Seven Stars: Ancient Astronomy and the English Public House

Seven Stars: Ancient Astronomy and the English Public House

£15.00

‘Seven Stars’ traces the meaning and origins of the Seven Stars pub sign back 1500 years to the legal codes of the Anglo-Saxons and beyond that to the mythological astronomy of the ancient Mediterranean region. It is believed that the sign of the Seven Stars originated in the star cluster of the seven Pleiades which was considered to be a bunch of grapes in the sky in a Dionysian and Bacchic world view and therefore used as a suitable tavern sign. The book briefly tells the history of public drinking and its associated signs, and then describes the oldest and most interesting Seven Stars pubs in England going back to the 14th century.

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SKU: 9781911604976 Category: Tags: ,

Seven Stars traces the meaning and origins of the Seven Stars pub sign back 1500 years to the legal codes of the Anglo-Saxons and beyond that to the mythological astronomy of the ancient Mediterranean region. It is believed that the sign of the Seven Stars originated in the star cluster of the seven Pleiades which was considered to be a bunch of grapes in the sky in a Dionysian and Bacchic world view and therefore used as a suitable tavern sign. The first half of the book briefly tells the history of public drinking and its associated signs, and then describes the oldest and most interesting Seven Stars pubs in England going back to the 14th century. The second part is a discussion of the various meanings that have been proposed for the Seven Stars sign, many of them based on ideas from ancient astronomy.

The distribution of the older pubs with the name is closely related to the areas of the Saxon and Mercian law codes that were in operation after the Danish invasions of the 9th and 10th centuries. The conclusion is that the symbolism involved retained surviving ideas from the mythological astronomy of the ancient Mediterranean world that survived in Anglo-Saxon culture but which were lost in the areas dominated by Scandinavian values where the social and political role of drinking establishments was distinctly different. This is a full and authoritative look at an ancient symbol that forms a small part in the building blocks of British cultural traditions.

Additional information

Weight 0.884 kg
Dimensions 24.2 × 20.6 × 1.8 cm
Author

Publisher

Imprint

Cover

Paperback

Pages

240

Language

English

Edition
Dewey

647.9542 (edition:23)

Readership

General – Trade / Code: K