A druid was a member of the high-ranking professional class in ancient Celtic cultures. Best remembered as religious leaders, they were legal authorities, lorekeepers, medical professionals, political advisors. While the druids are reported to have been literate, they are believed to have been prevented by doctrine from recording their knowledge in written form, thus they left no written accounts of themselves, they are however attested in some detail by their contemporaries from other cultures, such as the Romans and the Greeks. The earliest known references to the druids date to the fourth century BCE and the oldest detailed description comes from Julius Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico, they were described by Greco-Roman writers such as Cicero and Pliny the Elder. Following the Roman invasion of Gaul, the druid orders were suppressed by the Roman government under the 1st century CE emperors Tiberius and Claudius, had disappeared from the written record by the 2nd century. In about 750 CE the word druid appears in a poem by Blathmac, who wrote about Jesus, saying that he was "... better than a prophet, more knowledgeable than every druid, a king, a bishop and a complete sage."
The druids also appear in some of the medieval tales from Christianized Ireland like the "Táin Bó Cúailnge", where they are portrayed as sorcerers who opposed the coming of Christianity. In the wake of the Celtic revival during the 18th and 19th centuries and neopagan groups were founded based on ideas about the ancient druids, a movement known as Neo-Druidism. Many popular notions about druids, based on misconceptions of 18th century scholars, have been superseded by more recent study; the modern English word druid derives from the Latin druidēs, considered by ancient Roman writers to come from the native Celtic Gaulish word for these figures. Other Roman texts employ the form druidae, while the same term was used by Greek ethnographers as δρυΐδης. Although no extant Romano-Celtic inscription is known to contain the form, the word is cognate with the insular Celtic words, Old Irish druí ‘druid, sorcerer’, Old Cornish druw, Middle Welsh dryw ‘seer. Based on all available forms, the hypothetical proto-Celtic word may be reconstructed as *dru-wid-s meaning "oak-knower".
The two elements go back to the Proto-Indo-European roots *deru- and *weid- "to see". The sense of "oak-knower" or "oak-seer" is supported by Pliny the Elder, who in his Natural History considered the word to contain the Greek noun drýs, "oak-tree" and the Greek suffix -idēs. Both Old Irish druí and Middle Welsh dryw could refer to the wren connected with an association of that bird with augury in Irish and Welsh tradition. Sources by ancient and medieval writers provide an idea of the religious duties and social roles involved in being a druid; the Greco-Roman and the vernacular Irish sources agree that the druids played an important part in pagan Celtic society. In his description, Julius Caesar claimed that they were one of the two most important social groups in the region and were responsible for organizing worship and sacrifices and judicial procedure in Gaulish and Irish societies, he claimed that they were exempt from military service and from the payment of taxes, had the power to excommunicate people from religious festivals, making them social outcasts.
Two other classical writers, Diodorus Siculus and Strabo wrote about the role of druids in Gallic society, claiming that the druids were held in such respect that if they intervened between two armies they could stop the battle. Pomponius Mela is the first author who says that the druids' instruction was secret and took place in caves and forests. Druidic lore consisted of a large number of verses learned by heart, Caesar remarked that it could take up to twenty years to complete the course of study. What was taught to druid novices anywhere is conjecture: of the druids' oral literature, not one certifiably ancient verse is known to have survived in translation. All instruction was communicated orally, but for ordinary purposes, Caesar reports, the Gauls had a written language in which they used Greek characters. In this he draws on earlier writers. Greek and Roman writers made reference to the druids as practitioners of human sacrifice. According to Caesar, those, found guilty of theft or other criminal offences were considered preferable for use as sacrificial victims, but when criminals were in short supply, innocents would be acceptable.
A form of sacrifice recorded by Caesar was the burning alive of victims in a large wooden effigy, now known as a wicker man. A differing account came from the 10th-century Commenta Bernensia, which claimed that sacrifices to the deities Teutates and Taranis were by drowning and burning, respectively. Diodorus Siculus asserts that a sacrifice acceptable to the Celtic gods had to be attended by a druid, for they were the intermediaries between the people and the divinities, he remarked upon the importance of prophets in druidic ritual: "These men predict the future by observing the flight and calls of birds and by the sacrifice of holy animals: all orders of society are in their power... and in important matters they prepare a human victim, plunging a dagger into his chest.
Prefectures in France
A prefecture in France may refer to: the Chef-lieu de département, the town in which the administration of a department is located. There are 101 prefectures in one for each department; the official in charge is the prefect. The prefecture is an administration that belongs to the Ministry of the Interior, is therefore in charge of the delivery of identity cards, driving licenses, passports and work permits for foreigners, vehicle registration, registration of associations, of the management of the police and firefighters. Prefectures are located near the geographic centre of their departments, were chosen for being within a day's travel on horseback from anywhere in the department. Therefore, the largest settlement in a department may not always be its prefecture: the department of Marne, for example, has its prefecture at Châlons-en-Champagne despite the city of Reims, near the Aisne border, being four times its size; the prefect represents the national government at the local level and as such exercises the powers that are constitutionally attributed to the national government.
The prefect issues ordinances written for the application of local law: to close a building that does not conform to safety codes, or modify vehicular traffic regulations. The governing body of the department is the departmental council, in charge of the building and maintenance of schools and roads, financial assistance to dependent people, promotion of local economic development, etc. In the past, the prefect was head of the department, but since 1982, the president of the departmental council has assumed the role of chief executive of the department. There is an exception in its three surrounding departments; these departments are administered by a single prefecture for law enforcement and security purposes, called the Prefecture of Police. The power of law enforcement is invested in the mayor in other French communes; the departments are divided into arrondissements, themselves divided into cantons. The chef-lieu d'arrondissement is the subprefecture; the official in charge is the subprefect (French: sous-préfet.
Cantons have few competences, the most important one being the local organisation of elections. Administrative divisions of France French National Police
Nogent-le-Rotrou is a commune in the Eure-et-Loir department in northern France. It is a sub-prefecture and is located on the Huisne River, 56 kilometres west of Chartres on the RN23 and 150 kilometres south west of Paris, to which it is linked by both rail and motorway, it was the former capital of the Perche with the count living in the impressive medieval Château Saint-Jean which still dominates the town from a plateau of the same name. The town lies within the Perche at the heart of a vast agricultural zone. Many jobs were therefore tied to agriculture, but the numbers declined from the late 1970s with up to 5% of jobs being shed each year. Industrial employment owed much to the automotive sector which counted for 10% of jobs in the 1980s and 1990s and these were linked to components manufacturer, Valeo; the company had a local workforce of over 1000 in 1999, but this too has been in decline as Valeo has delocalised to follow clients such as Renault to Romania. The headcount had fallen to 800 by April 2007, when Valeo announced that would be cutting a further 260 jobs between July 2007 and December 2009.
All is not doom and gloom, however, as the German medical and pharmaceutical supplier, B. Braun Melsungen announced in early 2009 that it would be investing 20 million euros to modernise its local plant for it to specialise in the production of infusion pumps used in the intravenous administration of drugs; as a result, employment on the B. Braun site is to increase from 450 to 500. There is a large military presence, with the town being the base for one of France's three civil defense units. L'Unité d'instruction et d'intervention de la Sécurité civile n°1 was created in 1978 and in 2001 there were 650 men at the base, they are used both at home and abroad, in all types of disaster situation. The Nogent region counted 14,407 jobs in 1999, which were broken down as follows: Agriculture: 6.8%, Industry: 32.5, Construction 5.5%, Services = 55.2%. The current mayor is the centre-left François Huwart, who has held power since 1989, he thus follows in the footsteps of his father, Robert Huwart, mayor from 1965 to 1987.
Clara Filleul, children's writer Gustave Le Bon, social psychologist, anthropologist Yoann Kowal, athlete Paul Tirard, diplomat Maximilien de Béthune, Duke of Sully Communes of the Eure-et-Loir department Perche INSEE Media related to Nogent-le-Rotrou at Wikimedia Commons Nogent le Rotrou travel guide from Wikivoyage
Eure is a department in the north of France named after the river Eure. Eure is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790, it was created from part of the former province of Normandy. The name in fact is taken from the Eure river flowing in this department. After the allied victory at Waterloo, Eure was occupied by Prussian troops between June 1815 and November 1818. In the wake of Louis-Napoléons December coup of 1851, Eure was one of the departments placed under a state of emergency in order to avert resistance to the post-republican régime. In the event fewer than 100 government opponents in Eure were arrested. Eure is part of the current region of Normandy and is surrounded by the departments of Seine-Maritime, Val-d'Oise, Eure-et-Loir and Calvados; the department is a wooded plateau intersected by the valleys of the Seine River and its tributaries. The altitude varies from sea level in the north to 248 metres above it in the south; the President of the General Council is Jean-Louis Destans of the Socialist Party.
The main tourist attraction is Giverny where Claude Monet's house and garden can be seen, as well as other places of interest. The Abbey of Bec and the Château-Gaillard near Les Andelys are other important tourist attractions; the Château of Buisson de May was built by the royal architect Jacques Denis Antoine from 1781 to 1783. Cantons of the Eure department Communes of the Eure department Arrondissements of the Eure department Château d'Harcourt Château de Gisors General Council website Prefecture website Village Arnières sur Iton website Giverny Vernon: In the Heart of Impressionism Château du Buisson de May
Beauce is a natural region in northern France, located between the Seine and Loire rivers. It now comprises the Eure-et-Loir département and parts of Loiret and Loir-et-Cher; the region shared the history of the province of Orléanais and the county of Chartres, its only major city. Beauce is one of France's most productive agricultural areas, it is the setting of Émile Zola's novel, La Terre
Orne is a department in the northwest of France, named after the river Orne. Orne is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution, on 4 March 1790, it was created from parts of the former provinces of Perche. Birth place of Charlotte Corday and assassin of Jean-Paul Marat. Orne is in the region of Normandy neighbouring Eure, Eure-et-Loir, Manche and Calvados, it is the only department of Normandy to be landlocked. The largest town by a considerable margin is the prefecture, Alençon, an administrative and commercial centre for what is still an overwhelmingly rural department. There are no large industrial centres: agriculture remains the economic focus of Orne; the inhabitants of the department are called Ornais. The recorded population level peaked at 443,688 in 1836. Declining farm incomes and the lure of better prospects in the overseas empire led to a sustained reduction in population levels in many rural departments, by the time of the 1936 census the recorded population stood at just 269,331.
Once motor car ownership started to surge in the 1960s employment opportunities became less restricted and by 2008 the population level had recovered a little to 292,282. The two major cities in the Orne are Alençon, the prefecture, Flers. Alençon is the chief town of the Orne department. Camembert, the village where Camembert cheese is made, is located in Orne; the local dialect is known as Augeron. Cantons of the Orne department Communes of the Orne department Arrondissements of the Orne department Haras National du Pin, a French stud farm Prefecture website General Council website Orne at Curlie Orne Tourism Life in the Orne, WW1 with images
The Carnutes, a powerful Gaulish people in the heart of independent Gaul, dwelt in an extensive territory between the Sequana and the Liger rivers. Their lands were organized as the Catholic dioceses of Chartres, Orléans and Blois, that is, the greater part of the modern departments of Eure-et-Loir and Loir-et-Cher; the territory of the Carnutes had the reputation among Roman observers of being the political and religious center of the Gaulish nations. The chief fortified towns were Cenabum, the modern Orléans, where a bridge crossed the Loire, Autricum; the great annual druidic assembly mentioned by Caesar took the other of these towns. Livy's history records the legendary tradition that the Carnutes had been one of the tribes that accompanied Bellovesus in his invasion of Italy during the reign of Tarquinius Priscus. In the 1st century BC, the Carnutes minted coins struck with dies, but sometimes cast in an alloy of high tin content called potin, their coinage turns up in hoards well outside their home territories, in some cases so distributed in the finds that the place of coinage is not secure.
The iconography of their numismatics includes the motifs of heads with traditional Celtic torcs. Many coins show an eagle with the lunar crescent, with a serpent, or with a wheel with six or four spokes, or a pentagrammatic star, or beneath a hand holding a branch with berries, holly perhaps; the wheel with four spokes forms a cross within a circle, an universal image since Neolithic times. Sometimes the circle is a ring of granules. Among the Celts, the ring and spokes may represent the cycle of the year divided in its four seasons, rather than the sun, a common meaning among cultures. See Cross. In the time of Caesar, the Carnutes were dependents of the Remi, who on one occasion interceded for them. In the winter of 58–57 BC, Caesar imposed a protectorate over the Carnutes and set up Tasgetius as his choice of king, picked from the ruling clan. Within three years, the Carnutes assassinated the puppet king. On 13 February 53 BC, the Carnutes of Cenabum massacred all the Roman merchants stationed in the town as well as one of Caesar's commissariat officers.
The uprising became a general one under the leadership of Vercingetorix. Caesar burned Cenabum, where he had women and children sold as slaves; the booty was distributed among an effective way of financing the conquest of Gaul. During the war that followed, the Carnutes sent 12,000 fighting men to relieve Alesia, but shared in the defeat of the Gallic army. Having attacked the Bituriges Cubi, who appealed to Caesar for assistance, they were forced to submit. Cenabum was left for years with two Roman legions garrisoned there. After they had been pacified, though not Romanized, under Augustus, the Carnutes, as one of the peoples of Gallia Lugdunensis, were raised to the rank of civitas socia or foederati, they retained their self-governing institutions, minted coins. Up to the 3rd century, Autricum was the capital. In 275 Aurelian refounded Cenabum, ordaining it no longer a vicus but a civitas. See Livy, v. 34. 8, II, 75, viii. 5, 31. Monnayage des Carnutes: detailed illustrations of numismatics Coins minted by the Carnutes, 1st century BCE Histoire de la ville d'Orléans": map of the Carnutes territory R. Boutrays, Urbis gentisque Carnutum historia 1624 A. Desjardins, Géographie historique de la Gaule, ii, I876 1893