VIEW OF THE DRUIDS IN THE CLASSICAL WORLD
The Alexandrians had a profound interest in what they saw as the pure and simple wisdom of the Druids. Their view, like that propounded in the Book of Genesis, was that Man had fallen from Grace and that - developed society was deficient compared to the Golden Age of the past. They shared this opinion with many other thinkers of Classical antiquity, notably the eighth-century BC Greek poet Hesiod and the first-century AD Roman, Lucretius.
Early Classical Writers on the Druids
Philosophers, as we may call them, and men learned in religious
affairs are unusually honoured among them [the Gauls] and are
called by them Druids. And it is a custom of theirs that no
one should perform a sacrifice without a "philosopher";
for thank-offerings should be rendered to the gods, they say,
by the hands of men who are experienced in the nature of the
divine, and who speak, as it were, the language of the gods
- Diodorus Siculus, Library of History V, 31,1-5
(1st cent. BC)
How reliable were classical writers on the Druids ?
the face of it, we should expect the earlier sources to be the
most trustworthy, because they were written at, or just after,
a time when Druids were still an active force. Posidonius visited
Gaul, and Caesar spent nearly ten years there. Pliny, Lucan
and Tacitus were all contemporary with the early imperial attempts
to eradicate Druidism; but these earlier chroniclers of the
Druids all had an agenda other than mere historical recording.