The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy by Ronald HuttonWish Id read this years ago. It presents itself as a summary of the evidence of ancient British religion for the general reader, which accounts for the first half of each chronological chapter, and which H. does extremely well (the answer being, in each case, that there isnt much). The fun starts, though, when H. moves on to discuss the nonsense peddled by New Age and neo-pagan authors on these subjects. The Great Goddess, the survival of the witch-cult, ley lines, all succinctly and politely debunked.
H. is, importantly, not unsympathetic to the New Agers. He is careful to appreciate the attraction of these views to their modern audiences, to show where New Age authors have taken their cues from traditional academic scholarship, and to be honest about where they might have a point; equally, he is has a proper sense of the limitations of archaeology and of the extreme scarcity of the evidence. His admirable fairness and balance, though, just makes the debunking all the more final. There was no single Goddess revered throughout Stone Age Europe, medieval churches were overwhelmingly not built over ancient pagan sites, and people who call themselves pagans in the 21st century are not maintaining traditions that date back thousands (or even hundreds) of years. This book explains why not.
Christianity truly began to take hold in Britain around the turn of the 7th Century, with the arrival of Anglo-Saxons. Prior to this, human habitation on the British Isles went back more than 30, years. Yet most British history we know through films, books, and popular consciousness concerns Christian Britain. What was Britain like before Christianity? All of these things? Read on for crazy facts about pre-Christian Britain.
Posted by Andrew Selkirk. January 12, The official story as recorded in Bede is that the Pope sent Saint Augustine to England in to convert the pagans. However I went to a very interesting lecture at the Hendon and District Archaeological Society when Chris Scull put forward a very subversive alternative scenario. Reconstruction drawing by Faith Vardy, of what the Prittlewell burial originally looked like. The two gold foil crosses placed over the eyes of the Prittlewell prince.
Anglo-Saxon paganism, sometimes termed Anglo-Saxon heathenism, Anglo- Saxon pre-Christian religion, or Anglo-Saxon traditional religion, . The pre- Christian society of Anglo-Saxon England was illiterate. Thus there is no contemporary.
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To nominate someone else as a Quality Contributor, message the mods. What was the common religion in England before the introduction of Christianity? First, a minor correction: there was no "England" before the introduction of Christianity. As far as the common religion in Britain before Christianity, I guess this one depends on which introduction of Christianity we are talking about. This was the religion with the priestly class called the druids who we have all heard so much about, but who we actually know very little about. Celtic polytheism is kind of an umbrella term for the beliefs of the 'Celts' that can be a tricky term which covered most of Western Europe from about BCE to about CE, depending on the particular location.
Roman rule over Britain lasted for more than three hundred years. Alban, during the reign of Diocletian 1. After the collapse of the Roman Empire and the withdrawal of Roman legions from Britain in the fifth century CE, Britain came under increasing pressure from Germanic and Pictish raiders. The Germanic tribes crossed the sea from their homeland in northern Germany, while the Picts crossed the former Roman frontier from what is now Scotland. In the Historia 1. Because he was born and lived his entire life in Northumbria, that Anglian kingdom north of the Humber is his primary focus for much of the work.