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date: 16 October 2021

p. 453. Gods in the Northlocked

p. 453. Gods in the Northlocked

  • Owen Davies


While the leaders of some Germanic tribes converted in the 4th century, it was in northern Europe that non-Christian religions held out the longest against the spread of Christianity. This was partly because the region lay outside the Roman Empire, but cultural, political, and geographical factors were all significant. ‘Gods in the north’ argues that the fate of paganism in much of northern Europe, excluding Scandinavia, was determined by the rise of the Franks under Charlemagne (742–814), and the subsequent formation of the Holy Roman Empire. This was promoted as a great Catholic endeavour, and as never before the suppression of paganism became a militaristic exercise.

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