By Ken Dowden
European Paganism offers a finished and available assessment of historical pagan religions through the ecu continent.
Before there the place Christians, the peoples of Europe have been pagans. have been they bloodthirsty savages striking human choices from bushes? have been they chuffed ecologists, valuing the unpolluted rivers and mountains? In European Paganism Ken Dowden outlines and analyses the various facets of pagan ritual and tradition from human sacrifice to pilgrimage lunar gala's and tree worship. It includes:
* a 'timelines' chart to assist with chronology
* many quotations from historic and sleek assets translated from the unique language the place precious, to lead them to accessible
* a complete bibliography and consultant to extra reading.
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Additional resources for European Paganism
Even German laws, where paganism is an issue, were on the whole written in Latin, because they are only written once German nations have entered the Latin-Christian cultural ambit. That is what makes the following law so utterly startling: 15 APPROACHING PAGANISM Whoever has broken into a shrine and removed any of the sacred objects, is led to the sea and, on the sand which the incoming tide covers, his ears are chopped off and he is castrated and sacrificed to the gods whose temples he has violated.
Once established, however, it required the devolved conditions of the fragmentary societies of the Dark Ages to stamp out any pluralism, something which was only possible with the greatest difficulty under the old Roman Empire. So paganism may be publicly owned or it may be individually owned, but the latter is very rare and occurs only under special conditions. 33 DIVIDING THE LANDSCAPE POWER The god in the stone? Once identified, or felt as different, the place itself is receptive to the psychological perceptions we wish to have of it.
The key success was that of King Waldemar of Denmark (1131– 82), who in 1169 took the island of Rügen with its major sanctuary of the god Svantovit which we shall meet later in this book. East of the Wends and Poles are the various Baltic peoples, a group affiliated to, but far from identical with, the Slavonic—the Prussians to the west around Gdansk and Kaliningrad (note: Prussians were not Germans), and the Latvians (or Letts) and Lithuanians to the east. Prussia was conquered in a long and brutal war with the Teutonic Knights, operating from their base at Riga, the modern capital of Latvia, between around 1226 and 1283.
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