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Paganism in Arthurian Romance - John Darrah

Paganism in Arthurian Romance

Paperback Published: 7th December 1997
ISBN: 9780859914260
Number Of Pages: 320

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`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.

Introductionp. 1
An Arthurian Adventure Analysed
The Calendar of Arthurian Romancep. 19
The Challengep. 38
Tournaments and the Spring Marriagep. 63
Fire from Heavenp. 71
Severed Heads and Sacred Watersp. 83
Healing Blood and the Dolorous Strokep. 99
Further Aspects of Paganism in the Romances
Births, Lives and Deaths of Heroes and Heroinesp. 107
The Nature of Paganism in Britainp. 137
Ceremonial and Ritualp. 153
The Physical Background to the Romances
Constructionsp. 165
The Geography of Arthurian Romancep. 186
Time and Placep. 209
The Once and Future Kingp. 213
Gazetteer I. Places whose Location can be Roughly Establishedp. 215
Gazetteer II. Unidentified Placesp. 251
Appendix: Who's Who in the Romances?p. 259
Bibliographyp. 282
Indexp. 287
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780859914260
ISBN-10: 0859914267
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 7th December 1997
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.52
Edition Type: New edition