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Pagan Britain

by Ronald Hutton Yale University Press
Pub Date:
02/2015
ISBN:
9780300205466
Format:
Pbk 496 pages
Price:
AU$37.99 NZ$39.12
Product Status: In Stock Now
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Britain's pagan past, with its mysterious monuments, atmospheric sites, enigmatic artifacts, bloodthirsty legends, and cryptic inscriptions, is both enthralling and perplexing to a resident of the twenty-first century. In this ambitious and thoroughly up-to-date book, Ronald Hutton reveals the long development, rapid suppression, and enduring cultural significance of paganism, from the Paleolithic Era to the coming of Christianity. He draws on an array of recently discovered evidence and shows how new findings have radically transformed understandings of belief and ritual in Britain before the arrival of organized religion. Setting forth a chronological narrative, Hutton along the way makes side visits to explore specific locations of ancient pagan activity. He includes the well-known sacred sites--Stonehenge, Avebury, Seahenge, Maiden Castle, Anglesey--as well as more obscure locations across the mainland and coastal islands. In tireless pursuit of the elusive why of pagan behavior, Hutton astonishes with the breadth of his understanding of Britain's deep past and inspires with the originality of his insights.
Ronald Hutton is professor of history, University of Bristol, and a leading authority on ancient, medieval, and modern paganism. He lives in Bristol, UK.