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Caroline Voclain

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Veggie dancer

How Do You Research A God/goddess Or Other Information About Historical Paganism

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Veggie dancer

This bit of discussion on another thread got me wondering...


Interesting. The Brigantes (on mainland Britain) worshipped Brigantia whereas the Brigantes in Ireland worshipped Brigid. I don't think that it's very clear if the the two sets of Brigantes were related (it's possible that it was Roman writers just using a convenient name for two groups who had things in common). Even if they were it's not clear that Brigantia and Brigid were the same goddess. Brigantia and Britannia would seem to be a possible link, though.


Again lots of ifs and maybes, but a fascinating topic for research!


... there are often things that interest me but I dont really know where to start to find out about them. Of course i can google, but the internet is an overload of information some of it just made up, some of it speculation presented as fact and some of it might be reliable but it is hard to work out what is genuine. Im not sure books are necessarily any better, and even the 'reliable' ones easily become out of date as more discoveries are made.


Anyone got any tips on how to go about researching something?

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One approach is to try to identify academic publications and get hold of them. It is worth also paying attention to the references given within online resources (the bit of Wikipedia no-one ever reads, I suppose).


There is an online etymology dictionary (see here for the entry for "Britain": http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=britain ) from which you could then look up the archaic variations online to see if any further information can be gleaned.


Looking up gods is a bit hit and miss, not least because modern day devotees have their own proverbial axes to grind. You could investigate libraries (in particular if you have access to any attached to universities) to see what they have on their shelves. In terms of accessing original sources, you could try sites like Theoi. com - http://www.library.theoi.com/


In the end, however, there is a large element of luck in research. Basic rule is to be careful over any material you find easily online unless it's referenced, try to look up reliable academic sources if possible, and keep your questions in mind as there's a fair chance the answer will pop up in months or years time when you are looking for something else entirely.


There are, however, no short cuts.

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