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The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy (1991)

af Ronald Hutton

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399549,209 (3.88)10
This is the first survey of religious beliefs in the British Isles from the Old Stone Age to the coming of Christianity, one of the least familiar periods in Britain's history. Ronald Hutton draws upon a wealth of new data, much of it archaeological, that has transformed interpretation over the past decade. Giving more or less equal weight to all periods, from the Neolithic to the Middle Ages, he examines a fascinating range of evidence for Celtic and Romano-British paganism, from burial sites, cairns, megaliths and causeways, to carvings, figurines, jewellery, weapons, votive objects, literary texts and folklore.… (mere)
  1. 00
    The Oxford Illustrated Prehistory of Europe af Barry Cunliffe (aulsmith)
  2. 00
    Celtic Heritage af Alwyn Rees (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Contrasting studies examining ancient pagan traditions in Britain on the one hand and revived paganism on the other.
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Used - Like New. Nameplate inside book cover.
  Lagow | Apr 26, 2020 |
I found this slow going at first. There are many problems surrounding the interpretations of prehistoric cultures in Europe, including the British Isles, so any careful study is going to leave you with more questions than it answers. However, I plowed through and, as usual, with Hutton, found much to think about, including how some of the Arthurian myths like the Lady of the Lake might have gotten started. ( )
  aulsmith | Feb 13, 2015 |
This is a sober yet detailed look at what little we really know about historical paganism which along the way highlights how neopaganism takes so much for granted. Neopaganism covers a wide spectrum of beliefs from Black Magic to ecopaganism, from Wicca to fuzzy New Age thinking, and on examination can often seem to be founded on outdated scholarship and speculative antiquarianism, both ancient and modern. Ronald Hutton is both a pagan and an academic and so is particularly well-placed to appreciate the nuances of both approaches, and this study should be required reading for all who lean towards being part of a revived religion. ( )
2 stem ed.pendragon | Nov 6, 2010 |
Hutton spends about 300 pages telling his readers that "we don't know much about paganism in the British Isles." However, he does point out some historical inaccuracies and presents his material in a decent way. Sometimes, one can get lost in all his examples and forget what conclusion he's leading up to. But overall, I learned a great deal about how paganism survived up until modern times, despite it being "ended" in the mid-6th century. I never realized how much early Christianity "borrowed" from paganism---Overall, very interesting book. ( )
  philae_02 | Mar 10, 2010 |
Another good book from Prof.Ronald Hutton, this coveres a very wide subject but in a manner accessible to most readers (including those with very little prior aquaintance with the subject matter.) Not the most indepth or definitive study but one that should form a part of every library. ( )
  gercmbyrne | Apr 27, 2007 |
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To the Clan of the Oak Dragon
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The human record in the British Isles goes back a very long way beyond the beginning of the islands themselves.
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This is the first survey of religious beliefs in the British Isles from the Old Stone Age to the coming of Christianity, one of the least familiar periods in Britain's history. Ronald Hutton draws upon a wealth of new data, much of it archaeological, that has transformed interpretation over the past decade. Giving more or less equal weight to all periods, from the Neolithic to the Middle Ages, he examines a fascinating range of evidence for Celtic and Romano-British paganism, from burial sites, cairns, megaliths and causeways, to carvings, figurines, jewellery, weapons, votive objects, literary texts and folklore.

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