Druids and Their Magic in Early Ireland:
Making Sense of the Clouds, Stars, Ogham and Bull's Blood
Lecture by Dr Mark Williams (Cambridge)
£5.00 entry. 7.15pm for 7.30pm start
Treadwells, 34 Tavistock Street, Covent Garden WC2E 7PB
Druids appear frequently in the rich saga literature of Early Ireland, engaged in a variety of eerie magical practices: clairvoyance, psychometry, cloud-divination, shape-shifting, and going into prophetic trances wrapped in the dripping hides of freshly-slaughtered bulls. And yet these actions, superficially so powerfully redolent of the pagan past, occur within literary texts which are products of a profoundly Christian, Bible-saturated medieval culture. How did early Irish monk-litterateurs envision the magic of their one-time rivals, the druids, and why on earth was imagining pagan magic of any interest for these 'saints and scholars'? Mark Williams of the University of Cambridge attempts to provide some answers.
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