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Druids: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Barry Cunliffe
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191613789
Pages: 160
Year: 2010-05-27
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Who were the Druids? What do we know about them? Do they still exist today? The Druids first came into focus in Western Europe - Gaul, Britain, and Ireland - in the second century BC. They are a popular subject; they have been known and discussed for over 2,000 years and few figures flit so elusively through history. They are enigmatic and puzzling, partly because of the lack of knowledge about them has resulted in a wide spectrum of interpretations. Barry Cunliffe takes the reader through the evidence relating to the Druids, trying to decide what can be said and what can't be said about them. He examines why the nature of the druid caste changed quite dramatically over time, and how successive generations have interpreted the phenomenon in very different ways. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Druids: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Barry Cunliffe
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191576301
Pages: 160
Year: 2010-05-27
View: 1259
Read: 1233
Who were the Druids? What do we know about them? Do they still exist today? The Druids first came into focus in Western Europe - Gaul, Britain, and Ireland - in the second century BC. They are a popular subject; they have been known and discussed for over 2,000 years and few figures flit so elusively through history. They are enigmatic and puzzling, partly because of the lack of knowledge about them has resulted in a wide spectrum of interpretations. Barry Cunliffe takes the reader through the evidence relating to the Druids, trying to decide what can be said and what can't be said about them. He examines why the nature of the druid caste changed quite dramatically over time, and how successive generations have interpreted the phenomenon in very different ways.
Druids: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Barry Cunliffe
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199539405
Pages: 145
Year: 2010-05-27
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The Druids have been known and discussed for over 2,000 years; few figures flit so elusively through history. Enigmatic and puzzling, the lack of knowledge about them has resulted in a wide spectrum of interpretations. Barry Cunliffe examines their origins, the evidence for their beliefs and practices, and how we interpret them today.
The Celts: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Barry Cunliffe
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191577871
Pages: 176
Year: 2003-06-26
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Savage and bloodthirsty, or civilized and peaceable? The Celts have long been a subject of enormous fascination, speculation, and misunderstanding. From the ancient Romans to the present day, their real nature has been obscured by a tangled web of preconceived ideas and stereotypes. Barry Cunliffe seeks to reveal this fascinating people for the first time, using an impressive range of evidence, and exploring subjects such as trade, migration, and the evolution of Celtic traditions. Along the way, he exposes the way in which society's needs have shaped our visions of the Celts, and examines such colourful characters as St Patrick, Cú Chulainn, and Boudica. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Paganism: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Owen Davies
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191620017
Pages: 160
Year: 2011-05-26
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'Paganism' is an evocative word that, even today, conjures up deep-seated emotions and prejudices. Until recently, it was primarily a derogatory term used by Christians to describe the non-Christian cultures confronted and vanquished by their Churches. For some it evokes images of sacrifice and barbaric behaviour, while for others it symbolises a peace-loving, nature-worshipping spiritual relationship with the earth. This Very Short Introduction explores the meaning of paganism - through a chronological overview of the attitudes towards its practices and beliefs - from the ancient world through to the present day. Owen Davies largely looks at paganism through the eyes of the Christian world, and how, over the centuries, notions and representations of its nature were shaped by religious conflict, power struggles, colonialism, and scholarship. Despite the expansion of Christianity and Islam, Pagan cultures continue to exist around the world, whilst in the West new formations of paganism constitute one of the fastest-growing religions. Focussing on paganism in Europe, but exploring the nature of paganism globally, Davies looks at how Europeans discovered new cultures through colonial expansion, missionary work, and anthropological study. Contemporary social paganism can be a liberating and social force, and the idea of a global Pagan theology is now on the religious map. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The Ancient Celts
Author: Barry Cunliffe
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019875292X
Pages: 496
Year: 2018-04-26
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Fierce warriors and skilled craftsmen, the Celts were famous throughout the Ancient Mediterranean World. They were the archetypal barbarians from the north and were feared by both Greeks and Romans. For two and a half thousand years they have continued to fascinate those who have come into contact with them, yet their origins have remained a mystery and even today are the subject of heated debate among historians and archaeologists. Barry Cunliffe's classic study of the ancient Celtic world was first published in 1997. Since then huge advances have taken place in our knowledge: new finds, new ways of using DNA records to understand Celtic origins, new ideas about the proto-urban nature of early chieftains' strongholds. All these developments are part of this fully updated, and completely redesigned edition. Cunliffe explores the archaeological reality of these bold warriors and skilled craftsmen of barbarian Europe who inspired fear in both the Greeks and the Romans. He investigates the texts of the classical writers and contrasts their view of the Celts with current archaeological findings. Tracing the emergence of chiefdoms and the fifth- to third-century migrations as far as Bosnia and the Czech Republic, he assesses the disparity between the traditional story and the most recent historical and archaeological evidence on the Celts. Other aspects of Celtic identity such as the cultural diversity of the tribes, their social and religious systems, art, language and law, are also examined. From the picture that emerges, we are - crucially - able to distinguish between the original Celts, and those tribes which were "Celtized," giving us an invaluable insight into the true identity of this ancient people.
Magic: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Owen Davies
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191623881
Pages: 152
Year: 2012-01-26
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Defining 'magic' is a maddening task. Over the last century numerous philosophers, anthropologists, historians, and theologians have attempted to pin down its essential meaning, sometimes analysing it in such complex and abstruse depth that it all but loses its sense altogether. For this reason, many people often shy away from providing a detailed definition, assuming it is generally understood as the human control of supernatural forces. 'Magic' continues to pervade the popular imagination and idiom. People feel comfortable with its contemporary multiple meanings, unaware of the controversy, conflict, and debate its definition has caused over two and a half millennia. In common usage today 'magic' is uttered in reference to the supernatural, superstition, illusion, trickery, religious miracles, fantasies, and as a simple superlative. The literary confection known as 'magical realism' has considerable appeal and many modern scientists have ironically incorporated the word into their vocabulary, with their 'magic acid', 'magic bullets' and 'magic angles'. Since the so-called European Enlightenment magic has often been seen as a marker of primitivism, of a benighted earlier stage of human development. Yet across the modern globalized world hundreds of millions continue to resort to magic - and also to fear it. Magic provides explanations and remedies for those living in extreme poverty and without access to alternatives. In the industrial West, with its state welfare systems, religious fundamentalists decry the continued moral threat posed by magic. Under the guise of neo-Paganism, its practice has become a religion in itself. Magic continues to be a truly global issue. This Very Short Introduction does not attempt to provide a concluding definition of magic: it is beyond simple definition. Instead it explores the many ways in which magic, as an idea and a practice, has been understood and employed over the millennia. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Scotland: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Robert Allan Houston
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019923079X
Pages: 172
Year: 2008-11-27
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This Very Short Introduction explores the key themes from more than 1,000 years of Scotland's fascinating history. Covering everything from the Jacobites to devolution to the modern economy, this concise account presents a fully-integrated picture of what Scottish society, culture, politics and religion look like, and why.
Witchcraft: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Malcolm Gaskill
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019923695X
Pages: 146
Year: 2010-03-25
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Examines the history and origins of witchcraft, from pre-history to the present day, considering why it still features so heavily in our culture
A Druid's Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year
Author: Ellen Evert Hopman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1620554380
Pages: 224
Year: 1994-11-01
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For the ancient Druids, the healing and magical properties of herbs were inseparable from the larger cycles of the seasons, the movements of the planets, and the progression of a human life. A Druid’s Herbal shows the reader how to use herbs when creating rituals to celebrate festivals and significant life passages such as births, house blessings, weddings, funerals, and naming ceremonies. Drawing on extensive research and a deep personal experience with Pagan traditions, Ellen Evert Hopman explores the history and folklore surrounding the eight major Celtic festivals: Samhain, Winter Solstice, Imbolc, Spring Equinox, Beltaine, Summer Solstice, Lugnasad, and Fall Equinox. Included in each discussion are complete instructions on the medicinal and magical uses of the herbs associated with each celebration. Using these Celtic traditions as examples, the author suggests ways to incorporate the symbolic and magical power of herbs into personal rituals that honor all phases of life from childbirth to last rites. Also included are chapters on how to prepare herbal tinctures, salves, and poultices; herbs used by the Druids; herbal alchemy and the planets; and the relationships between herbs and sacred places. Filled with practical information and imaginative suggestions for using herbs for healing, ceremony, and magic, this book is an indispensable and comprehensive guide to age-old herbal practices.
Trapped
Author: Kevin Hearne
Publisher: Del Rey
ISBN: 0345535626
Pages: 320
Year: 2012-11-27
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This ebook edition includes a special preview of Kevin Hearne’s upcoming novel A Plague of Giants. After twelve years of secret training, Atticus O’Sullivan is finally ready to bind his apprentice, Granuaile, to the earth and double the number of Druids in the world. But on the eve of the ritual, the world that thought he was dead abruptly discovers that he’s still alive, and they would much rather he return to the grave. Having no other choice, Atticus, his trusted Irish wolfhound, Oberon, and Granuaile travel to the base of Mount Olympus, where the Roman god Bacchus is anxious to take his sworn revenge—but he’ll have to get in line behind an ancient vampire, a band of dark elves, and an old god of mischief, who all seem to have KILL THE DRUID at the top of their to-do lists. Don’t miss any of Kevin Hearne’s phenomenal Iron Druid Chronicles novels: HOUNDED | HEXED | HAMMERED | TRICKED | TRAPPED | HUNTED | SHATTERED | STAKED
Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Andrew Robinson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199567786
Pages: 157
Year: 2009-08-27
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Writing is a defining marker of civilisation; without it there could be no accumulation of knowledge. Andrew Robinson tells the fascinating story of the history of writing, considering its development, and examining the enormous variety of writing and scripts we use today.
Angels: A Very Short Introduction
Author: David Albert Jones
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199547300
Pages: 141
Year: 2011-10-27
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In this lively and concise Very Short Introduction, David Albert Jones provides a crisp, broad-ranging survey of angels in theology, philosophy, and popular culture. Focusing on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, he examines how angels have been imagined and explained as well as why they continue to captivate us. Jones explores the classical discussion--what they are made of, when they came to be, and how many there are. He names the archangels, surveys the different hierarchies, and examines how they have changed over time. He looks at why the idea of angels remains so potent in modern culture, even among non-believers.
War, Women, and Druids
Author: Philip Freeman
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292789130
Pages: 112
Year: 2010-06-28
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"The ancient Celts capture the modern imagination as do few other people of classical times. Naked barbarians charging the Roman legions, Druids performing sacrifices of unspeakable horror, women fighting beside their men and even leading armies—these, along with stunning works of art, are the images most of us call to mind when we think of the Celts," observes Philip Freeman. "And for the most part, these images are firmly based in the descriptions handed down to us by the Greek and Roman writers." This book draws on the firsthand observations and early accounts of classical writers to piece together a detailed portrait of the ancient Celtic peoples of Europe and the British Isles. Philip Freeman groups the selections (ranging from short statements to longer treatises) by themes—war, feasting, poetry, religion, women, and the Western Isles. He also presents inscriptions written by the ancient Celts themselves. This wealth of material, introduced and translated by Freeman to be especially accessible to students and general readers, makes this book essential reading for everyone fascinated by the ancient Celts.
Britain Begins
Author: Barry Cunliffe
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199609330
Pages: 553
Year: 2013
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Impressive in every sense, this hugely ambitious and assured book takes as its subject the entire history of the British Isles from the end of the last Ice Age and their physical emergence as islands all the way down to the Norman Conquest. Barry Cunliffe's magisterial narrative is abetted by correspondingly high production values, and whilst complex ideas are explained with admirable clarity, making the book an ideal introduction to Britain's prehistory and early history, there would be plenty here for the most seasoned professional to enjoy and profit from. Cunliffe kicks off with an examination of the ways in which our ancestors have conceived the distant past, from medieval myths to the dawn of modern archaeology. The remainder of the book is roughly chronological in structure. Prominent themes include the 'problem of origins', where Cunliffe's own research has been of such significance (the Celtic from the west hypothesis is synthesised here with concision and flair), and the importance of communication, connectivity and cultural transmission is emphasised throughout, with the Channel, the Atlantic and the North Sea seen as highways linking Britain and Ireland to the continent and building up an ongoing narrative which is anything but narrowly insular.