Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Year 1000

Robert Lacey's and Danny Danziger's book is actually called The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium. I love books like this. I love to read about what how people lived at other points of history. I find it comforting that people were always the same - those living in the year 1000 were not very different from us, it's just our environments that differ.

The book is full of interesting trivia, as well as 'proper' early European history. It is structured by month and each chapter highlights what would have been important to people at that point of the year. What I really enjoy about learning about early history is how much of what we celebrate now, of how we structure our lives, is based on what people did back then. The holidays we celebrate are based on old pagan dates, some of our traditions, such as Midsummer celebrations, date back to old rituals. Being pagan, I always look out for references to old Gods and was happy to find some here too.

I liked reading this book around Ostara and the Equinox, when I could think about the symbolism that we now associate with Easter - the bunnies, the eggs, the color yellow, all signs of fertility, of life beginning again. Spring is here! Well not here, it's actually snowing here, but in theory Spring is here!

The only minus isn't even the book's fault - it's only about England and I'd like to read more about the rest of Europe. But life looked the same in most places so until I find more books on this subject I'll have to project what I already know to other parts of the world. ;-)

Definitely 5 stars - I hope some of you out there read this, it's a short book packed with fascinating information and I think it's always useful to know something of what came before us.


Lezlie said...

This has been on my TRB shelf forever. My husband really liked it, too. I'll have to dig it out!


joanna said...

I think you'll enjoy it Lezlie!