DROZ, drō, FRANÇOIS XAVIER JOSEPH: French moralist and historian; b. at Besançon Oct. 31, 1773; d. at Paris Nov. 5, 1850. In 1792 he went to Paris to study law, but on the declaration of war joined the volunteer battalion of Doubs, and served in the army of the Rhine for the next three years. Obliged by ill health to abandon his military career, he obtained the chair of eloquence in the École Centrale in his native town. In 1803 he removed to Paris, where for a time he held a position in the pension office; but after 1814 he devoted himself exclusively to his favorite pursuit of literature. In 1824 he became a member of the French Academy, and in 1838 president of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences. At first an epicurean and a sensualist, be became more religious as he grew older. His last work was Pensées sur le Christianisme (Paris, 1844), to which he added Aveux d'un philosophe Chrétien in 1848. Other works were: De la philosophie morale (Paris, 1823); Œuvres morales (2 vols., 1826); and Histoire du règne de Louis XVI. (3 vols., 1839-42).

Bibliography: J. P. Damiron, Essai sur L'histoire de la philosophie en France au dix-neuvième siècle, ii. 79 sqq., Paris, 1834; Lichtenberger, ESR, iv. 104-105.


Name and Sources of Knowledge.

The name has been falsely connected with the Greek drys, "an oak," to which the worship in the oak groves gave factitious verisimilitude; it is really derived from a Celtic root which bears the idea of magical dealing. The sources of information are on the classical side: Cæsar, De bello Gallico, vi. 13-20; Tacitus, Annales, xiv. 30, and Historia, iv. 54; Pliny, Hist. nat., xxx. 4, 13, xxxi. 1; Cicero, De divinatione; Ammianus Marcellinus, Hist., XV. ix. 8, and scattered notices in Suetonius (Claudius, xxv.), Diogenes Laertius, and Diodorus Siculus; from the Irish side the Tripartite Life of Patrick, Adamnan's life of Columba, and a large number of scattered notices mainly, legendary.

Cæsar's Account.

Cæsar's account, which is much the fullest of all which can claim historical value, states that above the mesa of the people in Gaul (who were slaves) were two classes, the nobles and the druids. The latter officiated at public and private sacrifices, expounded religious duties and observances, trained the youth, decided public questions concerning succession, inheritance, crimes, boundaries, and the like. To their decisions submission was required under penalty of interdiction from participation in sacred rites, the severest punishment conceivable to the people. A yearly meeting of chief druids was held, at which an archdruid was selected by vote. The members of the order were exempt from taxation and from military duty. Because of this they had many students, some of whom remained with them for twenty years, during which they learned a "great number of verses," which were transmitted orally, since sacred things were not committed to writing. They taught the transmigration of souls, the end of the world by fire and water, discussed natural science, astronomy, and the nature of the gods. They officiated at human and other sacrifices and at all religious rites. The human sacrifices were offered sometimes in holocausts, the victims being prisoners of war, criminals, or even voluntary sufferers, and they were burned after being enclosed in huge wicker images. Cæsar equates the chief deity with Mercury as the god of culture, and other deities with Apollo, Mars, Jupiter, and Minerva. He guesses at a British origin for the institution.


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