Arborolatry the worship of trees, was a very common practice among ancient pagans, and is still in use to a limited extent. In the Greek and Roman mythology, nearly every deity had his favorite tree; as the oak, sacred to Jupiter, and the laurel to Apollo. Among the ancient Canaanites sacred groves were common SEE GROVE; and the people of Syria, Samos, Athens, Dodona, Arcadia, Germany, and many other places had their arborescent shrines. It is said that holy trees still exist among the Northern Fillanders. An enormous oak, called Thor's oak, was cut down by order of Winifred, the Apostle to the Germans. It was beneath oaks that the ancient Druids performed their sacred rites and worshipped the Supreme Being under the form of an oak. The prominent place of the Ygdrasil, in Scandinavian mythology, the Bo-tree and Banian in Buddhism, are further examples of the prevalence of this form of idolatry. SEE ASHERAH; SEE BUDDHISM; SEE TREE; SEE YGDRASIL.

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