Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 05 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article describes how the archaeology of early Anglo-Saxon religion can contribute to the understanding of variety within a pre-Christian world-view where many elements were shared by societies across the North Sea and Baltic. Evidence for paganism in Old English place-names has been traditionally used to reconstruct the topography of belief in early Anglo-Saxon England. The symbolic use of animals is one of the most visible aspects of early Anglo-Saxon religion. There has been increasing interest in the mutability of Anglo-Saxon paganisms in response to religious systems within Britain. As with the earlier Anglo-Saxon migration, religion was intimately associated with identity. Early Anglo-Saxon religion can be understood on many levels, with variation arising as a result of local responses to changing social and political situations; however, for archaeologists the most visible indicators of Anglo-Saxon spirituality are in the symbolic roles played by animals.

Keywords: Anglo-Saxon paganisms, Anglo-Saxon England, Anglo-Saxon religion, North Sea, Baltic, animals, Anglo-Saxon spirituality, migration

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.