> > Second, in the Latin texts, the figures referred to as magi (with glosses
> > equating magus as drui/) are sometimes explicitly linked with and certainly
> > modeled on the figure of Simon Magus who appears in the New Testament and
> > early Christian apocrypha. So the term magus may have been used deliberately
> > to indicate that from the Christian perspective druids were magi in the same
> > (pejorative) sense as Simon.
> This could be a part of the explanation. I see there a kind of parallel with
> the two glosses at the end of a version of the Táin Bó Cuailnge : the Irish
> one asks for a good conservation of the story, whereas the latin one
> qualifies it as being a tale for fools. Then it would be like a metaphor of
> the opposition : conservation versus emandation...
> Then, was it that Latin was used to show a Christian perspective, and Irish
> an other (?) perspective ? I am not sure.
The equation "druí = magus" seems to have operated uniformly in
either direction. That is, "magus" was consistently used in Latin
to refer to pagan Irish religious functionaries, and "druí" was
consistently used in OI to refer to the pagan religious functionaries
of other cultures. DIL gives examples of the latter at "druí (b)",
such as "da druith aegeptacdi" (Wb.) and "na druidhe egeptaca"
(Laws) = Egyptian magi/magicians. I think as far as the Christian
Irish, or at least the literati, were concerned, there was a simple
dichotomy: Christian priest vs. Pagan magician. All of the pagans,
both native and foreign, were simply lumped together. With this
mindset, there was no reason to distinguish the native (or Gaulish)
druids from any other variety of "magician".