Galic Antiquities: Consisting of a History of the Druids, particularly of those of Caledonia; a dissertation on the Authenticity of the Poems of Ossian; and a collection of Ancient Poems, Translated from the Galic of Ullin, Ossian, Orran, &c.

  • Smith, John
  • Edinburgh: Printed for T. Cadell, London; and C. Elliot, Edinburgh 1780
  • ESTC T98766.




FIRST EDITION, 4to, pp. viii, 352. Contemporary tree calf. Some spotting and browning. Rebacked with hinges relined, corners worn, boards scratched, large dampmark to rear endpapers. On the pastedown the armorial bookplate of James Erskine Esqr. (D. Lizars sc.) to front pastedown, above it a (not much later) library label with initials ‘E.L.S.’ below a shelfnumber and the motto ‘delectando pariterque mondendo’ within a wreath, below that the later bookplate of Duncan Cameron; on the flyleaf the ownership inscription of Mrs W. Lanchlan, 1867, while the title-page has the pencilled ownership inscription of James Erskine dated 1802, and an early (different) hand has quoted a line from p. 152 above the imprint. One or two pencilled marginal notes later on, probably by James Erskine.


'Smith was involved in the controversy surrounding the poems of Ossian published by James Macpherson, and his Galic Antiquities (1780) argues for their authenticity. Sean Dàna le Oisian, Orrann, Ulann …, which he published in 1787, claims to be the original Gaelic versions, collected in the highlands and islands, of the English translations which had appeared in Galic Antiquities, but modern scholars believe that Smith himself wrote much of the material in Sean Dàna' (ODNB).

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