Now I know historical TV documentaries are often inaccurate, but this takes the biscuit
All I can say is that this is the worst television historical documentary that I have ever seen. And that is being nice.
It generically deals with "pagans" as if they were a set, uniform group, little explaining how actually it was a reference to hundreds if not thousands of different polytheistic religious groups, and takes bits of evidence (largely from Anglo-Saxon and Christianised Mediaeval Britain) and uses these to make generic statements about paganism as a mass, using terms like "the pagan world." Utterly ridiculous. Secondly it displays its poor history openly, citing Sutton Hoo as a pagan site, whereas I fact many archaeologists believe it to be Christian, or at least produced as the Anglo-Saxons were converting from paganism to Christianity. And thirdly, it doesn't even define paganism properly - it's a word with a dense, complicated and controversial etymology, which this documentary washes over in a matter of seconds. It instead prefers to revel in sensationalism, for instance the first episode spends about twenty minutes discussing whether bestiality was a part of pagan religion - this series would appal all historians, archaeologists and scholars of the ancient world.
Please, do not watch this, it will provide you with so much misinformation and give you such a poor grasp of this subject matter. Go read a book on the topic, like Jones and Pennick's "A History of Pagan Europe" or Ronald Hutton's "The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles", for a much more informed (albeit not perfect) account of European paganism.
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