Chapter

‘A complete history of priestcraft’: The Druids and the origins of ancient virtue

Justin Champion

in Republican Learning

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780719057144
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700259 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719057144.003.0010
‘A complete history of priestcraft’: The Druids and the origins of ancient virtue

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This chapter explores in detail John Toland's intellectual transactions with Lord Robert Molesworth, one of the commonwealth politicians in his circle, in order to allow a more reflective appreciation of the function of his learning and ideas. The first result of Toland's relationship with Molesworth was the analysis of the Druidical past as a Complete History of Priestcraft. The chapter also discusses Toland's idea, contained in his Clidophorus, that the tyranny of priestcraft meant that the truth could rarely be spoken in public.

Keywords: John Toland; Lord Robert Molesworth; learning; History of Priestcraft; priestcraft; Clidophorus

Chapter.  10455 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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