Description : A comprehensive overview, by period and region, of the archaeology of ritual and religion. The coverage is global, and extends from the earliest prehistory to modern times. Written by over sixty renowned specialists, the Handbook presents the very best in current scholarship, and will also stimulate further research.
Description : Presents an illustrated A to Z reference containing over 1,000 entries providing information on Celtic myths, fables and legends from Ireland, Scotland, Celtic Britain, Wales, Brittany, central France, and Galicia.
Description : This large format collection of stunning and atmospheric images of Britain's prehistoric past is a showcase for the work of one of the country's leading landscape photographers. Accompanied by a text and commentary at once authoritative and accessible, it will attract anyone interested in landscape photography and archaeology. After a brief illustrated introduction, the book falls into two parts. A Portfolio from Prehistory vividly illuminates the principal themes of prehistoric life: earning a living from the land, building to provide shelter, defending the community, and erecting tombs and devising rituals to honor the dead and ensure contact with the ancestral past. Prehistory in Landscapes then offers a sharper regional focus to illustrate the sheer density and variety of the prehistoric remains that survive on the uplands of Britain: on Orkney, and in North Wales, the Avebury area of Wiltshire and West Cornwall. Mick Sharp's sensitivity to skies, stone, subtle light and rugged landscape counterpoints perfectly with Peter Fowler's affectionate but trenchant commentary. Together they make Images of Prehistory a potent memorial to a vanished way of life. Peter Fowler, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne is known for his writings and broadcasting on the history of the British landscape. Mick Sharp, a professional photographer and archaeologist, runs a photographic library devoted to archaeology and the history of the landscape.
Description : This comprehensive and versatile reference source will be a most important tool for anyone wishing to seek out information on virtually any aspect of British affairs, life and culture. The resources of a detailed bibliography, directory and journals listing are combined in this single volume, forming a unique guide to a multitude of diverse topics - British politics, government, society, literature, thought, arts, economics, history and geography. Academic subjects as taught in British colleges and universities are covered, with extensive reading lists of books and journals and sources of information for each discipline, making this an invaluable manual.
Description : Archaeology and Folklore explores the complex relationship between the two disciplines to demonstrate what they might learn from each other. This collection includes theoretical discussions and case studies drawn from Western Europe, the Mediterranean and North. They explore the differences between popular traditions relating to historic sites and archaeological interpretations of their history and meaning.
Description : In Stations of the Sun and The Triumph of the Moon Ronald Hutton established himself as a leading authority on the historian of Paganism. His wealth of unusual knowledge, complemented by a deep and sympathetic understanding of past and present beliefs that are often dismissed as strange or marginal, and an ability to write lucidly and wittily, gives his work a unique flavour. The essays which make up Witches, Druids and King Arthur cover elegantly and entertainingly a wide range of beliefs, myths and practices.
Description : An entertaining reference on English folklore features 1250 entries that shed new light on the colorful history behind the holidays, legends, superstitions, traditions, contemporary urban legends, and customs of England, discussing such topics as Mother Goose, Robin Hood, folk cures, wishbone wishes, festivals, and more.
Description : This practical and knowledgeable guidebook deals comprehensively with the stone circles of Britain and Ireland and with the cromlechs and megalithic "horseshoes" of Brittany. This new edition includes a section on "Druidical" circles, romantic creations of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. "This book is not only an elegant and practical guide, it is also the best single-volume study of this extraordinary phenomenon, embracing 500 monuments from Shetland to Brittany. . . . Confident, erudite, pleasurable, this volume can be recommended as travel guide, archaeology, literature, and sheer good company."--Ian Sheperd, British Archaeology "This is a wonderful book and is a must for anyone remotely interested in things megalithic."--Paul Walsh, Archaeology Ireland
Description : Knowledge of plant names can give insight into largely forgotten beliefs. For example, the common red poppy is known as "Blind Man" due to an old superstitious belief that if the poppy were put to the eyes it would cause blindness. Many plant names derived from superstition, folk lore, or primal beliefs. Other names are purely descriptive and can serve to explain the meaning of the botanical name. For example, Beauty-Berry is the name given to the American shrub that belongs to the genus Callicarpa. Callicarpa is Greek for beautiful fruit. Still other names come from literary sources providing rich detail of the transmission of words through the ages. Conceived as part of the author's wider interest in plant and tree lore and ethnobotanical studies, this fully revised edition of Elsevier's Dictionary of Plant Names and Their Origins contains over 30,000 vernacular and literary English names of plants. Wild and cultivated plants alike are identified by the botanical name. Further detail provides a brief account of the meaning of the name and detailed commentary on common usage. * Includes color images * Inclusive of all Latin terms with vernacular derivatives * The most comprehensive guide for plant scientists, linguists, botanists, and historians
Description : The Concept of the Goddess explores the function and nature of goddesses and their cults in many cultures, including: * Celtic * Roman * Norse * Caucasian * Japanese traditions. The contributors explore the reasons for the existence of so many goddesses in the mythology of patriarchal societies and show that goddesses have also assumed more masculine roles, with war, hunting and sovereignty being equally important aspects of their cults.
Description : This first volume of a two-volume Handbook treats a challenging, largely neglected subject at the crossroads of several academic fields: biblical studies, reception history of the Bible, and folklore studies or folkloristics. The Handbook examines the reception of the Bible in verbal folklores of different cultures around the globe. This first volume, complete with a general Introduction, focuses on biblically-derived characters, tales, motifs, and other elements in Jewish (Mizrahi, Sephardi, Ashkenazi), Romance (French, Romanian), German, Nordic/Scandinavian, British, Irish, Slavic (East, West, South), and Islamic folkloric traditions. The volume contributes to the understanding of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the New Testament, and various pseudepigraphic and apocryphal scriptures, and to their interpretation and elaboration by folk commentators of different faiths. The book also illuminates the development, artistry, and “migration” of folktales; opens new areas for investigation in the reception history of the Bible; and offers insights into the popular dimensions of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities around the globe, especially regarding how the holy scriptures have informed those communities’ popular imaginations.
Description : Memories of catastrophes - those which occur naturally and those which are consequences of human actions - loom large in the modern consciousness. This volume draws on the latest scholarship to investigate this phenomenon in both contemporary and historical contexts.
Description : This collection of essays is not interested in the unresolved questions about the origin, original use, and authentic meaning of the prehistoric monuments of the British Isles. It is not concerned with their prehistory. Rather it deals with the history of barrows, standing stones, and stone circles: with the ways in which they have been viewed, the meanings that have been attributed to them, and the significant impact that they have had over the centuries on British life and culture – from motivating artists, authors, musicians and film-makers to inspiring ‘New Age’ religions. It is thus as interested in stones commonly believed to be megaliths – like the foundation stones of the chapel in the Dartmoor village of South Zeal – as in ‘real’ remains. In her recent study of Stonehenge, the historian Rosemary Hill asserted: ‘Stonehenge does not belong to archaeology, or not to archaeology alone’. Likewise, this book is not written primarily for archaeologists – or not for the interest of archaeologists alone. It will also be of interest to social and cultural historians, to those interested in fine art, literature or film, and to anyone fascinated by the construction of national, local, or counter-cultural identities. It should also intrigue anybody who lives near one of the thousands of prehistoric remains that add beauty and mystery to Britain’s countryside. The book surveys over eight hundred years of rediscovery, study, superstition, inspiration, fear, restoration, and destruction, investigating how different generations saw their own anxieties, beliefs and concerns reflected in the mysterious lives of the prehistoric builders. By discussing the many different ways in which prehistoric remains have been treated in different periods, the book interrogates any notion of objective approaches to archaeology. Instead, it asserts that what we think of as ‘the past’ is in fact multiple and man-made. Thus, if we are to effectively interpret and fully understand the prehistoric remains of the past, a variety of disciplines and a range of approaches – both traditional and unconventional – will need to work together. For this reason, this book has been produced as a jointly-authored text – a collaboration between archaeologists, folklorists, historians, journalists, and literary critics.
Description : `Darrah makes the valid point that episodes in the Arthurian romances read like motifs from the ancient mythologies...(he) reconstructs a lost British paganism, grounded in the rivers, hills and woods, and especially those grey monoliths...reminders of a cosmology vanished from this island.NIKOLAI TOLSTOY, DAILY TELEGRAPH `Contends, with a good deal of evidence, that the impact of pre-Christian Welsh, Irish, Scottish, Cornish and Breton religion is greater than has been previously thought... Extensively researched and well written.' CHOICE The origins of Arthurian romance will always be a hotly disputed subject. The great moments of the legends belong partly to dimly-remembered history, partly to the poets' imagination down the ages, yet there is another strand to the stories which goes back deeper and further: the traces of ancient pagan religion, found both in Arthurian heroes who have inherited the attributes of gods, and in episodes which reflect ancient religious rituals. Darrah's careful study of the thematic relationships of, particularly, the more obscure episodes of the romances and his identification of the relative geography of Arthurian Britain as portrayed in the romances will be valuable even to those who differ with his conclusions. His most original contribution to an unravelling of a pagan Arthurian past lies in his appropriation of the fascinating evidence of standing stones and pagan cultic sites. This is dark and difficult territory, but building on elusive clues, and tracing a range of sites, especially in south-west Britain, John Darrah has added a significant new dimension to the search for the sources of the legends of Arthur and his court. JOHN DARRAH has also written The Real Camelot.
Description : "The author was an amateur field archaeologist until 1949, his profession being a clerk with Barclay's Bank Ltd. His first book, Ancient Burial-Mounds of England, was published in 1936. From 1941-5 he served in Egypt with the R.A.F. where he held a commission in air-photographic interpretation, whilst also finding time to write a book on Egyptian Pyramids (1947). He was with the Victoria County History of Wiltshire 1949-52, when he was appointed Curator in Archaeology and Ethnography at Bristol City Museum - a post which he held until his retirement in 1972. His greatest contribution to field archaeology has been his surveys of the prehistoric and later barrows of much of southern Britain. He has devoted his holidays to the study of pre-Classical tombs in the Mediterranean, his work being summarised in Barrow, Pyramid and Tomb (1975). His other interests are reflected in his books on the coinmints of Bath (1973) and Bristol (1986) and on the Folklore of Prehistoric Sites in Britain (1976). These and other activities are described in his Archaeological Autobiography."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Description : Katharine Briggs enjoys an unchallenged reputation in the world of folklore studies. The theme of this volume, the witch figure as a malevolent intermediary in folk belief, was chosen to reflect that aspect of Briggs's scholarship exemplified in her study of witchcraft, Pale Hecate's Team. The contributors draw on the disciplines of archaeology, comparative religion, sociology and literature and include: Carmen Blacker, H.R. Ellis Davidson, Margaret Dean-Smith, L.V. Grinsell, Christina Hole, Venetia Newall, Geoffrey Parrinder, Anne Ross, Jacqueline Simpson, Beatrice White, John Widdowson. Originally published in 1973.
Description : The countryside of Devon and Cornwall preserves an unusually rich legacy from its medieval past. This book explores the different elements which go to make up this historic landscape - the chapels, crosses, castles and mines; the tinworks and strip fields; and above all, the intricately worked counterpane of hedgebanks and winding lanes. Between AD 500 and 1700, a series of revolutions transformed the structure of the South West Peninsula's rural landscape. The book tells the story of these changes, and also explores how people experienced the landscape in which they lived: how they came to imbue places with symbolic and cultural meaning. Contributors include: Ralph Fyfe on the pollen evidence of landscape change; Sam Turner on the Christian landscape; Peter Herring on both strip fields and Brown Willy, Bodmin Moor; O. H. Creighton and J. P. Freeman on castles; Phil Newman on tin working; and Lucy Franklin on folklore and imagined landscapes.
Description : Watch out for a ghostly ship and its spectral crew off the coast of Cornwall Listen for the unearthly tread and rustling silk dress of Darlington's Lady Jarratt Shiver at the malevolent apparition of 50 Berkeley Square that no-one survives seeing Beware the black dog of Shap Fell: a sighting warns of fatal accidents England's past echoes with stories of unquiet spirits and hauntings, of headless highwaymen and grey ladies, indelible bloodstains and ghastly premonitions. Here, county by county, are the nation's most fascinating supernatural tales and bone-chilling legends: from a ghostly army marching across Cumbria to the vanishing hitchhiker of Bluebell Hill, from the gruesome Man-Monkey of Shropshire to the phantom congregation who gather for a 'Sermon of the Dead' ...
Description : Alliteration occurs in a wide variety of contexts in stress-initial languages, including Icelandic, Finnish and Mongolian. It can be found in English from Beowulf to The Sun . Nevertheless, alliteration remains an unexamined phenomenon. This pioneering volume takes alliteration as its central focus across a variety of languages and domains.
Description : Are black cats lucky or unlucky? What should you do when you hear the first cuckoo? Since when have people believed that it's unlucky to shoot an albatross? Why does breaking a mirror lead to misfortune? This fascinating collection answers these and many other questions about the world of superstitions and forms an endlessly browsable guide to a subject that continues to obsess and intrigue.