BBC HomeExplore the BBC


Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio
BBC Radio 4 - 92 to 94 FM and 198 Long WaveListen to Digital Radio, Digital TV and OnlineListen on Digital Radio, Digital TV and Online

PROGRAMME FINDER:
Programmes
Podcasts
Schedule
Presenters
PROGRAMME GENRES:
News
Drama
Comedy
Science
Religion|Ethics
History
Factual
Messageboards
Radio 4 Tickets
Radio 4 Help

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 

Science
CHASING HARES
MISSED A PROGRAMME?
Go to the Listen Again page
The search for the meaning and origin of the ancient symbol of the three hares.
Tuesday 16 November 2004 11.00-11.30am 

An ancient symbol in the roof of a Dartmoor church turns out to link paganism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism over almost 2000 years, in a fascinating historical detective story.

Medieval roof boss, Wissembourg
Medieval roof boss, Wissembourg
copyright Chris Chapman
Listen again Listen again to the programme

Chasing Hares

Writer and historian, James Crowden,  follows three historical detectives from a church in Devon to a high mountain kingdom in the Himalayas searching for the meaning and origin of the ancient symbol of the three hares.
 
The search began with a carving in the roof of a medieval Devon church, but the hare-chasers trace its origins through medieval Europe; via an ancient casket said to have contained the bones of St Lazarus, a 13th century monastery bell, and a Chapter house roof where the hares are found rubbing shoulders with the pagan Green Man; all the way to the mountain Kingdom of Ladakh and 12th Century China.
 
So what does the symbol mean and how has it travelled such immense distances?
 
The answer connects the pagan goddess who gave her name to Easter to the Virgin Mary, the Buddha, and the great Mongol Empire.
 
You can see photos of the hares, find out about the Three Hares Project and contribute your own sightings at:

The Three Hares Project
Listen Live
Audio Help
DON'T MISS
Leading Edge
Science, Nature & Environment Programmes
Current Programmes
Archived Programmes

News & Current Affairs | Arts & Drama | Comedy & Quizzes | Science | Religion & Ethics | History | Factual

Back to top



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy