The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles : Their Nature and Legacy, Paperback Book

The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles : Their Nature and Legacy Paperback

4 out of 5 (3 ratings)


This is the first survey of religious beliefs in the British Isles from the Old Stone Age to the coming of Christianity, one of the least familiar periods in Britaina s history.

Ronald Hutton draws upon a wealth of new data, much of it archaeological, that has transformed interpretation over the past decade.

Giving more or less equal weight to all periods, from the Neolithic to the Middle Ages, he examines a fascinating range of evidence for Celtic and Romano--British paganism, from burial sites, cairns, megaliths and causeways, to carvings, figurines, jewellery, weapons, votive objects, literary texts and folklore.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 424 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: British & Irish history
  • ISBN: 9780631189466



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Another good book from Prof.Ronald Hutton, this coveres a very wide subject but in a manner accessible to most readers (including those with very little prior aquaintance with the subject matter.) Not the most indepth or definitive study but one that should form a part of every library.

Review by

Hutton spends about 300 pages telling his readers that "we don't know much about paganism in the British Isles." However, he does point out some historical inaccuracies and presents his material in a decent way. Sometimes, one can get lost in all his examples and forget what conclusion he's leading up to. But overall, I learned a great deal about how paganism survived up until modern times, despite it being "ended" in the mid-6th century. I never realized how much early Christianity "borrowed" from paganism---Overall, very interesting book.

Review by

This is a sober yet detailed look at what little we really know about historical paganism which along the way highlights how neopaganism takes so much for granted. Neopaganism covers a wide spectrum of beliefs from Black Magic to ecopaganism, from Wicca to fuzzy New Age thinking, and on examination can often seem to be founded on outdated scholarship and speculative antiquarianism, both ancient and modern. Ronald Hutton is both a pagan and an academic and so is particularly well-placed to appreciate the nuances of both approaches, and this study should be required reading for all who lean towards being part of a revived religion.