I'd recommend you read Bernard Cornwell's Arthurian saga 'The Winter King', 'Enemy of God' and 'Excalibur'. The druids figure prominently in there, obviously, with Merlin and Taliesin, and Cornwell depicts them very much in the vein Brunaux suggests. Merlin, for instance, knows a great deal about the Greeks, reads Greek, and is something of a scientist himself. He also attempts to re-establish the Old Religion along the lines you describe in the face of a growing and militant Christianity.
Its good stuff, and a bloody excellent read too.
But Zzaburi/druids? Hmmm. Not convinced. There are probably as many differences as there are similarities and the Zzaburi class structure and practiced isolationism seems very different to druidism. I don't think the zzaburi necessarily do, or should, have a real world analog. You could ertainly take inspiration from Brunaux in developing zzaburi for your campaign, but I'd hesitate before taking them as a direct comparison.
But, as ever, YGWV.
On 1 January 2012 10:30, <hcarteau_at_x3sE9TXxr9dduID1tmhAHWXpAUK6tzBPdaq4OTwDVXwfTC9thF4rp8JiWLznxI7waPdah0DmnqFdkVw.yahoo.invalid> wrote:
> Ladies and Gents,
> One of my Christmas present is a book simply called "Les Gaulois"
> ("Gauls"), by french archeologist Jean-Louis Brunaux. Written in 2011,
> pleasant to read, with plenty of illustrations and detailed information, it
> integrates the lastest findings in archeology. And it shows a fascinating
> pictures of Druids which I'd like to share with you.
> NB : The Gauls' civilization lasted from the VIth to Ist century BC before
> being assimilated by the romans. They lived mostly in what is France today,
> made of 60 to 80 entities we'd call Tribes, often grouped together in
> regional alliances (3 to 5 of them). What we call "Celts" were in fact such
> an alliance, which started around the new city of Massilia around the VIth
> century BC.
> The name "Druid" itself meant "Wise one" or "He who can see better than
> other men". The author writes that Druids started out as astronomers, and
> became reverred because they could plan movements in the Heavens and
> prophetize. When they got into contacts with greeks, Druids learned the
> alphabet, which allowed them giant leaps in their knowledge, establishing
> elaborate and quite accurate calendars for instance. They knew mathematics
> and geometry. They also studied medicine, surgery and pharmacology
> (misteltoe was considered as a Panacea by them, wrote Pliny the Younger).
> It seems Druids believed in the cyclical, ever-repeating nature of the
> cosmos, and that included reincarnation (but only in other human beings).
> They practised ethics and wanted to make man and society better, through
> religion and politics. They despised any form of materialism, as matter is
> always changing in the cycle of things. Thus they strictly kept Writing to
> themselves, which is why we have no text written by Gauls today, only
> secondhand accounts. This disdain of the material also meant Gauls built no
> monuments, statues, etc.
> Druids built over the centuries a whole religion (public cult) which they
> were not priests of, but theologians. They fought long to erase older
> superstitions and the author thinks this religion was only practised by
> social elites, and was perhaps quite exclusive. They developped an
> "official" pantheon which varied little from tribe to tribe, and built
> sanctuaries (NOT megaliths, that was thousands of years earlier) where
> rituals were held.
> Greek philosophers do mention Druids often and call them their peers, even
> though their world views were very different, although they did have very
> specific words for magician, priest or poet which they could have used to
> describe Druids. They identified them as pythagoricians. Some even argued
> whether Druids had been pupils or teachers of Pythagore ! The same author
> wrote another book with a fascinating title : "Druids : philosophers among
> barbarians", which I'll try to find.
> This all smacks strongly of zzaburism to me : Druids were advisors,
> teachers, men of vast knowledge who in fact "provided for the energetic /
> spiritual well-being of the community". They did not care about piety, only
> about behavior. They ignored riches, rank and material things. They do fit
> the role very well, even if there are differences (they were the ultimate
> judges in gaul society, a role reserved to the talari for malkioni ; they
> were much more oriented towards Action than "pure" philosophers).
> Their big advantage to me, a French, is that I am familiar with them,
> having learned about them (mostly fallacies) since primary school. Thus, I
> can feel and fit them better in a malkioni game than hindu mystics, of whom
> I know nothing. My next zzaburi will be a cross of rabbi and druids !
> Last but not least, this book shows the gauls as much closer to the
> malkioni (caste system, belief in reincarnation, etc.) as to the storm
> barbarians... Food for thought ; must be a reincarnated godlearner writer.
> But I recommend this book to all of you who can read French.
-- One day I feel I'm ahead of the wheel And the next its rolling over me... Rush - 'Far Cry' [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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