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> Thor, thunder god to the Norse,
> heard a rhyme about him and a horse.
> "I don't so much blame
> for the pun on my name,
> but a filly? I use goats, of course!"
And what happened to his wonderful, fleet-footed steed?
> Since I'm introducing myself after all, I'll mention another topic I've
> curious about for some time, which I've been hoping would come up in the
> discussion sooner or later -- late European paganism and the period of
> conversion to Christianity. I'd like to have a clearer picture of what
> going on than the standard "well, they were all converted by the sword,
> they?" A few years ago I read through Bede with this in mind, but while
> happy to wax eloquent about those pesky Irish Christians with their funny
> tonsures and outlandish views on the correct date of Easter, he does
> pretty much
> take the conversion of the pagans for granted and only mentions them when
> there's a good miracle/martyrdom story to tell. I know there were lots of
> missionary trips into the German areas, etc. and there were supposed to
> been debates staged by kings, to decide what religion to tell their
> subjects to
> all adopt; has anyone taken a look at all this from, say, a social history
> Among the discussions of the Erkenwald poem in the list archives I did
> that "The search for Anglo-saxon paganism" by E. G. Stanley came up, and I
> looked for it but libraries don't seem to have circulating copies. I'd be
> interested if anyone could recommend a book that might be more readily
I'd recommend Cultural Identity and Cultural Integration: Ireland and Europe
in the Early Middle Ages, Doris Edel (Editor) ISBN: 1851821678 (January
1995). The essays are sound, easy to reead, and well chosen for balance of
view and approach. They include the following topics: Literacy and Orality
in Early Medieval Ireland (by Edel); The Earliest Written Evidence for an
Irish View of the World (by Marina Smyth); Native Elements in Irish
Pseudohistory; Models of Conversion in the Early Middle Ages; Pagan Example
and Christian Practice: A Reconsideration; 'Pagan Past and Christian
Present' in 'Felire Oengusso'; Caesarius of Arles and Gregory of Tours: Two
Sixth-Century Gallic Bishops and 'Christian Magic' .
You may also want to try to get The Formation of the Medieval West: Studies
in the Oral Culture of the Barbarians, ed. Michael Richter ISBN: 0312124023
Publisher: St. Martin's Press, Inc. (October 1994).
You mentioned performing in Somerville but not whether you actually
live in that area. If you live anywhere in Massachusetts or New Hampshire,
your local library can get you anything by ILL from the Boston Public
Library and that includes articles from academic journals such as Eriu. If
there's something you want to read, call the PBL to see if they have it and
the call number necessary to get it by ILL. Then give that informaiton to
youre local ref. librarian. That will very much speed the process.