Who is the 'Green Man' and what does his widespread presence signify? The author believes that the answer to this age-old riddle may be found in a number of medieval works such as the apocryphal gospels, the Bestiary and the Legend of the Rood all of which would have been familiar to scholars and teachers of the period. Although never part of the official canon, these nevertheless had a considerable influence on the teaching of the medieval Church and the imagery which it employed to illustrate it for the benefit of illiterate or semi-literate congregations.
The present study represents a radical departure from the previously received wisdom on the subject and advances the hypothesis that far from being a pagan fertility symbol, the 'Green Man' is a lead player in the great scriptural drama of the Creation, the Fall of Man and his ultimate redemption.
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