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Pliny writes of druids using sickles to cut mistletoe, enter image description here

and there are curved swords (coined Falcata in the 19th century) from the pre-Roman Iberian peninsula. enter image description here

Are there any references to druids actually using these curved swords? The timing and location seems plausible, but I've not found a direct reference other than those implied by games, like Dungeons & Dragons, where the druid character class (loosely based off of Celtic/Gallic historical druids) wield (rather anachronistically) scimitars enter image description here

and khopesh swords, enter image description here

in what appears to be an effort to associate them with a curved sword.

This may be unanswerable since

"not one single artefact or image has been unearthed that can undoubtedly be connected with the ancient Druids." Hutton, Ronald (2009). Blood and Mistletoe: The History of the Druids in Britain. p. 23

I did find this, but I can't read Latin. It does however have the words, druid and machaera Hispana, the latter referred to in the article on the falcata.

Thanks to the helpful comment from @Comintern, the portion that mentions the curved sword comes back from google translate as

The reason that he was angry because he allowed himself the knowledge of the means of the old fabu- 1am and take away : * Do Thou, of course, are not the one . ' * We / I * Caesar, not to recognize me , for when this was done, I was a whole . Afterwards it belonged to me, the eye in the battle of Munda, 5 , torn out , and at the head of some bones . Nor helmet if seem to recognize that . Spain is divided saber / He forbade her performances Caesar and business fields in which viripotens the cause of strife and lawsuits had been a soldier in his favor.

and the portion that mentions druids

The Germans differ much from these usages, of safety. for 20 they have neither Druids to preside over those who the things of God , nor

But there is no clear correlation between the two, nor is the translation clear enough to provide any insight.

I also found this enter image description here from the Deal Warrior find, but the sword is not curved, nor does it have the characteristic hilt of the Iberian curved sword.

  • 6
    I think Asterix is no citable reference :) – knut Oct 31 '15 at 15:22
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    Druids were not warriors. – Tyler Durden Nov 1 '15 at 0:12
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    Google translate spits this out for the Latin at Sight link: "The Germans differ much from these usages, of safety. for they have neither Druids to preside over those who the things of God, nor to sacrifices. Number of the gods those alone whom they be disturbed, and whose are obviously benefited, namely, the sun, fire, and the moon; they have not the fame of even by report. life all occupied in hunting and in the pursuits of the military art;" Fairly legible. Also fairly irrelevant. – Comintern Nov 3 '15 at 0:50
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    This question was asked on the RPG site. Top answer states that Gary Gygax chose scimitars as it was the closest in form to sickles. – Paul Hutton Mar 17 '17 at 3:10
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    A point made by Gary Gygax regarding Druids The primary appeal of the Druid class from a creative standpoint is that the Romans were so thorough in destroying them and their religion that we know virtually nothing about either Cited – KorvinStarmast May 15 '17 at 18:59
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A contemporary reference is Pliny the Elder's account of the ritual of the oak and the mistletoe, wherein a ritual sacrifice of cattle and vegetation is conducted with a sickle.

Historically, farm implements have been a first go-to weapon option for the common folk of every continent. The sickle is no exception.

  • @Wyrmwood - So it is... sorry about that. – Everett Steed Mar 18 '17 at 3:48
  • Though I must say it would be difficult to cut a cow's throat with a sickle. There must be a ritual reason for using a sickle when a straight blade would do it better. – RedSonja May 16 '17 at 8:41
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    @RedSonja perhaps because in the 6th day of the moon it presents a sickle shape. /speculation – AllInOne Sep 14 '17 at 16:24
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No.

Druids were part of the elite but were not typically warriors. The Deal warrior mentioned above is suggested as a Druid as the crown has been posited as a Druidic headdress and has been compared to the Roman apex worn by flamens.

enter image description here

In the image above the apex is the disc with spike (piece of olive branch).

There is a partial crown of similar type from Roseldorf in Austria which was found in a sanctuary along with cult items like antlers that had been modified to fit into a cult statue. Sword fittings and horse bits were also found so it can't be ruled out that the crown had no religious significance.

The Deal crown was worn bare, at least for burial, as traces of hair were found on the inside of the metal bands so it had no defensive purpose. As druids were from the noble class it makes sense they were buried with status symbols like swords, we can't know for sure. The Cavenham crowns which date to the middle of the Roman occupation are thought to be Romano-British religious headdresses.

enter image description here

The one of the left is similar to the "Druid" crowns and appears to incorporate an apex on top lending credence to the idea that the crown of the Deal Warrior is religious in nature.

But the question was whether Druids would have used curved swords. The standard la tene blades were straight, curved swords did exist in the Celtic world. There is the falcata from Spain and the Sica/Machaira type swords (which the falcata likely share ancestry with) from the Balkans, neither place which has furnished much if any evidence for Druids.

If the Deal Warrior is actually a Druid then it's possible evidence that they wore swords. If there was a prohibition of them having weapons then nobility aside I find it doubtful that such an anathema object would be included in the grave. So if we allow for druids and swords and assume that druids existed in all parts of the Celtic realm (something which is not certain) then eastern Celts could have had druids with curved swords like this:

enter image description here

  • Druids were part of the elite but were not typically warriors. This is a common sentiment, based on a few paragraphs from Roman writings around the second century, but with a lack of written record and with so little archeological evidence being able to definitively tie finds together, this statement is just lore. One thing you can say for certain, items tied to druids are found in finds that also include weapons. That's about it. – Wyrmwood Mar 21 at 14:51
  • In regards Druids being warriors, there is little evidence of any indo-european priesthood engaging in military affairs. The druids of later Celtic myth are all advisors, learned men. None are shown as using violence but have considerable influence due to their rank. – Daniel Mar 22 at 5:19

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