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Hic sunt dracones

This is a bit of a long post. But the overall organization is simple enough: (1) First there’s some background on recent (relatively speaking) academic revisionism concerning classical, late antique and renaissance Paganism. (2) Then I look at Ronald Hutton’s “evidence” for his claim that the Pagans of late antiquity weren’t really Pagans, and I demonstrate (at some length) that the primary sources show the truth to be precisely the opposite of what Hutton asserts.

Why is this important? Because the Pagans in question are definitely (as Hutton himself admits) among the direct ancestors of modern day Paganism. Therefore, if our late antique ancestors were practitioners of the traditional Paganism of their ancestors, then the Paganism of today truly is the Old Religion.

Starting sometime in the late 1960’s (or possibly even earlier) a small industry arose in Academia comprised of scholars dedicated to building a theological firewall between modern Paganism (including Wicca) and ancient Paganism (comprised of the various religious traditions of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East that existed prior to the historical process of Christianization). Part of the story of this revisionist trend is told very nicely by Charles W. Hedrick, Jr., in his History and Silence: Purge and Rehabilitation of Memory in Late Antiquity, especially in Chapter 3, Unspeakable Paganism. In that chapter Hedrick first gives a thumbnail sketch of the events leading up to the Pagan revolt of 394, led by Eugenius and Arbogast, which climaxed in the decisive defeat of the Pagan rebels in the Battle of the Frigidus River, and then he looks at the changing ways in which those events have been viewed by modern historians.

Read the original article at: Egregores

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