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Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan   By:

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Christmas In Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan

by Clement A. Miles

Published by T. Fisher Unwin

1912

[Illustration:

THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI (DETAIL).

GENTILE DA FABRIANO

( Florence: Accademia )]

5

PREFACE

In this volume I have tried to show how Christmas is or has been kept in various lands and ages, and to trace as far as possible the origin of the pagan elements that have mingled with the Church's feast of the Nativity.

In Part I. I have dealt with the festival on its distinctively Christian side. The book has, however, been so planned that readers not interested in this aspect of Christmas may pass over Chapters II. V., and proceed at once from the Introduction to Part II., which treats of pagan survivals.

The book has been written primarily for the general reader, but I venture to hope that, with all its imperfections, it may be of some use to the more serious student, as a rough outline map of the field of Christmas customs, and as bringing together materials hitherto scattered through a multitude of volumes in various languages. There is certainly room for a comprehensive English book on Christmas, taking account of the results of modern historical and folk lore research.

The writer of a work of this kind necessarily owes an immense debt to the labours of others. In my bibliographical notes I have done my best to acknowledge the sources from which I have drawn. It is only right that I should express here my special obligation, both for information and for suggestions, to Mr. E. K. Chambers's "The Mediaeval Stage," an invaluable storehouse of fact, theory, and bibliographical references. I also owe much to the important monographs of Dr. A. Tille, "Die Geschichte der deutschen Weihnacht" and "Yule and Christmas"; to Dr. Feilberg's Danish work, "Jul," the fullest account of Christmas 6 customs yet written; and of course, like every student of folk lore, to Dr. Frazer's "The Golden Bough."

References to authorities will be found at the end of the volume, and are indicated by small numerals in the text; notes requiring to be read in close conjunction with the text are printed at the foot of the pages to which they relate, and are indicated by asterisks, &c.

[Transcriber's Note: The 'small numerals' are represented in this ebook by numbers in {curly braces}. The footnotes appear at the end of the ebook and are indicated by numbers in [square brackets]. Page numbers from the original edition have been retained and appear in the text between pipe characters.]

I have to thank Mr. Frank Sidgwick for most kindly reading my proofs and portions of my MS., and for some valuable suggestions.

C. A. M.

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CONTENTS

PREFACE 5

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION 15

The Origin and Purpose of Festivals Ideas suggested by Christmas Pagan and Christian Elements The Names of the Festival Foundation of the Feast of the Nativity Its Relation to the Epiphany December 25 and the Natalis Invicti The Kalends of January Yule and Teutonic Festivals The Church and Pagan Survivals Two Conflicting Types of Festival Their Interaction Plan of the Book.

PART I THE CHRISTIAN FEAST

CHAPTER II CHRISTMAS POETRY (I) 29

Ancient Latin Hymns, their Dogmatic, Theological Character Humanizing Influence of Franciscanism Jacopone da Todi's Vernacular Verse German Catholic Poetry Mediaeval English Carols.

CHAPTER III CHRISTMAS POETRY (II) 53

The French Noël Latin Hymnody in Eighteenth century France Spanish Christmas Verse Traditional Carols of Many Countries Christmas Poetry in Protestant Germany Post Reformation Verse in England Modern English Carols... Continue reading book >>




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