History of Paganism in Caledonia by Thomas A. Wise


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Trübner & Co, 1884. 259 pages. Hardback. Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall. Illustrated throughout. Likely mid 20thC rebinding bright green cloth. Singular library stamp on inside of front-board, contents clean, a very good example. 

History of Paganism in Caledonia, with an Examination Into the Influence of Asian Philosophy, and the Gradual Development of Christianity in Pictavia.

'Thomas Alexander Wise (1802 1889), was a Scottish doctor of Medicine and antiquarian, who spent nearly a quarter of a century in the Indian Medical Service before retiring back to Scotland in 1851. He was an keen scholar, whose whose works including "Commentary on the Hindu System of Medicine" (1845) and "Treatise on the Diseases of the Eye, as they Appear in Hindustan (1847)" were both pioneering and considered of lasting significance. He also translated a number of  Sanskrit manuscripts into English.
The "History of Paganism in Caledonia" was his final work. Focused on the symbols carved in ancient standing stones, particularly those attributed to the Picts in the North-east of Scotland. He notes the similarities between them and the Buddhist designs he had seen engraved or painted on the walls of temples in Bengal. Wise explains that there must have been a common iconographic source; speculating that the designs may have been brought to Britain by ancient Buddhist travellers.'

Contents: Book I: "Social Character of the Inhabitants of Caledonia," Social Character Of The Inhabitants Of Caledonia During The Megalithic Age; Domestic Manners And Customs Of The Inhabitants Of Caledonia During The Megalithic Age, Primitive Symbolic Stone Monuments In Asia And Europe, With And Without Inscriptions: Descriptions And Uses; Primitive Monuments With Archaic Markings In Asia And Europe; Early Celtic Architecture And Pillar Towers; Laws And Institutions Of Celtic Races; Nature Worship Among The Primitive Races Of Asia And Europe; Religious Symbols And Ideas Among Primitive Races In Asia And Europe; Celtic Usages After Death In Asia And Europe.

Book II: "Buddhism: Its History and Tenets," Buddhism; Tenets, Organization And Symbols Of Buddhism; Symbols Of Buddhism In Pictland; Sacred Places And Monuments; Sacred Buddhist Organic Symbols On The Sculptured Stones Of Pictland; Book III "History of Christianity in Pictland" Pagan Symbols Of The Deity Adopted By Primitive Christians; Form Of The Ancient Incised And Bas-Relief Greek And Latin Crosses In The British Islands; Uses Of The Christian Crosses In Pictland: Preaching Crosses, As Well As Prayer And Memorial Crosses; Christian Symbols, With Ornaments And Animals On The Crosses; Processions And Aegis, Or Sacred Shields; Christian Communities, Ritual, And Churches.

Category Archaeology