The Gauls claim that they are all descended from one father, Dis, and they say that this is the teaching of the Druids. For this reason they define the passage of time by nights rather than days: they observe birthdays and the start of months and years in this way, with day coming after night. As for their mode of life in other respects, they differ from other peoples in that they do not allow their own sons to approach them in public until they have grown up and can undertake military duties: they consider it a disgrace for a son who is still only a boy to place himself publicly in his father’s sight.
Men have the power of life and death over their wives as over their children. When the head of a noble family dies, his kinsmen assemble, and if there is any suspicious circumstance surrounding his death, they interrogate his wives as they would slaves. If anything is discovered, terrible tortures are inflicted, and then they are put to death.
© 1996 by Carolyn Hammond. Used with permission of Oxford University Press.
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