Anglo-Saxon paganism

Anglo-Saxon Paganism

Anglo-Saxon paganism

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Anglo-Saxon paganism, or as it has also been known, Anglo-Saxon heathenism,The religion has been referred to as "paganism" by most scholars, such as David M. Wilson (1992) and Martin Carver (2010), but as "heathenism" by some others, like Brian Branston (1957). refers to the religious beliefs and practices followed by the Anglo-Saxons between the fifth and eighth centuries AD, during the initial period of Early Mediaeval England. A variant of the wider Germanic paganism found across much of north-western Europe, it itself encompassed a heterogeneous variety of disparate beliefs and cultic practices.Carver, Sanmark and Semple 2010. p. ix. Developing from the earlier Iron Age religion of continental northern Europe, it was introduced to Britain following the Anglo-Saxon migration in the mid fifth century, and remained the dominant religion in England until the Christianization of its kingdoms between the seventh and eighth centuries, with some aspects gradually blending into folklore.

As with most religions designated as being pagan by later Christian writers, it was a polytheistic belief system, focused around the worship of deities known as the ése (singular ós). The most prominent of these deities may have been Woden, for which reason the religion has also been called Wodenism,Atkinson 1891. although other prominent gods included Thunor and Tiw. There was also a...
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