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PRINTED BY ADLARD AND SON,

LONDON AND DORKING.

yar

TREE- AND PILLAR-WORSHIP.

BY REV. H. J. DUKINFIELD ASTLEY, M.A., F.R.HIST.S.,

F.R.S.L.

(Read January 28th, 1903.]

;

No apology, I feel sure, is needed for bringing before the members of this Society the subject with which the following pages are to deal ; for, although it is not one which can perhaps be called “literary,” I shall yet hope to treat it in a “ literary” manner, such as may make it worthy of attention; and it is, moreover, one which bulks large, if not in modern, yet in all ancient literature, more especially in the mythology and folklore of the past, and in that of primitive peoples to-day. One aspect of the subject also, I may remind you, has been already brought before this Society in the learned and exhaustive paper, entitled “ Dendrophoria,” by Dr. Phené.

My range to-night extends over wider limits both of time and space, and, so far as is possible in one paper, I shall endeavour to do something more than merely touch the fringe of a vast subject. It is my purpose to co-ordinate its various branches, and from customs surviving in a mutilated and half-hearted fashion, more particularly within our own Islands, to deduce the origin and meaning of “ Tree-worship" in the past. The subject is one which touches both anthropology and folklore, and in both these aspects it is worthy of consideration by the members of a learned Society such as this.

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VOL. XXIV.

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