By John R. Hinnells

ISBN-10: 0521847125

ISBN-13: 9780521847124

Historic civilisations workout an severe fascination for individuals across the world. This instruction manual offers a vibrant, scholarly, and eminently readable account of historic cultures around the globe, from China to India, the center East, Egypt, Europe, and the Americas. It examines the improvement of spiritual trust from the time of the Palaeolithic cave work to the Aztecs and Incas. protecting the full of society not only the elite, the guide outlines the heritage of the several societies in order that their faith and tradition may be understood in context. every one bankruptcy contains dialogue of the large box of proper experiences alerting the reader to wider debates on each one topic. a world crew of students show their very own deep enthusiasm for his or her topic and supply a different research of either well known and 'official' faith within the historical international.

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Some of these ideas still make sense. Modern ethnology has abundantly shown that most cultures, not only traditional ones, did and still do try to change the natural course of events in order to facilitate daily life. To do this, they resort to magical/religious practices. Trying to avoid catastrophes, to cure the sick, to make rain fall, to enlarge animal herds and to kill them more easily, to restore a lost equilibrium in nature by various means, all this seems to be part of the universals in human thinking.

5, lower left). The use of Gabillou may be compared with that of Lascaux. Unlike Gabillou, Lascaux comprises a comparatively large entrance chamber, the Rotunda (or the Hall of the Bulls), and two narrow passages that lead off it. The curving walls of the Rotunda are embellished with a vast cavalcade of huge animals, aurochs, horses, deer, a bear and a strange ‘monster’. Many of these images are so large that one concludes that that they were communally made: the collection of the pigment, mixing it, getting up to the higher surfaces and applying the paint suggest the co-operation of many people.

The images, some of which may have been communally produced, may, in some ritual circumstances, have prepared the minds of selected vision questers for what they were to see at the climax of their initiation. The culturally informed component of deep trance derives from memory, and the novices were being shown not just pictures of animals but re-creations of spirit-animals of the kind that they themselves hoped to encounter. The tunnel that leads off the entrance chamber was narrow and low-ceilinged in Upper Palaeolithic times, and those who entered it were obliged to crawl one at a time.

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A Handbook of Ancient Religions by John R. Hinnells

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