Religion

In this section religions, religious belief and many elements of religiosity are explored and discussed. Early pagan beliefs in Britain and Ireland to the worship of gods across Europe are explored as are the religious changes that monotheism introduced. How religion affects themes of power, individuality and architecture are debated as are key historical movements such as the Reformation and the crusades.

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  • History Abridged: the Acropolis

    Article

    History Abridged: This feature seeks to take a person, event or period and abridge, or focus on, an important event or detail that can get lost in the big picture. Think Horrible Histories for grownups (without the songs and music). The Acropolis of Athens is one of the landmarks of...

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  • The many queens of Ancient Egypt

    Article

    Joyce Tyldesley explains the significant but often hidden roles played by queens in Ancient Egypt.   For almost 3,000 years – from the unification of the land in 3100 BC to the arrival of Alexander the Great in 332 BC – the king (or pharaoh) of Egypt served as an essential...

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  • Out and About in Paestum

    Article

    Trevor James introduces the extraordinary archaeological remains from Greek and Roman occupation to be found at Paestum. Paestum is the more recent name of a location originally known as Poseidonia, named in honour of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. Poseidonia was a Greek settlement or colony on the west...

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  • Sacred waters: Bath in the Roman Empire

    Article

    Eleri Cousins explores the dynamics of Romano-British religion at the sanctuary at Bath. What do you think of when you think of Roman Bath?  Most of us probably think of, well, the Baths – in particular the iconic image of the Great Bath, with its Roman swimming basin and its...

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  • Real Lives: Tahereh (Tāhirih)

    Article

    Paula Kitching tells us of the incredible courage shown by Fatima Baraghani while campaigning for human rights, especially women’s rights in nineteenth century Persia. Fatima Baraghani lived in nineteenth century Persia and was a poet, a religious leader and a campaigner for women’s rights. She was born sometime between 1814 and 1919,...

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  • Michael Wood, Hadrian and the Making of Early England

    Article

    Michael Wood opened the summer lecture series for the HA virtual Branch on the Making of Early England. In it he introduced key characters and texts that help to establish the cultural past of that time and also reveal to us what we know of it. These people included overlooked...

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  • England’s Saintly Landscape

    Article

    England’s Saintly Landscape, Trevor James, Lichfield Press, 2020, 95 pp, £10-00. ISBN 978-0-905985-94-7 The author is quick to credit W G Hoskins and Eilert Ekwall and their influence is readily apparent in the enthusiasm that permeates this study. Trevor James’ contention is that church dedications, place names, pilgrimage routes, local industries, fairs and...

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  • The 1620 Mayflower voyage and the English settlement of North America

    Article

    On the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrims in New England on the Mayflower, Martyn Whittock explores the reasons for migration to the New World in 1620 and later, and the significance of those migrants, both at the time and their impact on the evolution of the USA...

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  • Film: Mary I and Tudor Royal Authority

    Article

    In this film Dr Anna Whitelock from Royal Holloway, University of London, discusses the life of Mary I, the first crowned Queen of England. Dr Whitelock looks at Mary's difficult early life, her submission to Henry VIII and the rise of a warrior princess. Dr Whitelock explores Mary as a courageous...

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  • Film: Elizabeth I and Tudor Royal Authority

    Article

    In this film, Professor Sue Doran, Jesus College, University of Oxford, looks at the two main challenges to Elizabeth I's authority: gender and religion. Professor Doran looks at the power of Elizabeth's personality, her relationship with her advisers plus the significance of religion and domestics politics to shaping her reign and...

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  • Film: Religion and Tudor Royal Authority – discussion

    Article

    In this film Professor Sue Doran, Jesus College, University of Oxford and Professor Steven Gunn, Merton College, University of Oxford, look at the role religion played in defining the reigns and authority of the Tudor monarchs.

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  • Britain and Brittany: contact, myth and history in the early Middle Ages

    Article

    Fiona Edmonds evidences the enduring links between Brittany and Britain throughout the early Middle Ages. Every year many thousands of British holidaymakers travel to Brittany in search of beaches, bisque and bonhomie. As they board the ferry, they may notice that they are travelling from one Bretagne to another. The names...

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  • Churchyards

    Article

    Churchyards (Britain's Heritage series), Roger Bowdler, Amberley Publishing, 2019, 64p, £8-99. ISBN 9781445691114 This book is dedicated to the memory of Frederick Burgess, the author of English Churchyard Memorials (1963), from whom many of us learned to study and understand what we find in churchyards. This carefully developed study by...

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  • The Memory of a Saint: Managing the legacy of St Bernard of Clairvaux

    Article

    When Bernard of Clairvaux died in 1153, the Cistercian Order was faced with a problem. The self-proclaimed ‘chimera of his age’ had enjoyed an unusual and varied monastic career, as abbot of the Cistercian monastery of Clairvaux and papal confidante, making him remarkably well-known for a monk. At the funeral the...

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  • A European dimension to local history

    Article

    Trevor James raises the prospect of broadening our approaches to local history to take a wider European perspective. When Professor W. G. Hoskins published his The Making of the English Landscape in 1955, he taught us how to observe and understand the topography of our landscapes, urban and rural, and...

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  • The burial dilemma

    Article

    The recent attacks on Karl Marx’s grave in Highgate Cemetery have added impetus to the public debate about how we memorialise the dead and the public and private costs of mourning.

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  • Civil Rights: 1968 and Northern Ireland

    Article

    Jim McBride looks at the growing demand for equal civil rights for the Catholic population of Northern Ireland through the 1960s, which led to the resignation of Terence O’Neill in 1969.

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  • St Theobald of Provins and evidence of charcoal-burning

    Article

    Trevor James has been researching the ‘saintly landscape’ for over 40 years. Here is a glimpse of what he has identified.

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  • Out and About in Ryedale

    Article

    Tom Pickles explores Ryedale in Yorkshire, where an extraordinary network of churches bears witness to the social, political, and religious transformations of the Anglo-Saxon period.

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  • Anglo-Saxon women and power

    Article

    Elite Anglo-Saxon women played a powerful role in the religious affairs and politics of their day and were important patrons of learning and culture.

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