I also read most of A History of Pagan Europe. I skipped the Celts. I know, for shame. But the Greek and Roman part just went on so long and then I really wanted to skip ahead to the Germanic stuff and so I did and I just haven’t gotten back to the Celts, who, I’m sure, are wonderful people.
Anyway, here’s everything you need to know about pagan Europe, if you are not interested in either paganism or Europe:
1. Paganism is fluid and constantly changing. One century one way of worship was in vogue and fifty or a hundred years later another set of gods with other ways of worship become central. I think I tend to view “the Greeks” or “the Romans” as monolithic people with set beliefs in certain gods. It’s messier than that.
2. There is no long, unbroken line of pagan beliefs running from here back into history, where I believe what my parents believed, who believed what their parents believed, on and on back, toasting good health to Old One-Eye for 1400 years.
However, neither has Christianity been able to completely eradicate pagan beliefs from Europe and so every place you look throughout European history, someone is practicing some form of paganism.
Other than those two things, everything else in the book is thought-provoking, but I don’t know. It’s one of those books I don’t think you can take at face value, but that inspires you to want to search out primary sources in order to see if you agree with the conclusions they’re drawing.