E.O. James

European Religions Vol. I : Rites of Old Europe

Original European Religions Volume I: The Rites of Old Europe 12,000–3,500 BC. By E. O James. DNA, history and archaeology have shown that the European people, or those of a close enough racial origin, have existed for around 40,000 years, of which Christianity has only been the dominant religion for less than one thousand.

This volume sketches out the belief systems, values and religions of the “Old Europeans” whose religious practices preceded those of the Indo-European culture.

It is of necessity scant, as no decipherable written records exist, and seemingly most oral traditions appear to have been wiped out. There are a large number of speculative works about pre-historic European religion, but the only proper understanding we can take from this time must come from the burial practices and buildings which remain from that time.



Chapter I: Palaeolithic Burial Ritual

The Cult of Skulls: Monte Circeo; Ofnet; Ceremonial Interment in the Middle Palaeolithic: Le Moustier; La Chapelleaux-Saints; La Ferrassie. The Upper Palaeolithic: The Grimaldi Burials; Paviland and other Upper Palaeolithic Sepultures; The Palaeolithic Cult of the Dead. The Mesolithic Transition: Azilian-Tardenoisian Interments; Maglemosean; Ertebølle; Danish Dyssers.

Chapter II. Megalithic Burial In Europe

Eastern Mediterranean: Tholoi in Cyprus; Vaulted Tombs in Crete; The Cycladic Tombs; The Siculan Rock-cut Tombs. Western Mediterranean: Sardinian Gallery-tombs; Rock-cut Tombs and Navetas in the Balearic Isles; Maltese Megaliths. Iberian Peninsula: The Almerian Megaliths; South-west Iberian Tombs; Pyrenean Megaliths. Atlantic Europe: Megalithic Tombs in Brittany; The S.O.M. Culture. The British Isles: British Long Barrows; The Severny-Cotswold Barrows; The Boyne Passage-graves; The Clyde-Carlingford Gallery Graves; The Medway Megaliths. The Northern Megalithic Tombs: The Danish Passage-graves; Battle-axes and Single Graves.

Chapter III. Cremation And Inhumation

Cremation in Europe in the Bronze Age: Partial Cremation under Long Barrows; Round Barrows; Urn Burial; The Terramara Cemeteries; The Villanovan Cemeteries; The Lausitz Urnfields; The Alpine Urnfields; The Hallstatt Cemetery.

Chapter IV. The Mystery Of Birth

The Mystery of Birth in Palaeolithic Times: Sculptured “Venuses”; Cowrie Shells; Fertility Dances. Neolithic and Chalcolithic Female Figurines: Anatolia, Cyprus and the Cyclades; Crete; The Mother goddess; The Great Minoan Goddess; The Maltese Goddess Cult; The Iberian Goddess Cult; Statue-menhirs; The Goddess Cult in Britain and Northern France.

Chapter V. Fertility And The Food Supply

Palaeolithic Hunting Ritual; Increase Rites; The Control of the Chase; The Cultus in the Aegean: The Minoan-Mycenaean Goddess of Vegetation and the Young Male God; Zeus and Demeter. The Vegetation Cult in North-west Europe Aegean Influences in Wessex

Chapter VI. The Sky-Religion

The Idea of God: Animism and Polytheism; Supreme Beings; The Universality and Antiquity of the Sky-god. The Indo-European Sky-gods: The Indo-Aranian Sky-gods; Zeus and the Olympian Divine Family; The Sky-father and the Earth-mother; The Scandinavian Heavenly Deities; Sky-worship in Wessex.

Chapter VII. Prehistoric Religion

The Ritual Control of Natural Processes: The Nature and Function of Symbols; Totemism and the Sacred Dance. Fertility and the Mystery of Birth and Generation: Generation and  Maternity. The Goddess Cult. The Cult of the Dead: Palaeolithic; The Mediterranean; Western Europe.

The Sky-religion. The Celestial Afterlife. The Concept of the Universal Sky-god.



120 pages. Paperback.


Additional information

Weight 6 oz
Dimensions 6 × 0.25 × 9 in

E.O. James

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