This pagan relic is constantly returning to Western consciousness in new forms, always reflecting the society which grapples with it. But why? What is it about this particular myth which seems to resonate with people?
In Wales it is known as Hollantide, in Cornwall Allantide, and in Brittany Kala-Goanv. Samhain’s equivalent on the Christian calendar is All Saints’ Day, introduced by the Catholic church partly to supplant the pagan festival of the dead.
Then an old harrower of the dark happened to find the hoard open, the burning one who hunts out barrows, the slick-skinned dragon, threatening the night sky with streamers of fire.
The motif of the Virgin at the loom occurred with frequency in Western art only after the Feast of the Presentation of the Virgin (celebrated by the Byzantine Church on November 21 from the seventh or eighth century onward) was introduced into the West in 1372.
It is the contention of this thesis that the link between fairytale and romance which I previously mentioned as disparaging to romance is in fact a strength of romance.
The subject of Tynwald and its history, origins and symbolism have occupied the interest of academics and others over the years.
On the one hand, stories (particularly fables) have been de- rived from already existing proverbs, from antiquity up to early modern times. On the other hand, a story in its summarised form can live on in a proverb or an idiom, even if the knowledge of this story has been forgotten for a long time.
The druids as members of the pagan ‘priestly class’ were an important, high-status force in Celtic society. This class of druids was one of the most formidable groups that early Christian saints and missionaries had to face and overcome in order to establish firmly the roots of Christianity in pagan Celtic Ireland.
This document is intended as an orientation for students of the Lebor Gabála Érenn (LGE), a refresher for those who have read it in the
past, and a rapid reference in relation to the genealogy of persons mentioned in the LGE.
Classical ‘Common’ Gaelic, also known as Early Modern Irish or Classical Irish (the names favoured in Ireland), are the terms used to describe written Gaelic between c.1200 and c.1650 in Ireland, and also in Scotland.
I aim to demonstrate that magic freely co-mingled with non-magical texts in manuscripts. Furthermore, this mixing of magical and non-magical texts is a vital part of understanding magic’s role in the shaping of people‟s identities, both public and private.
Nordic mythology from 13th century Iceland contains descriptions that provide traditional depictions of the night sky, constellations, and the Moon. These were not only incorporated within the mythology but also formed the basis for their gods
The earliest traces of the Kosovo legend can be found in texts dating from the end of the fourteenth century. The legend evolved gradually so that by the end of the sixteenth and beginning of the seventeenth century it had already taken shape, and in texts of the eighteenth century it can be found in its complete form.
In the fourth century AD the cultural centre of the Mediterranean area shifted to Byzantium (Constantinople) and from there medical knowledge in the form of Galenic teaching spread to the Arabs by way of the exiled Nestorians…
No one knew the risks and rewards of magic better than Agrippa. His notorious handbook, De occulta philosophia, circulated in manuscript by 1510, though it was printed only in 1533, over the complaints of Dominican inquisitors.
The Middle Ages were littered with monsters. These strange creatures poked their heads out from behind courtly literature; they crept into theological discussions of the Church; they stood alongside factual persons in histories of the period; and they lurked always in the background of the medieval mindset.
The present paper surveys the medicinal applications of a number of fossils which were well known in classical, mediaeval and renaissance times….
Psychological and psychiatric ailments must have baffled early medical practitioners.
Since ancient times animals and products derived from different organs of their bodies have constituted part of the inventory of medicinal substances used in various cultures; such uses still exist in ethnic folk medicine.
The Church Fathers and intellectuals made the distinction between the miracle of the relics and sacred words of the Bible, verba sacra….
Busby’s conclusion with regard to Old French fabliaux might just as well apply to Middle Dutch tales: “Reading fabliaux in their manuscript context reveals an important aspect of their significance for early readers or listeners which would otherwise remain concealed.”
The image of magic spells being taught by more seasoned practitioners to others eager to learn them comports well with what can be deduced about the actual practice of witchcraft and magic in medieval Scandinavia
In 1981 Danish archaeologists revealed a remarkable Viking Age grave mound in the village of Gerdrup.
Henceforth, I became a snapper-up of everything relating to Christmastide, utilised every opportunity of searching libraries, bookstalls, and catalogues of books in different parts of the country…