Irish Druids And Old Irish
ISLE OF MAN DRUIDISM
The Isle of Man lies just between
Ireland and Wales. Let us examine what can
be shown about these matters therein.
Boetius, translated by Alfred the Great, had a particularly doubtful story to
tell; too similar, alas! to the narratives of early Christian writers. "Cratilinth,
the Scottish King, A.D. 277," said he, "was very earnest in the
overthrow of Druidism in the Isle of Mon and elsewhere; and upon the occasion of
Dioclesian's persecution, when many Christians fled to him for refuge, he gave
them the Isle of Man for their residence." He relates that Mannanan Beg
"was the establisher and cultivator of religion after the manner of the
Egyptians.--He caused great stones to be placed in the form of a circle."
Train, in his History of Man, refers to Mannanan Beg, Mac-y-Leirr, of
the first century, having kept the Island under mist by his necromancy.
"If he dreaded an enemy, he would cause
one man to seem a hundred, and that by Art Magic." King Finnan, 134 B.C.,
is said to have first established Druids there. The Archdruid was known as Kion-druaight,
or Ard-druaight. Plowden thought the Druids emigrated thither after the
slaughter at Mona; others declare Mona to have been an Irish Druidical
settlement. Sacheverell refers to Druidical cairns on the tops of hills, which
were dedicated to the Sun, and speaks of hymns having what were called cairn
tunes. Train says, "So highly were the Manx Druids distinguished for their
knowledge of astronomy, astrology, and natural philosophy, that the Kings of
Scotland sent their sons to be educated there." He thought that until 1417,
"in imitation of the practice of the Druids, the laws of the Island were
locked up in the breasts of the Deemsters." The old rude edifices of stone
are still called Tinan Druinich, or Druids' houses. McAlpine says that Druid
in Manx is Magician.