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p. 856. Twilight in the far westlocked

  • Barry Cunliffe

Abstract

Irish vernacular literature reveals Irish Druids, in the centuries before Christianity, as men of power, established in royal courts and serving as intermediaries between gods and men. However, ‘Twilight in the far west’ notes that they had begun to take on the role of magicians and sorcerers. This may reflect their changing role in society, or the perspective of the Christian scribes who transcribed and edited the stories and to whom the old order was anathema. Conflict between druidism and Christianity was inevitable and recorded in such a way that Christianity was seen to have the more powerful magic. Eventually Christian clerics assumed the tasks once performed by the Druids.

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