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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 382 pages of information about The Religion of the Ancient Celts.
in the hand of a dancing warrior.[997] The latter are ritual acts, and resemble that described by Spenser as performed by Irish warriors in his day, who said prayers or incantations before a sword stuck in the earth.[998] Swords were also addressed in songs composed by Irish bards, and traditional remains of such songs are found in Brittany.[999] They represent the chants of the ancient cult.  Oaths were taken by weapons, and the weapons were believed to turn against those who lied.[1000] The magical power of weapons, especially of those over which incantations had been said, is frequently referred to in traditional tales and Irish texts.[1001] A reminiscence of the cult or of the magical power of weapons may be found in the wonderful “glaives of light” of Celtic folk-tales, and the similar mystical weapon of the Arthurian romances.


[953] Lucan, Pharsalia, iii. 399 f.

[954] Dio Cass. lxii. 7; Tac. Ann. xiv. 30.

[955] Strabo, xii. 51. Drunemeton may mean “great temple” (D’Arbois, Les Celtes, 203).

[956] Antient Laws of Ireland, i. 164.

[957] Holder, ii. 712.  Cf.  “Indiculus” in Grimm, Teut.  Myth. 1739, “de sacris silvarum, quas nimidas (= nemeta) vocant.”

[958] Livy, xxiii. 24; Polyb. ii. 32.

[959] Caesar, vi. 13, 17; Diod.  Sic. v. 27; Plutarch, Caesar, 26.

[960] See examples in Dom Martin, i. 134 f.; cf.  Greg.  Tours, Hist.  Franc. i. 30.

[961] See Reinach, “Les monuments de pierre brute dans le langage et les croyances populaires,” Rev. Arch. 1893, i. 339; Evans, “The Roll-Right Stones,” Folk-Lore, vi. 20 f.

[962] Rh[^y]s, HL 194; Diod.  Sic. ii. 47.

[963] Rh[^y]s, 197.

[964] Joyce, OCR 246; Kennedy, 271.

[965] Lucan, i. 443, iii. 399f.

[966] Cicero, pro Fonteio, x. 21; Tac. Ann. xiv. 30.  Cf.  Pomp.  Mela, iii. 2. 18.

[967] O’Curry, MS. Mat. 284; Cormac, 94.  Cf. IT iii. 211, for the practice of circumambulating altars.

[968] Max.  Tyr. Dissert. viii. 8; Lucan, iii. 412f.

[969] Antient Laws of Ireland, iv. 142.

[970] Rev. Arch. i. pl. iii-v.; Reinach, RC xi. 224, xiii. 190.

[971] Stokes, Martyr. of Oengus, 186-187.

[972] See the Twenty-third Canon of Council of Arles, the Twenty-third of the Council of Tours, 567, and ch. 65 of the Capitularia, 789.

[973] Mabillon, Acta, i. 177.

[974] Reinach, Rev. Arch. 1893, xxi. 335.

[975] Blanchet, i. 152-153, 386.

[976] Justin, xliii. 5; Strabo, xii. 5. 2; Plutarch, de Virt.  Mul. xx.; Livy, v. 41.

[977] Cormac, 94.

[978] Keating, 356.  See also Stokes, Martyr. of Oengus, 186; RC xii. 427, Sec. 15; Joyce, SH 274 f.

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