Page:Horse shoes and horse shoeing.djvu/156

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132
HORSE-SHOES AND HORSE-SHOEING.

together, form the neck of a jar (fig. 18).

Horse shoes and horse shoeing page156.jpg
fig. 18

From all this it will be seen that the cairn of Châteleys was not an ordinary tomb. I do not hesitate to assert that it was more than a tomb. This forgehammer; these implements for working in iron; these horses and pigs, emblems of Gaulish nationality, lying pêle-mêle on the sacrificial hearth, beside an altar built by nature—all this composed a page of antique symbolism curious to decipher. The Druidical traditions of Ireland tell us that each of the great regions of the Gallo-Cimbric race had a centre, a sacred rallying-place, to which all parts of the confederate territory resorted.[1] In this centre burned, on an altar of rough stones, a perpetual fire, which was designated the parent flame. The guarding of this sanctuary, and the maintenance of the sacred fire, were entrusted to a school or college of pontiff-artists, commanded or directed by a smith. This Druidical college combined with the exercise of the pontificate, the teaching of mysteries and the industrial arts. 'It forged two kinds of swords and lances:—religious arms—the glaive of honour and death-dealing weapons—the sword and lance for fight.' In this way is the mystery which shrouded the promontory of Alesia cleared up. Instead of being a hill devoted to graves, we have discovered the sanctuary of Alesia, the oppidum which Diodorus termed the primitive metropolis of the Celts. Nothing is wanting to complete

  1. Henri Martin. Histoire de France, vol. i. p. 71.