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The AntiquaryJohn Aubrey's Historical Scholarship$
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Kelsey Jackson Williams

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198784296

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198784296.001.0001

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Stonehenge and the Druids

Stonehenge and the Druids

Antiquarian Controversy in Restoration England

Chapter:
(p.20) 1 Stonehenge and the Druids
Source:
The Antiquary
Author(s):

Kelsey Jackson Williams

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198784296.003.0002

Aubrey is famous for his groundbreaking survey of Stonehenge and his identification of it and similar megalithic stone circles as Druidic temples. This chapter explores how his study of prehistoric monuments developed out of a mid-seventeenth-century scholarly controversy over the origins of Stonehenge and explores its parallels to similar archaeologically minded scholarship in Denmark and Sweden, emphasizing Aubrey’s methodological debts to the works of Ole Worm and Olof Rudbeck. Like his Swedish contemporaries, Aubrey, although an innovative and intelligent scholar, was strongly conditioned by nationalist presuppositions, and his reconstruction of ancient British culture was inflected by his own Welsh self-identification and his consequent marginalization of Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian contributions to modern English culture.

Keywords:   Druids, megalithic stone circles, Ole Worm, Olof Rudbeck, scholarly controversy, Stonehenge

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