain. Menmuir (Main Mur) — i. e, " the 
stone wall or for^" is the name of a parish in the neighbourhood 
of Brechin. Menmuir is only a different name for Caiter-thun. 
With regard to Catter-thun, and the neighbouring estate of 
Stracathro, their have been many absurd etymologies. Catter- 
thun, (Caither Dun) literally means the city hill, or fort j and 
Stracathro, (Sirath-cathrach) means the city strathy and is so 
denominated from its Ticinity to the said city. 

Note LVIII.— Page 152. 

Rocking Stones, — These rocking stones are numerous over all 
the Celtic districts. Mr. Mason, in his Caraclacns, has givea 
us the vulgar tradition respecting them in the following lines : 

-Behold yon Imge 

And unhewcn sphere of living adamant, 
Which, pois'd by magic, rests its central weight 
On yonder pointed rock; firm as it seems. 
Such is its strange and virtuous property. 
It moves obsequious to the gentlest touch 
Of him, whose bieart is pure. But to a traitor, 
Tho' ev'n a giant's prowess nerv'd hi? arm, 
It stands as iix'd as Snowdon. 

There is a remarkable rocking-stone in the parish of Kilbarch. 
an, (see Note 47.) and another in the parish of Kells in Gallo- 
way. There is one in the parish of Kirkmichael in Perthshire, 
another at Balvaird, and a third at Dron, both in the same 

T t 

32(5 NOTEiS. 

county. Borlase, in his Antiquities of Cornwall, mentions a 
rocking-stone, in the parish of Constantine, weighing about 
750 tons, being 97 feet in circumference, and 60 across the 
middle. It were easy to add to the above a numerous list, but 
this is unnecessary, as no antiquarian has denied the existence 
of such stones. The only point of difference has been the use to 
Tvhich they were applied. 

Mason, in the above quoted passage, has informed us that they 
were used as ordeals to try the guilt or innocence of criminals, 
and this is the prevalent opinion respecting them. They may 
have, however, served some other subordinate purposes, and 
from their mobility, as well as their spherical shape, were well 
calculated for elucidating the motion of the earth, and other 
heavenly bodies. Caesar (lib. 6. cap. 14.) says, " they (the 
Druids) teach their pupils many things concerning (he stars and 
their motions, concerning the size of the world and its different 
parts," &c. Now, as the Druids were, on all hands, allowed 
to be well versed in astronomy and geography, it is natural to 
suppose they would avail themselves of artificial aids in com. 
municating their philosophy to their disciples. Of all the 
Druidical monuments which have reached the present day, none 
\ia.s so well calculated as the rocking-stone to supply the want 
of our modern terrestrial and celestial globes. The rocking, 
stone was, in fact, the world in miniature, and possessed the 
motion, as well as the shape, of our modern globes. Indeed, 
all the Druidical monuments appear to have had some astronomi. 
cal reference. No sooner do we enter a Druidical temple, aud 
see the huge central obelisk surrounded by a circle of erect 
stones, than we are immediately struck with the idea of a sun. 
dial, or the sun placed in the centre, and the planets revolving 
around him. 

Mr. Pinkarton, (vol. 1. p. 410.) with his usual Gothic con. 
sistency, tells us that these stones are a lusus naluree, a sportive 
production of nature. Now, nature, it is well known, has ex- 
ercised none of these sports in any of the Gothic countries, and 
,jt is rather singular, that these sportive productions arc confined 

NOTES. 327 

to the Celtic districts. But the fact is, that these stones are 
rounded with the nicest skill, and poized with the exactest me- 
chanism. They are always found near some Druidical edifice 
of superior magnificence, and the man whose head is so gothi. 
cized as to reckon them the efiect of chance, need not hesitate 
to pronounce St. Giles' Church, or Lord Nelson's Monument, a 
lusus natures! That these rocking stones were really artificial, 
is clearly established by Pliny, who (lib. 34. cap. 7.) gives us 
the following account of one. " Talis et Tarenii f actus a Ly. 
sippo quadraginta cuhitorum. Mirum in eo, quod manu, ul fe- 
runt, mobilis (eu ratio libramenti) nullis convellatur procellis. 
Id quidem providisse et artifex dicitur, modico intervallo, wide 
ifiaximejlatum opus eratfrangi, opposita columna.'" — i. e. " And 
Such a one, forty cubits high, was made at Tarentum, by Lysip. 
pus. The wonder of this stone is, that it is said to be moveable 
by a touch of the band, (owing to the particular manner in 
which it is poized), and cannot be moved by the greatest force. 
Indeed, the workman is said to have guarded against this, by 
opposing a. fulcrum (prop) at a small distance, where it was ex. 
posed to the blast, and most liable to be broken." Had Pliny 
been giving a description of the rocking stones in Scotland, he 
could not have done it more exactly. They were, indeed, so 
poized, and had so little room to vibrate, that the slightest touch 
gave them all the motion of which they were capable. 

Well knowing that these stones bear the most unequivocal 
characteristics of art, Mr. Pinkarton, in the next breath, con. 
futes himself, and tells, us they are sepulchral monuments. The 
instance he gives us is from AppoUpnlus Rhodius^, who writes 
that Hercules, having slain the two sons of Boreas, erected over 
them two stones, one of which moves to the sonorous breath of 
the north wind. Apollonius wrote the Argonau/ica; and it is 
well known the Argonauts, in their expedition, visited many of 
the Celtic districts, and might have carried along with them the 
model of these stones. Nay, what is more to the purpose, it is 
most likely they carried one of these stones along with them, 
for Pliny (lib. 3S, cap, i5.) tells us that there, is a rocking stons, 

T t2 

328 NOTES. 

( Lapis fugitious) in the town of Cyzicura, which the Argonauts 
left there. This stone was first placed in the Pri/taneii>(i, (a 
place in the citadel of Athens where the magistrates and judges 
held their meetings) and the situation was most appropriate, as 
it was an appendage of the Druidical judicial circles. But as 
this stone wished to return home, and used frequently to run 
away from Prytaneura, it was at last taken to Cyzicum and fixed 
down with lead. But what is still more ridiculous, the Argo- 
nauts are said to hare used this Jugilive stone as an anchor. 

All judicious men have looked on the story of Hercules and 
the two sons of Bor«as as a mere fable, and perhaps the story 
of the fugitive stone stands on no better ground. But Mr. Pin- 
karton's drift is evident. He has admitted that no rocking 
stones have been found in Scandinavia or Germany, and conse- 
quently cannot appropriate them to the Goths. He is willing, 
therefore, to mtke them any thing, or to give them to any body, 
rather than to the Celts, their true owners. 

But as Mr. Pinkarton considers Boreas and his two sons as 
real personages, and argues accordingly, I beg leave to make 
hira acquainted with this same Mr. Boreas, of whose name and 
lineage he appears to be totally ignorant. Mr. Boreas is an 
ancient highland gentleman of above three thousand years stand- 
ing. There is not one drop of Grecian blood in his veins. His 
name is pure Celtic, viz. Bor.Eas — i. e. " the strong cataract 
or blast." Hence the Greeks formed their Boreades (descend- 
ants of Boreas) and Hyperhoraioi — i. e. " people situated to the 
north of the north wind." In mndern times he is more gene- 
rally known by the name of the North Wind, but even in this 
• name his claim to the Highlands, or north of Scotland, is evident. 
Hercules was a hero, a gentleman, and a great traveller. He 
had visited Italy, Spain, and Gaul, in all which countries he 
must have been acquainted with the Celtic rites and customs. 
When he slew the two sons of this ancient highland gentleman, 
Mr. North Wind (Boreas), it was extremely handsome in him (o 
give them a highland funeral, and to erect over them a rocking 
stone, which was the most expecsivt and mosl rare of all the 

NOTES. 329 

Cfltic or Highland monuments. So far Hercules acted like a 
hero and a gentleman. But ApoUonius and Plnkarton have out- 
raged humanity, and grated every string of paternal feeling, by 
stationing the poor old gentleman, Mr. Piortli Wind, to blow 
this rocking stone, and keep it always tottering on the grave of 
his beloved sons. Hear their own words — " He slevv them on 
sea surrounded Tenos, and raised a hillock about them, and 
placed two stones on the top, of which one (the admiration of 
men) moves to the sonorous breath of the North Wind." They 
would have acted much more consistently, had they made this 
venerable highland gentleman exert his sonorous breath to bloMr 
Hercules out of existence, in revenge for the death of his t\ro sons. 
' But, to be serious, I have no objection, for argument's sake, 
to admit that this fabulous instance was a real one ; still a soli, 
tary detached instance of the perversion of any thing proves no. 
thing. The Hai/s of Errol defeated the Danes with their oxen 
yokes — Pompey's funeral pile was a boat— and many of our 
early churches are now devoted to the humble purpose of holding 
cattle ; but will any man in his senses thence infer, that oxea 
yokes were formed for military weapons, that boats were built 
for funeral piles, or churches for cattle folds. But these rock, 
ing stones were in fact Ordeals. The uniform tradition of the 
Celtic countries points them out as such, and Sirabo himself is 
of the same opinion, when he thinks (as remarked by Mr. To. 
land, p. 153.) that these stones might be an useful cheat to so. 
ciety. The testimony of Strabo in this case is positive and de- 
cisive, and Mr. Pinkarton'« Gothic hypothesis must fall to the 

Note LIX.— Page 154. 

Druids' houses, Sfc. — These Druids' houses are no vain fiction. 
Pennant, and several others, have taken notice of them. Mr. 
Toland has, on this head, been pretty full ; and it only remain* 
for me to point out the absurdity of the opinion of those who 
assert that there never was a Druid in Scotland or Ireland. If 

330 NOTES. 

so, how have we their houses, their graves, &c. still bearing 

their names ? 

Note LX.— Page 155. 

Soilf one of the ancient names of the sun. Soil,itt the Gaelic, 
signifies clearness, and Soilleir clear. The former is the radix 
of the Latin Sol, and the latter of the Scottish Siller, now writ, 
ten Silver. It is generally allowed that the Sanscrit is the basis 
of all the languages of the East; and the same may be said of 
the Celtic with regard to the languages of the West. There are 
many words in the Greek and Roman langnages which can ad. 
mit of no satisfactory analysis, except iu the Gaelic language, 
and Sol is one of them. Cicero derives Sol (lib. 5. rfe Kat. 
Dear.) from Solus, because there is but one sun and no more. 
By the same parity of reasoning, the moon, and every individual 
Star, have an equal claim to the name, because there is one of 
each, and no more. But how beantifally appropriate is the de- 
rivation of the Roman Sol from the Gaelic Soil, which signifies 
clearness or light, an attribute of the sun in all nations and in 
all languages. 

Note LXf.— Page 156. 

The Gauls, contrary to the aistom of the Romans^ ^c— The 
Romans, in augury, or their religious ceremonies, turned their 
face to the south, their left hand to the east, and their right to 
the west. The Celts, on the contrary, turned their face to tha 
north, their right hand to the east, and their left to the west. 
By this difference of position, the left hand of the Romans cor. 
responded to the right of the Celts. It was, however, in both 
cases, the band which pointed to the east that was the ominous 

Note LXII. — Page 157. 
Arthur's Oven. — From the similarity of this edifice to others, 
which still bear the name of Druids' Houses, we have every 
reason to conclude, with Mr. Toland, that it is of the same 

NOTES. 331 

kind. There is a/ac simile of it at Penniculck, It is strange 
any one should have imagined it to be Roman ; and equally so, 
that it should have received the name of Arthur's Oeen, It is 
in no one circumstance, agreeable to Roman architecture, whil« 
we can adduce many similar buildings in the Hebrides, to whicli 
the Romans never penetrated. Several of these edifices (see 
Pennant's tour) are also found in Argyllshire. There are also 
many of them in Ireland. If this building was erected by the 
Romans to their god Terminus, it must follow that all the edi. 
fices similar to it in shape and arckitecture, were similar temples, 
and hence it must also follow that they erected temples in Ire, 
Jand, &c. to which they never had access. Under every view 
of the matter, and from every circumstance of the case, the Celts 
have an unquestionable title to Arthur's Oven. As to the name, 
it is proper to remark, that many of the Gaelic names have been 
mistaken for Latin ones, and not a few of them for English. 

Buchanan mistook the Gaelic Dun'na Bais, i. e. the hills of 
death, for the Roman Duni Pacis, i. e. the hills of peace. Ptn 
Punt, i. e. the weighing hill, has been mistaken for the Roman 
pene pontus, i. e. almost sea, though the hill in question is fifteen 
miles distant from any sea, and more than three thousand feet 
above its level. Arthur's Oven is a memorable instance of the 
same kind. It is merely a corruption of the Gaelic Ard.tur.aith. 
ain (pronounced arturami), and signifying the high tozver oh 
the river. Perhaps Arthur's Seat owes its name to a mistake of 
the same kind. It was indeed very natural for any one, unac. 
quainted with the Gaelic language, to mistake arturaviu for 
Arthur's Oven. 

Note LXIII.— Page 160. 

I shall conclude this letter with two examples, ^-c, — The first 
of these is a tessillated causey on the mainland of Orkney, and 
the other the remarkable Dviarfy stone in the island of Hoy. 
Mr. Toland, with a modesty highly creditable to him, does not 
claim them as Pruidical, but confesses candidly that they do 
not pertain, as far as he knows, to the subject he is treating of. 

332 NOTES. 

In a similar case Mr. Pinkarton would have acted very different- 
ly. Had he not been able to make them Gothic, he would have 
dubbed them sepulchral monmnents, or a lusus naturte, or, if 
this would not do, he would have made his favourite Torfceua 
swallow them at one mouthful without salt. See his History, y. 
1, p. 54. 

Note LXIV.— Page 168. 

The Gauls {says Lucian) call Hercules, in their country Ian. 
guage, Og.mivs. — The reader ishere,requested to remark this sin. 
gular statue of Hercules, erected by the Gauls. He is also desired 
to observe, that the old Gaul (mentioned by Lucian) spoke the 
Greek language in perfection, and appears to have understood 
the Greek mythology better than even Lucian himself. On these 
points I shall not, in this place, enlarge, as I will have occasion 
to recur to them when treating of the antiquity of the use of let- 
ters among the Celts. 

Note LXV.— Page 176. 

Great Britain was denominated from the province of Britain, 
in Gaul; and that from Gaul the original inhabitants of the Bri. 
tish islands {I mean those of Casar^s time) are descended. — It is 
a point almost universally conceded, that islands have been peo. 
pled from the most contiguous continents. Mr. Pinkarton's 
opposite theory stands on very slender grounds. The evidences 
produced by Toland to establish that Great Britain was peopled 
from Gaul, are clear and decisive. Pinkarton's theory rests on 
the following basis. Caesar, (lib. 1. cap. 1.) speaking of the 
Bel^ce, Aquilani, Sf Celtce, says — Hi omnes lingua, institutiSf 
legibus, inter sc differunt — i. e. " All these differ, one from ano> 
lher,Jn language, customs, and laws." Hence Mr. Pinkarton 
infers they must have been three distinct races of men, and that 
the Celts inhabited only the third part of Gaul. This errone- 
ous theory has also led him to assert that tota Gallia means only 
the third part of Gaul, But Cassar's words might, with the 
strictest propriety, be applied to any three districts in any na. 

NOTES. 333 

tion whatever. Both in speaking and writing we say the Welch, 
Irish, and Gaelic languages, though it is well known these are 
only dialects of the same language. It is also well known that 
all these have their peculiar customs and laws, though it is cer. 
tain they are all of Celtic origin. But the general sense in which 
Cajsar uses the phrases omnis Gallia and tola Gallia, clearly 
evinces that he had no such meaning as Pinkarton has assigned. 
Indeed Mr. Pinkarton must be very much straitened for argu. 
ments, before he would venture to rest his hypothesis on the ab- 
surd and impossible axiom, that the whole of any thing, and one 
third of it, are equal. Mr. Pinkarton's next disingenuous shift 
is(v.ol. l.p, 24.)misquotingapassagefromCxsar(lib. 2 cap. 4.^ 
The passage is — plerosque Belgas este ortos a Germanis — i. e. 
" That the greater part of the Belgas were descended from the Ger- 
mans." But as this would not suit his Gothic purpose, he renders 
it Belgas esse ortos a Germanis — i. e, "That the Belgae were des. 
cendedfrom the Germans," Cassarhad this information from his 
allies and friends, the Remi, who had a direct and obvious inte- 
rest to represent the Belgse as foreigners and intruders, in the 
hope that Cjesar would drive them across the Rhine, in which 
event they (the Remi) who were nearest to the Belga;, might hoj e 
to obtain their territories, and be settled by Csesar in thtir stead. 
It is eTident, from Cajsar's whole history, that the Germans made 
frequent settlements in Gaul, and the Gauls in Germany. From 
Tacitus it is evident that there were several Celtic colonies ia 
Germany; and the simple fact of the Belga; having passed from 
one side of the Rhine to the other, (antiquities transductos Rhe. 
num) will not prove them Germans. Indeed Mr. Pinkarton 
seems sensible of this difficulty, and endeavours to establish a, 
distinction between the Celts in Germany and Gaul, as if a, 
man's residence on this or that side of the Rhine would alter 
his language, his lineage, or identity. A Goth is a Goth, and 
a. Celt a Celt, whether he reside in Germany or Gaul. Mr. 
Pinkarton's theory will then, and not till then, hold good, when 
the 'interested and suspicious account of the Belgce, given to 
Cassar by their enemies the Kemi, is entitled to historic faith— 

V u 

334 NOTES. 

tvhen plerosque Belgas signifies all the Bdgte — and when lota 

Gallia signifies the third part of Gaul. 

Having, as he imagines, established that the Belga: were 

Goths, he proceeds lo prove that the inhabitants of Kent were 
Belgse. This Ciesar admits in clear and explicit terms, but does 
not restrict them to Kent alone, but extends them to the sea- 
coast {ora maritima') of Britain in general. But if language 
conveys any precise and determinate meaning, it is evident Cssar 
considered the inhabitants of the sea.coast of Britain to be Gauls, 
and not Germans. Speaking of these inhabitants he says, " they 
had very many houses, and commonly built exactly liiie those 
rf Gaul" (creherrimaque ^dijicia fere GalUcis comimilia.) 
The same author, speaking ef the same inhabitants, says — nequt 
multum a Gallica consuetudine differunt — i. e. " In their man. 
ners they differ very little from the Gauls." If Czesar's account 
of the Belgx in Gaul is in any respect doubtful, that of the same 
people (at least as he imagines) in Britain will elucidate and 
explain it ; yet Mr. Pinkarton has here again recourse to hi» 
old shifts, and explains GalUcis Mdificiis, the Belgic houses, 
and Gallica consuetudine, the Belgic manners. 

Persisting in the same ill.founded theory, (vol. 1 . p. 107.) he en. 
deavoars to establish that the Caledonians were Germans, and 
quotes the following passage from Tacitus' Life of Agricola (cap. 
4.) — Namque rutilee Caledoniam habitantium comce, magniarlus, 
Germanicam originem asseverant — i. e. " For the red hair and 
large limbs of the inhabitants of Caledonia, indicate that they are 
descendedof the Germans." Mr. Pinkarton here quotes no roor« 
than suits his purpose, and omits that very part of the sentence 
■which is most essential. It is this — Celerum Britanniam qui 
mortales initio coluerint, indigence an advecti, ut inter Barltaros, 
par um comper tarn : habitus corporum varii : atque ex eo argil, 
menta, namque rutilcB Caledoniam, f(c. — i. e. " But who were 
the first inhabitants of Britain, and whether they were indige. 
nous or advectiliotis, was quite uncertain, as is the case with all 
Barbarians ; the habits of their bodies are different ; and this 
circumstance inoy afford room for conjecture (argument); th* 

NOTES. 335 

red hair and largo limbs of the Caledonians indicate a Germaa, 

From this passage, when fully stated, it is quite certain that 
Tacitus could procure no certain information respecting the ori- 
ginal inhabitants of Britain. It is equally certain that he per- 
ceived no characteristic difference, except in the make of their 
bodies and the colour of their hair. The same author, whea 
treating of the Germans, never fails to point out particular cus- 
toms, and the difference of language. He specially relates (as 
a clear proof that the Gothini and Osi were not Germans) that 
the one spoke the Gaelic and the other the Pannonian language. 
Had he stated that the Caledonians spoke the German language, 
the argument would have been conclusive ; but a mere conjec- 
ture, f»unded on the size of their bodies and the colour of their 
hair, will prove nothing, especially when Tacitus himself informs 
us that he could procure no certain information respecting the 
original inhabitants. Mr, Innes, who made the original inha. 
bilants of Scotland his particular study, and who possessed all 
Mr. Pinkarton's abilities and research, and tea times his honesty, 
is clearly of opinion that the Picts and Caledonians were Cells. 
— See his Critical Essay. Mr. Pinkarton's great art lies in de- 
taching some mutilated portion of a clause or sentence, and 
■wresting it to serve his purpose, whereas, when the natural im- 
port of the whole is taken, it subverts the very point which he 
wished to establish. The detached part of the sentence respect- 
ing the Germanic origin of the Caledonians, when taken by it. 
self, seems to have some weight; but when taken in conjunction 
with the preceding part of the sentence, wherein Tacitus pro- 
fesses complete ignorance of the matter, it amounts to nothing at 
all. Indeed there cannot be a clearer proof of the uniformity of 
the language, customs, and manners of the inhabitants of Great 
Britain, than this very passage, in as much as Tacitus could not 
find one characteristic trait of difference, except in the massy 
limbs and red hair of the Caledonians. Poor and baseless as this 
argument of Pinkarton's is, he hugs it with all his might, and 
says — the signs given by Tacitus are, in a savage state of society^ 

u u2 

386 NOTES. 

very striking and olvious. Now it is well ascerfained that roan- 
kind are more corpulent in a polished, than a rude state of so- 
ciety, and that no state of society will alter the colour of the 
hair. In the same passage Tacitus mentions the painted counte- 
nances and curled hair of the Silures, as an argument that they 
were of Spanish origin. Here again there is no referencfe to lan- 
guage, manners, or cust9ms; and as, in the former instance, all 
is mere conjecture, and hence it must follow, that throughout 
the whole extent of Britain, (as far at least as it was known to 
the Romans) there was, in no respect, any diOerence, except in 
the stature and complexion of the inhabitants. 

Mr. Pinkarton's Belgic and Germanic hypothesis, merely 
form the basis of his Fictish one. No man decries etymology 
more than Pinkarton, yet no man dabbles more in it, or with 
less success. In order to find a name for his favourite Picts, 
he has mustered up all the rubbish of antiquity, and renders 
them, Peohtas, Peahtas, Pehias, Pihias, Pyhtas, Pehiti, Pehti, 
Peychts, Pechts, Pihts, Peuchtas, Piki, Peukini, Peuhts, 
Phichtiad, Vecturiores, Vect.Veriar, Vik-Veriar, Viha, Vihr, 
Vicha, Vicher, Vihtveriar, Pihtar, Vihtar, Victi, and Vits, S(c. 
When any point needs so much belabouring as this, it is no 
great omen in its favour. Truth is a clear and obvious thing. 
If a man hits the nail on the head, it tells at once, and there is no 
occasion to repeat the blow. But such is this gentleman's Pict. 
ish partiality, that I verily believe he could derive the darling 
word PICT, from a pack-thread or a potatoe. 

But what will any man think of Pinkarton's judgment and 
candour, when he imposes on the public, as Jusloric truth, the 
following ridiculous fiction of his own brain. " But to return 
(says he) to the Picti, the Romans unhappily not catching from 
the pronunciation the old name Peukini, must have bec>n puzzled 
how to modify this barbaric term: for as Piki implied in Latin 
woodpeckers, ^c. a victory over these Piki, would have sounded 
odd in their annals. The Cumraig Britons called them Vhith. 
iiaid, and the Romans could have only Latinized this name 
Picti, which was worse and worse, for a battle with Ficti 

NOTES. 337 

feigned people, people of fiction, would have been matter of 
laughter. From Scandinavian pronunciation, (he name was 
Vtci, towns, or Victi, conquered, or Vccii, carried, so that ths 
confusion was endless. Picti coming first to hand, took, tha- 
place of all." Vol. 1. page 368 and 369. 

From this visionary dream, unsupported by the least shadow 
of authority, we are told that the Romans were puzzled to find 
a name for the Picts. That they deliberated about calling them 
PiHy butthis was rejected, because it signified M)oo6(pecA:er*. They 
then thought of Ficti, but this was also rej acted, because it signified 
feigned people. They next deliberated on Vici, towns, Victi, con- 
quered, and Vecti, carried, but all these shared the same fate. At 
last they hit on Fkti, which they preferred to all the rest; yet Mr. 
Pinkarton tells us, that Ficti, which he himself places the 
sixth in order, came first to hand. But it is well known the Ro- 
mans were by no means over.delicate respecting even their owa 
names, and must have been less so respecting those of barbarians 
and enemies. Two of the most celebrated Romans were sirnam. 
ed Bestia, and Brutus, i. e. beait, and brute. Ovid, a poet 
of no mean celebrity, was sirnamed Naso, i. e. Nosy, a name 
even in our own days given to such as have enormous, or Ovidian 
noses. No man in his senses will imagine the Romans gave 
themselves the least trouble about the name of the Picts, farther 
than Latinizing it in the same manner as they did Galli, Scoti^ 
Britanni, (Jaledonii, &c. 

Had Mr. Pinkarton searched for the word Pic* in the abori« 
ginal language of the Picts themselves, he could not have failed 
to discover it. The Picts in the Gaelic have two names, viz. 
Cruinith, Gruineacht, or Cruitne, (for it is differently written). 
Fortunately Mr. Innes, (see his Critical Essay) has rendered 
this, name painted, in which I perfectly agree with him, and 
shall only add that the Gaelic verb Cruinicam, whence the name 
is derived, signifies io paint. The other name Vict, by the Ro. 
mans rendered Picti, and by our historians Picti, Pichti, and 
Piachti, is merely the Gaelic Pichatach, Latinically terminated. 
Pichat, in the Gaelic signifies a magpie, and its regular adjec- 

338 NOTES. 

tive Pkhatachslgn'iCiespie.coloured, variegated OT painted. Vichat 

sometimes written Viche and Vighe, is synonimous with the Ro. 
man Pica. The Irish Cruineachl, the Gaelic Pichatach, (gene, 
rally abbreviated Fichtach,) and the Roman Picii, have the same 
signification, and nothing more is necessary to support this ety- 
mology, than to prove that the Picts painted themselves. But 
Mr. Pinkarton has rendered this unnecessary, as he reckons the 
Pictish custom of painting themselves the very quintessence of 
their claim to a Gothic origin. See vol. 1. p. 126. As to the 
name Scot, it is evidently the Gaelic Scauth, signifying a swarm 
or cofony, and hence figuratively an exile, fugitive, or wanderer. 
Scaoth is diflferently pronounced Skyth, Skyt and Scut. It is 
evidently the same with the Greek Slcythai, and the Roman 
Scyihae. That the ancient Scythians were a migratory people, 
Mho subsisted by pasturage and hunting, is so universally allow, 
ed, that it is unnecessary to prove it. But it would be in vaia 
io look for the etymon of the Scythians in the Greek or Roman 
languages, whilst in the Celtic the radical meaning is still re- 
tained. Is it not therefore most probable that the Scythian Ian. 
guage was a dialect of the Celtic? Mr. Pinkarton is fully aware 
of this objection, and provides against it by telling us the Scots 
were Scythians, but learned the Celtic language after their arri. 
»al in Ireland. From what authority he procured this informa. 
tion, he has not informed us, and it therefore rests on his mere 

The name Vict and Scot are nearly coeval. Had the Picts 
brought their name with them from Scandinavia, three centuries 
before our aera, Tacitus would not, in the first century have 
called them Caledonii. But the truth appears to be, that in the 
third century a new nation, (the Scots from Ireland), came ia 
contact with the Romans, and that nation which, before the ar- 
rival of this colony in Argyleshire, was denominated Caledonii^ 
was now divided into Victs and Scots, It is really pitiful to see 
the shifts Mr. Pinkarton is obliged to have recourse to. He 
calls Scot, (vol. 1. p. 366.) the little zcord Scot, not recollecting 
that his own favourite word P«A is at least one letter less. 

NOTES. 339 

Mr. Pinkarton, that he may appropriate to his beloved Goths 
the sepulchral monuments wherein burnt human bones are fonnd, 
says (vol, 1. p. 4l3.)-^there is no room to believe that the Celts 
ever burned their dead at all. Will any man imagine that he 
could be ignorant of the following passage of Cajsar (lib. 6. cap, 
19.) — Funera sum, pro cullu Gallorum, magnifica et sumptuoia. 
iimniaque quae vims cordi fuisse arbitrantur in ignem inferunty 
eiiam animalia; ac paulo supra hanc memoriam servi et clienteSj 
quos ah its dilectos esse constabat,justisfunebribus covfcctis, una 
cremabantur — i. e. " The funerals of the Gauls, considering 
their circumstances, are magnificent and sumptuous; and they 
throw irXo the fire whatever they imagine was most esteemed 
by the deceased when alive, and even animals. A little before 
the recollection of the present day, those servatits and clients 
who were most beloved by them (the-necessary funeral rites being 
performed), were burnt along with them." This is another in- 
stance of Mr. Pinkarton's disingenuity. 

Indeed he has, in many cases, hard work, but his dexterity is 
admirable, though, in some instances, extremely ludicrous. The 
vitrified forts in Scotland have outlived both history and tradi- 
tion. There was therefore no authority for making them Pictish, 
for which cause he does not mention them in the text, but in« 
forms us by a note, (v. 2. p. 251.) that they were built by one 
Vaull Macktyre in the 13th century. In the present case his 
usual ingenuity seems to have failed. As it was his intention 
not to ascribe them to the Celts, he should have assigned then 
to some gentleman of Gothic name ; for as Vaull Macktyre was, 
■from the very name, clearly a Celt, these edifices must still be 
Celtic. Strange ! that he could not have rendered them a lusus 
natures, or made Torfceus swallow thera. 

The Celtic names which every where occur, are a source of 
infinite uneasiness to Mr. Pinkarton. He has indeed laid it 
down as an axiom. That language is the surest mark, whereby 
to discover the origin of nations. Yet he will not allow one ar. 
gument to be deduced from this axiom }n favour of the Celts^ 
but monopolizes the whole for his beloved Picts. Vid Penden. 

340 NOTES. 

nu, (says he,) in Asia Minor bear the same origin as Pendennis 
in Cornwall? This question is best answered by proposing a 
few more of the same kind. Did New England in America, 
bear the same origin with Old England in Britain ? Did Magna 
Grcecia bear the same origin as Grcecia Antiqua? Did ISova 
Scotia bear the same origin as Scutia Antiqua? Did Prince of 
Wales' Island bear the same origin as a British Prince of Wales? 
Did Montrose estate in Jamaica, bear the same origin as Motilroe 
in the county of Forfar? Did New IlollandheaT the same origin 
as Old Holland? Did the Caltdonian Fik bear the same origin 
as the Norwegian Viht-oeriar ? This last Mr. Pinkarton has an- 
swered in tlie affirmative, and swallowed without a grudge, be- 
cause it suited his favourite system. Whenever any word oc- 
curs which would favour the Celts, it is a mere Jail of letters, 
but he can hammer out a name for his favourite Yiks, where 
there is nofall\of letters at all. Fihiveriar, is merely the Saxon 
or Gothic FJA?, -signifying strong or wight, and Veriar, the same 
with the Roman Vir, or the Celtic I ear, signifying a man. It is 
literally our modern sirname wightnian. 

If every thing Celtic is sure to be reprobated by Mr. Pinkar- 
ton, the Celts themselves are still more roughly treated. He 
never mentions them with temper. lie calls them the first sa~ 
vages of Europe — the savage Celts — Calherens, Kerns, and Thieves 
—mere savages — the true Milesian breed, &c. &c. Not one 
Highlander (he says) is to be found in the whole history of Scot, 
land after the year 1056 — they are mentioned as thieves and rob-. 
bers — thei/ are dreaded by the Lowlanders, as all civilized nations 
fear savages — they are like the Macassars and wild Americans, 
&c. &c. Is this the sober language of history, or even of de- 
cent abuse? The Cells have been harrasscd and plundered by 
the Goths time immemorial, and eventually driven from the ou« 
extremity of Europe to the other; nor are they at all culpable 
for having made repeated efforts to recover what was originally 
their own. 


Note LXVI.— Page 183, 

Had their tin from hence. — That the Greeks and Phoenicians 
traded to South Britain for tin, as early as the time of Herodo. 
tus, can admit of no doubt; and hence the British islands are by 
him named Cassiterides, Pliny (lib. 7. cap. 56.) mentions In. 
sula Cassiteride — i. e. " the Tin Island." If the Celts in 
Wales, at so early a period, wrought the tin mines to that ex- 
tent, as to supply Greece and Phoenicia, they cannot have been 
such savages as Pinkarton represents them. With his usual 
etymological mania, he derives Cassiteros (tin) from the Greek 
CaMa, meaning a hase woman. But vfhere, in the name of won, 
der, can the name be found, but where the article was produced ; 
and is it not natural to infer that the Greeks borrowed the name 
along with the article. This we know to be generally the case; 
for no nation can have a name for a thing totally unknown. Mr. 
Pinkarton rests his etymology on the groundless assertion, that 
it was at first principally used as mock silver for ornaments to 
prostitutes. No such thing is the case. The word is the Celtic 
Casse-tair, (pronounced Cassiter) to which the Greeks added 
their peculiar termination os, and formed Cassiteros. Casse.tair 
signifies the vulgar or base sheet or bar, to distinguish it from 
silver, which is called Airgad — i. e. " the clear or precious sheet 
or bar." This is no vain fancy, for ^n the Gaelic, Tara signifies 
the multitude, and Cran Tara, the beam of the multitude, or the 
beam of gathering, being used to convoke the multitude on any 
sudden emergency. The adjective Tair signifies any thing per. 
taining to the multitude, and hence base or vulgar. So far, 
therefore, from Cassiteros being derived from the Greek Cassa, 
the Greek Cassa is derived from the Gaelic Casse; a base woman 
jbeing to a virtuous one, what tin is to silver. Not only the word, 
but the very antithesis is Celtic. The Celts were early acquaint, 
ed with the precious metals. They could not work the tin mines 
vfithout being acquainted with silver; and the Druid's Egg, 
from the most remote antiquity, was bound in gold, 

X X 

342 NOTts. 

Note LXVIL— Pace 183. 
The Gigonian Stone.— Of this word I have been able to find 
no satisfactory analysis ; but, from the description, it is unques- 
tionablj a rocking stone. 

Note LXVIII.— Page 187. 

Augury was formerly one of the most universal svpersiitions, 
&c. — Mr. Toland has enlarged so far on this head, that it is un- 
necessary for me to add any thing on the subject. I shall, there, 
fore, content myself with stating a very singular custom of the 
Eritons, mentioned by Caesar (lib. 5. cap. 12.) — Leporem el 
Gallinam ct Anserem, gustarefas non putant; hcec tamen alunt^ . 
animi, ■voluptatisque causa — i. e. " They hold it unlawful to 
eat the hare, the hen, or the goose ; yet they rear them for plea- 
sure and amusement." Dr. Smith differs from Caesar, and sup- 
poses that the Britons did eat them, but without adducing the 
slightest authority. With his usual inaccuracy, he mentions the 
hen and the goose, but omits the hare altogether. — See Hist. 
Druid, p. 36. CiBsar had good access to know the fact, and 
ought not to be contradicted, unless on good authority. To the 
ficoie, the Romans themselves paid a superstitious respect, be- 
cause they once saved the capitol. The hare and the cock are, 
among ourselves, even at the present day, ominous. Pliny (lib. 
10. cap. 21.) says, the premature crowing of the cotk in the 
evening is portentous. The very same opinion prevails among 
ourselves to the present hour. The same author (ibidem) says 
they crowed a whole night, when they foretold the noble victory 
of the Beotians over the Lacedemonians. One of the symbols 
of Pythagoras is, Feed the cock, but sacrifice him not, bccatme he 
is sacred to the sun and to the moon. — See Daccier's Life of Py. 
ihagoras, p. 107. As to the hare, it is only necessary to observe 
that it is the very animal Into which witches are, by the vulgar, 
supposed to transform themselves. It is, therefore, most likely 
that the Gauls reared the hare, the hen, and the goose, for the 
purposes of domestic augury or divination, on any sudden cmer. 

NOTES. 343 

ge»cy, when no omen could be obtained from the wild fowls, 
who were more without their reach. 

Note LXIX,— Page 205. 

JBorr. — This word has crept into our comraon colloquial lan- 
guage; and there is nothing more common than for a person to 
say, he will do any thing with all his Borr, or Birr — i. e. " with 
all his strength." The radical import of the word is Strength^ 
or, when adjectively taken, Strong. Boreas — i. e. the Nortkm 
wind, is supposed to be peculiarly Greek. But this groundless 
idea may be confuted by any one capable of consulting a Greek 
lexicon, and seeing the wretched attempts made to etymologize 
it in that language. It is attempted to be derived apo tou Boaein 
Icai Reein — i. e. " from roaring and running." The other deri. 
valion is from Bora — i, e. " grass for cattle," as if Boreas were 
a promoter of vegetation, instead of being a destroyer of it. The 
merits of the Gaelic language have never been duly appreciated. 
It is more or less the foundation of all the languages of the west, 
and in particular those of Greece and Rome have borrowed co. 
piously from it. I have already noticed, that Calepine derives 
Apollo from the Greek participle Apoli/on, and makes him the 
destroyer, instead of the benefactor of the human race — that Dr. 
Ty tier and Mr. Bryant derive Apollo (Carneus) from the Greek 
Keren, and by this means make him a Horn, or a Stork — that 
Cicero derives Sol (the sun) from the Latin Solus (alone), and 
makes him the solitary and exclusive traveller of the caslestial 
expanse. In the present instance we see the Grecian etymolo. 
gists ascribing to the north-wind (Boreas) the characteristic qua- 
lities of a mad bull, and at the same time making him the geni- 
al promoter of herbage and food for cattle, and by this means 
ascribing to him a train of gentle and benevolent qualities, the 
very reverse of these possessed by him. I have already rectified 
the etymologies of Apollo, Sol, and Carneus, from the Celtic, 
and shall now advert to that of Boreas. Borr, or Bar, in the 
Celtic, signifies Strong, and Eas a Cataract, Tempest, or Blast 
of Windf or any thing very impetuous. Bor-Eas thea literalljr 

X X 2 

344 NOTES. 

signifies the Strong Wind, a name truly emphatic, and adml. 
rably descriptive of the north wind, which is the strongest and 
most impetuous of all winds. The Celts used this name, and 
the Greeks borrowed it from them. 

It is well known that the Greeks, notwithstanding their 
boasted antiquity, are but a modern nation in comparison of the 
Jews, Chaldeans, Egyptians, Indians, Celts, &c. Before Tha/es, 
■who was contemporary with Pythagoras, they had a few politi. 
cians and legislators, but not one philosopher. Pythagoras 
gained little knowledge in Greece, but studied principally in 
India, Chaldea, Italy (Umbria), and, above all, in Egypt. The 
dawn of philosophy in Greece happened only about six centn- 
ries before the christian acra. Aborts, the Hyperborean priest 
of the sun, and unquestionably a Celt (as I shall afterwards 
evince), was the cotemporary and intimate acquaintance of Py> 
thagoras, and does not appear to have been in any respect infe. 
Tior to him. This is the more extraordinary, as Pythagoras had 
completed his studies, before his acquaintance with Abaris com. 
menced. Hence it is certain that the country of Abaris, at that 
period, excelled Greece in the knowledge of philosophy. That 
the Celts were the first inhabitants of Europe, is admitted by 
Pinkarton,theirbitterest enemy. He even supposes(v. 2. p. 25.) 
that Ireland, the most distant of the Celtic settlements, was in- 
habited from 1000 to 2000 years before our aera. At any rate 
the migration of the Celts from Asia, the cradle of the human 
race, must have happened early after the deluge. They must 
have preceded the Greeks several centuries. Within the period 
of authentic history, we find them, intermixed with the Greeks, 
for many centuries their neighbours, and not unfrequently their 
conquerors. The same, with equal certainty, may be said of 
the Romans. Is it then to be wondered at, that the languages 
of Greece and Rome are tinctured with the Celtic? 

The migration of the Celts from Asia to Europe is a very re. 
snote event. Mr. Chalmers (see his Caledonia) says they met 
with little struggle or opposition, else some tradition of the event 

NOTES. 345 

would have remained. But if they themseUes were the Abort, 
gines, there -was nobody to struggle with. 

Of all the post-diluvian languages, the Chaldaic has the fair- 
est claim to antiquity. Abraham was called from Ur of the 
Chaldees, and must have carried that language along with him. 
The Hebrew language is, therefore, only a dialect of the Chal. 
daic. That the Celtic is a dialect of the same language, is highly 
probable. Nations have, in all ages, been extremely solicitous 
to preserve their own name and the names of their gods. The 
Chaldaic, Chaldach, and the Gaelic Caltach, (a Celt) are exactly 
the same. That the same god, Bel, was the chief object of wor. 
ship in both nations, is beyond dispute. From the same source 
the Bramins, the Phoenicians, and the Hebrews, &c. borrowed 
their language and their god, Bel or Baal. The most probable 
etymon of the word Celt, or Caltach, is Cealiach (Latine Cosies.^ 
tes) — i. e. " men addicted to the study of the heavens." Ceo/, 
or Cal, in the Celtic, signifies heaven, and its regular adjective 
is Cealtaeh, or Caltach. The Chaldeans, from the most remote 
ages, have been famed for judicial astrology, and the Celts, 
while their Druids remained, were equally celebrated. Chasdim 
-was the original name of Chaldea, but this was soon lost in the 
empire of the Babylonians, Medes, and Persians, under whosa 
dominion they alternately fell. Chaldach, which the Greeks 
rendered Chaldaioi, and the Romans Chaldai, is merely an ap. 
pellative expressive of their attachment to the study of the cseles. 
tial bodies. I shall revert to this subject when I treat of th^ 
antiquity of the use of letters among the Celts. 

Note LXX.— Page 206. 

Boreades is merely a derivative from Boreas, and signifies the 
sons or descendants of Boreas, in the same manner as Felides is 
derived from Peleus, Boireadhach literally signifies strong, or 
powerful. It is the same with the Greek. Boreades. Hyperho. 
reans (Hyper boraioi),^s Mr, Toland well remarks, is a name 
expressive of a people living very far north. Its proper signifi. 
cation is, above or beyond (he North Wind, As both these are 

346 NOTES. 

derivatives from Boreas, which, in the former note, has been 

analyzed, it is unnecessary to add more on this head. 

Note LXXI.— Page 207. 
Hid it among the HypeTboreans, Sfc. — The assertion of Era- 
toshenes, " that Apollo hid the arrow with which he slew the 
Cyclopes, among the Hyperboreans," merits attention. I have 
already noticed that Pausanias supposes Ollen (nearly the same 
with the Irish name Ullin) founded the oracle of Delphi, and 
was the first who gave responses in heroic verse. I have also 
observed that almost all the Greek deities, and particalarly 
Apollo, were borrowed from other nations. Bat whatever dif. 
ference of opinion there may be on this head, it is on all bands 
agreed, that Apollo deserted Delphi, and went to the Hyperbo- 
reans. Demosthenes, who wrote about three hundred and fifty 
years before our aera, says this oracle had begun, Philipjnzein — 
i. e. " to return such answers as suited the views of Philip the 
Macedonian. Lucian tells us, 

. Non nlla secnia dono 

Nostra carent majore Deum, qaam Delphica sedes 
Quod siloit. • . 

i. c. " Our age is not deprived of a greater blessing of the gods 
than the Delphic oracle, which hath become silent." Strebo, 
Juvenal, Claudian, &c. bear testimony to the same effect, and 
for brevity's sake, the reader is referred to 'Patterns Antiquities. 
where he will find the point discussed at some length, and wil 
also see that the Greeks used to apply to the Hyperboreans for 
responses, after the oracle of Delphi ceased. — Polter''s Antiqui' 
ties, vol. l.p. 249—250, ^c. 

Note LXXII.— Page 207, 

Winged temple. — In the Greek of Eratoshenes, it is Naos Tie- 
rinos, which Mr. Toland renders a temple made qfnings, or a 
■winged temple. Perhaps the phrase Vterinos Naos may be best 
explained by comparing it with Pteroenia epca — i. e. " winged 
words," Now we know that words are neither made of wiDgs^ 

NOTES. 347 

nor -winged. Tteroeis la generally applied to the flight of arrows," 
It is a figurative phrase denotiag great swiftness or celerity; 
But fowls are not more famed for their celerity, than the height 
to which they soar. Hence Vteroeis and Pterinos may signify 
either rapid or lofti^. Sm/t words is a phrase admissible, but a 
swift temple is nonsense, unless it could be made appear that 
this temple, like that of LorretlOf flew through the air, and per. 
formed an incredible journey in one night. Perhaps the most 
natural signification of 'Pterinos Naos is a lofty temple. 

It is, howeyer, easy to perceive the reason which induced 
Mr. Toland to render it the winged temple. He imagined he 
Iia,d found such a temple in the island of Lewis, and (p. 136. & 
137.) particularly describes it. Dr. Smith (p. 65.) contents 
himself with re.echoiog Mr. Toland's description, and does not 
add a single ren)ark of his own. But the most extraordinary and 
unaccountable circumstance is, that no attempt has been made 
to analyse the name. It is differently pronounced Classarniss, 
Clasharnish, and Ccdarnish, but all these have the same import. 
In the vulgar Scottish dialect of the English, it is very common 
to sound the Gaelic ch final, like the French cA, and render it 
sh. Druineach (Drnidical) is commonly pronounced Druinislu 
Clasharnish is then merely the common, corrupt pronunciation 
of the Gaelic Clach Arneach — i. e. " the Judicial Stone, or 
Stone of the Judge, Calarnish {CiUArneach) signifies the Judim 
cial circle. Classerniss (^Clas- Arneach) signifies fhe Judicial en- 
closure. Am, in the Gaelic, signifies a Judge, and Arnach, 
Arneach, and Arnadh, (for they are all the same) signifies Judi. 
cial, or any thing belonging to a judge. We have many other 
names of the same kind, viz. Killearny (CiUArnad/i) in Ireland 
— i. e. " the Judicial circle, Killearn (Cil-Airn), the name of 
a parish in Stirlingshire — i. e. " the Circle of the judge. Airn 
is the genitive of Am, KUlearnan (CiUAirnan), the name of a 
parish in Ross.shire — i. e. " the Circle oi the inferior Judge, 
&c, &c. Arnan is the diminutive of Arn, and its genitive Air. 
nan. We can also trace the residence of these Judges in the 
names Arn.hall, Arn-gask, &c. Gasc or Case (Casac) is the 

548 NOTES. 

abbreviated diminutive of the Gaelic Cas, a house, Whence the 
Romans formed their Casa, a cottage. There is an Auchen.cas 
in .the neighbourhood of Moffat. From Case is formed the ad- 
jective Cascadh (pronounced Caskie). Caskie Ben, near Aber- 
deen, signifies Me hill abounding with houses, and the vestiges 
of them can be traced in a number of small cairns vphich still re. 
main. Tynron Dun, Turin Hill, Catterthun, and many a no- 
ble structure of our Celtic ancestors, now present themselves to 
our view in the form of a cairn. From the size, structure, and 
name of this circle, there cannot remain a doubt that it was a 
judicial one. What was really the temple stood about a quar. 
ter of a mile distant. Mr. Toland's error in taking it for a tem- 
ple, is extremely venial. Had he lived, he intended to have 
passed six months in examining the Hebridian antiquities — a 
clear evidence that he considered his information respecting them 
defective and incomplete. But what are we to think of Dr. 
Smith, who professes to give us a complete history of the Druids, 
and yet passes over this circle in so superficial and erroneous 
a manner. In a former note I have divided the Druidical cir. 
cles into two kinds, viz. religious and judicial. Clacha.Braith, 
and ClachrAtneach, have the same signification ; and from the 
evidence formerly and now adduced, I hope this distinction rests 
on a firm and stable basis. Mr. Toland's mistake is, however, 
greatly to be regretted, not only because he has misled Dr. 
Smith and others, but because a great part of his reasoning res. 
pecting the Hyperborean Abaris rests on it, and must now fall 
to (he ground. 

The judicial circle in question is perfectly unique. We have 
{^nil simile nee secundum) nothing like it, nor nearly like it. 
What has been mistaken for the wings, is only the four cardinal 
points of the compass. These, and the centre stone in the shape 
of a ship's rudder, clearly allude to the insular or maritime go. 
Ternment of the Hebrides ; and could we indulge the thought 
that this circle was exclusively devoted to the decision of mari. 
time causes, the allusion would be complete. Here, for once, I 
am hoppy to agree wUb Mr. Piukarton in pronouncing this judl- 

NOTES. .349 

cial circle, the supreme court of the Ilebudian monarch. Fiat 
justitiaj mat Coeliim, 

Note LXXIII.— Page 209. 

Sacred arrow. — This is the arrow with which Apollo slew 
the Cyclops. When Abaris traTelled to Greece to visit Pytha. 
goras, he made him a present of this arrow. It was, howcTer, 
perhaps nothing more than a fictitious relic. Mankind are, in 
all ages and nations, much the same. The immense value put 
on fictitious relics by the Romish ecclesiastics, is well known. 
Abaris is said to have entered Greece, riding on this arrow. 
Similar notions are still prevalent in this country. Indeed the 
Grecian and British customs bear a strong resemblance, parti, 
cularly in their mode of drinking from right to left, according to 
the course of the sun. The Celts went three times round the 
Cairn when they worshipped ; and to this Pythagoras perhaps 
alludes in the following symbol : — " Turn round whenyou wor- 
ship." — See Dacier's Life of Pythagoras, p. 120. In Greece, 
before they gave a child its name, they carried it round the fire. 
^Bogan's Attic Antiq. p. 212. The Greeks burnt their dead, 
and- so did the Celts. The hospitality of the Greeks was equal 
to that of the Celts. 

But to return to this famous arrow, it was certainly symboli. 
cal. The doctrines of Pythagoras, as well as the Druids, were 
all mystical and Symbolical. Among the ancients, Apollo was 
called (Arcitenens) the archer. Pliny (lib. 18. cap, 26.) men- 
tions a constellation named (sagitta) the arrow. Arrows are 
keen and piercing — so is true philosophy ..r.J sound reasoning. 
Under the symbol of this arrow is probably meant the whole 
Hyperborean philosophy, which Abaris communicated to Pytha- 
goris, and he, in return, communicated to Abaris the Grecian 
philosophy. Calepine (vide Dictionarium) gives the following 
account of Abaris : — " Abaris is the proper name of a man who 
is said to have carried an arrow over the world, without tasting 
food. It is said that this Abaris, the son of Seutha, was not 
ignorant of lettsrs, and wrote oracles ^hich are called Scythian, 

350 NOTES- 

and the arrival of Apollo among the Ilj'perboreans, from whom 
he had received the said arrow, in poetry. Gregory, the thco. 
logist, also mentions him in his epitaph to the great Basil. So 
far Coelius. Besides the Scythian oracles, aud the marriage of 
the river Hebrus, he wrote some other things, as Suidas mentions. 
Herodotus in Melpomene, and Strabo, lib. 7. also mention him." 
The reader will find several interesting particulars of Abaris, 
and his wonderful arrow or javelin, in Dacier's Life of Pytha- 
goras, p. 70 i^r 71. 

What has greatly injured the history of Pythagoras and Aba. 
lis in the eyes of the present age, is their pretension to magic, 
iniracles, and divination. But these were the hobby horse oi the 
day, and there was no possibility of being eminent without Ihem. 
Even the Romish ecclesiastics, who ought to have known better, 
did not give up their pretensions to miracles and prophecy, till 
the enlightened state of mankind would give them credit for nei. 
ther. The Greeks (as I have formerly noticed) had an opinioa 
that the Hyperboreans founded the Delphic oracle of Apollo, 
and that at last he went to the Hyperboreans altogether. Aba. 
ris, who wrote the history of this event, must have been very ac. 
ceptable to Pythagoras : and that his arguments on this l^ead 
were convincing, we need only to mention that the great, the 
wise, (he celebrated Pythagoras exposed himself to public view, 
in a full assembly at the Olympic games, as the Hyperborean 
Apollo, — Dacicr^s Life of Pythagoras, p. 69. Can there be a 
more convincing argument that at that time the Hyperborean 
Apollo was held in much higher estimation than the Grecian one ? 
As to the arrow or javelin of Abaris, which has afforded, and 
may still aii'ord, ground for numerous conjeclures, I am of opi. 
nion (whatever was its shape) that it was nothing more than his 
Magical stajf. The staff has been, in all ages, the emblem of 
power. Almost all eminent persons used one, but in a pretend, 
er to magic it was indispensible. 

Note LXXIV.— Page 207. 
Then tlte most celebrated Abaris icas both cfiMs country, i^c. 

NOTES. 351 

• — Of all attempts to determine the country of Abaris, Toland's 
(3 the most ingenious and probable. Dr. Smith imagines the 
name was Abarich, from Abar (Latine Abria), the ancient na^e 
of Lochabar. The conjecture is ingenious, and may, perhaps, 
be founded in fact. Still I think it better to content ourselr^s 
with what can be certainly known of this eminent man, than to 
build hypothetical theories respecting the spot of his nativity, 
which can, perhaps, never be certainly known. That he was 
a Celt, a Druid, a philosopher, an author, and the most accom. 
plished scholar of his age, rests on the most unexceptionable evi. 
dence. It is agreed on all hands that Europe was peopled by 
two distinct races of men, the Celts, and the Scythians, Goths, 
or Germans (for these three are all the same), Pinkarton ad. 
mits that the Germans were not acquainted with the use of let- 
ters, till the ninth century; and Abaris, who wrote 1500 years 
before, could not be a German. On the testimony of Cffisar, 
the Germans had neither priests nor sacrifices, and consequent', 
ly no temples; but Abaris had a winged temple, and was the 
priest of Apollo, consequently he must hare been a Celtic priest 
or Druid. Mr. Pinkarton, sensible that he could not claim him as 
a Goth, and unwilling to pay the smallest tribute of respect to the 
Celts, has not once mentioned his name ; and this circumstance 
alone will have great weight with any one who knows Mr. 
Pinkarton's extreme alertness and dexterity in catching at every 
thing that can favour his Gothic system, and in studiously sup. 
pressing whatever might add lustre to the latter. The merits of 
Abaris as a philosopher, author and scholar, stand fully record- 
ed in the page of history, and need no comment from me. As 
to his country, it is, from all circumstances, extremely probable^ 
though not absolutely certain, that he was a Ilebridiau. 

Note LXXV.— Page 210. 

Whether the Egyptians had not these things before eitlier of 
ihem, ^c — That tlie Egyptians were the first inventors of the 
Metempsychosis is evident from the following passage of Hero- 
dotus, quoted by Dacier in his life of Pythagoras, p. 43, " Thff- 

yy 2. 

352 NOTES. 

Egyptians likewise were the first that said the soul of man ii 
immortal, that after the death of the body it passes successively 
into the bodies of beasts ; that after having passed through the 
bodies of terrestrial animals, as well of the water as of the air, 
it comes again to animate the body of a man, and that it accom- 
plishes this round in the space of three thousand years. Some 
Greeks have given out this doctrine, as if it had been their own, 
some sooner, some later, and I know who they are, but will 
not name them." Persia has generally been reckoned the pa- 
rent of magic, but from Moses' whole account of the Egyptian 
magicians, this may be fairly doubted. Indeed their progress 
in this art, the most respected of all the arts of antiquity, is so 
incredibly astonishing, that, had it been transmitted to us 
through any other channel than that of the sacred records, it 
■would have been regarded as a downright fiction. In superb 
and colossal structures they stand unrivalled in the page of his. 
tory. Their early acquaintance with hieroglyphics is well 
known. As early as the time of Moses they must have had the 
use of letters, for it was here (by a special interposition of Di- 
Tine Providence) that he received his education. In a word, 
it is clear from the whole history of Pythagoras, that Egypt 
had, at that period, attained a higher pitch of perfection, in the 
arts and sciences than any other nation then known. That the 
Greeks received the doctrine of the Metempsychosis from the 
Egyptians is clear from the testimony of Herodotus in the pas- 
sage above quoted, but whence the Celts received it, is more 
than I shall pretend to determine. 

It is, however, certain ihat this was one of their chief doc. 
trines. Cassar says, (lib. 6. cap 14.) /» primis hoc voliitit 
jiersuttdere; nan interire animas, sed ab aliii pout mortem tratt- 
sire ad alios atque hoc maxime ad virtutem excitari pittant, metu 
mortis neglecto. — i. e. " It is their chief study to inculcate this 
doctrine, that souls do not die, but that, after death, they pass 
from one body (o another ; and by this means they think they 
are in the highest degree excited to virtue, when the fear of 
death is laid aside." Of all authors, Ca;sar is most to be de. 

NOTES. 853 

pended on respecting the Druids, Earlier writers saw them 
at too great a distance to speak with certainty, and later writers 
saw them only in their persecuted and depressed state, Csesar 
saw this order of men in the very vigour of the institution, and 
was besides intimately acquainted with the Archdruid Divitiacus, 
from whom, in aU probability, he derived his information. Yet 
Dr. Smith, (p, 59) gravely tells us, that the belief of the Me~ 
tempsychosis, never prevailed among the Druids, His reason is 
obvious. There is no mention of this particular tenet in the poems 
of Ossian, But whether the reader chuses in this instance to 
credit Dr, Smith in preference to Caesaj-, is not my business to 
determine. Of all who have written on the subject of the 
Druids, Dr, Smith has exposed thera most, and benefited them 
least. One of his grandest flights is (p. 73.) that of ascribing 
to the Druids the invention of gun-powder. This sublime idea 
he perhaps borrowed from Milton, who, in his Paradise Lost, 
ascribes this invention to the fallen angels. Both conjectures 
are equally rational, and equally founded in truth. 

Note LXXVI.— Page 213. 

Hebrides. — There is a marked aifinity betwixt this word antf 
the river Hebrus (in the Greek Hebros) concerning which Aba- 
ris is said to have written a treatise in poetry. In the Roman 
language Patronymics are formed by adding des to the first caa* 
of the primitive in i. Thus, from Pelei is formed Peleides, otj 
Pelides ; from PWawi is formed Priamides, &c. In the 6am» 
manner from Hebri, the genitive of Hebrus, may be formed ife. 
brides. All know that, from the Greeks, the Romans derived 
this mode of formation. Now as the words Hebros and He~ 
brides have been transmitted to us through the medium of the 
Greek and Roman languages, they have, no doubt, been adapt, 
ed to the idiom of these languages. To come as near the origi- 
nal word as possible, we must divest Hebros of its Grecian dress, 
strip it of the aspirate A Qi is initial in no Celtic word) and of 
the termination os, when there remains Ebr. The original word 
is probably Aibar, Ebar, Eabar, or perhaps Abar. But some 

554 NOTES. 

trifler may object that ilie word in question is Hebrus, a river 
in Thrace. That this idea has generally prevailed, I readily 
grant; but is it once to be imagined that Abaris, a Hyperbore. 
an, would celebrate a river in Thrace, which he probably never 
saw ; and is it not infinitely more probable, that, with the pre- 
dilection peculiar to aH poets, be celebrated his own native 
stream. His other treatise on the removal of Apollo to the Hy- 
perboreans, was founded on fact, and one in which the honour 
of his country, and its antiquities, were highly concerned. But 
it may also be objected, that Abaris celebrated the marriage of 
a river, and consequently the whole is a fiction. In the Greek 
and Roman mythology, such instances are almost infinite. In 
our own days, Northesk. a river, Aberdeen, a city. Queens- 
berry, a hill, &c. are the signatures and titles of eminent noble, 
men; and that a man and a river had, in Abaris* time, the same 
name, is not at all to be wondered at. Local names are, of all 
ethers, the most numerous. The names Abaris, Hebrus, and 
Hebrides, divested of their Greek and Roman peculiarities, are 
Abar, Ebr, and Ebrid. If in the Hebrides (unquestionably 
the Hyperborean island of Diodorus), a river of the name Ebr 
could be found, with such a temple as that described by Eratos. 
thenes standing near it, the country of Abaris might still be de- 
termined. Nay, if such a river could be found near the noble 
judicial circle of Clachameach, I would even admit that it might 
be the temple described by Eratosthenes. It was certainly more 
pardonable in a Greek to mistake this circle for a temple, than 
for Mr. Pinkarton, with infinitely better means of information, 
to mistake all the Druidical temples in the world for Gothic 
courts of justice. 

Note LXXVII.— Page 223. 
The lesser circumjacent ishnds. — Zona, one of these islands, 
deserves particular attention, though on a different account from 
that mentioned by Toland, Its history presents to us a strange 
compound of Druidisra and Christianity. The original name is 
hi^Drttinenchyi. e. "The island ef the Druids*" Close to 

NOTES. 355 

the sound of I stands Claodh-nan-Drtiineach, i, e. " The grave 
of the Druids." Mr. Pennant, (see his Tour,) found here the 
Druidical temple, and the Cairn, as also an imitation of the 
rocking. stone. The relics of Christianity are still more conspi. 
cuous and venerable. It is, however, St. Columba's entry into 
this island, and his subsequent conduct, which claim our atten. 
tion, as even under all the palliatives which have been purpose* 
ly thrown over them, they are strongly expressive of the formi. 
dable opposition he met with from the Druids. I shall then 
State the case as briefly and impartially as I can. " The saint, 
ou his ^arrival, began to build a chapel or church, but was al. 
ways interrupted by the intervention of evil spirits. When it 
was found impossible to proceed, a consultation was held, and it 
was found necessary to appease these evil spirits by the sacrifice 
of a man. Oran, one of the saint's twelve attendants, volunta. 
rily devoted himself, and was buried alive below the foundation. 
The evU spirits were appeased, and no farther interruption was 
offered. The chapel was finished, and dedicated to St. Oran, 
and still retains his name." This pitiful story cannot impose 
even on the most credulous or ignorant. The intervention of 
evil spirits, though firmly credited in the dark and superstitious 
ages, is now deservedly treated with contempt. The only op- 
position St. Columba could meet wltli was from the Druids, and 
before they would allow him to build this chapel, they compelled 
Iiim to comply with the Druidical custom of burying aman under 
the foundations. An instance of the same kind occurs in th« 
sacred records. Hiel, the Bethelite, (1 Kings 16. i\ 34.) laid 
the fouodattons of Jericho on his oldest son Abiram, and found, 
ed the gates on his youngest son Segub. The ridiculous story 
that Oran was put to death for blasphemy, is one of the most 
wretched of all fabrications to shelter the saint from the infamy 
of having offered a human sacrifice. But falsehood never i« 
(ab omni parte beatum) in all respects consistent, and the saint's 
biographers would have done well not to have retailed impossi- 
b-ilkies for facts. Could Oran blaspheme after being thre« 
days and three nighU buried under the fonndatlon of this chapel 

356 NOTES. 

^for it is not even alleged that he did it sooner), or would the 
saint have dedicated this religious edifice to a man who had been 
put to death for blasphemy ? 

This human sacrifice being offered, and a compromise betwixt 
St. Columba and the Druids having taken place, the Druidical 
temple, the cairn and the Cromlech, (if there was one,) would 
naturally be superseded by this new chapel, and fall into disuse. 
Still there was another difficulty to combat. The judicial circle 
and the rocking stone remained to be disposed of. Here too the 
Druids appear to have made a firm stand. Mr. Pennant tells us, 
on the authority of Mr. Sacheverell, that before the reformation, 
there were here three noble marble globes placed in three stone 
basons, which the inhabitants turned three limes round accord- 
ing to the course of the sun. These were thrown into the 
sea at the reformation, but Mr. Pennant, in 1772, found a 
wretched substitute for them composed of the pedestal of a bro- 
ken cross, and the supporters of a grave stone. These stones 
were then turned round as formerly, and a tradition prevailed 
that the day of judgment would come, when the pedestal on 
which they moved was worn out, and they still retained the 
name of Clacha.Brath — i. e. " The stones of judgment." See 
Pennant's Tour in 1772. 

It is easy to perceive that the same compromise took place 
here, as at the building of Grail's chapel. The Druids relin. 
quished the judicial circle, and the rocking stone, and received 
from the saint these marble globes as a substitute. The saint, 
however, took care to inculcate the terrible idea, that the day 
of judgment would come as soon as the basons on which these 
globes rested were worn out, and this he unquestionably did, to 
deter them from the practice altogether. But in spite of this 
tremendous impression, and though they must have believed that 
every time they turned these stones round they were accelerat. 
ing the day of judgment, still the custom prevailed as late as 
1772, and may perhaps prevail at the present day ; so difficult 
is it to eradicate inveterate superstition. These three globes 
were perhaps emblematical of the Trinity, and if the saint could 

NOTES. 357 

not deter the lonians from turning them round, it was his last 
shift to render them at least ^ymboUically subservient to the true 

Note LXXVIII.— Page 228. 
Armoric and Irish languages. — As the Editor's notes have ex- 
tended to a much greater length than originally intended, and as 
the specimen of the Armorican and Irish language here alluded 
to, has no connection with the History bf the Druids, it is not 
inserted in this edition. 

Note LXXIX.— Page 247. 

Taramis, or Taranis, is the Gaelic Taran, or Tharrni, i. e. 
" thunder." This god is the same with the Grecian Zeus, or 
the Roman Jupiter, By this deity the Celts understood Beal. 
Taranis, or Tharanis, is sometimes by a Metathesis, written 
Thanaris, or Tanaris, which bears a great affinity to the Eng. 
lish thunder, the German Donder, and the Roman Tfmitru, 
Lucan mentions him, (lib. 1.) in these words: 

Et Taranis Scythicx non mitior ara Diaose. 

i. e. *' And Taranis not milder than the altar of Scythian 
Diana." To him were offered human sacrifices. From the 
Celts the Germans borrowed Tharanis, and by abbreviation 
formed their God Thor, whence Thursday, the same as the Ro. 
man Dies lovis. 

Note LXXX. 

Hesus — waS the Celtic god of war. Dr. Smith deri?es this 
word from the Gaelic Dhe, to which it has not the most distant 
affinity. Lucan (lib. 1.) mentions him thus: 
Horrensqiie feris altaribns Hesus. 

Lactantius (lib. 7.) says, — Galli 'Hesum atque Teutatem humO' 
no cruore placabant, qui saneferalis ritus diu similiter apud Jta- 
los stetijt, qui Latialem. Jovem et Saturnum humana placabant 
hostia — i. e. " The Gauls appeased Hesus and Teutates with 
human blood, which truly savage custom long prevailed among 

z z 

358 NOTES. 

the Italians, who appeased Latian Jove, and Saturn, with human 
victims." The etymoQ of Hesus has been uniformly mistaken. 
The glory of a warriour is his strength, and the Celtic god of 
war behoved to be a powerful deity. The Celtic names are ge- 
nerally descriptive, and highly appropriate. To their god of 
war they gave the name Eas or Es, i. e. a torrent or cataract 
that sweeps all before it, to which the Romans added their ter- 
mination us, and formed Esus of Hesus. The name conveys to 
us the same idea, but in a much more primitive and forcible man- 
ner, as if they had named him irresistible or invincible, for who 
could contend with a cataract? The Tuscan god Esar, whom 
the Tuscans borrowed from the Umbrians their praecursors, has 
the very same signification. In the Gaelic language, Easfhear 
is still a name of the deity, and literally means the man of the 

Teutates. — Lucan, (lib. 1.) says, 

Et quibus immitis placatur sanguine diro 
), e. " And by whom (the Gauls,) cruel Teutates is app>eased 
by direful blood." Caiepine, on the authority of Plato, reckons 
him the inventor of geometry and astronomy. If so, Cicero 
(de Nat. Deor.) very properly reckons him an Egyptian god, 
geometry having been first invented in Egypt to determine the 
limits of private property, which were annually effaced by the 
overflowings of 'be Nile. SancJwniathon, the Phcenician, co- 
temporary with Gideon, and who composed his history about 
1200 years prior to our aera, reckons Teutates, or (as he calls 
him) Taaui, the inventor of letters, and says he was indebted to 
the book of Taaut for the greater part of his materials. This 
god is supposed to have been the Mercury of the Greeks.. In 
the Gaelic this word signifies 'fVarmth, or Heat. — See Note 33. 

Belenus eel Abellio.— Both, these deities have already been ad- 
terted to.— See ?fote 4?. 

NOTES. 359. 


Hogmius, — Of this deity Mr. Toland has giyen a fery parti, 
cular description in a quotation from Lucian. — See p. 168. 

Note LXXXV. ■ 
Onvana — on the authority of Mr. Toland, signifies the sea. I 
have been able to procure no other information respecting this 
deity. — See p. 137. 

Note LXXXVr. 
Adrasie. — Respecting this goddess there has been some differ, 
ence of apinion. The Greeks seem to have considered her as 
J\emesigy or the goddess of revenge. Vide Calepinum in verbd 
Adrastea. Still Calepine admits that on a plain near the city 
Adrastea, there was a noble oracle of Actaean Apollo, and 
Diana. He also tells us that some supposed this city received 
its name from a Mountain Nymph, which applies yery well to 
Diana. The truth appears to be, that Adrastus, when he built 
this city, called both it and the goddess after his own name. 
The noble oracle of Apollo and Diana., and the tradition that 
the city took its name from a mountain nymph, clearly imply 
that Diana was the goddess in question. There can be little 
doubt that the goddess here meant is the Phoenician Ashtaroth, 
or Astarte—'i. e. " the moon." Indeed there is no instance on 
record of any nation having worshipped the sun, who did not 
worship the moon also. It would almost fill a volume to nar. 
rate the contrary notions entertained of her by the ancients, and 
the different names ascribed to her. The very first mention we 
have of this goddess is in the sacred records, under the name of 
Ashtaroth. Sanchoniathon (^see Eusebius, his Transcriber, and 
Philo.Bihlius, his Translator) calls this goddess Astarte. This 
has not hindered Herodian (lib. 5.) in his History) of Antoninus 
Basilianus, to tell us that the Phoenicians called this goddess 
Astroarche, forgetting that this name is not Phoenician, but pure 
Greek, and signifies the Queen of the Stars, Pausanias (m ir;« 

z z 2 

360 NOTES. 

conicis) saySj~" the Pyrrichians have in their country the tern, 
pie of Diana Astratea, and the reason why they called her so 
was, because the army of the Amazons stopped there, and went 
no farther." This is another instance of Grecian vanity and 
absurdity, to derive the Phoenician Astarte from the Greek 
Alpha privativt, and Stratos, an army. Most unfortunately all 
the ancient deities, or at least by far the greater part of them, 
have passed to us through the medium of the Greek and Roman 
languages, and are so mutilated and distorted, as hardly to be 
recognized. When stript of this disguise, the Celtic deities are 
Taram (Thunder) — Eas, or Es, a Cataract — the name of their 
god of war, — Teutat, Heat, an epithet of the sun, and the same 
with the Taaut of the Phoenicians, mentioned by Sanchoniathon, 
and the Teutat of the Egyptians, mentioned by Cicero — Bealan, 
or Aballtt (names of the sun) — Onvana (the sea.}— Og?nadh 
(learned, a name of Hercules) — and Astarte (the moon, the 
same as the Astarte of Sanchoniathon.) Hence it is evident that 
the Celtic mythology has overstepped that of the Greeks and 
Homans, and is more ancient than either. Teutat and Astarte 
are strictly Phoenician, though the Greeks claim the first under 
the name oi Mercurius Trismegitus, and the last under the name 
of Adrastea, Astratea, Astroarche, Juno, Diana, &c. Beal is 
also a Phoenician deity. Aballa (pronounced Apalla) I have in 
a former note shewn to be the radix of the Greek ApoHon, and 
the Roman Apollo, As to Eas, Taram, Ogmadh, and Onvana, 
they are so peculiarly Celtic, that no other nation has ventured 
to claim them, though the Romans have added Taramis to their 
Jupiter. Not one Celtic deity is of Greek or Roman origin, 
though their chief deities, as well as their religious rites, can be 
demonstrated to be Phoenician. It is therefore historic truth 
that the Celts are more ancient than the Greeks, and that they 
migrated from Asia to Europe, before Greece had even a name 
and were in fact (which is now generally allowed) the Aborigi, 
nes of Evirope. 

NOTES. 361 

Note LXXXVfl. 

Vergobretus. — On the testimony of Caesar, (lib. 1. cnp. 16.) 
Liscus was chief magistrate or Vergobret of the iEdui. This 
Vergobret was elected annually, and had the power of life and 
death over his own nation. Divitiacus was at the same time 
Archdruid, The true etymon of this word is Fear-gOjBhraiih, 
or according to the Irish dialect, Fer.go.Breth, i. e. " the maa 
for judgment." The Indian Brahmin, (Latinized Brathmanniy 
or Brachmanni) is a name of the very same import. In the San- 
scrit language, Brath signifies judgment and man, a man. 
Brathman, or Brachman or Brahmin, (for they are all the 
same) literally signifies the judgment man, or man for judgment. 
Mr, Pinkarton has been kind enough to favour us with a Go- 
thic etymology of Vergobret, but has prefaced it with "a grave, 
formal, deliberate falsehood. " Vergobret, (says he, vol. 1. p. 
286.) the name of a magistrate among the German gauls, as 
■Ccesar tells us." Now Cassar tells no such thing, but the very 
reverse. Mr. Pinkarton has indeed, contrary to Caesar's ob- 
vious meaning, laid hold of the Belgae, as German Gauls, but, 
except in this instance, has laid no claim to the Celtae, the inu 
habitants of Gallia Celtica, or Lugdunensis, The Edui were a 
gens or tribe of the Celts, and inhabitants of Celtic Gaul. Ccesar 
uniformly places them in this district, and Pliny, (lib. 4. cap. 
18.) is as express to the point as words can make it. lie, as 
well as Caesar^ places the Carnutes, (in whose territories the 
Druids annually met,) in the same district. Cassar says the 
Germans had no Druids, yet, on the testimony of Cicero, Divi- 
tiacus, cotemporary with Liscus the Vergobret of the Mdui, 
was himself an j^duan, and an Archdruid. The iEduaa nobi. 
lity were, on the motion of Caesar himself, (Tacit. Annal. lib. 
11. cap. 7.) admitted to the honourable privilege of Roman se- 
nators. This distinction was the more flattering, because though 
the application was general, from the whole of Gallia Comata, 
which included Belgic, Celtic, and Aquitanian Gaul, the Edui 
alone obtained this signal honour. The only Vergobret^ men. 

362 NOTES, 

tioned by Cajsar !s Liscus, the chief magistrate of the iEdui, 
who, on the testimony of all authors, antient and modern, (not 
excepting Pinkarton himself,) were Celts proper. The man 
■who can thus deliberately violate truth, insult common sense, 
and contradict himself, as well as all authors who have mention- 
ed the ^dui, deserves pity rather than reprehension. 

Vergobretus, he derives from Vergen, to render justice, and 
Obrest, first or chief. Virgin.Abreast, (Virgo Obversata) 
would have been fully as much to the purpose. Vercingeiorix, 
and Veremund, he derives from the Anglo.Belgic fVer, a man. 
The Roman Vir sine gutture (a man without a throat,) and Vir 
mundus, (a well-dressed man,) would have been sterling in com. 
parison of this. He derives G(dcacus, from the Gothic Galisan, 
to collect. Strange ! passing strange ! that he did not derive it 
from the Greek Galaxy, or make it an abbreviation of GilKga. 
cu$. The Grampian Hills, (Mons Graropins of Tacitus,) he de- 
rives from the Danish Gram, a warrior. Considering the bleak 
heathy appearance of these hills, our vulgar phrase, Grim-Puss, 
(a black cat,) would have been infinitely more appropriate, 
Rins, a range of hills in Galloway, he supposes, are derived from 
the runes, a sort of rude alphabet used in Denmark so late as 
the 12th century. They are commonly called the Helsing runes. 
This is the very ne plus ultra of etymology, for the Gallovidian 
hills, certainly bear an unequivocal resemblance to the Runic aU 
phabet. He derives Alpin from Alp, a devil. This is a stroke 
of admirable retaliation, on Alpin, for the signal defeat he gave 
Vin^SLrioa's /avouriie Picts at Reslennet. It was impossible he 
could do less, than dubb him a devil. 

Having given the reader a short specimen of immaculate Pin. 
kartonian etymology, I shall next give a list of Gothic foreign 
names, which he considers as synonimous with, or bearing a 
strong affinity to names in Scotland, i)/?oi and Mouse; Hoop 
and Hope; Struer and Anstruther; Fariltosta and Fairntosh; 
Gamel and Campbell; jGalstcde and Gala; Ellum and Elvon. 
foot; Mclderup sMd Meldrum ; J esterup vinA Yester ; Kulundt 
and Calkadar ; JVedehpang and JVeddel; Dallroth and RoUisat/; 

NOTES. 363 

silver and Jlva; Melosa and Melrose; Gillberg and Gilchrist; 
Ales and Hailes; Falkenavo and Falkirk; Coldenkirke and 
€owdertknows, &c. &c, &c. The reader will find these syno. 
Dimes and etymologies, with many more of the same precious 
and immaculate description, vol, 1. p. 163 — 154 — 286—287 — 
288, &c. 

A man who has got this Gothic mania into his head, has cera 
tainly reached the very last stage of etymological madness. The 
affinity only consists in three or four initial, medial, or final let« 
ters, and on the principle here laid down by him, he might with 
equal facility and propriety trace the strongest affinity betwixt 
Hamilcar and Hamilton ; Carthage and Carlaverock ; Achaia and 
Auchterarder ; Pentecost and Pentland; Abarimon and Abetm 
lemno; Carnaim ajid Carnmanairn; Pannonia and Pananachi 
Balaena and Balantrae ; Quatour-Mille and Carmylie ; Camhy- 
ses and Cambuslong; Aro and Yarroio; Salve and Solway; 
Caput and Caputh ; Pituilaria and Pitarrow ; Chili and Killt- 
cranky; Campania nud Camphelltown; Altona and Altgrand; 
Acarnania and Aquharny ; Sanchoniathon and Sanqiihar ; Jero. 
boam and Jersey ; Berosus and Bervie ; BucoUcon and Buchan ; 
Belisarius and Belfast; Armageddon and Armagh; Tanais and 
Tain; Ti/re and Tyrconnel; Fores z.nA. Forres ; Thuritii and 
Turin; Delphinus and Dalvin ; Esca aadlEsk; Comarora and 
Cameron; KalUroos (Greek) and Culross; MugilnnA Macgill, 
Infernus and Inverness ; Goree and Gozorie ; Sincerus and Saint 
Cyrus, &c. 

I have thus presented to the reader a specimen of Mr. Pinkar- 
ton's etymologies, and have added a few more constructed on 
his own model, that mankind may duely estimate its immense 
merits, and the incalculable benefits to etymological and histo. 
ric truth, which must necessarily result from it. No wonder 
that be undervalues Celtic etymology, when his own is (to use his 
own phrase) so super-superlative. Many of our Celtic etymo. 
logists are speculative and visionary enough, but Mr. Pinkarton 
has outdone them all. Where is the Celt, from the first origin 
of the name down to the present hour, who could have taken sn 

364 NOTES. 

sublime a flight, as to discover that Kulundt was Cullender ', 
that Fariltosta was Fairntosh ; that the Grampian Hills were 
warriors ; that the Jlps were devils, and that the hills of Gallo- 
way were runic letterst 

But his treatment of the CeJtSj and of Celtic etymology has no 
parallel, and cannot be justified on the score of common decen. 
cy, or even of avowed hostility. I hope the reader will excuse 
me for laying before him a few specimens. Celtic etymology is 
indeed the peculiar madness of this superficial age. Vol. 1. p. 138. 
We dream that these Celtic namas just fit the persons, places, ^c, 
hut never dream that three thousand others would all fit as zzell; 
and that a cap and hells would fit stillbetier. Vol, 1. p. 138 & 
139. Read StBift, good Celtic etymologists, read Swifi. Ibid, 
p. 139. iS'mcA etymology is therefore always folly, but Celtic 
etymology is sheer madness. Ibid. These Irish etj/mologies are 
mere second sighted delusions. Swiff s mock etymologies ofAndro. 
machiefrom Andrew Mackie, Sfc. are rational in comparison of 
them. Vol. 1. p. 157. Is not this Lunacy? But such are all 
Celtic etymologies. Vol. 1. p. 158. Must not our Celtic neigh, 
hours have a remarkable defect in their understandings, and be 
lust in the frenzy of disordered fancy ? What shall zee say of those 
who trust them in points of science, when they cannot even be 
trusted in points of common sense ? Ibid. p. 158 & 159. From, 
Diodorus Siculus and others, it is clear that the manners of the 
Celts perfectly resembled those of the Hottentots, Append, to 
vol. 2. p. 68. JVhat their own mythology was, zee know not, but 
it in all probability resembled that of the Hottentots, or others of 
the rudest savages, as the Celts antiently were, and are little bet. 
ier at present, being incapable of any progress in society. Ibidem. 
For he, (AI. Pelloutier), rvas so ignorant as to take the Cells and 
Scyihaefor one people, in spite of all the antien/s who mark them 
as literally toio calo different, and in spite of our positive k-now, 
ledge here in Britain, who know the Celts to be mere radical sava. 
ges, not yet advanced even to a state of barbarism, and if any fo. 
reigner doubts this, he has only to step into (he Celtic part of 
Wales, Ireland, or Scotland, and look at item, for they are just 

MoTfis. 365 

as they were, incapatle of industry or civilization, even after hay 
their blood is Gothic, and remain as marked by the antients,fond 
of lies, and enemies of truth. — Ibidem & p. 69. Geofrey of 
Monmouth, most of the Irish historians, and the Highland Bards 
and Senachies of Scotland, shezo that falsehood is the natural prOm 
duct of the Celtic mind, and the case is the same to this day. No 
reprobation can lie too severe for such frontless impostors ; and 
to sai/ that a znriter is a Celt, is to sat/ that he is a sitanger to 
truth, modesty, and morality. — Ibidem. If towns were built for 
them they would not inhabit them. — If peopled ivith Highlanders, 
they will be in ruins in half a century. — Had all these Celtic 
cattle emigrated fve centuries ago, how happy had it been for the 
country ! All we can do is top/ant colonies among them ; and by 
this, and encouraging their emigration, to get rid of the breed.— ^ 
Vol. 1. p. 341. > 

From these strictures the reader will see that Mr. Pinkarton 
is decidedly hostile to whatever bears the name of Celt, and no. 
thing will satisfy him but their utter exterminatipn. He must, 
no doubt, be sensible that his Gothic system can never prevail, 
so long as there is one Celt left in the world to advocate the 
cause of truth, reason, or common sense. I have alreetdy shewa 
that if Celtic etymology is madness, Pinkartonian etymology is 
super-superlative madness. As a historian his powers are 
equally colossal and gigantic. He seats his beloved Goths on 
the- throne of Nineveh exactly 344 years after the creation of the 
world. , Can Celtic madness produce any parallel to this ? He 
is indeed the very Don Quixotte of history. What a pity that 
no coadjutor, no faithful Sanchp, was found to second hisQuixo. 
tic efforts. All historians who have preceded, or followed him, 
have studiously shunned the Pinkartonian path. But as I will 
immediately ha^e occasion to advert to his merits as a bistoriaa, 
I shall not enlarge farther at present, 

3 A 


On the Antiquity of the Use of Letters among the 
Celts ingeneral, and the Irish in particular; with 
some Remarks on the Number and Antiquity of 
the Irish Manuscripts, 

THAT the Celts were the Aborigines of Europe', is a po'rat 
vaquestioned, and unquestionable, and it must faencc also follovr 
that their language was the Aboriginal one. To both these 
points, Mr. Pinkarton, their grand antagonist, has folly acceded. 
At what period they passed froti Asia io Europe, can admit of 
no certain deterniifiation. The period when they became ac- 
quainted with letters is equally uncertain. But if we n»ay lay 
any stress on the affinity of their ihythology, their deities, thpir 
religious rites, and peculiar customs, to those of ChaJdea, Phoe. 
nicia, and Egypt, we have reason to conclude, that they were 
sooner acquainted with the use of letters than is generally aU 

The history otAbarh, the Hyperborean priest of the Sub, is too 
-well established to admit of any deubt. About seven ceirtarres 
prior to our aera, he wrote several treatises on different sob* 
jects. He spoke Greek as perfectly and as fluently as Pytha. 
goras himself ; nor does he appear, from the testrmony of the 
Greeks themselves, to have been in any respect inferior to that 
great philosopher. Tacitus, (de Morib. Germ. c. 6.) informs 
us that the Germans, man and woman, were equally ignorant 
of the use of letters. Pinkarton himself, {vol. 2. p. 19) admits 
that the Germans, Scandinavians, Polanders, and Russians, were 
not acquainted with letters till the 9th century. It is well known 
that the ahtient Greeks gave tli« name of Hyperboreans to all 

NOTES. 36i7 

the nations situated without, and to the north of the straits ot 
Gibraltar. Abaris might thus have been an inhabitant of the sea. 
coast of Spain, of Gaul, of Germany, of Scandinavia, of Poland| 
of Russia, of Great Britain, or of Ireland. But as Tacitus and 
Pinliarton betwixt them, have proved the utter ignorance of all 
the Hyperborean nations, except the Celts, up to the Slh century, 
it must follow that Abaris was a Celt. It is therefore historic 
truikf that Abaris, a priest of the sun, and a Celt, spoke Greek 
elegantly, was a profound philosopher, and wrote several treati. 
ses, 1500 hundred years before the Germans, Scandinavians, 
Polapders, and Russians, had learned the nlphabet. It is, thek'e. 
fore, no wonder that Pinkafton has not once condescended to 
mention the name of this illustrious Celtic philosopher and 

The Celts seem, from the most authentic evidence, to have 
jbeeo well acquainted with the Greek language. Caesar says, (lib. 
1. cap, 29.) Jit Castris Heloetiorum tabulae repertae siint Ute- 
ris Graecis confeftae, et ad Caesarem perlatae quibus in tabulis 
ratia eonfecta erat, qui rmmerus domo exisset eorum, qui arma 
ferre poisent, et item separalim pueriy senes, rmilieresque. i. e. 
" Tables were found in the camp of the Helvetii, written in 
Greek characters, or in the Greek language (for the words 
Graecis Uteris, is a very equivocal phrase, and may admit of 
either signification,) and brought to Caesar, in which had lieea 
made out a particular account of all those able to bear arms who 
had set out from home, and also of the children, old men, and 
women, separately.'' This is another clear proof that the Celts' 
at least understood the Greek characters, and perhaps the Ian. 
guage itself. The Helvetii had undertaken a great and basiar. 
dous enterprize, and wished to conceal the extent of the loss, 
whatever it might be, from the vulgar. Had tjiese registers been 
made out in Celtic, they might have fallen into the hands of im- 
proper persons, and been perused by them; but when written in 
Greek characters or the Greek language, they were intelligible 
only to the higher ranks. I believe no instance can be conde. 
scended ou, where a man, or any number of men, can read and 

r> A 2 

368 NOTES. 

write a foreign language, without being able, in some measure, to 
read and write their own. At any rate this passage is a clear 
proof that the Celts could read, write, and calculate, for these 
registers reached as far as 368,000. If Pinkarton will not al. 
low the Celts an alphabet of their own, he cannot, at least deny 
that 1850 years ago, they used the Greek one. 

The same author, (lib. 6. cap.'l4.) gives us a pa«sage still 
more explicit, and more to the point in question. Nequefas 
esse existitnant ea Uteris mandate, quum in reliquis fere rebus, 
publiets, privatisque rationibus, (Graecis) Uteris, uiantur. i. e. 
"Neither do they think it lawful to commit these things to 
writing, (letters) when commonly in their other affairs, and in 
their public and private accounts, they make use of (Greek) let- 
ters." It is easy here to see that the word Graecis is the inter, 
polatioo of some ignorant transcriber, who, finding it inserted 
by Caesar, (lib. 1. cap. 29.) imagined it had been here omitted 
by mistake. He has, however, inserted it within a parenlbesis, 
so that we are at liberty to retain or reject it. In the former 
passage, Caesigt merely relates a detached action of the Helvetii 
on a great and criticail emergency, whereas in the present case 
he is detailing the ordinary conduct, and wary policy of the 
Druids. Though it is as clear as the sun that Graecis roust be 
exploded, still I have no objection to take the passage as it is. 
It is not for this or that particular alphabet that I am contend, 
ing, but only for the antiquity of the use of letters among the 
Celts. This passage is another incontrovertible proof, that the 
Druids committed to writing ordinary occurrences, as well 
as their public and private accounts. It was only to their uii/s. 
teries that the prohibitory law extended. Indeed, were all other 
evidence wanting, the very words _/bs uon habebant (they had a 
law against it) would clearly establish the fact ; for there can 
be neither law, restriction, nor prohibition against a thing to. 
tally unknown. Can any man, in the face of such irresistible 
evidence, deny, that the Celts had manuscripts at least as early 
as the time of Caesar ? 
The next instance I adduce is from Toland, (p. 168) where 

NOTES. 369 

he gives us a long quotation from Lucian. This the' reader is 
desired to peruse with attentioij. He will here iind another 
Abaris equally acquainted with Grecian history and mythology, 
and equally skilled in the Greek language. Lucian calls him a 
philosopher, a name of the same import with the Celtic Druid, 
Lucian was, on this occasion, present on the spot, and conversed 
with the Gaelic philosopher face to face, so that it is impossible 
he could be mistaken. This direct and collateral instance, were 
there any doubt of Abaris' being a Celt, would sufficiently clear 
it up. Let Mr. Pinkarton, or his abettors, condescend on any 
German or Scandinavian equally learned, si^ centuries after the 
time of Lucian, and I will surrender them both. Can any ra. 
tional being imagine that these Celts, who were such admirable 
adepts in the Greek language, had not learned the alphabet of 
their own. 

Tacitus, (de Morib. Germ. cap. 1.) gives a traditionary ac. 
count of Ulysses having penetrated into Germany, and built the 
city Asciburgium, which he Graecizes Askipyrgion, i. e. " the 
black tower," and concludes thus, Monumentaque et tumulos 
quosdam Graecis Uteris inscriptos in con/inio Germaniae Rhae. 
tiaeque adhuc extare. i. e. " There are some monuments and se. 
pulchres, with Greek inscriptions, still remaining on the con- 
fines of Germany and Rhaetia." Tacitus having narrated this 
tradition, adds, " That he intends to adduce no arguments either 
to confirm or refute it, but that every; one may credit or discre. 
dit it, as he thinks proper." Tacitus hesitates to ascribe these 
antiquities and Greek inscriptions, (as well he may) to Ulysses, 
and certainly nobody will ascribe them to the Germans, then 
and for seven centuries afterwards total|ly illiterate. I shall not 
even ascribe them to the Celts, though from the circumstanct/s 
of their having been the Aborigines of Germany, and from a very 
remote period well acquainted with the Greek language, they 
have the fairest claim to them. The Celtic claim to the early 
use of letters stands on firm and stable ground. It needs no hy. 
pothetical aid to support it, and I am determined to adduce ' 

570 WOTES. 

But, in another point of view, this passage isdirect to our pur- 
pose. Tacitus was Procurator of Gaul, and resided there; nor 
is there the slightest vestige of evidence of his having visited 
Germany at all. He must therefi^re have derived this informa- 
tion from some quarter or other. The Germans, (on his own 
evidence then totally illiterate, and on the evidence of their stre. 
nous advocate Pinkarton, equally so till the 9th century,) could 
not have read the Odyssey, were incapable of distinguishing 
Greek characters from those of any other nation, and certainly 
still more incapable to trace the affinity of the German Asdbur~ 
gium to the Greek Jskipprgion. This is the ©ply etymology 
-which Tacitus has hazarded in his whole treatise on Germany, 
and is so forced that it could never have occurred to hint without 
being pointed out. Here, therefore, as in the case of Abaris, 
'we have no alternative, but must ascribe the account given to 
Tacitus of Ulysses, and of these antient monuments, and Greek 
inscriptions, to the Gaula, who, on iHe clearest evidence, were 
iteM acquainted with the Greek alphabet, language, history, and 

I am well aware, that there are many who are willing to grant 
that the Druids were early acquainted with the use of letters, 
but then they contend that this noble art was exclusively confi- 
ned to themselves. Even this compromise cannot be acceded to. 
Caesar's words to the contrary are clear and decisive. The rea. 
sons he assigns, (lib. 6. cap. 14.) for the Druids not committing 
their tenets to writing, are these. Id mihi duabas de causis insii- 
tuisse videntur, quod neque in vitlgum discipUnam cfferri velint 
neque eos, qui discant, Uteris confisos, minus memoriee studere, 
i.e. " They (the Druids) appear to me to have enacted this law 
for two reasons, because they neither wished their doctrines to be 
made known to the vulgar, nor their pupils trusting to the aid 
of letters, to pay less attention to the cultivation of their me. 
mory." Had Caesar, (and where is the man who had equal 
nceess to know,') considered thu lower ranks in Gaul as unae. 
t^uaiotcd with letters, would he have acted so inconsistently as 
to tells uSj that the Druids did not conmit their doctrines to irrj- 

NOTES. 371 

ting, lest the VHlgar should read them. It is here wdrthy of re- 
triark, that in this part of the sentence, the word Graecis does 
not occur, nor in the sentence immediately following, where 
Gaesar uses the word Uteris in the Same general sense. Indeed, 
throughout the whole of this chapter, -it is evident that by the 
AVord Uteris, Caesar does not mean the alphabet at all, but 
the art of writing in general. 

But as the anticeltic writers have made a great handle of this 
word Graecis, to prove that the Celts were only acquainted with 
the Greek alphabet, and had none of their own, I shall endeavour 
to probe the matter to the bottom. Let us then retain, instead ' 
of exploding this word, and it must follow, 1. That the Druidic 
prohibition of committing their tenets to writing extended only 
to the Greek language. 2. That wherever the word Uteris oc* 
curs in this chapter, (it occurs four times) it must mean the 
Greek alphabet. 3. That the Greek language was Well known 
to the' Vulgar in Gaul, which induced the Druids to interdict 
this language in particular, and no other. 

But so far from the Greek language being generally known 
in Gaul, we have the very best authority to the contrary. Cae- 
lai-, (lib. 1. cap. 19 ) gives us an account of an interview with 
iMvitiacus, where the daily interpreters were removed, and the 
conversation carried on betwixt theni by means of Cains Vale, 
lius Procillus. Divitiacus was a very eminent man, and, besides, 
the Archdruid of all Gaul. Had he been acquainted with the 
Greek language-, no interpreter betwixt him and Caesar would 
have been necessary; and it would certainly be absurd, in the 
exttetae, to ascribe to the vulgar a knowledge of the Greek 
language, which even their Archdruid did not possess. Ttie 
Greek language was not therefore the language of the vulgar in 
Gaul, and consequently the Druidic prohibition did not extend 
to it. Indeed, to whatever hand we turn ourselves^ (if the 
word Graecis is retained) we are involved in a Chaos of non- 
sense, absurdity, ahd contradiction. Explode it, and all is 
clear and consistent. 

The result of the whole }s,.lliat Caesar is not here speaking of 

372 NOTESi 

any particular language or alphabet, but merely of the art of 
writing in general. The Druidic precaution must also be inter- 
preted in the same liberal and indefinite manner. Their probi- 
tion to commit their tenets to writing did not point to this or 
that particular language, but was ultimate and conclusive against 
commiting them to writing in any language whatever. On the 
testimony of Luciaii and Caesar, the Greek, language was known 
in Gaul, but that knowledge appears to hate been limited to a 
few illustrious individuals, otherwise he would not have needed 
an interpreter, when speaking to Divitiacus. That this was the 
case is clear from Caesar, {lib. 5. cap. 48) who says, Tvm cui-, 
dam ex equitibus Gallis magriis praeiniis persuadet, uti ad Qicer- 
onem epistolant defcrat. Hanc Graecis conscriplam Uteris mit. 
tit ; ne interixptaepisiola, nostra ah hostibus consilia cognoscan. 
tur. i. e, " Then he persuades one of the Gallic horsemen, by 
great rewards, to carry a letter to Cicera. lie sends this letter 
written in the Greek language, lest being intercepted, our de- 
signs might be kown by the enemy." Tabulae covfectue Grae- 
eis Uteris, and Epistola conscripta Graecis Uteris, are phrases so 
much the same, that it is evident the registers of the UeUelii 
mentioned by Caes«r, (lib. 1. cap. 29.) were written in the 
Greek language, and not merely in the Greek characters. But 
whatever knowledge the Celts in Gaul had of the Greek lan- 
guage, it is evident they were much better acquainted with the 
Iloman language, else Caesar would not have used the Greek 
language as a preferable disguise. Had the Celts been totally 
illiterate, no precaution was necessary, nor would there have 
been the least risque of their reading Caesar's letter. Heace, it 
is clearly established on the most unexceptionable evidence of 
Caesar, who could not possibly be mistaken, that the Gauls un. 
derstood both the Greek and Roman languages, and infallibly 
the respective alphabets of both these languages. Can any man, 
io his senses, thsn imagine, that when they were acquainted with 
both these alphabets, they could not form one to themselves ? 
I consider it therefore indubitable that (he Celts in Gaul, as 
early as the time of Caesar were acquainted with the art of wri. 

NOTES; 373 

ting, and had an alphabet of their own. Having satisfactorily 
(I hope) established this point, I shall next turn my attention 
to the Celts in Great Britain. 

To establish the antiquity of the use of letters in Britain, it 
might'be deemed sufficient to point out its early commercial in. 
tercourse with Greece and Phoenicia, in both which countries,,, 
the art of writing was well known. Commercial nations have, 
of all othel-s, been soonest acquainted with this art« The reasoa 
is obvious ; for commerce can be carried to no great extent with- 
out it. The inhabitants of Gaul and Britain were descended of, 
the same common stock, they spoke the same language, and had 
the same civil and religious institutions; their intercourse was 
easy and frequent, and hence any art or science -known iii the 
one country could long unknown in the other. Fortu. 
oately we have no occasion to rest this matter on hypothetical 
or presumptive evidence. Caesar (lib. 6. cap. 13.) puts it be- 
yond all doubt, when he tells as-^Disciplina in Britannia reper. 
ta, atque inde in GaUiam translata esse existimatur j et nunc, 
guidiligentius emh reifi cognoscere volunt, plerumque Ulo diseen- 
di causa projiciscunlur — i. e. " The discipline (of the Druids) 
is supposed to have been invented in Britain, and thence trans, 
ferred into Gaul j and even at the present day, they who wish 
to know this discipline more perfectly, for the most part resort 
to Britain for the purpose of studying it." By disciplina is 
clearly meant the whole learning or philosophy of the Druids. 
We thus see that the Druids in Gaul, so far from being in any 
respect superior to those in Britain, were in fact their pupils; 
and hence it must follow, that whatever degree of learning was 
known in Gaul, bad been carried to a higher pitch of perfection 
in Britain. We have already seen that the use of letters was, in 
Caesar's time, well known in Gaul. We have also seen thikt the 
Britons were the preceptors of the Gauls; and if it were possi- 
ble to imagine that the teacher was more ignorant than the scho. 
lar, or that the Druids in Britain were unacquainted W'ith the; 
use of letters, stiU it is certain that this noble art would have 
been speedily communicated bjr one or other of the numerous 

3 B 

374 NOTES. 

Gallic students, who resorted to Britain for tht purpose of pro- 
secutibg their studies to perfection. Tacitus, in his Life of 
Agricola, (cap. 7. adfinem) gives us a »ery remarkable passage 
nearly to the same effect. Hortari privalim, adjuvare puMicc, 
vt iempla,fora, domos exstruerent, laudando promptos, et casti. 
gando segnes, ita hmoris aemulatio, pro necessitate erat. Ita 
veto principumftlios liber alibus artibus erudire, et ingenia Bri- 
tannorum sfudiis Gallorum anteferre, ut qui modo linguam Roma- 
namabnuebant, eloquentiam concupiscerent — i. e. " He exhort- 
ed them privately, he assisted them publicfy to boild temples,, 
courts of justice, and houses, by praising the industrious, and 
punishing the indolent, and hence necessarily arose an emala> , 
tlon for honour. He also instructed the sons of the nobility to 
that degree in the liberal arts, and made them so far outstrip the 
£r»uls in their studies, that they who lately despised the Roman 
iTihguage, were now in raptures with its eloquence." Prior to 
this period, the Druids in Britain had been persecuted with the 
most relentless rigour. The inhabitants, by repeated injuries, 
had been exasperated almost even to madness and desperation. 
Agricola took a different course, and endeavoured to appease 
them by conciliatory measures. He protected their property, 
and assisted them to rebuild their houses, and teligious sutAjudi. 
eial circles (Temph et fora) \fhich had been demolished. He 
further instructed the sons of the nobility in the liberal arts, and 
made them such adepts in the Latin language, that they highly 
relished its beauties and elegance. Will even Pinkarton himself 
say that these noble youths were unacquainted with the use of 
letters? Will be, in the face of so direct a testimony, say that 
the Celts had no temples ? Will he deny the distinction I have 
made of the Druidical circles into (Templa et/ora) temples and 
Courts* of justice, when he sees this distinction sanctioned by 
Tacitus himself? Will he still insht that the Britons were mere 
illiterate savages, when Tacitus expressly says— in^e«/a hrittm. 
norum studiis GaUorum anteferre— \. e. " He made the genius 
of the Britons excel the studies of the Gauls?" The efidenc* 
of Tacitus is ia this inslance of pritnary weight, as he was pro. 

NOTji;s. 375 

curator of Gaul, and had an opportunify of knowing the studies 
of the Gauls ; and Agricola, his, had an equal op,- 
portunity of Icnowing the studies of bis noble pupils in Britain. 
Before Mr. Pinkarton can fix the charge of ignorance of letters 
on the Celts, he must— 1 mo, Disprove the direct testimony of 
Cassar; — 2do, He must prove th^t the Gauls were such fools, 
from time immemorial, as to resort to Britain to perfect their 
studies, under a race of men much more ignorant and illiterate 
than themselves ;— Sfcio, That the noble pupils of Agricola Icarn- 
-ed to read the Roman language, and admired its beauties and 
elegance, ivithout knovring one single. letter of the alphabet of 
that, or any other language ;-'-4to, That reading and writing are 
not included in the number of the Libert Arts, and consequently 
were not imparted to Agricola's pupils. 

It deserves particular notice, that Agricola resided in Britain 
only about seven years, and the words of Tacitus seem to imply, 
that the sons of the nobility completed their education iathe se. 
cond. yeari In the third year Agricola penetrated as far as the 
Tay, But should we allow the vrhole seven years, the time 
would hare baentotally inadequate, had Agricola had mere illi. 
terate savages to contend with. On the contrary he appears to 
have found a well prepared, grateful and productive soil, and 
this can only be imputed to the Druids, who made the education 
of the higher ranks thei r peculiar study and province. We iiave 
already seen (on the testimony of Csesar), that in his time the 
Gauls had made some progress in the Greek, and still more in 
the Roman language. The oM Gaul mentioned by Lucian vaii 
profoundly skilled in the Greek language. It is not impro. 
bable, from their intercourse with the Romans, that the higher 
ranks in Britain had, by this time, paid some attention to the 
Raman language. Indeed the words of. Tacitus imply as much 
— qui ^odo linguam Romanam abnuebant — i. e. " who lately 
rejected the Romaic language," for it is well known that a man 
can neither approbate nor reprobate a language of which he is 
totally ignorant. When Tacitus was expressly treating on the 
subject of British education, had the Britaius been ignorant of 

3 B 2 

876 NOTES. 

letters, he would certainly have told us, as he does of the Ger- 
mans (De Morib. Germ. cap. 6.) — Literarum secreta virt pari, 
ter, acfoeminae ignorant— \. e. " Men and women «re equally 
ignorant of the secret of lette rs . " Were we tbu s to pervaxle the 
ancient classics, numerous passages io the same effect might be 
found ; but I shall content myself with mentioning the Ttirdetani, 
the oldest inhabitants of Spain, who, on the testimony of Strabo, 
(lib. 3.) had laws written in verse, a thousand years before his 
time. These Turdetani were clearly Celts, and placed in the 
Celtic district on the Baetis or Guadalquiver. The very river 
seems to have taken its name from the Celtic settlement on its 
banks ; for Guadalquiver (in the Gaelic language Gaoidhal Cuib- 
har) literally signifies the Celtic portion or territory. The Tur- 
detani, and their neighbours the Tttrduli, are mentioned by 
Ptolemy, lib. 2. cap. 5. The TurduU are mentioned by Varro, 
lib.i. cap. 10. and by Pliny, lib. 3. cap. 1.; but the surest 
proof that these Turdilani were Celts is, that Mr. Pinkarton has 
not claimed them as Goths, nor 'indeed once mentioned them, , 
though he has given ns a very full account of the Celt*, or what 
he calls the German Celts in Spain. Had they borne any affinity 
to his favourite Goths, hfe would have traced them through every 
chink and crevice from Nootka Sound to Nova Zembla. 

When this gentleman has any favourite point to drive, he is a 
most assiduous champion ; and there is no artifice, howevpr 
Mean, to which he will not stoop. When wishing to establish 
that the inhabitants of the east of England were Germans, he 
quotes a passage from Tacitus (Vit. Agric. cap. 4.), but leaves 
out the most material part of the whole, — See vol. I. p. 184- 
Sensible that he would be detected, he has inserted part of (he 
passage omitted, in his list of errata; but instead of a transla. 
tion of it, gives us the following comment. He (Tacitus) is 
speaking of the Belgic Gauls, and the Belga in Britain; among 
the former he lived; and the latter t^ere the only Britons he could 
Imow from proximity. — Intrcduc. to vol 1. p. 84. I shall here 
insert the passage, and let Tacitus speak for himself. In nniver. 
sum tamen aestimmti GaUos vicinum solum occtipassi- credibile est. 

NOTES. 377* 

JEorUm seicra deprehettdds, svperstitionum pcrsuasionc. Sermo 
hand multum diversus. In deposcendis pericnlu eadem audacia, 
et ubi advenere, in detreclnndis eadem formido ; plus tamenfero. 
cite Britanni praeferunt, ut quos nondum lovga pax emollierit. 
Nam Gattos quoque in Bellis Jioruisse accepimus, Mox segnitia 
cum otto intravit, amissa eiriute ac pariter libertate, quod Britan. 
norum olim victis etenit ,• ceteri manent quales Galli fuerunt — 
i. e. " On the whole, to an attentive observer, it vpill appear 
credible that the Gauls occupied the land (of Britain) nearest 
to them. You can discover their sacred rites by the similarity 
of their superstitions. Their language is nearly the same. They 
have the same boldness in provoking dangers, and when they 
have found them, the same cowardice in running away from 
them ; but the Britons shew more courage, because long peace 
has not as yet rendered them effeminate. For we have also 
heard that the Gauls flourished in war. Immediately indolence 
entered with ease, (peace) their bravery being lost along with 
their liberty. The very same thing happened to that part of 
the Britons formerly conquered ; the rest remain such as the 
Gauls were." 

Now I appeal to any man of common sense, and common ho- 
nesty, whether Tacitus mentions the Belgae, or even so much 
as alludes to them. It would, indeed, have been very inconve. 
nient for Mr. Pinkarton to have treated this passage honestly. 
It contains every characteristic trait of the Celts in Gaul, and 
(.very part of it is corroborated by Caesar. We have, 1. Their 
sacred rites and superstitions. Caesar, (lib. 6. cap. 16.) says, 
Natio omnis Gallorum est admodvm dedita religionibus. i. e. 
" The whole nation of the Gauls is greatly addicted to veli. 
gjous rites." ' Pinkarton renders this, one third of GauL 
Caesar, (lib. 6. cap. 21.) says of the Germans, Nam neque 
Druides liahent, qui rebus divinis praesint, neque sacrifidis itu- 
dent. i. e. " For the Germans neither have Druids who preside 
in religious matters, nor do they offer sacrifices at all." Hence 
it is clear that the sacred rites and superstitions found in Bri. 
tain by Tacitus, will not apply to the Belgae, had they been 


Germans. 2. We have the similarity of the langvage oj the Bri. 
tons to that of the Gauls. This is, of all olher marks, the most 
uaeqniTocal, and is the more important because Tacitus makes it 
thelanguage of the whole island. He appears to have been at great 
pains to investigate every trait of distinction among the inhabi. 
tants, but found no other except the red hair and large limbs of 
the Caledonians (Picts^, and the curled hair and painted counte- 
nances, of the Silures, (Welch). Would he have mentioned 
such equivocal marks of discrimination, and omitted that of 
language, when espressly treating of the language of Britain, 
had any diflferenc© existed ? Impossible. 3. 77»« foncttrdness 
of the Britons to provoke dangers, and their pusillanimity in re. 
pelting them. This propensity of the Gauls is admirably marked 
by Caesar, (lib. 3. cap. 19.) in these words. Nam ut ad Bella 
suscipienda Gallorum alacer ac promptus est animus, sic mollis ac 
minime resisiens ad calamitata perferendas mens eorum est. i. e. 
" For as the minds of the Gauls are eager and forvrard to an. 
dertake war, so they are timid, and have very little fortitude to 
«ndure calamities." 4. The former braoery of the Gauls. This 
is mentioned by Cassar, (lib. 6. cap. 24.) Acfuit antea tempus 
quum Germanos Galli virtute siiperarent, ultra bella inferrenf, 
propter homitium mullitudinem, agrique inopiam trans Rhemim 
colonias mitterent, Sfc, i. e. " And there formerly was a time 
when the Gauls excelled the Germans in bravery, made war on 
them of their own accord, and on account of the multitude of 
men, and want of land, sent colonies across the Rhine." The 
only circumstance which Cassar omits, is the language of the 
Britons, nor is this any matter of surprise. Having stated that 
the inhabitants of the cast coast of Britain were Bclgae from 
Gaul, it was unnecessary to acquaint us that they brought the 
Gallic language along with them; nor is it usual, (as far as I 
k now ) for a historian to siy that a nation speaks its own language, 
for this very obvious reason, that it cannot rationally be supposed 
to speak any other. Fortunately Tacitus', (in whose time Bri, 
lain waswell known, from the isle of Anglesey to the Grampi. 
ans,) puts this matter beyond a doubt, when he calls the Bri. 

NOTES. 379 

fish language, sermo haud multum diverstti, i. e, " a language 
nearly resembling the Gcdlie. But, (says Mr. Pinkarton), he 
is here speaking of the Belgic Gauls, and the Belgae in Britain, 
and means the German language. Be it so. But I suppose it 
will be 'admitted Tacitus is the best judge of his own meaning. 
Speaking of the jEstyi, a German nation, {De Morib, Germ. cap. 
16. ad initium), he says. Ergo jam dextrO Suevici inaris littore 
Mstyorum gentes alluuntur ; quibua ritus habitusgue suevorum, 
lingua Britannicae propior, i. e. " The tribes of the ^styi are 
next washed on the right hand shore of the Suevian sea ; they 
have the religious rites and dress of the Suevi, but their language 
approaches nearer to the Britannic. Tacitus here certainly 
means to say, that the Mstii spoke the Britannic language, and 
not the German; and hence it must also follow that the Britan. 
nic language was not the German. Had there been different 
languages in Britain, Tacitus would not have used the general 
term Britannic language, (a term commensurate to the island 
itself), to express the language of the JEstyi. This uniformity 
of language, throughout the whole extent of the island, clearly 
established by Tacitus, and contradicted by no tloman author 
whatever, settles the important point, that the Belgae were 
Celts— that they spoke the Celtic language — and that the inha. 
tants of Britain, in toto (in Tacitus' time), were of the same 
race, and spoke the same language, Mr. Pinkarton, taking his 
leave of Tacitus, has a most tragi-comic encounter with Bede, 
J'ornandes, Nennius, Samuel, £fc. hugging one, and buffeting 
another, as they happen to favour, or thwart his purpose; but 
the whole evidence be elicits from this arduous contest, is not 
worth a penny. When Tacitus had oncie dropt the hint, that 
the Caledonians might perhaps be GermSins, it was easy for these 
fabulous writers, to contrive a method of ferrying them over 
from Germany. But here too, they commit an egregious mis. 
take ii^ bringing them over in a few Roman ships of war, longis- 
■navibus non multis. Every one knows that the Romans, and no 
Aation else denominated their ships of war, Longne naves. This 
blunder is the more unpardonable, because Tacitus, speaking of 

380 NOTES. 

the Suiones,(De Moilb, Germ. cap. 14 ) gives us a^descrrptloa 
of ships very drflerenf. Forma naviam eo differ/, quod utnmque 
prorae paratam semper appulsui fronlem agil ; nee veils minis, 
trantur, nee remos in online lateribus adjungunt. Solutum, ul 
inquibusdamfluminum,et mutabUe, ut resposeit, Itine velillinc re- 
migium, i. e. " The form of their ships dilTer from ours in this 
respect, that a prow at each end renders landing alwajs easy, 
nor are they furnished with sails, nor do they fix the oars ia 
rows oil their sides. The oars are loose, (not fastened to the? es- 
sel), as is the case in some rivers, and can be shifted to either 
side, as occasion requires." Mr. Pinkarton is here at his old 
tricks. He does not insert this passage in the original, bat 
gives us the following interested and uncandid translation of it. 
The form of the ships differ from ours, because a prow at either 
end makes landing always easy, Thei) have no sails, nor are ihe 
oars ranged in order on the side. The vessel is of free comtruc. 
tion, as used in some rivers, and may be steered to whatever point 
is necessary, (v. 1. p. 204). By Solutum rcmtginm, is clearly 
meant that the Suiones did not fasten thiir oars to the ships, but 
Mr. Pinkarton says it means a. free built vessel, without consU 
deriog, that Solutum, whenever applied t oa ship, means unmoor, 
ed, Sohere naiem to unmoor a ship, is a phrase so well known 
that it needs no comment. ReiMgium never signifies a vessel, 
but the act of rowing, ipsa agitatio remorum, and in many in. 
stances, (as here) the oar itself. By this artifice Mr. Piokartou 
has contrived to convert Tacitus' censure of their unskilful mode 
of rowing, into a panegyric ou the structure of their ships. I 
hope the rea(Jer will indulge me in making a few remarks on this 
famous Scandinavian navy, 

1. They were double prowed, for the greater facility in land- 
ing, and hence we may infer that they were not calculated for 
any thing beyond their narrow creeks and rivers. Had they 
been acquainted with the helm, the double prow to land the 
ship, without turning, was unnecessary, and without the helm 
no distant voyage could be undertaken. 2. They had no sails 
another obstacle to sailing^ at any considerable distance. 3, The 

NOTES. 381 

oars were disposed in no regular and judicious manner, to fa. 
cilitate either the celerity, or proper management of the vessel. 
4to, The oars, as in boats employed on rivers, were not fastened 
to the vessel, and apt, in the least storm, to be washen overboard 
and lost. This was the state of the Scandinavian navy when 
Tacitus wrote in the beginning of the second dentury. Four 
centuries earlier, the date assigned' for the migration of the Picfs 
from Scandinavia to Scotland, this navy must have been still in a 
worse state. Yet these wretched boats, with a double prow, 
without sails, without a regular disposition of the oars, managed 
in the most unskilful manner, and in all probability without a 
helm, have been magnified by the writers of the middle ages into 
huge, large ships, longae naves. 

But the true point of inquiry' is, bow these late writers knew 
an event of which no tradition ei(ist«d in the time of Cxsar and 
Tacitus, who wrote seven or eight centuries before them. Had 
any ttadition of this mig.r3.tio0 existed, Tacitus woulduot have 
rested the Pictish or Caledonian claim to a Germanic origin, on 
their red hair. Caesar and Tacitus are the fathers of British his- 
tory. It is astonishing to consider with what avidity the slight- 
est hint dropt by them has been grasped at, and improved on. 
Caesar mentions Vergobretus as the name of the chief magistrate 
of the ^dui. The hint is instantly taken, and Casivellaunus is 
dubbed Vei-gobret of the South Britoiis, Galgacus of the Caledo. 
niansj and, which is still more ridiculous, Mr. Pinkarton has 
put in his claim to Vergobret in behalf of his favourite Goths. 
Human folly is 'always the same. But the truth is, that there is 
BO evidence whatever of a Pictish migration fromScythia,'Geri 
many, or Scandinavia. The conjecture of Tacitus, that the Ca. 
ledonians might be Germans from the size of their limbs, and 
their red hair, is the origin of the whole fable. Here it origi. 
nated; and after having been twisted about and about in every 
direction, from the time of Bede down to the present day, it al. 
ways reverts- to the same point, and remains exactly as Tacitus 
left it. The fed hair of the Caledonians, on which Pinkarton 
lays so much stress j is a criterion extremely equivocal. The 

3 C 

382 NOTES. 

Tery same criterion would prove them Egyptians. Dioderus 
Skulus (libr 1. p. S9.) says, it zeas an established custom of the 
Egyptians to sacrifice red haired men at the tomb of Osiris. 

But though we should grant, contrary io all probability, that 
the Picts or Caledonians were a colony from Gernaany or Scan, 
dinavia about three centuries prior to our oera, still we are in- 
volved in the same difficulty ; for the question naturally arises, 
whether this colony were Celts or Germans ? That the Germans 
made great encroachments on the Celts on the Continent, and 
wrested the greater part of their territory from them, is on all 
hands allowed. Still, even in Germany, as late as the time of 
Cassar and Tacitus, the Celts were not extirpated. We find the 
Tectosages, the Finni, the 3Lstyi, the Cimbri, and the Gothini^ 
indisputably Celtic nations, still in Germany. Now can it rea. 
sonably be supposed that the Germans would rather emigrate 
themselves, than drive out the Celts; or rather is it not self-evi. 
dent that the Celts, the weaker party, were forced to yield to 
the overwhelming pressure of the Germans, and to seek new set. 
tlements for themselves in Britain. Hence the probability of a 
Celtic origin for the Picts or Caledonians, must greatly prepon. 
derate; and still more so, as there is not the slightest vestige of 
authentic evidence in the world, that a German, or any one of 
that race, ever set a foot on British or Irish ground before th« 
middle of the fifth century. It would be presumption in me to 
endeavour to establish the Celtic origin of the Picts or CaledoBi- 
ans. In so doing, I could only repeat the arguments of men in> 
finitely better qualified for the task. That the Picts or Caledow 
nians were of Celtic origin, is established by the respectable 
authorities of Camden, Lloyd, Junes, Whitaker, Guthrie, Gib. 
bon, Hume, &c, &c. &c. I have to apologize to the reader for 
this long digression. The truth is, that it formed the concluding 
part of Note 65, and, by some unaccountable oversight, was 
omitted in its proper place ; nor was the mistake discovered till 
it was too late to rectify it. We shall next turn our attention 
to the Celts. in Ireland. 

Tlie anticiuity of the use of Utters in Ireland has been strenn. 

NOTES. 383 

ously maintained, antl as strenuously controverted. To do jus. 
tice to this discussion, would require a volume. Pinkarton and 
Jnnes have, above all others, strained every effort in the negative, 
and adduced every argument to that eiFect which ingenuity could 
invent, or prejudice suggest. By adverting to the arguments of 
these gentlemen, I will, in some measure, be able to do justice 
to the subject, and at the same time confine myself within the 
bounds to which these notes must necessarily be limited. Both 
these geotlemea owed Mr, Toland a grudge, though on very dif. 
ferent grounds. Pinkarton was sensible his Gothic system could 
never stand, till the Celts, and every thing Celtic, were com. 
pletely annihilated, and hence his inveterate antipathy to To. 
land, who was not only a Celt, but a strenuous assertor of the 
antiquity, civilization, and early literature of the Celts. Innes, 
on the other band, was a Popish clergyman, a staunch Jacobite, 
and an inflexible advocate for the divine right of reigning. This 
divine right of kings was, by Toland and the whigs, (for Toland 
was a rigid whig) ironically denominated the divine right of doing 
rerong. With men actuated by such discordant principles, 'where 
a diversity of opinion was possible, no coincidence was to be 

Mr. Pinkarton (v. 2. p. 18. & 19.) insists that the Irish have 
no claim to letters before St. Patrick introduced them, along 
with Christianity, about the year 440. Tet this same gentle, 
man, wishing to fix the authentic history of his favourite Picfs 
as early as possibly, dates it from the commencement of the reign. 
ofDrust the Great, in 414, and assigns as a reason for this authen. 
ticify, (v. l.p. 275.) ttjat, in 412, there were /mA clergymen who 
settled in Pictland, and had the use of letters, and that tradition 
was then exchanged for authentic history. If the Irish were un. 
acquainted with letters till St. Patrick introduced them in 440, 
or (as others say) in 432, it must follow that these Irish clergy 
who settled in Pictland in 412, must also have been totally illi. 
terate, r But Mr. Pinkarton, it may be presumed, would not 
found the authenticity of the history of his red-haired friends on 
a fictioDj and hence it is evident, from his own account of the 

3c 2 

584 NOTES. 

matter, that the Irish were acquainted with letters at least 
twenty years before the arrival of St. Patrick. The man who 
can thus deliberately deny and assert one and the same thing, as 
it thwarts or favours bis purpose, is certainly yery ill qualified 
for a historian. 

Mr. Innes, uiith all his foibles, is a modest and meritorious 
writer. Though he sometimes colours hard, he nevet absolutely 
violates truth. Willing to rate St. Patrick's merits as high as 
possible, he makes him tbefather of Irish letters. The first ar. 
gument he adduces (v. 2. p. 456.) is that the Gaelic (Irish) 
words Liiir, a letter — Leabhar, a book — Leagham, to read — 
Scriobham, to write, &c. are derived from the Roman Litera, 
Liber, Lego, Scribo, &c. and hence infers that Letters, Books, 
Heading and Writing, were borrowed from the Romans, and 
introduced by St. Patrick. To give this argument its full 
weight, I shall here add a short synopsis of the Sanscrit, Celtic, 
and Roman languages. 


Cultivated land 
A mother 
A brother 
A prophet 
A priest 
A door 
' A word, vowel 
Wet, drunk 
The knee 
A month 
A king 
A ship 
A calamity 
A day 
A station 
A pen 
The middle 



















Ter, Tir 














Vox, Vocalis 















































A wheel 

Fem, Femen 



A woman 

Fear, Fir 



A man 








A thing 




The mind 
















A place 



A brow 

Lubhd - 

JJIll u 














scrip. Holy writ 










































I am sorry I haye been able to procure no other specimen of 
the Sanscrit language than that contained in the Edinburgh Re. 
view (1809) of Wilkins'' Sanscrit Grammar, which specimen was 
selected by the reviewers with the exclusive view of contrasting 
it with the Roman language. Even under all these disadvan. 
tages it bears a stronger resemblance to the Celtic. The combi. 
nations bh and dh, which so frequently occur in the Celtic, are 
also characteristic features in the orthography of the Sanscrit. 
The present infinltiTe of Sanscrit verbs ends generally in m. In 
the Celtic the present indicative ends also in m. We can trace 
the same mode of termination in the Latin verbs. Their first 
supine (which is only another present infinitive) ends always in 
m. That the Romans used antiently to terminate the present 
indicative in m, is sufficiently evident from inquam and sum, 
With all its compounds. If Mr. Innes will argue, from the affi. 

386 ISfOTES, 

nitjr of the Celtic language to the Roman, that the Celts derived 
their letters, books, writing, reading, chronology, numbers, and 
the art of calculating, from St. Patrick, it must follow from the 
Tery same argument, that the Indian Bramins also derived the 
art of writing, &c. from St. Patrick, which is impossible. 

That the Celtic, Sanscrit, and Roman languages bear the 
strongest marks of affinity, is self-evident. Mr. Innes (and he 
has been too generally followed) endeavours to shew that the 
Celtic has borrowed largely from the Latin. Were we even to 
grant this postulatum, we are only involving ourselves in a new 
difficulty, for the affinity of the Sanscrit to the Latin remains 
still to be accounted for. I flatter myself the boldest speculator 
will not even venture to insinuate that the Sanscrit has borrowed 
from the Latin, or vice versa. These languages never came in 
contact. The Celtic cannot, therefore, have derif^ed its affinity 
to the Sanscrit through the medium of the Roman language. It 
is, on all hands, allowed that the Sanscrit and Celtic are Asiatic 
languages, or (in other words^ primary dialects of the aboriginal 
language of Asia. The Roman language has no such early 
claim. Fortunately for our present purpose, Rome reared its 
head within the period of authentic history. The Romans were 
not (like the Celts or Bramins) acolony direct from Asia. They 
were a few Italian shepherds, and lawless banditti, and could 
not possibly speak any other language than that of the country 
which produced. them. That the Celtic was the aboriginal Ian. 
guage of Europe, is a point unquestioned and unquestionable. 
It is even sanctioned by Pinkarton himself. The Celtic or Um. 
brian language was, therefore, the aboriginal language of Italy, 
and consequently of Rome. The Greek colonies, which, from 
time to time, settled in Italy prior to the Roman xra, do doubt 
effected some alteration in the language of Italy ; and it is most 
probable that the Doric dialect of the Greek, fotinded on the 
Celtic, or (in other words) the Celtic Doricizcd, laid the founda. 
lion of the Roman language. Hence the affinity of the Celtic, 
Sanscrit, and Roman languages, can be satisfactorily accounted 
for. The CeUic and Sanscrit were primary dialects of the abo. 

NOTES. 387 

riginal language of Asia, and the Roman language a secondary 
dialect of the same, through the medium or iuterTention of the 
Celtic. I am well aware that the Greek technical terms have, 
through the medium of the Roman language, been spread aU 
over Europe, and that a great number of Roman ecclesiastical 
terms were every where introduced wiih Christianity. But these 
are easily distinguished. The words which characterize the an« 
tiquity, the identity, or the affinity of languages, are those which 
mark the permanent objects of li&ture, or the primary wants 
and relations of mankind, and which must have existed from the 
very first dawn of social intercourse. 

But least it should be imagined that I wish to evade a direct 
reply to Mr. Innes' argument, I shall here admit, because the 
words in the CeMic which signify a tetter, a book, &c. bear every 
mark of identity with the Roman litera, liber, &c. that St. Pa- 
trick introduced letters, books, &c. into Ireland, and then it 
must follow that he introduced all things else, whose names bear 
the same marks of identity. The identity of the following words, 
(and a thousand more) is manifest. Ceal, heaven and Ccelum — ' 
Ter, land and Terra — Man, a hand and Manus — Capat, a head 
and Caput — Mathair, a mother and Mater — Bhrathair, a bro- 
ther and Frater — Femen, a woman and Fcemina — Fir, a man 
and Vir — iSozi,, t,he sun and Sol — Luan, the moon and Luna, &c. 
&c. &c. Hence it must follow, on Mr. Jnnes' own mode of 
reasoning, that there was neither heaven nar earth, hand nor 
head, mother nor brother, man nor vooman, sun nor moon, &c. 
&c. &c. in Ireland, till St. Patrick introduced them. 

Fully sensible that he was supporting a desperate and unten. 
able position, he admits (v. 2. p.. 4510 that the Irish had the 
partial use of letters prior to the arrival of St. Patrick. By the 
partial use of letters he probably means (bat they were confined 
to the Jiigber ranks, but this again agrees ill with his assertion 
(v. 2. p, 466.) that the 300 volumes which St. Patrick burnt on 
his arrival, were written in magical or hierogiyphical letters, and 
intelligible only to the. Druids. If the lower ranks in Ireland 
were wholly illiterate, the ordinary letters would have beea as 

388 NOTES. 

sufficient a disguise as any other ; and if these volumes were 
unintelligible to all but the Druids, how could St. Patrick know 
their obnoxious contents, or whence could arise the necessity of 
Iraming them. 1 hare thus followed Pinkarton and Innes throogh 
their different arguments; and it is not a little strange, that, 
though both set out with the avowed intention of proving that 
St. Patrick was the first who introduced letters into Ireland, yet 
both have been obliged to recoil, and to subvert the very point 
which they wished to establish. 

But'though we might safely rest the use of letters in Ireland 
prior to St. Patrick, on the reluctant evidence of these two 
gentlemen, still there is not the slightest occasion for so gratui. 
tons an alternative. The evidences on this head are numerous 
and irresistible. Had St. Patrick really found the Irish totally 
illiterate, why do none of his biographers' plainly tell us so ? All 
that he did, was writing somewhat more than 365 alphabets. — 
See Toland's quotation from Nennius, p. 96. That the sainj 
introduced the Roman alphabet, as a preliminary step to the 
introduction of the Roman language, no one will pretend to dis. 
pute ; but we can no more hence infer that the Irish were, prior 
to that period, destitute of letters, than that they were destitute 
of language. Dudley Forbes, and Dr. Kennedy, (see Toland* 
p. 105) testify that St. Patrick burnt from 180 to 300 volumes 
of Irish records. The compilation of these volumes must have 
been the work of many ages, and I hope no one will say that the 
Irish could compile them without the use of letters. But, says 
Mr. Innes, (vol. 2. p. 466) these volumes were written in hiero- 
glyphical letters. This would be a phenomenon indeed. 
Egypt the parent (as far as we know) of hieroglyphics, was 
never possessed of one volume, and how can Ireland be supposed 
to possess 300 ? This assertion of Mr. Innes is perfectly foolish 
and gratuitous, when he had previously admitted, (v. 2. p. 451.) 
that the Irish had the partial use of letters prior to the arrival of 
St. Patrick. Had the saints' biographers considered him, or 
indeed wished him to be considered, as the father of Irish let- 
ters, they would never have acted so inconsistently as to tell ns," 

NOTES. 889 

tiidt they, (the Irish) had 300 volumes flf redords before his 

The Irish have always held St. Patrick in the highest venera- 
tion. Their gratitude has been unbounded. They have even 
superloaded him with honours. Had he really been the father 
of Irish letters, what possible biotive could they have had, to 
pluck this individual and solitary laurel from his brow. But 
they, on the contrary, (see Toland, p. 85.) ascribe their letters to 
Femus Farsaidh, i. e. " Phaenix the antient, ot the antient 
Phcenician. Whether by Fenius Farsaidh, they meant the 
Taaut of SanchoniathoH, or Cadmus who first introduced letters 
into Greece, it is impossible to determine. All that we can 
infer from it is, that the Irish derived their letters from the Phoe. 
nicianSi The polite Greeks and Romans ascribe theirs to the 
same source. Herodotus, (lib. 5.) owns that the Greeks received 
their letters fr<An the Phcenicians. Diodorus Sieultts, (lib. 1.) 
says, J%ese Phcenicians who did receive these letters from the- 
MuseSf and afterwards communicated them to the Greeks, are 
the same who came into Europe with Cadmus. Lucan, (Phart. 
sal, lib, 3.) saySj 

I'hcenices prinii, faaiae si credimus, ausi 
Mansaram rudibus voceoi signare figaris. 

i. e. " The Phoenicians, if We credit fame, were the first who 
attempted to give stability to words, by marking them with rude 
characters. Pliny, (lib.-&. Sf Cap. 12. also lib. 7. cap. 56.) is 
very full to the same purpose. Having sufficiently established 
that the Greeks and Romans,- as well as the Irish ascribe their 
letters to the Phoenicians, it is in the next place necessary to 
compare these alphabets. 

The Phcenician, or (which isthe same thing) the Hebrew Or 
Chaldaic letters are, Aleph, Beth, Gimel, Daleth, He, Vau, 
Dsain, Cheih, Tetk, lod, Caph, Lamech, Mem, Nun, Samech, 
^in, Pe, Tsade, Koph, Resh, Shin, Tan, in all twenty.two. 
The Greek letters introduced by Cadmus are Alpha, Beta, 
Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, lota. Kappa, Lambda, Mui, Nui, 

3 D 

390 ^OTKS. 

Omikron, Pi, Ro, Sigma, Tau, Ypsilon, in all sixteen, lo 
these Palaraedes, about the time of the Trojan war, added, A/, 
Theta, Phi, Chi, and Simonides afterwards added Zeta, Eta, 
Psi, Omega. From the correspandence of the names of the 
Greek letters to those of the Hebrew, it is clear Ihe former were 
derived from the latter. The Roman alphabet is, ^, b, c, d, e, 
r, G, H, r, J, K, L, JB, If, o, p, o, R, s, T, V, r, X, T, z, in all 
twenty-fi»e. The plenitude of the Roman alphabet, as well as 
the name of the letters being omitted, and the form or figure 
only retained, is a clear argument that it is much more iDodera 
than either of the preceding. The Irish alphabet is, a, b, c, d, 
i, F, G, I, L, M, y,o, p, R, s, T, V, in all seventeen. Though 
jf has latterly cr«pt into the language, it was originally,^s amocg 
the Greeks, an aspirate, and marked by a dot above the line. 
It is initial in no Celtic word, and merely used as an Euphonic, 
or, in combiDatton with some other letter, as a sflhstituteto sup- 
ply the place of some letter wanting in the Irish alphabet. Tlu' 
Irish alphabet contains many genuine marks of remote antiquity, 
which deserve minute consideration. 

Imo, Its nanie, viz. Beth.Luii.Nion an Oghuim^-u e. " tha 
Alphabet of Ogum.—See Toland, p. 82, 83, 84, Sfc. This word 
Is sometimes written Ogam and Ogma. Lncian (See Toland'* 
Quotation, p. 81 Sf H%) gives a very particular account cf 
Ogum or Ogma, which he la,tigjze$ Ogmius. This name is na 
idle fictioQ or whim ^i the Bards or Sqnaifhies (as Pinkartoo 
imagines) long after the arrival of St. ^trick> Litciaa, who 
■wrote about three centuries ^fo;^ St. Patcick's arrival, calls it 
phon? te epichorlo — i. e. a wor4 of the gountrj-^a Gaeht woTd. 
Tlie autiquity of th^ wprd ^gum, and that it was CeUi«, is thus 
established as early as the middle of the s«Qond ceu^ry. Xh« 
title of the Irish alphabet is th^refcjre 09 ficiion ^ubsequtnt to the 
arrival of St. Patri«;k. 

2do, Its QTrangem^nt, viz. «, l, n, &.c. This is another 
mark of its antiquity, for we all know that the arrangement of 
the Roman alphabet is quite different. Wheo St. Patrick had 
iuttoduwd th« RQman language aad Wii^n, the Roman arrange. 

NOTES. ,19J 

Sfient of the alphabet pretailedj and this was the only alteratioa 
the Irish alphabet uiiderweDt. 

8tIo, The names df the Irish lemrs^ tiz. Ailntj an Elm; Iklh, 
a Bitch ; Coll^ a HatU; DuiTf aft Oak; Ettdha, ati Aipen.ttee f 
Feantf an Aldet.tree; Gort^zxi Ity.tteer, Iodhd,9. YeiK.tfee; 
Luis.) a Qideketi-tree ; Mttiii^ a. Vine; iVjtiw, an Ask; Oir, a 
Sphtdle^tree ; Pieth.Bhog, licft translated by the Irish ^fatottfa. 
riatis. Ruig, an Elder.tree ; Stilf not translated hy the Irfsh 
gfammariails. Teine, not tratJslated; U, Heath jUtiih, (the 
aspirate H) a tuAJ/e Thotn-tree. Of these l*tt^«, !?(?</«, Jodha, 
Muin and ^ujn, bear a marked affltiity to the Hebrew Beth* 
Jod.Mem and iV«», as*ell as to the Greek Beta,- Idtd, itfef, and 
Nui. What is most remarkable in this atpthsibei, Is that it is con. 
sidered as a icdod, and the letters as trees. This idea is so p6r- 
fffctly origjual, that the Irish coofd not passiMy havef bffrrowed 
it from any nation in the wotld. Another mark of atitiquitj^ is, 
that the meaning of Pieth.'Bho^.Suil, and Teine^ are Hot knowa, 
and they are coftsequeHtty left ttntranS'lated Ijiy the Irish gram- 
rnarians. Had this airyhabe't been a modern fabrication, ibet6 
could have been no diffictflty iniis^gttihg a signification to these, 
as well as to the fest. It ^Iso possesses this peeatiairitj' in com- 
mon With the Hebrew alphabet that the name of ev'ety fettet is 
significant and expressive. ^ 

4to. Itsfgure or form. Thcf origlnai Irish letters, (of Which 
the reader Will see a sipeciffleti in Schaw's analysts of the Gaelic 
language, Major Valencia's gramMar, &c.) appear to be a com. 
pound of the Greek and' Saxon, Taken in iofo, they can be 
identified with no alp'habet now known. Mr. Piiikarton has the 
modesty to tell us that the Irish alphabet is the' Sa.v&n. Can 
this geuft^tnaii have forgot, that he allows the Irish the use of 
letters as eariy as the arrival of St. Fatrick in 432', and that be 
proves the Gei'mans, Scandinavians, Saxons', &i. totafly illite. 
rale till the 91h century ? Though the Celts Ad not Hceive their 
letters from the Romans or Saxons, still it is highly probably 
that the Saxons recsived theirs from the' Celts', and this may ac. 

392 f«OTES, 

count for the faint similarity which can be traced in some letters 

of their respective alphabets. 

5to, Its identity with the alphabet of Cadmus. The Irish al- 
phabet, as I have already stated, consists of 17 letters. With 
the exception of the letter i^, the other 16 are toto corpore, the 
identical 16 letters which Cadmus introduced into Greece. 
This coincidence can neither have proceeded from accident nor 
design, but from the original and absolute identity of the alpha, 
bets themselves. If the Irish had culled or selected their alpha- 
bet from the Roman one, as has been foolishly imagined, by 
what miracle could they have hit on the identical letters of Cad. 
rous, and rejected all the rest? Had they thrown 16 dice, 16 
times, and turned up the same number every time, it would not 
have been so marvellous as this. The identity of the Cadmean 
and Irish alphabet is not therefore the effect of chance or acci- 
dent. Neither is it the effect of design. Had the Irish framed 
this alphabet with a design to make it coincide exactly with that 
of Cadmus, they would, at least, have been possessed of as much 
fommon sense, as to-leave out the letter F. 

6to. The paucity of its letters. It St. Patrick introduced the 
Roman alphabet, why were the letters J, k, e, r, jr, y, and z 
omitted ? For Jf they had no occasion, their c being always pro- 
nounced hard. J is expressed by d put before t or e, thus Dia 
\s pronounced Jeecf. There are no such sounds in the Celtic 
SIS those expressed by a, x, or z. The combinations bfi and nik 
express r, dh and gh, express y. Though there was no occa- 
sion for *, «, X, and z, still j, r, and r, were of primary neces. 
sity, the Celts, or Irish, having no such lettprs, and being obliged 
to express them by combinations or substitutions. Bat there 
is betwi?^ every -written language and its alphabet a certain ap- 
titude and affinity which peculiarly adapts them to each other. 
The peculiar alphabet of a language is its most graceful and ap- 
propriate dress. Every othpr alphabet, when applied to it is 
pukward, forced, and unnatural. Were the English language 
■written in Greek or Hebrew characters, it would well nigh gq 
fhe length pf ruining its whole fortn and orthogr^.phy. The same 

NOTES,. 393 

tliiog would happen were the English characters applied to the 
Greek or Hebrew languages. But where a language has not 
been written, any alphabet will suit it, and they easily coalesce 
and assimilate. Had the Irish (Celtic) language not been a writ, 
ten one, and its orthography settled, before the arriral of St. 
Patrick, there could have been no possible obstacle to the intro. 
duction of the Roman alphabet in its fullest extent.. Indeed, 
bad this not been the case, the introduction of the Homan alpha, 
bet would have followed as a necessary and inevitable conse. 
quence, though the Saint had been determined to prevent it. 

7mo. Its antiquity. Many attempts have been made by Pin- 
karton, and others, to get rid of the ancient Irish alphabet. They 
have rendered it a sort of short hand writing^ invented about the 
tenth or eleventh century, — the Notae Longobardicae-^Runic 
characters — magical or hieroglyphical letters, &c. But their 
grand argument is, that St. Patrick introduced the Roman letters 
in 432. Were we to grant this, it is the greatest death blow 
which these gentlemen could receive, for it must then follow, 
that such manuscripts as are written in the ancient Irish charac. 
ters, are older than the aera of St, Patrick. Bat (say they) these 
characters were invented several centuries aftpr St, Patrick had 
introduced the Roman alphabet. This concession would be 
equally fatal to them, foi; it would then follow, that St. Patricjc 
was not the father of Irish letters, otherwise it would have been 
totally unnecessary for the Irish to frame an alphabet to them- 
selves several after his arrival. The truth is, that the 
Jrish had an alphabet before the arrival of St. Patrick, qnd that, 
prior to that iera, the orthography of their language was fixed ; 
and though St. Patrick and the christian clergy wrote the Irish 
language in Rom^n characters, still they found it i6:ipossible to 
add one letter more to the Irish alphabet than it originally f>os. 
sessed. The genius and orthography of the language rendered 
it impracticable. If any reinforcement from the Roman alpha, 
bet was necessary, it was most particularly the letters v and ^, 
yet these were never introduced.. That the Irisli alphabet has 
liad its gradations from rudeness to perfection, is no more than 

394 NOTES. 

has happened to that of all other languages. Sacli manuscripts 
as were written when these letters wert in a very rude and ill 
defined state, would become occult, and hardly intelligible, when 
the alphabet had assumed, in a long series of ages, a better de. 
fined and more polished form. This circumstance has giTen rise 
to the groundless conjectures about magical and hieroglfphical 
letters, &c. and has led even some of the Irish historians astray. 
The unintelligibility of a manuscript (if it is occasioned by the 
rudeness of the characters in which it is written) has always been 
considered as a genuine mark of rfs antiquity ; yet the prepos. 
terous Pinkarton makes it a proof of modernism ; and, rather 
than allow that this obscurity has been superinduced on these 
manuscripts by the innovation of letters and of language, in a 
long lapse of ages, forges an occult alphabet for them in the 
eleventh century. But so far was the Roman alphabet from 
being generally prevalent in Ireland in the time of St. Patrick, 
that its use in that kingdom was partial and limited, even as lata 
as the beginning of the seventeenth century. King James the 
First having subjugated Ireland, wished to disseminate the gos. 
pel among the Irijh, and for this pious purpose caused two edi- 
tions of the Eibla and New Testament ia be printed in 1602. 
Both editions were printed in the Irish (Celtic) language, bnt 
one was printed in the Roman, and the other in the Irish cha- 
racters. Had the Irish alphabet been superseded by the Roman 
one, or rather had not a considerable part of the Irish nation still 
retained their primitive mode of writing, this last edition was 
totally unnecessary and gratuiloas. Oa the other hand, had 
these Irish letters been hieroglyphical, mystical, or nninteliigi. 
ble, as has been groondlessly asserted, would King James have 
been guilty of such an act of stupidity, as to make use of them 
for the propagation of the gospel. He certainly did not mean to 
insult the Irish with a book which was unintelligible. 

The Greeks and Romans inform us that they derived their 
letters from the Phoenicians, and we give them implicit credit. 
The Irish ascribe theirs to the same source, yet they have been 
laughed to scorn. It is extremoly hard thus inipticitly to cretfit 

NOTES. 395 

the assertions of Greece and Rome, and to treat with contempt 
the claim of the Celts, who are by far the most ancient race of 
the three. The pretensions of the Celts, the aborigines of Eu« 
rope, and the precursors of the Greeks and Romans, are modest 
ill the extreme, in as much as they go no higher than those of 
Greece and Rome, nations only of yesterday, when compared 
to the antiquity of the Celts, If there is any absurdity at all in 
the case, it rests exclusively with the modern and upstart Greeks 
and Romans, in carrying their pretensions as high as the Celts. 
I am, however, far from disputing the authenticity of the Greek 
and Roman claims. All I mean is to shew that there is nothing 
immodest, extravagant, or absurd, in the Irish claim; and I do 
not hesitate to maintain, that if there is any priority in the case^ 
the Celts, by far the most ancient race, are (caeteris partibus) 
clearly entitled to it,- 

But if we surrender the Phoepician origin of the Irish alpha, 
het, we involve ourselves in a still greater difficulty. Let iis, 
however, probe the matter to the bottom, and look for its origin 
in some other direction. Here we have not many choices, but 
must ascribe it to the Goths, to the Romans, or to the Greeks. 
The Goths (on the evidence of their devoted advocate Pinkarton) 
were unacquainted with letters till the ninth century, and con. 
sequently it could not be derived from this quarter. St. Patrick 
and hfs successors, notwithstanding all their influence, were 
never. able to introduce the Reman alphabet into general use in 
Ireland ; on the contrary, the Irish alphabet kept distinct and 
aloof, without altering its form, or borrowing a single letter; 
and after an arduous struggle, yard arm and yard arm (if I may 
use a na>utical phrase) for twelve centuries, survived till the se- 
venteenth century, and might have survived to the present day, 
had not James the First introduced English laws, English forms 
of government, and English schools, with strict injunctions that 
the Vernacular (Irish) language should neither be spoken nnr 
taught in these seminaries. The Irish alphabet was not, there, 
fore, borrowed from the Romans. The Greek alphabet has un. 
dergone three gradations : it first consisted of the sixteen letters 

396 NOTES. 

of Cadransj to these Palamedes added four, about the time of 
the Trojan war. Simonides, at an after period, added four 
more, making in all twenty-four. If we deriye the Irish from 
tJie Greek alphabet, we must select the tera when these alpha- 
bets approximate nearest both as to number and identity of let. 
lers. This sera is prior to the siege of Troy, when the alphabets 
of Pheenicia, of Greece, and of Ireland, (with the exception of 
the letter F, the origin of which is uncertain, and which might 
still be spared without any material injury to the Celtic Ian. 
gnage) absolutely coincided both in number and identity of let. 
ters. It is, indeed, worthy of remark, that the Irish have added 
only one letter (F) to the alphabet of Cadmus, whilst the Greeks 
have added eight, and the Romans nine. Though there are in- 
stances of a nation enlarging its alphabet, there is not one (as 
far as I know) of curtailing or abridging it. Had the Celts bor^ 
rowed their alphabet posterior to the siege of Troy, when the 
Greek alphabet (which, no doubt, kept pace with the Phcenician 
one) was increased to twenty letters, they must have borrowed 
the same number; and if after the time of Simonides, they must 
have borrowed twenty.four letters. It is, therefore, no vain 
boast, when the Irish ascribe their alphabet to the Phcenicians ; 
for there is, in fact, no alphabet in the world, which, at the pre. 
sent day, bears the same intrinsic, unequivocal, and characteris. 
tic marks of identity, with that of Cadmus. Nor is there any 
well founded reason to conclude that the Celts borrowed this 
alphabet through the medium of the Greeks. They were them. 
selves an Asiatic colony, who long preceded the Greeks, and 
might have brought this alphabet along with them to Enrope. 
We find them, at the first dawn of history, situated to the west 
of Greece, and along the shores of the Mediterranean, whence 
their intercourse with the Phoenicians was frequent and easy. 
But as I have no certain data whereby to fix this point, J shall 
content myself with having clearly established that the Irish 
alphabet is of Phoenician origin— that it (S older than the siege of 
Troy— and (hat the Celts have cousequently had th« use of letters 
at least 3000 years. 

NOTES. 397 

Antiquity of the Irish Manuscripts. 

Ireland, and its early history, have been long viewed through 
a dark cloud of prejudice. It is the most remote, and probably 
the last inhabited of all the Celtid districts. In Italy, in Spain, 
in Germany, in Gaul, not a siriglei Celtic manuscript has been 
preserved. In WaleS, and the Highlands of Scotland, we have 
a few, but Ireland itself boasts of an infinitely greater number 
than all the other Celtic liatians taken together. Ireland, at 
first sight, protnises least, whilst its pretensions are apparently 
extravagant and unbounded. This seeming incongruity has in. 
duced the bulk of mankind, without enquiry or consideration, 
to pronounce its manuscripts mere modern forgeries, and its his.; 
tory utterly fabulous and absurd. Singularly, however, as Ire- 
land is in these respects circumstanced, it is not witho|it a paraU 
lei. Judea, a century prior to the christian sera, was known to 
the Greeks and Romans hardly otherwise than by name. Taci. 
tus, who Wrote about the beginning of the second century, gives 
us an account of the Jews totally false and ridiculous. Justin, 
who wrote a century and a half later, is equally false and fabu.^ 
lous. It was Christianity alone (the best boon of heaven to 
mankind) which made their history and antiquities to be inves- 
tigated and respected. Hid Ethnicism still prevailed in the 
\Vorld, the history of the Jews (though the most ancient, as well 
as the only authentic onij) would, without doubt, have been, at 
the present day, treated with more contempt and ridicule than 
even that of Ireland. 

That there is no nation in the world which makes high preten- 
sions to antiquity, without being in some measure entitled to it, 
may safely be granted. This we know to be the case with the 
Jews, the Chaldeahs, the Chinese, the Egyptians, the Greeks, 
and the Romans, .&c. The ■ Celts (of whom the Irish are a 

3 E 

398 NOTES. 

branch) were, in fact, the Aborigines of Europe. They long 
preceded the Greeks, Romans, and all other Europ»>an nations. 
The antiquity of the Irish is, therefore, no vain dream. But 
the true point of astonishment is, by what means the Irish pre. 
served their history and records, when those of all the other 
Celtic nations were lost. This point is the object of the present 
enquiry ; and I shall disf nss it with all possible brevity and im. 

That the Celts had the use of letters at a very remote period, 
I have already clearly established. In Caesar's time, the chief 
aGademy or school of the Pruids had been so long established in 
Britain, thatDriiidism was supposed to have been invented there, 
and thence transferred into Oanl. Fiokarton lays hold of tbis 
passage, and (vol. 1. page 405.) asserts that the Phceoicians, 
who traded t9 Cornwall for tin, taught the inhabitants Oruidism. 
Were ve to graet this position, it would completely invalidate 
the very system, which ie has so strenuously labourfd to rear. 
Druidism, as defined ^y C^sar, (otoprebeoded all that vras great 
and respectable m pbilosopby. The Fhceeicians preceded the 
Greeks themselves in the u^e of letti^r;, aad at least equalled ' 
them in all the arts and i^ciences. If the Phceniciaqs taught the 
Weigh l3ruiUis«», it must of necessity follow, that the first Druids 
were Phoenician Philosophers or Missionaries, who would iofaJ* 
libly bring the literature, the art» and the sciences of Phceoicia, 
aloog with theoi, aod communicate them to their disciples. 
Hence a direct ctUtQQel wonld have been opeoed for pouring the 
whole literature aod arts of Phoenicia into Britaio. Yet this 
same visionary theorist, who obtrudes oo the C«Its a Phecoiciau 
religion, denies theijj a PbwBiclan alphabet. Indeed it is no less 
extraordinary than true, that there is hardly one argument ad. 
duccd b> this gentleman against the Celts, which does Qot ope. 
rate directly in their favour. 

When Cssar tells us tiiat Druidism was invented in Britain 
he expresses himself with diffidence, and only says, it is suppos. 
ed, (existimatur.) The truth is, that the C.r8*ks aid Roauns 
early unsheathed the sword a^aiast mankiad, and each in thsir 

NOTES. 399 

turn aspifed t» unWersal dominion. TI18 Goths ot Germans, a 

Persian race, fetohiog the Ctrcait of the Caa[)iaa Se4, poured ia 

upon the Cells in Germany, from the north, with relf ntless bar. 

barity. OwiSg to these and other causes, the Continent of Eu. 

rope wa» almost »ne scene of tiirbulenee, rapine, and bloodshed. 

The peealiar studies of the Druids required solitude and ri'tire. 

ment. This was only to be found in Britain, where they fixed 

(heir chief establishment, and tbkher (as Caesar informs us) re. 

sorted from the Coiitinent all such as wished to study Druidism 

to perfection^ The date of this Drtiidicai e»tabiishmeHt in Bfi. 

tain cannot be ascertainedy but we may safely fix it fife celitariei 

before the tiilie of Caesar. A shorter period would be wholly 

instrfficient to iAak6 the Druids in Gaul fotget the origin of the 

ickstitution, and resign the presedency to those in Britaio. The 

same wary prudence and sound policy which pointed out Bfi. 

tain, as the place of g,t6Aie3t security for the chief estal^lrsbment 

of the Diiuids, would also point it out as the safest asylum for 

their records aind manusci;ipts ; ^d hence the most importaot 

lOiinuscrrfyts af Gaul would be deposited in Britain. 

. Ireland was occupied by the same Celtic race which inhabited 

Britain and Gaid^ and bad un(2.aef9lionably the same civil and 

religious' institutions. ToUnd well remarks, thali DFu4dism Was 

oaly coes:teiided with the Ceikic dialects. In Cesar's time, as 

we have already seen, the British Druids were the teachers of 

theGauls} and it would be a:bsurd to suppose that the Irish, 

with whom the intercourse was equally easy, did not participate 

the Same advantage. UnfoHunately the Roman page throws no 

light on the early history of IrelaOd, el'se we might p>robably find, 

that, even in Caesar's time, the Druids of Ireland were nothing 

inferior to titose of Britain. Indeed,, at thi« very period, the 

DrUids of Britain might regard Ireland as their last asylum. 

In Caesar's time, the Druids were subjected to no p<oscrip. 

tio'H nor persecution. From bis- whole account it appears that 

thRyhad the use of Ie1ter9,-^tbat they were at least pairtiaHy ac. 

quainted with the-Greek and Roman languages, — that they were 

numerous and dispersed over the whole extent of Gaul, — that 

T 1? '> 

«J «. 4il 

400 NOTES, 

they were profound philosophers, and the supreme judges in all 
causes, civil or religious. It is equally clear, from the testimony 
of the same author, that the Druids of Gaul had, from time im- 
memorial, been the pupils of those in Britain. Hence we may 
reasonably infer, that the Druids in Britain were as numerous 
as those in Gaul, and as widely dispersed. From their monu- 
ments still remaining in England, Scotland, and Ireland, this 
can be clearly demonstrated to be the case. Indeed, if there 
were any doubt of these monuments being Druidical, it is com. 
pletely done away by their being in all respects the very same as 
those found in Gaul and Anglesey, countries confessedly Draid. 
ical. Exclusive of this identity, we have many of these monu- 
ments in England, Scotland, and Ireland, still denominated the 
Towns of the Druids — the Stones of the Druids — the Graves of 
the Druids — the Houses of the Druids, ifc. There is hardly a 
district of six miles square, in Great Britain or Ireland, which 
cannot boast of one or more of these antiquities. Some of these 
Druid's Houses (Tighte nan Druineach) are even found in Ar- 
gyleshire, a clear proof that the Druids were not confined to 
Wales, as Pinkarton foolishly imagines, but spread over the 
whole extent of Britain. Were we to take Caesar's words lite- 
lally, and suppose that Druidism was invented in Britain, the 
Druids would certainly disseminate this religion over Britain, 
and provide it with Druids, before they would think of sending 
Missionaries to convert Gaul, In whatever country Druidism 
prevailed, the Druids behoved to be very numerous. They were 
philosophers, ministers of religion, public teachers, civil judge-, 
historians and physicians. Every inhabited district had its 
share of them. On the testimony of Cajsar, Britain bed an im. 
mense multitude of inhabitants— rAominuffi «it infinita nmllitudo. 
Indeed, so completely were the Druids scattered over the whole 
extent of Britain and Ireland, that, even in the most remote and 
solitary corners, as well as in the most desert and insignificant 
islands, their monuments are every where to be found. We 
ipuy therefore safely conclude, (with Mr. Toland) that thp 

NOTES. 401 

liruids were planted in Britain and Ireland, as thick as the pre- 
sent establishedclergy, and in some instances much thicker. 

The unbounded influence of the Druids over all ranks, and 
their interference in civil affairs, in process of time led to their 
ruin. Caesar, who had trampled the liberties of his country 
under foot, and might dread its resentment, treated foreign na. 
tions with great lenity. He seems to have treated the Druids 
in Gaul with much respect, and we are certain that Divitiacus, 
their Archdruid, was his principal friend and favourite. From 
the same motives of policy, he treated Hyrcanus, the high priest 
of the Jews, with equal attention and respect. But succeeding 
emperors, particularly Tiberius and Claudius, passed the most 
cruel and exterminating decrees against the whole order of the 
Druids. Pliny {see Note 12.) says, that in the reign of Tibe, 
rius, Druidism was totally extirpated. Yet it is very extraor. 
dinary, that, except a Druid slain by the Emperor Claudius (see 
IVote 12), there is not another instance on record of the mas- 
sacre or death of a single Druid, throughout Ihe whole extent of 
Gaul. In Great Britain we have only one solitary instance to 
the same effect mentioned by Tacitus (see Note 49. p. 308.) whea 
the Romans under Suetonius, towards the middle of the first cen. 
tury, roasted the Druids of Anglesey alive. After this period no 
Roman author makeS/mention of the Druids, either in Gaul, or 
onthe Urrafirma of Great Britain. Pinkarton, and some others, 
have beeq kind enough to collect all the Druids of Britain on the 
Isle of Anglesey, that the Romans might extirpate them at one 
blow. Weak and credulous mortals ! More than three centuries 
after this massacre, Ammianus Marcellinus found Druids in the 
Isle of Mann; and fron) this position of the rear^ it is not diffi- 
cult to ascertain where the main liody had taken shelter. That 
Anglesey had its proportion of Druids, cannot be disputed ; but 
it is not the murder of perhaps a dozen or two in this island, and 
of one solitary individual in Gaul, which will account for all the 
Druids in Gaul and Britain, who, including their subordinate 
gradations, could not, on the most moderate <:alcu1ationj amount 
to less than (wenly thousand. In more modern times, an hun. 

402 NOTES. 

dreet Ollamks (gradaate bards) hare struck up their harps at 
once, in tile hall of a single chieftain, f hope I Deed not inform 
the reader that the Bards were the second order of the Druids. 

We have already seen that theDrUids, before there was eithftr 
edict or decree of the Roman senate against them, had fixed their 
chief college or academy in Britain, On the first appearance of 
Roman invasion, the same wary policy wonld dictate the neces- 
sity of ^aasferring it to Ireland, the only asylum then left. Bat 
on the passing of the relentless laws for their utter cxlirpalion, 
they had not only to provide for the safety of their chief esta. 
blishffient and principal records, but even for that of the whole 
order. That the Roman decrees were enforced with the utmosi 
rigour, is safficiently evinced, from the Emperor CfsudioS' having 
so far forgot bis dignity as to become the esecutioder of one of 
these Druids, and from the Romans sparing thv bulk of the in. 
habitants of Anglesey (presidium impoikwit victis), whil»t they 
actually and literally roasted the Druids aiire, igni iuo in«ol~ 
vunt. Two such terrible esampled were safiicient to alarm the 
Druids in Gaul and Britain; and so readily did tbey take the 
alarm, and so carefuUy did they keep oat of the way, that there 
is not another instance of the marder of a Druid on record. 

From the time of this massacre in Angtesey, there is uo more 
mention of Drttids in Rrttain, tilt AmmranusMarceilhros (about 
the year 368) found them in the Isle of Man&. The description 
which he gives of them (see Htste ^0) is animated And sublime. 
This is an incontestiffle proof that the Druids were not sxtirpat. 
ed by the Roittans, but that they fted every where from their re. 
lentless! pcrsecuttofr. The world, at this' time, afforded the 
Druids but few places of shelter, Th« Romans were, a* this 
period, (368) masters of atl Gavl, a Coaslderable part of Ger- 
many, and nearly the whole of Britain. Even Anglesey, more 
than three centories prior to this period, coutd not afford tbera 
shelter against the Romans. The Druids in Gaul would natu- 
rally, on the first appearance of danger, take shelter among the 
DiuiJs in Britain, with whom they were well acquainted, atid 
under whose caxe they had completed their studies. When th« 

NOTES. 403 

Roman power reached them in Britalo, they had no alternative 
but Ireland, and the islands of Scotland. When no Roman 
found a eiogle Druid on the continent of Britain, and Ammianus 
found the rear of them in the Isle of Mann, there cannot remain 
a doubt that the main body had proceeded to Ireland, though a 
fiew individuals might perhaps straggle over the Hebrides, or 
shelter themselves in the most inaccessible parts /of Wales and 
the Highlands of Scotland, By this event Ireland became pos. 
sessed of the literati, the traditions, the history, the literature, 
and the records, of all the Celtic nations. Ireland was the tie 
plus ultra of Celtic migration. Here Druidism found its last 
asylum, and here it made Us last agonizing effort, and expired. 

It has been most unfortunate for the history of Ireland, that 

its early historians bad not the candour to acknowledge the vast 

acquisition of records vrhich they gained on the expulision of the 

Druids from Gaul and Britain. It would^have prevented much 

confusion, and afforded a handle to develops such parts of their 

history as appear so hyperbolical as to baffle the most extravagant 

pitch of human credulity. But the truth is, that the Irish, avail. 

iog themselves of these records, to which they had no earthly 

claim, apprctpriated them to themselves, and framed a history 

from that oC all the other Celts ; and it is unquestionably the 

appUcatioo of all the events vrbich befell all the Celtic tribes 

(siace their first raigratiou from Asia) to the solitary and detach.^ 

^'island. of Ireland, which makes its. history appear so utterly 

ridiselous and absurd. The Irish historians say that the Firbolg 

{Viri Belgi&y arrived in Ireland 1500 years before the christianr 

jjra-^the Tvatftde Dnnan (Damnii of North Britain) 1250, 

and the Milesitms 1000. Now as all these nations unquestion. 

«bly k^pt some accounts of their origin, as well as the Iiisfa, the 

9q]f error which the Irish historians seem to have committed, is 

substituting the date of their first migration from their respect. 

ing countries, for thait of their first arrival in Ireland. Rectified 

iQ this (sanoer, the iiccount is not only modest, but highly pic. 

bftble. The story of Partholmiis, Nemedius, Simon JBreac, &e. 

£sc. though nqt applicable to the Irish, may. yet apply to some 

404 NOTES; 

others of (he Celtic nations. Were these manuscripts published 
with a literal translation, the other Celtic nations might yet 
claim their own, and the history of Ireland would be reduced 
within proper bounds. But till this is done, it is impossible for 
me, or any one'else, to decide on the merits,or fix the absolute 
antiquity of these manuscripts^ All that can be done is, to ar- 
gue the matter on general principles. 

Of all the Celtic nations, the Scots are most interested in the 
publication of these manuscripts. Their history, as well as 
their identity, is intervohed with that of Ireland. Pinkarton 
lias strained every nerve to prove that Ireland was Scotland up 
to the eleventh century. Goodal, («cc his Introduction to For* 
dun) has been equally strenuous in maintaining that the north of 
Scotland was Ireland. Strabo places Ireland due north of Bri- 
tain, which corresponds very well to the north of Scotland. 
Tacitus (Fit. Agric. 9Up. 8.) calls that part of Scotland situated 
north of the rivers Clyde and Forth, quasi aliam insidam — ^i. e. 
*' as if another island." Indeed, from the tenour of this whole 
chapter, it is evident that Tacitus, by Hiheiiiia (Irelaud) means 
the north of Scotland. So completely was his editor at Cologne 
of the Allobroges in 1614 of this opinion, that, in his Notitia 
Breviarium of said chapter, he says, — res tertio, quarto, quinto 

expeditionum suarum anno, prcesertim in Hibernia gestae i. e. 

" the exploits (of Agricola) performed in the third, fourth, and 
fifth year of his expeditions, particularly in Ireland." Now 
every one knows that the scene of Agricola's actions, during 
these years, lay not in Ireland, but in the north of Scotland. 
Without entering into the merits of this dispute, which is of no 
importance to the ScoU, it is sufficient to shew that Scotland was 
the parent of Ireland. The Irish (as has already been shewn) 
admit thaf the Tuath de Danan (Damnii) arrived in Ireland 
1250 years prior to our aera. Ptolemy makes the territories of 
the Damnii reach from Gallozcay to the Tay; and if, as Pinkar. 
ton imagines, the Novantce were only a part of the Damnii, 
their territories must have stretched to the Solway Frith. Rich! 
ard of Cirencester places a tribe of the same people in Argyle! 

•NOTES. 405 

•shire. From llie extent of their territories, they must have been 
the most uumerous, as well as the most powerful, of the Scot- 
tish tribes. But what is most to our present purpose ii, that 
they occupied that very part of Scotland which approaches near- 
est to Ireland. An island cannot foe inhabited or sought after 
tillit is known, and who could know it sooner than the Damnii, 
who lived within sight of it. The Irish, indeed, place the Fir- 
bolg (Belgae) in Ireland 250 years before the Damnii, but this 
i^s contrary to all probability; and it is well known, that in 
events of remote antiquity, nations do not err so much in matter 
fff fact, as in point of chronological accuracy. The Irish them, 
selves expressly say that the Tuath de Dannan came from Scot, 
hand to Ireland. In this case we have — Imo, The testimony of 
Ptolemy, who places the Damnii in that very point of Scotland 
which approaches nearest to Ireland — 2do, The direct and posi. 
tive testimony of the Irish themselves, that the Damnii came 
from Scotland. Till, therefore, Whitaker, Pinkarton, &c. can 
place their respective hypotheses respecting the early population 
of Ireland, on a basis equally sure and stable (which is impossi. 
ble), Scotland is well entitled to reckon itself the parent of Ire- 
land. The circumstance of an Irish colony having settled in 
Argyleshire about the middle of the third century, can by no 
means invalidate this claim, but greatly confirms it ; for in the 
hour of danger or difficulty, where does a child more naturally 
take shelter than in the arms of its mother? That Scotland af- 
forded Ireland the bulk of its early population, we have already 
seen. Hence the intimacy betwixt them must have been great, 
and the intercourse frequent; and the migration of a colony from 
the one country to the other, was merely a matter of course. 

But though the publication of the Irish manuscripts could not 
fail to throw light on the whole early history of Scotland, there 
is another point which itmight perhaps absolutely determine — I 
mean the authenticity of Ossian's Poems. Here, as in most 
other matters, we have the same perplexity and confusion. Both 
nations claim Fingal and his jieroes. The Irish have, however, 
laid only a faint and feeble claim to the poems of Ossian. The 

<J I' 

406 NOTPS, 

strong fact of these posms having been collected from oral rec!. 
tation in the islands and Highlands of Scotland, must have con- 
Wooed them that the struggle was in vain. But it was in Argyle 
that this Dalriadic colony settled, and Argyle was the principal 
scene of Fingal's atchievements. Hence Ireland claims both 
Fingal and the colony. This double claim of the Scots and 
Irish has led some foolishly to imagine that there were two Fin. 
gals. No such thing. The Irish claimed the colony and Fingal, 
because this colony was originally from Ireland ; and the Scots 
claiip both, because actually residing in Scotland. But this 
same colony, after a residence of two centuries, was defeated by 
the Picts, obliged to evacuate Argyleshire, and to take refage in 
Ireland, about the middle of the fifth century. By this nnfdr. 
tunate event, the history, the traditions, and records of this co, 
lony, found their way direct to Ireland. Indeed, when I re. 
fleet on the repeated catastrophes of the Scottish records, I could 
almost sit down and weep ! This colony resided fifty years in 
Ireland, before it was reinstated in Argyleshire ; and hence the 
Irish must have been well acquainted with the history of Fingal, 
and the poems of Ossian. If in these manuscripts a copy of 
Oman's Poems, or even of one of the poems of Ossian, could 
■fee found, it would lay the important controversy for ever to 
rest. It would even be a point of primary importance, if the 
icra of Fingsil could be exactly fixed. The manner in which 
^inkarten has treated these poems is almost idiotical. The one 
moment they are downright trash, and utterly contemptible^ and 
the next, they contain many passages truly sublime, and are the 
iproduction of some poet of superlative genius, who flourished in 
the Highlands of Scotland during the fourteenth or fifteenth ctn- 
tury. Satisfied with neither of these theories, be gives us a new 
•ne in his list of errata, in the following words: — Since setivg 
ffie speoiv^ens of the genuine traditional poems ascribed to Oisian 
in the memoirs of the Irish Royal Society, the author is iuduced 
to think that most of^hese pieces arc really composed hu Irish 
]iards. In order to appreciate the r.ieaning of this important 
ppncessioD, it is necessary to inform tjje reader that PiukaitoQ 

NOTES. 407 

tiuiformljr asserts that the Irish were the real and only ScoU up 
to the eleventh century ; or, in other words, that Irish and Scots 
were synonimous terms. The plain English of the matter then 
is, that the poems ofOssian ate both Scottish and authentic. If 
there is evidence enough in the memoirs of the Irish Royal So- 
ciety to convince Pinkarton of the ^ntbeoticity of these poems, 
there is certainly (considering his aoticeltic prejudices) tnuch 
more than enough tci cotjvfnce all the world besides.' But the 
pity is, that Scotland and Ireland have pulled in opposite direc. 
tions; and by preferring each, its individual and etclusive claioi 
have perplexed and obscured, instead of illustratiagthis iijiport- 
ant point. The contention is mean, contemptible, and gratui. 
tous. It is a matter of the utmost iodifTerence whether we call 
these poems Stotlish or Irish, or whether we blend both names 
together, and call them Scoto-Irish. The claims of both nations 
are solid and well founded, with this difference, that the claim 
of the Scots is more immediate and direct, that of the Irish more 
distant and circuitous. Both nations are, however, sufficiently 
interested to combine their efforts, and produce such documents 
as they are respectively possessed of; and were this done, there 
is not even the shadow of a doubt but the authetiticity of these 
poems might be placed on a basis so firm and stable, as would 
bid defiance to all future cavil or controversy. 

Were Pinkarton a man of impartiality, or coiild we be certaia 
that he had bestowed one serious thought on the subject, his 
concession that these poems were composed by the Irish bards, 
would be &f vast importaoce, because, according to his own de. 
iinitioD, the Ii'ish bards were the ScolUshi Indeed, if the au- 
thenticity of these poems is once fixed, the claims of the Irish 
and Scots can be satisfactorily adjusted. But Pinkarloa gives 
these poems to the Irish from mere whim and caprice, because 
he is determined not to give them to the Scots; and had the 
Welch preferred the slightest claim to tbeai, there is not a doubt 
but he would have given them to Caradoc of Lancarwn, or Oicert 
Glendower, without a scruple,. But what justice can any Scot 
expect from him,- when he wrecks his fury on the very name, an(* 

3 F 2 

408 NOTES. 

(vol, I. p. 366.) calls it the little word Scot. Where is there 
a historian besides who could have made the sublime discovery 
that Scot is a shorter word than Kamtschat/ca, or that the historic 
merits of a name roust be determined by the number of letlers 
which it Contains. 

This gentleman is beyond all measure severe on Toland, and 
the Irish historians. He brands Toland yi'iih infidelrty, and 
says, (v. 2. p. 17.) -when he believed the Irish historians, he 
might have swallowed the scriptures, or slbj thing. On the Irish 
historians and their records, be has exhausted the whole voca. 
fenlary of abuse, and even asserts (vol. 2. p. 14.) that he would 
give up their history, (tales as he calls it) though its veracity 
could be evidenced to all Europe by irrefragable proof s. What, 
ever is supported by irrefragable proofs, ought not to be given 
up ; but the very proposal shews his obstinate determination to 
annihilate even the authentic history of Ireland. Bat I cannot 
})etter ansv;er the cavils of this gentleman than by exhibiting to 
the reader a specimen of the system which he himself Las reared, 
which, from his avowed fastidiousness to others, might be ex. 
pected to be the very quintessence of religious orthodoxy, and 
historic truth, and which I shall give in his own identical vrords. 
Jt is, saj s he, (Dissertation annexed to vol. 2. p. 33.) a self.evi. 
(lent propositimi, that the author {^ nature, as he formed greiit 
xarieiies in the same species of plants, and of animals, so he also 
gave various races of men as inhabitants of several countries. A 
Tartar, a Negroe, an A?nerican, S(c. Sfc. differ as muok from a 
German, as a, or, or shepJierd's cur, from a 
pointer. The differences are radical, and suck as no climate or 
chance could produce ; and it may be expected, that as seiertce ad- 
vuHces, able writers will give us a complete system of the mamf 
different races of men. And again, (ibidem) — The latest and 
best natural philosophers pronounce the flood impossible; an)i 
their reasons, grounded on mathematical truth, and the im/nutatk 
laws of nature, havi my full assent. These are, perhaps, ratht r 
retrograde specimens of orthodoxy, but there was a dignus oin. 
d/\-e nodus in the case, an absolute necessity for these important 

NOTES. 40& 

sacrifices, because his' Gottiic system could not stand without 
them. But the true point of astonishment is, that the man who 
can thus deliberately defty the creation of the world, the deluge, 
and consequently the whole system of revelation, should have 
the consummate impudence, or rather folly, to charge Mr. To- 
land with infidelity, and disrespect to the sacred records. Hav. 
ing thus sicalloteed the deluge, which impeded his Gothic career^ 
and modelled the creation to his own purpose, let us now attend 
to the result. The Scythians, (Goths) says he, (ibidem, p. 187.) 
whom the daten ofkistori) discovers in present Persia,- under their 
king Tanaus, attack Vexores, king of Egypt, and conquer Asia^ 
(Justin) \bOO years before Ninus, or about 3660 before Christ. 
By this means he makes the Scythians conquer Asiiain the 344th 
year of the world, and exactly 586 years (aceording to scripture 
chronology) before the death of Adam. Mr. Pinkarton was 
here in a great strait. He must either credit Justin or the sacred 
records. If the latter, neither he, nor his favourite Goths, conld 
surmount the barrier of the deluge. But there was another ob^. 
stacle in the wayj viz. scripture chronology. Concerning it, he 
says, (ibidem, page 1 86.) — Ancient chronology has been ruined 
by attempting to force it to scripture, which is surely no tanon (f 
chronology. But ancient chronology ought only to be estimated 
from ancient authors, and keptquile apart from scriptural chro. 
nology. The date of the creation, ^c. can never be decided, etihtr 
from scripture or otherwise, and such speculations are futile. 
Orthodox and immaculate ehristianl!! .No wonder that thy 
rtghteaas spirit was grieved with Toland's infidelity, and that 
thou exclaimest most bitterly against it, ,Bat who is this mighty 
Heathen Goliah,:he{oTe whom the whole system of revealed relri 
gion must fall ? It is the vifeak, the foolish, the fabulous Justin, 
the unprincipled abridger of Trogus Pompeius, who is, with Ihe 
greatest good, reason, suspected of destroying the original, that 
he might give currency to his own fictions. The reader is de- 
sired to remark ihat Pinka-rton expressly says, (in the passage 
already quoted) that ihe Scythians under their king Tanaus, at. 
tack^ Vexores, king of Egypt, and conquer Asia, &c. and gives 


Justin as his autborhy. But what will the reader thiuk of Mr< 
Pinkarton, when I assure him that Justin does not once mention 
Tanaus on the, occasion, nor, indeed, any Scythian king what- 
ever; nay, what Is more, he does not, throughout his whole 
treatise on the origin and history of the Scythians, contained iii 
the five first chapters of his second book, once mention the name 
of Tanaus. The only Scythian kings he mentions are Sagillus 
and Janeirus, the first cotemporary with Hercules, and the last 
\rith Darius. Justin had, however, fixed (he Kra of both these 
kings, and they were, besides, too modern for Mr. Pinkarton's 
purpose. But as Justin had assigned the Egyptians a king, and 
had been so unpolite as to march the Scythians to this war with, 
out one, Mr. Pinkarton was obliged to look out for a straggltt 
of some kind or other, and place him at th« head of his red hair, 
ed friends. This straggler Tanaus he found in the first chapter 
of the first oeok of Justin. Speaking of Ninus, and the Assyrian 
monarchy, which he reckons the first on record, Justin proceeds 
thus — Fuere quidem ietnporiius anliquiores, Sesostris J^gffpti, 
et Sei/thiae rex Tanaus; quorum alter in Powtum, alter usqve 
^gyptum proeessit. Sed longinqua, nonfinitima bella gerebant, 
nee imperium sibi, sed populis suis gloriam qutprebani, cotUenti. 
que victoria^ imperio abstinebant. Ninus magnitudinem queesilae 
domintttiottis continua possessiotteJirmaKit — i. e. " Sesostris, king 
of Egypt, and Tanaus, king of Scythia, were indeed more ancient 
than Ninas, the one of whom advanced as far as Poatos, and the 
other as far as Egypt. But they carried on wars at a distance, 
not in their own vicinity, nor did they seek dominion for them. 
selves, but glory for their people; and, content with victory, 
did not domineer oyer the conquered. Ninus established th« 
greatness of his acquired dominion by taking immediate posses, 
sion of his conquests." In the preceding part of the chapter, 
Justin informs ns of the justice and equity of ancient kings, who 
defended theborderaof their own kingdoms, but did not advance 
them by encroachments on their neighbours; and then proceed* 
as above quoted. Ninus was the first who broke through this 
•qultalile principle. Josfin admits there were two kings before 

NOTES. 411 

him, Sesbstris and Tanatis, who made conquests, but did not re- 
fain them, whereas Nimis took immediate possession, and conso- 
lidated his new conquests with his former douiiiiions. From 
JTustin, all that we know of Tanaus is, that he penetrated as far 
iis Egypt — that he was prior to JSinus, and posterior to Sesds. 
iris. The war of Sesostris against the Scythians happened 1480 
years before our a;ra. Justin pats Tanaus after Sesostris, and 
it is certainly-allowing too much, if we make them cotemporary. 
Jjet us then allow that Tanaus lived 1480 years before our aera- 
But Justin reckons that the war of the Scythians against the 
Egyptians, under Vexores, took place 3660 years before the 
christian xra, or 2100 years before Tanaus was in existence. 
But if there ever was such a king as Vexores, who, according to 
Justin, (lib. 2. cap. 3.) not only declared war against the Scy. 
thians^ but sent ambassadors to tell them the terms of their ser. 
fitude, why does he not mention him as the first tyrant on record, 
especially when professedly g'ving us a list of the earliest usur. 
pers ? Foolish and fabulous, however, as Justin is, I must ac. 
quit him of saying that Tanaus led the Scythians against the 
Egyptidns under Vexores. It ist a meaji, deliberate falsefhood, 
fabricated by Pinkarton, and imposed on Justin to give' it the 
stamp of currency and credibility. Finding Tanaus, a king of 
the Scythians, mentioned by Justin, (lib-. 1. cap. 1.) without aa 
army, and an" army of Scythians without a king, (lib. 2. cap, 3.) 
he instantly appoints him to the command of this army, without 
even considering that he must have been 2100 years old when he 
took the command, or (which is much the same) must have taken 
the command 2100 years before he was bonn. Had he appoint, 
ed General WoFfe, or the Duke of Marlborough to the command 
of the Caledonian army which fought against the Romans under 
AgriCpln, it would have been modest in comparison of this. 

But Justin may easily be made consistent with himself, and 
'With Herodotus, Dicaearchus, Diodorus, Siculus, &c. who make 
Sfsostris conquer the Scythians. It is well-known that Egypj 
had six kings of the name of Sesostris, It had also two kings 
fif tjie name pf Ptolmtt/, the one, for the sake of distinctioji, sir. 

412 ^ NOTES. 

named Soter, or Lagus, the other Philadelphus. The most fa. 
Bious of their kings who bore the name of SesoHris, was s.rnam. 
ed Rameses Miriam. For distinction's sake, a series of kings of 
the same name must have some discriminating epithet or appel. 
latioB, The Sesostris mentioned by Justin was probably sur. 
named Vexores, and then both were the same person. There is 
nothing ascribed to them by Justin, that will not much better 
apply to one person, than to two different persons. Sesostris, 
according to Justin, was the first usurper on record, and so was 
Vex-ores. According to Herodotus, Sesostris was the first Egyp- 
tian king who fought against the Scythians, and, according to 
Justin, it was Vexores. In order to solve all the difficnities of 
the case, we hate only to suppose that the name of this king was 
Sesostris Vexores, whom Justin's stupidity (for it is well known 
he was no great head piece) split into two different kings. How 
f;ortunate was it that he did not hit on Sesostris Rameses Miri. 
am, and split him into three. But this blunder of Justin was 
singularly convenient for Pinkarton, because it placed his fa. 
Tourite Goths (Scythians) on the throne of Asia ISl': years be. 
fore the deluge, and hence he fights as strenuously for Vexores 
as he does for Gqthieism itself. Well aware that Justin, in this 
particular, is contradicted by every ancient author, without ex- 
ception, he must have been sensible that the case was hopeless 
and desperate in the extreme, and the proof he adduces is equally 
desperate. He quotes TVogus, Tragus Pompeitts, Trogus^ Nar. 
rative, Trogui' Ancient History, &c. without being able to pro. 
duce one sentence, or even one word of that author. He might 
at least have favoured us with one word, though it had been no 
larger thin the little word Scot, But does this gentleman really 
imagine mankind so ignorant as not to know that Trogns" An~ 
cicnt Hhtory has been lost more than 1500 years, and that his 
friend Justin is violently suspected of having been the mnrderpr 
of it. It would have been much the honester way to have told 
us candidly that Trogus was dead and his work lost, and that 
ha had no evidence to adduce. Had Mr. Pinkarton a cause de- 
p.puiitng ill the Court of Session, in which the eTidence of TroguS 

NOTES. 413 

^ Pompeius might be of service to him; and -vrcre he to come 
sweating and panting into court with this dead Roman historiaa 
on his back, and offer him as a witness, would not he be consi- 
dered as a madman ? Now, I appeal to all the world, if it is not' 
as ridiculous to endeavour to elicit evidence' frdcn a dead work, 
as from a dead man. The next evidences adduced are two reve- 
rend bishops, Epiphanius and Eusehius, vpho, so far from being 
of any service to him, &o not even mention Vexores, or indeed 
in the remotest degree allude to him. The sum total of their 
evidence is, that in their days there was a religious errx>r in the 
church named Scythism. The last proof is an extract from the 
Chronicon Paschale, p. 23, which also reckons Scythism one of 
the religious errors then prevalent. Let us now see the amount 
Qf this evidence. The first is a dead work, which can prove no. 
thing ; the next two bishops, who know nothing at all about the 
matter; and as to the Chronicon Paschale, its evidence coincides 
exactly with that of the bishops. The point to be proved was, 
that Vexores, king of the Egyptiams, u-as defeated hy the Scythi. 
ans 3660 ^ears before the Christian xera, or, (according to scrip- 
ture chronology), 131^ i/ears before the deluge. The amount of 
tiie proof is, that in- the early Christian churches, there was an 
error or heresy named Scythism. Yet on this single passage of 
Justin, clearly dverturned by the evidence of scripture chrono- 
logy, and contradicted by e-^ery profane author who has written 
on the subject, has Mr. Pinkarton founded his favourite theory; 
and on this fictitious twig, on wliieh no Celt would risk his cat, 
this grave and formal advocate for religious orthodoxy and his. 
toric truth, sits perched, bearing (like another Atlas) on his 
shoulders the gigantic weight of the whole Gothic system. 

Having, after this arduous struggle against truth and heaven, 
seated his red-haired friends on the throne of Asia, 1312 years 
before the deluge, one would be apt to suppose that his labours 
had been sufficiently Herculean, and that he would new sit 
down happy and contented. Vain thought ! ! [ AH that is yet 
performed is only like a drop in the bucket, in comparison of 
what remains (o bie atchjcv,'(l. Ke savs (ibidem, p. 23,} If any 

414 NOTES. 

reader inclmet to look upon the deluge as fabulous, or, at most, 
a local event, and desires to learn whence the Scythians came to 
present Persia, he need not be told that it is impossible to answer 
him. With their residence in Persia, commences the faintest 
dawn of history : beyond, although the period may amount to 
myriftds of ages, there is nothing but profound darkness. It 
vill be recollected that be has already placed the Scythians in 
Asia 1312 years before the deluge j and, in order to ascertain 
the probable period of endurance prior to that period, here as. 
signed them, I beg leave to remark — Imo, that a myriad is ten 
thousand years ; 2do, that an age is generally considered a cen. 
tury. A myriad of centuries is one million of years. The length 
of time which he supposes the Scythian empire may probably 
haTe lasted in Persia, prior to the 344th year of the world, is, 
therefore, many millions of years. Ye upstart and mnshroom 
chronologers of Chaldea and China, hang down your heads and 
hide your faces for ever '. ! ! What are yoar 200,000 or 300,000 
years, compared to this? I have been the more particular in in. 
vesiigating the merits of this passage of Justin — Imo, because it 
is the very foundation stone of the Gothic system ; Sdo, because 
it is made a handle of to subvert scripture chronology, scripture 
itself, and in a word all that is sacred and venerable in heaven 
and on earth ; 3tio, because Mr. Pinkarton has treated Toland, 
and the Irish historians, as downright roadmen, and I therefore 
found it necessary to sketch the outlines of the religious and his. 
torical fabric which he himself has reared, that I mig^it contrast 
it with that of Toland and the Irish, and let the public judge for 
themselves. In treating of the Irish records, and exhibiting 
their most prominent features io view, I shall adhere to the same 
impartiality which I have observed in handling Mr, Pinkarton's 
system, I cannot here help remarking, that Mr. Pinkarton has 
withheld from public view many particulars respecting the Scy- 
thians. Pliny (lib. 7. cap. 2.) says that the Scythians of Mount 
Imaus had their toes turned back behind them, and their heels 
toremost, and that they were of incredible swiftness, avcrnspost 
cj-ur<s phntis, eximiae velocitittif. In describing t^e Scy thiapf. 

KOTES. 415 

such a striV'Dg peculiarity ought not to ha?e been omitted. 
Had Piiny tiirned his attetjtion to the more elevated parts of the 
body, we might perhaps have found that the structure of their' 
heads was equally retrograde with that of their heels ; and on 
this principle some modern Gothic pteposterosities might be ac. 
counted for, vrhich hare hitherto appeared totally inexplicable. 
What an immeDse treasure miist that man possess, who is blessed 
with a Gothic pair of heels, and a Gothic understituding ! ! ! 

Whilst the Irish manuscripts remain unpublished, it is impos. 
sible to pronounce decisively, either on their authenticity or an. 
tiquity. The only aids we have in this case are the opinions of 
the Irish themselves, or their history. The last I consider as the 
most equitable and impartial rule, because it is much easier to 
xiistake the date of a manuscript^ than to forge a history altoge- 
ther without materials. Pinkarton himself is obliged to ackno w. 
ledge, that Ireland is the most ancient of all the modem nations 
of Eutope. But what could place it on this proud pinnacle of 
pre-eminence ? It certainly was not Roman intercourse or civi. 
lization. The early literature of Ireland is a phaenomenoti for 
which it is impossible to assign even a probable reason, if we 
give up this single point, that it was the ne plus ultra of Celtic 
migration — that it was the last refuge of the Druids, and that 
the whole Celtic literature and records fonnd here their last 

In examining th^ most prominent features of the Iri^h history, 
the first thing which deserves our attention is its chronology, be. 
cause it is here that all profane histories chiefly err. The Irish 
historians fix the first population of Ireland about 2,000 years 
before the Christian sera, which is nearly three centuries and a 
half after the deluge. Pinkarton himself is obliged to admit 
(vol. 2. p. 25.) that Ireland may have been peopled 2000 years 
before our sera, though he adds (in his usual polite and elegant 
language), that it is a matter of supreme indifference at what time 
the savages of a Continent peopled a neighbouring island. I am 
far from contending that the above is the exact date of the first 
population of Ireland. 'All I intend it, to shew that it is not 


416 NOTES. 

greatly exaggetatea, otherwise Pinkartofi would have anfrrau. 
Tsrted on it with his usual severity. The Chaldeans and Chines* 
carry their chronology as high as 200,000 years. The JEgJl- 
tians pretfend to authentic records for more than 20,000 years. 
The Athenians superseded all chronology whatever, by pretend, 
ing that they were Autochthones — i. e. Earth-born, ct sprung 
from the soil which they inhabited. Nay Pinkarton himself (as 
formerly noticed} assigns to his beloved Goths or Scythians a 
probable endurance of many millions of years. The date, there- 
fore, assigned by the Irish Cor the first population of Ireland, 
though perhaps over.rated a few centuries, is such an instance of 
chronological modesty as has no parallel in any of the nations of 
remote antiquity. Chronology is the very soul of history. In. 
deed, what is commonly denominated fable or tradition, is gene. 
rally nothing else than historical facts, divested of chronologi- 
cal ariAngement and accuracy. 

The Irish historians are pretty uniform in fixing the instita. 
tion of a grand seminary of learning at Tarah, about eight centu. 
Ties prior to the Christian>xra. That there were similar estn. 
blishments in Gaul and Britain sixty years prior to our xra, is 
clearly proved by C»sar. Nay, what is still more extraordinary, 
he assigns the decided' pre.emiuence and superiority to the Bri. 
tish schools. Is it then in the slightest degree incredible that 
the Irish, descended from the same Celtic stock as the Gauls 
and Brhotrs, should have the same literary institutions? The li. 
tcrary attainments ascribed to the Druids by Cxsaii^ and other 
Roman historians, could not have been the result of less than a 
thousand years study. It is impossible to fix the exact »ra of 
the first establishment of literary seminaries in Gaul and Britain. 
But from the circumstances stated by Caesar, that the British 
schools grpatly excsUed those of Gaul, andthat the discipline of 
the Druids was supposed to have been invented in Britain and 
thence transferred into Gaul, we are clearly authorized to infer, 
tliat-these establishments were of remote antiquity. That Bri- 
tain was peopled from Gaul," and derived Druidisra from the 
same source, can admit of no doubt. Mpiiy centuries most 

NOTES. 417 

therefore have intervened", before Britain, in literary attainments, 
could excell the parent country, and so completely obscure and 
pervert the history of Gaul, as to induce a belief, even amongst 
the Gauls themselves, that they derived Drnidism from B»taia. 
At any rate, it is certain that in Ciesar's time there were senflna. 
lies of education both in Gaul and Britain | that these semina. 
lies were well attended; that the branches of education taught 
were so numerous and complicated, as to require twenty years 
Etudy ; and that the British schools had so far gained the ascend, 
ancy, that the Gallic students resorted to Britain for the purpose 
of perfecting their studies. The intercourse with Ireland was 
equally easy; and it would be contrary to analogy and common 
sense to suppose that it was destitute of similar institutions. The 
records of the Irish have, in some measure, been preserved, whilst 
those of the other Celtic nations have been lost/ and when their 
historians fix the first literary establishment in Ireland 800 years 
before our sra, we are well warranted, from the testimony of 
Csesar, and all other collateral and concomitant circumstances, 
to reckon the date not greatly over,rated.i 

The Irish historians mark the first century of our sera as a 
Tery remarkable one. Thelrish laws, which had been preserved 
only in traditionary poems, were, by the command of King Con. 
covar, who died about the year 48,. committed to writing. The 
reason assigned, for this measure is,, that the Druids and Bards: 
had, from time immemorial, interpreted these traditionary laws 
as they pleased. This is said to have pcodufced an insurrectioa 
of the people, by which the Druids and Bards were in danger, of 
being exterminated^ They fled to Caiicovar, who, gave them 
protection ; and,.in ordf r to quiet hia subjects, appointed a num.. 
ber of the:ni05t eminent Druids to compile an intelligible and 
distinct, body of laws, and con^mit them to writing, that they 
might be clearly understood, and no longer be submitted to the 
arbitrary interpretation of the Druids. But what could have in- 
duced the Irish, at' this particular crisis, to rise against a body, 
of men whom they had always venerated, and to whose decisions 
they had, from time immemorial, implicitly submitted ? The Irish 

418 NOTES. 

historians have here atted very uncaudidly, in vrithholdiog the 
true cause, and only stating its effects. But the truth is, the 
reign of Concovar coincides with that of the Emperor Claudius, 
who completed the expulsion of the Druids from Gaul and Bri. 
tain. Caesar, instead of conquering Britain, only pointed it out 
to his successors. His immediate successors, Augustus, Tiberius, 
and Caligula, made no attempt on Britain. Claudius succeeded 
to the empire io 41, and in 43 made a conquest of the greater 
part of the i«laod. The cruel edicts of Tiberius probably reach, 
ed only the Druids in Gaul, and drove them over to Britain ; but 
Claudius completed their extirpation, and compelled them to 
take refuge in Ireland. The influx of the Druids of Gaul and 
Britain must have produced a strong sensation in Ireland. The 
traditionary laws j suited to the local peculiarities of the differ^t 
districts of Gaul and Britain, perhaps ill accorded with those of 
Ireland ; and as this little island must now have been greatly over, 
stocked with Druids, every one of whom would persist in inter, 
prnting the traditionary laws, according to the meaning which 
they bore in that peculiar district, from which he had emigrated, 
the confusion was irretrievable; and the Irish, who had without 
):eluctance submitted to the interpretation of their own Druids: 
spurned that of foreigners as novel, and by no means suited to 
their peculiar circumstances. The selection of the most emi. 
Dent Druids to compile, and commit to writing, a new code of 
laws, was a measure dictated no less by sound policy than bf 
imperious necessity* The di£fereat laws made by T\iathal, Cor. 
mac, &c. to restrain the licence of the Bards, and preserve the 
history of Ireland pure and incorrupted, owed their origin to the 
same cause. The historical records of Gaul and Britain were 
unquestionably more ancient than those of Ireland ; and haTiag 
been conveyed thither by the Druids, expelled from Gaul and 
Britain, the Irish history run the risk of being completely super, 
seded, or at least greatly intermixed. Concovar carried his 
measures no farther than to compile a new body of laws but 
Tuathal appointed the compilation of a new history, andin all 

NOTES. 419 

time coming a triennial revision of the books of the antiqaaries, 
by three Kings, three Druids, and three Antiquaries. 

Bnt what will place the number, as well as the antiquity, of 
the Irish manuscripts on an incontrovertible basis is, that St, 
Patrick, on his arrival, burnt 300 of them. This fact is as well 
attested as the existence of the saint himself. We have, how. 
ever, no reason to conclude that these were the wholeof the Irish 
manuscripts, ibut only such as contained the mysteries and reli. 
gious rites of the Druids. Their historical manuscripts did not 
come within this description. Indeed it is evident, from To. 
land's quotations from these manuscripts, that even all those of 
the former description were not burnt, but that many of the for^ 
mularies of the Druids, and much of their mythology, is extant 
in manuscript. He has given us.a list of a dozen Druids, whilst 
Dr. Smith has not been able to condescend on one. Another 
circumstance, and that not the least important, is, that the onlj' 
specimen of the Celtic alphabet which has survived the wreck of 
time, has been preserved by the Irish. 

I have already remarked, that it is impossible to treat the Irish 
manuscripts, with any degree of critical accuracy, so long as they 
remain unpublished. In this case all that I could do is to state 
the jarring opinions of thpse who have written on the subject, 
which, to the inferior class of my readers, could be of little ser. 
vice, and to those of a superior description, could convey no in. 
formation of which they are not already possessed. As these 
notes have already extended to more than double the size origi. 
pally intended, I shall conclude with a few remarks on tho 
Duan Albmach, and the much agitated question whether Ireland 
was Scotland, or vice versa. The reader will find a copy of this 
Irish poem in O'Connor's Dissertation, O' Flaherty's Ogygia, 
or the Appendix to Pinkarton's History of Scotland. 

The Duan Albanach — i. e. the Scottish song, or rather, the 
historical song of the Scots, is an Irish poem of great antiquity, 
and was certainly begun prior to the xra of St. Patrick. It is 
i!0t like the Chronicon Pictorum, and other more modern pro= 
dactionsj debased by monkish etymological oonsense. 

.420 NOTES. 

The Duan Alhanach gives us t!ie \erY n^we of Cje Scols High. 
landers, which they retain to this day; and considering the avi. 
dify of the Irish to esfablish that Ireland was Scotland, and fbe 
Irish the original Scots, I (hiok it amounts todemoDStration that 
this poem was begun, and had received its title, before this fool. 
ish whim liad entered the heads of the Irish, and before the name 
Scot was in existence. Had it been otherwise, they would cer. 
tainly have named it the Duan Scaothach. The truth is, that in 
the Irish, as well as the Gaelic language, Scotland is uniformly 
named Alha, and the inhabitants Alhanach. The Chronicon 
Pictorum, a monkish production of the 13(h century (as is gene. 
rally supposed), and composed in Latin, gravely tells us — Gen. 
fes Scitia (Scoties^ albo crine nascuntur ah assiduis viv'dni s ; el 
fpsius rapilli color genti nomen dedil, el inde dicuntur Albani — 
i. e, " The nations of Scotland are born with white hair, on ac- 
count of the continual snows; and the colour of their hair gave 
name to the nation, and hence they are called Albani." I have 
aUeady shewn that the Damnii were the most numerous and the 
most widely extended of the Scottish tribes. These were, from 
their local situation, denominated Meatach. and Alhanach, which 
the Romans and monkish writers latinized Meaia and Albani — 
i. e. Lozclanders and Highlanders. In the Celtic language Alb, 
or Alp, always signifies a height ; and its adjective Alhanach, or 
Alpanach, always signifies high. Alb (generally pronounced 
Alp) is the radix of the Latin Alpes, Alhus, &c. This name is 
of great antiquity. Alha is the name of a town in Latium, and 
of another in P»nnonia. We have Alba, a river in Spain ; Al. 
bania, a town of Arabia Fells; Albania, a region rcichiug from 
the Caspian Sea to the Palus Maeotis; Albanns, the name of a 
hill in Latium, and of two towns, the one in Macedonia, and 
the other in Armenia Jviajor; AlLia, a hilly district borderintr 
on the Carni; Albti, tlie ancient name of the Alps; Albiona, a 
town of thp L:2;ures; All-is, the ancient name of the Elbe, &p. 
>n Great Britain I need only mention Allmn, Breadalba:ic, 
X)niiiialharj, Gkn.mor.nn WAlahiii, Alin, Alharach. &r. The 
gihnity of t]ioi* name?, n'ul mmiy moir which could be addcc J 

NOTES. 421- 

clearly establish the prevalence of th@ Celtic language,' and the 
wide extent of their ancient possessionsv But it was certainly a 
most egregious blunder in the v/Txter of the hronicon Piciorum, 
to render the CeUic AlHanach, white, which,- in fact, signifies 
hilly or mountainous. The Roman and Celtic meaning of the 
word can easily be reconciled. Hills, from beiOg freijuently co. 
vered with snow, or from their hoary cliffs, convey the idea of 
whiteness, as well as of elevation. • The Celt» have, therefore, 
retained the primary^ and the Romans the secondary, or advea~ 
tUious signification. That Albus, among the Latians, signified 
high, is evident from Livy, (lib. 1.) who tells us that Alba 
honga was so named from its being built on a long Dorsum, or 
eminence. ^Iha Longa literally signifies the long Dorsum, or 
But to return to the Duan Albanach, it is worthy of remark 
/that it has been. greatly mutilated. There is no point in ancient 
history better established, than the arrival of an Irish colony ia 
Argyleshire, xxnder Riada, about the middle of the third century* 
About the middle of the fifth, this colony was defeated by tha 
Ficts, took refuge in Ireland, and did not return till the year 
603. Ip 'the. above poem, the first colony is omitted altogether, 
and it commences with Laarn, the leader of the second colony 
in 503. The Irish historians have, by this means, contrived to 
date.'the arrival of this colony posterior to the departure of the 
Roms^ns, that it might be believed there were no Scots in Scot, 
land during the Roman period, and that such as are mentioned 
by the Roman writers, were auxiliaries sent from Ireland to as. 
sist in repelling the Romans. Had the Irish claim been well 
founded, there .was no occasion for resorting to£o mean and def. 
perate an expedient.' , 

Claudian, the panegyrist^ has given rise to the whole fable in 
the following lines: 

— — : • Maduerunt Saxone fuso 

• Orca4es ;■ incaluit Pictornm sanguine Thule ; 
Scotorum cumulos flevit glacialis lerne — 

i. e. " .The Orkneys were wet with the blood of the routed Sax. 


422 NOTES. 

OBs; Thule was warm with the blood of IhePicts; and icy lernc 
mourned the slaughtered heaps of Scots." Unfortunately we 
have maay places bearing the name of lerne. It is the most an- 
cient Greek name of Ireland. It is the name of a lake (Erne) 
id that kingdom. It is the name of a mountain and river of the 
Artabri, in Spain. It is the name of a lake and river in Perth, 
shire, and of a river in Murrayshire, &c. Amidst this ambigni. 
ly and confusion, the real scene of the Roman actions with the 
Scots, iftnst determine which is the lerne in question. We know 
that the Romans did not fight with the Scots in Ireland or in 
Spain. Stfath.Erne, in Scotland, is undoubtedly the lerne here 
meant; and the term glaciaUs (icy) is certainly more applicable 
to the river Erne, than to the .kingdom of Ireland* Id Strath. 
Erne we have many superb Roman monuments, particularly a 
Homan camp, (see Gordon's Itiner. Septent. plate 5.) still re- 
taining the name of Galgachan, where the battle between Agri. 
cola and Galgacus is supposed to have been fought. But were 
^e even to grant that lerne was Ireland, and that (as Claudian 
says) it lamented the defeat of the Scots, still it does not follow 
that Ireland was the native country of the Scots, otherwise it 
TDust also follow, that Iceland (the real Thule) was the native 
country of the Picts, and Orkney of the Sasons. Ireland might 
lament the defeat of the Scots, who were endeavouring to set 
bounds to an enfmy formidable to all the world, because the dis. 
comfiture of any intervening army brought the'danger still near. 
er to themselves. 

I have already remarked, that the ambiguity of Tacitus mis- 
led his editor so far as to make Ireland (Hibernia) the ckief 
scene of Agricola's actions during the third, fourth, and fifth 
years of his residence in Britain. The before cited passage of 
Claudian is equally ambiguous, and has given fall scope to 
Monkish fable and conjecture. What is still more to be rrgret. 
ted is, the affinity of Hibernia to the Roman adjective Hibemus, 
■which signifes wintry or cold, and has led superficial writers 
into many errours. Calepine, in the word Hibernia, tells us, 
that it k supposed t« be derired from HHienMS, propter hiemi$ 

NOTES. 423 

longitwdinem, on account of tli« length of the -winter. From 
the time of Columba till the twelfth century, the Irish were 
almost the only clergy ia Scotland, and modelled the history 
of the Scots to suit their own Vanity. The adventitious 
circumstance of an Irlsji colony having settled in Argyleshira 
about the middle of the third century, gave an air »f plausihility 
to the imposture, and, like the Germanic origin of the Caledo. 
niaos, hinted at by Tacitus, it has been twisted about and about 
in every direction, and is as keenly contested at the present day, 
as the first moineat the discussion begao. ' On the evidence of 
Calepinfe, the Romans reclioned Ireland a cold country, and that 
it derived' its name from this very circumstance. Pei^haps this 
mistake induced Ptolemy to place Ireland due north of Scotland, 
(iistead of west, the former being the colder position of the two ; 
and this very error of Ptolemy has tended not a little to per- 
plex the point, in question. 

There is not a passage in any Roman author whatever, which 
can in the remotest degree imply that Ireland was Scotland, 
whilst every one of them clearly Implies that Scotland was 
Ireland. Had the Scots, so formidable to the Romans, been 
Irish auxiliaries, it could not have escaped the Rornan historians 
to a man. The Romans, on the contrary, had a most contemp- 
tible opinion of Ireland. Tacitus tells us (Vit. Agric. cap. 8.) 
that Agi'icola placed garrisons on the coast of Britain, opposite 
to Ireland, in spem magis quam ob formidinem — i. e. ^^ from the 
hope of advantageous intercourse, rather than from any dread of 
their arms j" and in the same chapter adds, " that Ireland might 
be conquered and kept by one legion and" a few auxiliaries — 
Legione una et modicis auxilus debellari Hiberniam,< obtineriqne 
passe. It is well known that the Roman pristentures, from Sol. 
way Firth to the river Tyne, and from Clyde to Forth, were 
Constructed to resist the invasions of the Scets and Picts. But 
had these incursions been from Ireland, the Romans would cer- 
tainly have fortified (he coast opposite to it, and opposed these 
barriers to the greatest danger. We are well warranted to in- 
fer, that tke most formidable defence would bo opposed to the 

3 H 2 

424 JfOTES. 

most formidable danger; but against Ireland they were no de- 
fence at all, because the whole west coast of Britain lay open to 
the Irish, and they could have landed to the south of either pra;. 
tenture. Indeed, the silly fiction that the Scots were Irish auxi- 
liaries, never obtained, till the influence of tke Irish ecclesias- 
tics had gained the ascendancy in Scotland, and on the decline 
of this influence, the fable was exploded. The venerable Bedej 
a writer of the eighth century, under the year 324, mentions the 
Scots and Picts as invading the Roman province in the time of 
Honorius, and calls both of them transmarine nations; wo<(says 
he) that they were a people settled out of Britain, but they may 
he called transmarine, by being, as it zeere, separated from the 
conquered province (Valentia) to the southzsard, by the two Firths 
of Clyde and Forth. — See Gordon's Itin. p. 141. Tacitus, speak- 
ing of the same people, and of the same part of the country, 
says, Sumtiiotis velut in aliam insulam hostibus — i. e. " the ene, 
my being removed, as if into another island." In another place, 
speaking of that part of the island south of the Firths of Forth 
and Clyde, he calls it Britanniam ipsam — " Britain proper," 
and that part north of these Friths, qua^i alicm insulam, as if 
another island. Is it then any wonder that men, totally isno. 
rant of the geographical situation of the north of Scotland, should 
mistake it frfr an island totally distinct from Britain, and con- 
found it with Ireland, the largest of the British island?. Bede 
and Gildas call the Picts, as well as the Scots, transmarine ca- 
tions, on account of their Peninsular situation ; and if the Scots 
were Irish, the Picts must also have been Irish — a point which 
their strenuous friend Pinkarton has resisted /o.';.^ -. inlu.i. Thry 
•who argue that the Scots were Irish auxiliaries, r.iay, with equal 
propriety, argue that the Roman prcetentures, cauips, Arc. and 
even Valentia itself, were in Ireland. 

Whoever chnses to select the blemishes, the ambiguities, and 
the mistakes of ancient writer?, may by th^ foundation of anv 
system he pleases. Mr. Pinkarton has, iti this respect, shewn 
Jjimself a great adept. His Gothic system rests on the basis of 
all that is absurd and ejfceptiouable in ancient or n;»(lern mi it. 

NqTES. 425 

ers. The man who sacrifices his judgir.pnt at the shrine of a 
favourite hypothesis, may, with a little ingpnuity, do wonder". 
Strabo makes the Caspian Sea a gulf of the northern ocean. In 
order to establish this point, it is only necessary to suppose, 
that that part M'hich is now terrafirma, has been filled up since 
Strabo's time by the action and re.action of the tide. Many 
similar instances of repletion might be adduced. Propertius 
calls the Geta; (a nation of Thrace) Hiberni Getce, which may be 
rendered (according' to the modern Monkish acceptation) the 
Irish Getce. Gildas, speaking of the Scots and Picts, says — ■ 
Romanis ad suos remeantibus emergunt.cerlatim de curucis, qui. 
bus sunt trans Seythicam Vallem evicti — i. e. " The Romans 
having left Britain, they (the Scots and Picts) eagerly land from 
their curroughs (skin boats), In which they passed over the Scyi 
thian' valley." This Scythica (Scotica) vallis •wa.s the Frith of 
Forth; but were we to take the natural import of the words, 
they might be rendered a valley of ancient Scythia. Tbe Cale. 
doniaas included all the inhabitants of the north of Scotland; 
and Tacitus mentions their red hair as a peculiar characteristic. 
Gildas, on the contrary, calls them ietri Scotorum Pictorumque 
Gre'ges — i. e. " The black herds of Scots and Picts. Here, we 
have a red and a black theory; and every one may adopt the 
one or the other, as best suits'his purpose. Ten thousand in- 
stances of the same kind might be adduced. 

- The passages on which Pinkarton founds his theory that Scot. 
land was Ireland, are exactly of the same description; and I 
shall notice a few of them. Bede, speaking of Ireland, says — 
Mae S color urn patria est — i. e. " This is the native country of 
the Scots. That the Dalriadic colony migrated from Ireland to 
Argyleshire, is not disputed; and that the name Scot originated 
with this colony, is equally allowed; but it is this very circum- 
stance which has obscured the point in q^uestion. There is no 
impropriety in calling Ireland the native country of this colony, 
any more than in calling Britain the native country of the colony 
settled at Botany Bay ; but certainly no one woulcl thence infer 
that Britain and New HoUaad are one and the same identical 

426 KOTES. 

spot of ground. Bede has most probably mistaken Argylcshire 
for Hiberiiia; but be that as it may, he always places the Scots 
in Britain— 5coH qui sunt in Britannia— \. e. " the Scots who 
are ia Britain;" and, as I have before noticed, tells us that he 
calls the Scots and Picts transmarine, not because they are 
placed out of Britain, but because of their peninsular situatioa 
beyond the Forth and Clyde. Giraldus, a writer of the twelfth 
century, in his Descriptio AlhanicE, says — Monies qui dividuitt 
Scociam ab Aregaithal — i. e. "' The mountains which diride 
Scotland from Argyle," and calls the inhabitants Gaeli and Hi. 
bernensis — Gael or Irish. If this passage has any meaniog at 
all, it certainly proves that Argyleshire was Hibernia or Ireland. 
Mr. Pinkarton oughtnot to hare quoted this passage, as it makes, 
directly against him. But he is one of those men who can strain 
at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Giraldus' geographical igno. 
ranee is almost proverbial. This very author (as Piokartoa 
himself admits, vol. 2. p. 207.) mistakes Scotliswaik (Solway 
Firth), for Scottiszcatre (the Firth of Forth), and at one blow 
lops off, and adds to England that part of Scotland situated south 
of the Forth. If he did not know the limits of Scotland, where 
it was conterminous to his native country, what accuracy was to 
be expected respecting Argyleshire, which lay greatly more re- 
mote. Giraldus chiefly dabbled in Irish history, and bad ion. 
bibed many of their false notions respecting Scotland. It was, 
indeed, very consistent in him, after having appropriated the 
most valuable half of Scotland to England, to make Ireland a 
present of Argyleshire. It is, however, extremely anaccounla. 
ble in Pinkarton, after having repeatedly asserted that the Dal. 
riads of Argyleshire were the original Scots, to cite this very 
passage to prove that Argjleshire part of Scotland. 
That Giraldus considered Argyleshire as Hibcmia (Ireland) is 
pvid«at from his calling the inhabitants (Hibernenses) Irish, 
isidorus (quoted by Pinkarton) says, Scotia eadem et Hibernia ; 
i. e. " Scotland the same as Ireland," but this only proves that 
Scotland was sometimes called Ireland. He then quotes St. Ber. 
nard, a w.iter of the t«th-(h coutury, vrho says of St. Malachy 

Notes, 427 

ah ulteriori Scotia usque cucurrit ille ad mortem — i. e. " He ran 
from further Scotland, even to death." Mr. Pinkarton is gene, 
rally very unfortunate in his quotations; and this very one has 
completely ruined his cause. If there was a Scotia ulterior, 
there must also have been a Scotia citerior, a hither Scotland ; 
and the truth is, that the Dalriads, an Irish colony, settled in 
Argyleshire about the middle of the third century, and were 
called Hiberni, Irish. This circumstance gave rise to two Hi. 
hernia (Irelands), the one in Scotland, and the other in Ireland. 
But this colony soon received the name Scots (colonists or emi- 
grants). This again gave rise to two Scotlands, which Bernard 
very properly denominates Ulterior and Citerior, The claim of 
the Irish is, in this case, of the very same nature with that aU 
ready noticed respecting the poems of Ossian. The Irish claim 
this colony, its martial exploits against the Romans, its name, 
&c. because of its Irish origin ; and this circumstance has misled 
many respectable writers. But, as I have already observed, 
this contest is of ho importance tq the Scots, because it can he 
satisfactorily established, even on the evidence of Pinkarton 
himself, that Scotland was the parent, not only of Ireland, but 
«f the very colony in question. ' 

The Irish historians uniformly admit that the Tuatk de Danan 
(race of the Danan or Damnii) migrated fiom Scotland to Ire. 
land 1250 years before the Christian aera. That these Danan 
were the Damnii of North Britain, has been generally allowed; 
and even Pinkarton himself has, without reluctance, repeatedly 
, acceded to it. These Damnii, according to Ptolemy, possessed 
from Galloway to the Tay. Pinkarton himself adds Galloway 
to their territories, and Richard of Cirencester adds Fife. The 
last mentioned author also places a tribe of the Damnii Albani 
(Highland Damnii) in Argyleshire. Hence it is clear that the 
Damnii possessed the west coast of Scotland throughout nearly 
its whole extent. I have formerly remarked, that Alhani and 
Meat<ie (Albanach and Meatach, or Meadach) are merely local 
discriminations of one and the same people, t\i^ Darunii. Pin. 
kartoa himself it obliged to admit that the Demnii AWani (vol. 

428 NOTES. 

2. p. 72.) formed at least a part of the Dalriadic colony; and 
apain (v. 2, p. 234.) adniits that Scoti and ^/fia«8 were synoD?. 
tnous with writers of the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth cen- 
tury. Hoveden (quoted by Pinkarton, t. 2. p. 233.) has the 
following remarkable passage, when describing the war of thfe 
standard in USS—Exclamavitque simul exercUus Scottorum 
insjgne patriu-m ; ei ascendit clamor usque in ccelum, Album! 
Albanil i. e. " and the army of the Scots, with one voice, vo- 
ciferated their native distinction, and the shout of Albanil Al. 
bani! (Highlanders! Highlanders!) ascended even to the hea- 
vens." From this remarkable passage we learn that Albani 
was the native badge or distinction of the Scots. To this it is 
only necessary to add that the Duan Albanach uniformly calls 
the Dalriadic colony Albanach^ and their country Alba. Nay 
Pinkarton himself says (v. 1. p. 224.) that the Damnii Albani 
and Atiacotti were the first Scots from Ireland, and arrived ia 
Argyle about the year 258. Having thus identified the Damnii 
Albani, Dalriadi, and Scots, the result clearly is, that a colony 
of the Damnfi migrated from North Britain to Ireland 1250 
years (as the Irish historians themselves declare) before our era, 
and that a tribe of the same Damnii returned to Argyleshire 
about the middle of the third century. It is here particularly 
vorthy of remark, that though 1 500 years had intervened from 
the migration of the Damnii to Ireland, till their return to Ar- 
gyleshire about the year 258, they had inflexibly retained tlieir 
name, viz. Damnii Albani ; and though Damnii is now omitted, 
they retain the r\ame^Albanach, even to the present hour. Nei- 
ther the Irish nor Mr. Pinkarton have much reason, therefore, 
to pique thetnselves on the Irish Dalriadic colony, because it 
can be proved to demonstration, even from their own arguments, 
that the ancestors of this colony emigrated from North Britain 
to Ireland. But the most unaccountable conceit of all is, that 
Pinkarton should insist that the name Scot originated in Ireland 
whilst, in fact, they have no such name in their language, neither 
have the Scots themselves any such name in their dialect of the 
Cellic. In both languages the word used for Scot is uniformlv 

NOTES. 429 

Alhdnach- and ev^il ia Galloway, wtere the name wild Scot is 
still proverbial, it is expressed, if we credit Bachanan, by Gal. 
lovid, the literal import of which is Gallisyhestres. The quasi 
alia Insula of Taciius, the Glacidis lerne. of Claudian, the Hu 
berni and Picti of Eumehius, the Scotti and Picti.oi Ammianus, 
with a few other ambiguous passages of the Roman authors, gave 
a plausible pretext for the ridiculous fictioji ,thatjS'coW'« Antique 
•was Ireland. Sensible that the whole tenour of Rorian ev,idence 
was against them, the Irish mutilated the Duan Albanach, pass- 
ed over the flrst Scottish colony under Riada, with barely men- 
tioning it, and then proceeded to the second colony, under Loam 
and Fergus, in 503. Having thus overstepped the Roman pe- 
riod in Britain, they gravely tell us that there were no Scots in 
Britain till 503, and that the Scots mentioned by the, Romans 
were Irish auxiliaries, not resident in Scotland, and that'conse. 
quently Ireland was Scotland. This foundation being laid, it 
is not wondered at, considering the influence and number 
of the Irish Ecclesiastics, not only in Britain, but on the Conti- 
nent of Europe, that this fraudulent imposition was widely 
spread, and took deep root, Usher,'L!oyd, Stillingfleetj O'Fla. 
herty, Keating, and many other respectable writers^ were im- 
posed on, and positively deny the existence of the first colony, 
altogether ; and had it not been the publication of the Duan AL 
banach, mutilated as it is, the error had been irretrievable. 
Mr.Toland, (see his Nazarenus) covAiasj to the opinion of the 
other Irish historians, bad the honesty and disinterestedness to 
assert the existence of the first colony. 

Before dismissing this subject, it may not be improper to ha. 
zardafew remarks on the probable origin of the word Scot. 
AmmianuS) under the year 360, is the very first who mentions 
the Scots and Picts, making war on the Romans. But he dof s 
not drop a single hint that they were Irish auxiliaries. .On the 
contrary, he always speaks of them as immediate, and at hand. 
'I^he next author who mentions them is Hieronymus. In order 
to, get over the evidence of this author as superficially as'poSsible, 
Xr. Pinkarton inserts -^ffgcom instead oC Scvti, and teUs «a 

3 I 

430 NOTES. 

that St. Jerome says (hey ate human flesh. The passage to which 
he alludes is thus quoted by Calepine, an eminent lexicographer, 
who wrote about 1490. Quid (inquit) loquor de cceteris natio. 
nibus quum ipse adokicentulus in Gallia viderim Scotos gentem 
Britunnicam humanis vesci camibus? — Vide Dictionarium ia 
Terbo Scofi — 1. e. " Why (says HierOnymus) do I speak of other 
nations, since I myself, when a boy, saw the Scots, a British na. 
tion in Gaul, eat human flesh." It would have been conTenient 
enough for Pinkarton to allow that the Scots ate human flesh, 
but not equally so that they were a Britannic nation, for which 
reason he inserts the Attaeotti in their stead. St. Jerome (Hie. 
Tonymus)wasborn 343, and died 4S0. — {Ste Cave' sHist. Liter (».') 
If we allow St. Jerome to be 18 years old (an age fully com. 
nensurate to the word Adolescenttilus) when he saw the Sbots ia 
Gaul, he must have seen them about 360, the very year wheit 
Ammianus first mentions them. These Scots were unqnestion. 
sbly mercenary troops in the Roman armies in Gaul. From the 
Notilia Imperii, a work of the fifth century, it is clear that the 
Romans employed foreign forces from all Rations, and n»t a few 
from North Britain. St. Jerome imputes to them the custom 
of eating human flesh ; and this very circumstance would induce 
him to be particular iu his enquiries respeeting their name and 
Ration. The Roman officers who commanded tfaem in Gaul, and 
had levied them in Britain, were capable of giving him the cor- 
rectest information ; and when he pronounces the Scots Britan. 
nicam Gentem— ^^ a British nation," his authority is more than 
a counterpoise to all that has been advanced en the other side 
of the question. St. Jerome saw theSe Scots in Gaul more than 
50 years before the Romans almndened Britatn, an4 at least 
three centuries before tike Irish claim tp Scotland and the Stots 
was startet]. The only argument Which can be adduced against 
these authorities is, that St. Patrick conrerte^ the Scots in Ire. 
land, and therefore the Scots must have been Irish. The very- 
first name of Scots in Ireland appears in the letters of St. Patrick, 
published by Usher. But the Sera of this saint was the very pe. 
riod when the old Scots of Afgyle, fnfter a signal defeat by the 

NQTES. 431 

Picis, were oMiged to take refugg in [rel^oiil. Their re^^ence 
ia Ireland is variously stated at from 17 to 40 years. T^ey r^. 
turned to Argylesbire under jLoam and Ffir^gus, ihe sons of £rc, 
about the end <^f tbe fiftli century. The Scots mentioned by $t. 
Patrick were therefore t>he identical Dalriads, or aborigiu;il Scots 
of Argylesihire. That St. Patrick converted this «X)Iony is clear 
from the Duan Jilbanach, which says,— « 

Tr^ mic Eire, mhic Eachach ait, 
Triar four beaapachtaia Pfaadraic — 

i. e. " The three sons of Ere, the son of Eachach the Grreat, ob. 
tained the benediction of Patrick." Finkarton, the grand iid. 
versary of the Scots,' is as express to this point as words caa 
make it. Beda's Scots (says he, v. 2. p. 260.) in Britam were 
hut the inhabitants of Argtfle, a petty diifria, and were convert* 
ed to Christianity during their endle in Ireland,frQm 446 to SOS, 
And again, (v. 2. p. 266.) in 460 Patrick converts the Dalreu. 
dini, or oM British Scots of Argyie, then exiled in Ireland, as 
he does the other Irish; and prophesies that Fergus, the satt of 
Ef'c, shall be a king, and father of kings. It is a matter of tha 
estremest facility to identify the Scot^ of St. Patrick and the 
Scots of Argyle, by numerous and respectable authorities; but 
Mr. Plnkarton has done it himself, and saved me the trouble. 
It is therefore historic truth that the inhabitants of Argyleshire 
ire the aboriginal Scots — that they are mentioned by Ammianus 
and Hieronymus as early as 360 — that the name Scot was un. 
known in Ireland till 460, and when known, belonged not to 
the Irish, but solely and exclusively to the aboriginal Scots of 
Argyleshire, then exiles in Ireland. Hence the extreme anxiety 
of the Irish to suppress all knowledge of the first colony under 
Riada, and to commence the Scottish name with the second co. 
lony under Loarn and Fergus, the sons o^ Ere. It is pitiful 
it is really distressing, to see Mr. Pinkarton flatly contradict 
himself so often. Having, as liefore stated, admitted in the most 
unequivocal terms that the Scots of St. Patrick were the old 
ScX)tS of Argyleshire, he totally forgets himselfj and says (v, 2. 

3 I 2 

432 NOTES, 

p. 225.) the Scots to whom Patrick was sent are perfectly known 

to have been onlif Irish. 

But prior to the year 460, the very name Scot was totally un- 
known in Ireland, whereas it -was well known in Scotland a full 
centuri^ earlier. If the Irish were the original Scoti, and Ireland 
the origioal Scotia ; and if these names passed in process of time 
from Ireland to Scotland, it must be proved that the Iriskand 
Ireland bore these names prior to the year 360. This is sifting 
the matter to the bottom ; and Pinkarton, sensible that nothing 
less would serve the purpose, has hazarded the attempt. He 
sets out (v. 2, p. 45, &c,) with the assumption that Seyth and 
Scot, Scythia and Scotia, are synooimous. That Belgte, €auci, 
and Menapit, were to be found in Ireland ; and that the Belgee 
were Scots, because the Belgte were Scythians. I have already 
shewn, on the testimony of Cassar and Tacitus, that the Belgx 
were Celts. Eut waving this objection altogether, instead of 
proof, we have nothing but impudent and groundless assertion. 
But were his assertions as well founded as they are completely 
the reverse, still the inference drawn from themtotally ruins the 
very point which he wishes to establish ; for if Scythin and Sco. 
tia are synonimous, it must follow that Scythia, and not Ireland, 
was the original Scot/and, The childish.idea that Scythians and 
Scots were synonimous, is borrowed from the ridiculous pream- 
ble to the Cljfonicon Pictoruin, in which is the following remark 
on the Scots: — Scotti (qui nunc corriipte vocantur Hibervienfes) 
quasi Sciti, quia a Scithia regione venerunt ; ike a Scotta Jitia 
Pharaonis regis Egypti qua fuit, utfertur, regina Scotoriim — 
i. e. " The Scots (who are now improperly called Irish), as if 
Scythians, because they came from the country of Scythia- or 
from Scotta, the daughter of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who was 
«s is reported, queen of the Scots." The Chroniele tells us also 
— Gothi a Magog filio Japketh nominati putantur, de simiUtudL. 
ne ultima syllaba — i. e. " The Goths ai^e thought to be named 
from Magog, the son of Japheth, from the resemblance of the 
last syllable." Whoever would found any thing on such npn. 
sense as this, is certainly reduced to the last extremity. He who 

NOTES. 433 

can derive Goth from Magor;, nprd noi fifsitate to identify Scy- 
Ihia and Scotia. But if synotiimity is of any avail in this cas», 
Scotia, Pharoah's daughter, has a better title to be called 5'corire 
than even Scy thia itself. Mr. Pinkarton set out with the avow, 
cd intention of proving that Ireland was ancient Scotland, in- 
stead of which he has conferred that honour on "ancient Scythia, 
and might, with equal justice,' have conferred it on Mexico or 
Madagascar. ' ■ ' 

The most probable etymon of the word Sc6t, is the Celtic Sca- 
oth oT'Seuih, meaning a swarm or colony; and hence (as colo. 
nies are generally not composed of the most respectable mater?, 
als) it frequently Signifies an exile, fugitive, wanderer, "&c. 
This'last signification well expresses the migratory habits'of the 
Scythians; and if there is any affinity betwixt S<;yfA?c« and 5cof, 
the clear inference is, that the Scythians were Celts, and their 
language Celtic, otherwise the radical meaning of the wbtd 
would not have been lost in all other languages, and preserved 
in the Celtic alone. We all know that the Oalriads, who first 
bore the name of Scots, were Irish emigrants ; and I am verily 
persuaded, that the name was given them by their Celtic neigh- 
bours the Picts, for the sake of distinction, or, perhapsj from 
contempt. The original name appears to have been Scaoth Eri. 
nach (Irish fugitives), which has often been rendered in Latin 
Hiberni Scoii, which Mr. Pinkarton, contrary tg all reason, 
makes a proof that the Irish were Scots, and renders the Scots 
in Ireland. But Hiberni Scoti literally means Irish fugitives ; 
^nd could there remain any doubt on this head, it is completely 
obviated by Bede and Gildas, who repeatedly call the Scots Hi. 
lerni Grassalores, Scaoth Erinach, Hiberni Scoti, and Hiberni 
Grassatores, are phrases strictly'^ynonimous; nor indeed could 
the Celtic Scaoth, when taken in an opprobrious sense, be more 
aptly rendered than by the Latin Grassator. 

I do not, however, wish to be understood as by any means im- 
pugning the antiquity of the Irish manuscripts. I only blame the 
selfish use to which they have been applied. Ireland must 
rankjposterior to Gaul and Britain, in point of early literature; 

434 NOTES. 

but on the pspnlsien of the Drafds frocn these kingdoms, it was 
enriched with the »poils of both. The Irish have, therefore, aa 
obvious interest in not publishing these manuscripts. Tlie mo- 
tnent thej- are published, a great part of these records would in- 
falliWy turn out to be, not the history of Ireland, but that of 
Gaul and Britain. This is evidently the case with the Duan 
Jlbanach, which is strictly and literally the history of Argyle- 
shire. But having this important document in their custody, 
the Irish laid claim to the whole Scottish name and atchievements, 
up to the eleventh century. Indeed, I ds not hesitate to state, 
that whatever is recoverable of the early Celtic literature, his. 
tory, and mythology, either of Gaul or Britain, is to be found in 
Ireland, and in Ireland alone; and I sincerely hope that the 
pablieatioB of the Irish manuscripts will speedily be made a na. 
tional concern. The English language is making rapid progress, 
and tf this undertaking is delayed half a c«)tury longer, all is 
lost, ia imti^um eonfimdimur chaos. 


J. Watt, Prmter, Montrose.