The Romans conquered Europe, but resolutely refused to invade Ireland, despite ruling England, Wales and Scotland for several hundred years.
Recently I have made a concerted effort to find out why this was…Why continual Roman Emperors left Ireland alone…?
What crops up in my investigations time and again, is the issue of the ancient Celtic belief in the transmigration of the soul.
This was not just something that was taught by the Druids, but an unshakeable conviction in the afterlife…one so strong, that it made them absolutely fearless in battle.
Transmigration of the soul is a doctrine of reincarnation.
Within this belief, spirits may be reborn into any of nature’s forms – human, animal, or even inanimate things, such as trees and water.
This is supported by evidence from the ancient Celtic Heroic tales.
The Greek writer Diordus Siculus (c. 60 BC – 30 AD) noted that the Druids believed “the souls of men are immortal, and that after a definite number of years they live a second life when the soul passes to another body.”
The Greek philosopher Strabo (c. 63 BC – 21 AD) observed the Druids believed that “men’s souls and the universe are indestructible, although at times fire and water may prevail.”
Julius Caesar wrote of the Celts “They wish to inculcate this as one of their leading tenets, that souls do not become extinct, but pass after death from one body to another, and they think that men by this tenet are in a great degree stimulated to valour, the fear of death being disregarded.”
This was most troublesome for Julius Caesar, as he realized this race would not be easily defeated and thence subjugated.
The Roman Empire was all too aware of what happened when the British Celts, under their Queen Boadicea, decided to revolt against Roman tyranny.
The Celts, led by their Queen, cut a mighty swathe through the Roman settlements, towns and armies in England, almost wiping out Roman occupation!
The Romans had raped the daughters of Boadicea, making her watch…the entire Iceni Tribe rallied behind the dignity of their queen and against the tyranny of such barbarians as empire breeds.
As for the women of the Celts, Roman Diodorus Siculus wrote of them, saying, “Among the Gauls the women are nearly as tall as the men, whom they rival in courage.”
Amicus Marcelling states – “A whole troop of foreigners would not be able to withstand a single Celt if he called his wife to his assistance”
Julius Caesar was frightened of the Celts, despite the mighty legions of Rome.
This is a truth I carry today…to be steadfast and resolute in holding fast to what I believe to be right.
O’Carolan, the blind Irish Harpist, composed a piece called, Transmigration of the Soul…listen…