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THE CELTIC DRUIDS by Godfrey Higgins (London, 1829)

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THE CELTIC DRUIDS by Godfrey Higgins (London, 1829)

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THE CELTIC DRUIDS by Godfrey Higgins (London, 1829)

995.00

Higgins, Godfrey. The Celtic Druids, Or An Attempt To Show, That The Druids Were The Priests Of Oriental Colonies Who Emigrated From India; And Were The Introducers Of The First Or Cadmean System Of Letters, And The Builders Of Stonehenge, Of Carnac, And Of Other Cyclopean Works, In Asia And Europe. London: Rowland Hunter/Hurst & Chance/Ridgway and Sons, 1829.

Second issue. The first printing was issued in 1827 in a slightly shorter version and had fewer plates than this volume. 4to. Bound in half red morocco over marbled boards. Spine with 5 raised bands and gilt title and date. Top edge gilt. Marbled end papers. Besides the present title page it also includes the lithographic title page from the first edition. Full page errata sheet with second (smaller) errata slip tipped in on the following page. 324 pages. Illustrated with 45 lithographic plates (ALL PRESENT), many of which are large foldout plans of Stonehenge and other monuments, plus one map, and wood vignettes at the beginning and end of each chapter. THIS COPY BELONGED TO NOTED WELSH SCHOLAR AND BOOKBINDER, HENRY BLACKWELL, WITH HIS BOOKPLATE TO FRONT PASTEDOWN. BLACKWELL ALSO BOUND THIS COPY. Very light edgewear and slight rubbing to boards, a couple of tiny scuff marks to the leather on spine. Sme light to moderate foxing on several pages with a few plates lightly affected, but most of the foxing is in margin areas. The binding is strong and secure. A very well preserved copy of this scarce work. A VERY GOOD OR BETTER COPY

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Higgins attempts to show that the Druids of the British Isles were the priests of a very ancient nation called Celtae, and that they were a colony from the first race of people, a learned and enlightened people, the descendants of those who escaped the effects of the deluge on the borders of the Caspain Sea. He claims they were the earliest occupiers of Greece, Italy, France and Briton, arriving in those places by a route along the 45th parallel (north). He stresses that other colonies from this same great nation advanced via a southern line through Asia, peopling the Middle East and Africa, and arriving into Europe by sea through the Straights of Gibraltar (the Pillars of Hercules). He also attempts to show that all the languages of the Western world were the same, and that one system of letters, that of the ancient Irish Druids, was common to the British Isles, Italy, Greece, Syria, Arabia, Persia and Hindustan. As you may imagine he was the subject of a lot of ridicule from scholars of his time. Regardless, this is a fascinating exploration of ideas and his examinations of Stonehenge, the Avebury and Carnac areas, and other locations with monumental structures is very interesting indeed. Higgins prefaced this 1829 second edition stating that he was preparing a review of "all the ancient Mythologies of the world, which, however varied, and corrupted in recent times, were originally one, and that one founded on principles sublime, beautiful, and true." This review would later become his most famous work: Anacalypsis.

Some of the chapter headings are as follows: Necessity of Etymology; Alphabets; Changes in Language; Druids acquainted with Letters; Irish, Greek, and Hebrew Letters the same; Hieroglyphics; Ciphering invented before Letters; Virgil a Druid; Genesis; Persia, India, and China, the Depositaries, not the Inventors of Science; Who the Celts were; Affinity between the Latin, Sanskrit, and Celtic; Term Barbarian; Arrival of Phoenician Colonies in Ireland; Origin of Irish Fables; Derivation of the word Britain; Hero Gods; Derivation of the words: Albion, Druid, Vates and Bards; Britain known to Aristotle; Road to Britain lost, like that to America and Australia; magnetic Needle; Ancient Oracles founded by Celts; Druids probably Pythagoreans; Cross common to Greeks, Egyptians, and Indians; Monograms of Christ; Druids admitted the Creation of Matter; Festivals removed by the procession of the Equinoxes; Druid Festival of Christmas; Mother of the Gods; Baal; Gods of India and Ireland the same; Chaldees of the Jews; St. Patrick; A single Plain Stone the Origin of Idolatry; Rocking-Stones or Logan Stones; Circular Temples, Stonehenge and Abury; Stonehenge not a Roman, Saxon, or Danish Work; Ancient Superstitions respecting Numbers; Observations on Hebrew Chronology; Hierarchy of the Druids; Druids Assertors of their Country's Liberty; Immortality of the Soul and Metempsychosis; Druids had an excellent System ofMorals; Mistletoe and other Sacred Plants; Institution of Priesthoods an Evil, etc.