Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bad Writing.

I am currently drudging through A History of Pagan Europe by Pennick and Jones. The information is invaluable, but the further I read, the more irritated I am becoming over the lack of structure and organization in this book.

I am currently reading the chapter on the Germanic peoples. While reading a passage entitled "Early Germanic Religion," I had to take a break. I got to the line on pg 116 that said, "These were the western Germans" and I was through! It then begins to discuss the eatern Germans, but not about the same items described for the Western tribes. I am assuming that the line stated above means that all the paragraphs back to the last subheading are referring to the Westerners, but it never says when the western-specific discussion begins. Plus, every once in a while, they had another fact about the Celtic peoples in that was never discussed in the chapters to thier effect.

This book has a lot of very good information. The discussions of Hellenic and Roman practices are seemingly well done (judging from the basic information I had prior to reading this book), but beginning with the sections on the Celts and getting worse with the Germans, it is an organizational nightmare! It jumps around in time and in locality, and the subheadings are not indicative of what the following paragraphs are going to be about. Also, there are no maps of any areas outside the one that shows the maximun expanse of the Roman empire found at the beginning of the book. I am finding myself supplementing more and more of this book with additional materials just to make it make sense...and I haven't even begun to read about the slavic or vedic religions!

I typically do not have any difficulty understanding and learning from the books that I read, but I am going to have to read a few celtic/germanic specific titles after I finish this book (and probably slavic, and vedic, and roman, haha). I am getting a general overview of ancient times, but the details are very scattered and difficult to retain in thier present state.

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