chapter  13
17 Pages

Cradle to grave

Cradle 258 Transitions 259 Illness and crisis 260 Grave 262 Normal people 262 Grand burial 269 Mounds to marvel at 272

In earlier chapters we have looked more at public religion and the ritual of the community than at the private lives of individuals. On the whole, this is what we know about - what pagan authors tell us and what Christians address. But even if we are not generally, in traditional societies, to imagine individual pagans filled with private and distinctive devotion, religion and ritual do matter very much at individual level, too, and particularly at critical moments in life. So in this chapter we look at those moments and the rituals or superstitions that surround them, before turning to the grand public burial of heroes.