The Mysterious History of Druids, Ancient ‘Mediators Between Men and Gods’

Druids were religious leaders in what is now Britain and France. They were “philosophers, teachers, judges, the repository of common wisdom about the natural world and the traditions of men, and the mediators between men and the gods,” Barry Cunliffe, an emeritus professor of European archeology at the University of Oxford, wrote in his book”Druids: A Very Brief Introduction (opens in new tab)(Oxford University Press, 2010).

Almost everything we know about druids is second-hand knowledge; all surviving texts mentioning druids were written by non-druids, often Romans. That poses a problem for contemporary historians trying to understand who the Druids were and how their role changed over time.