David Leeming - The Oxford Companion to World Mythology (2nd Hand Hardback)
ISBN / GTIN-13 : 9780195156690
" . . . Myths are stories that are based on tradition. Some may have factual origins, while others are completely fictional. But myths are more than mere stories and they serve a more profound purpose in ancient and modern cultures. Myths are sacred tales that explain the world and man's experience . . ."
Cave paintings at Lascaux, France and Altamira, Spain, fraught with expression thousands of years later; point to an early human desire to form a cultural identity.
In the Oxford Companion to World Mythology, David Leeming explores the role of mythology, or myth-logic, in history and determines that the dreams of specific cultures add up to a larger collective story of humanity.
Stopping short of attempting to be all-inclusive, this fascinating volume will nonetheless be comprehensive, opening with an introduction exploring the nature and dimensions of myth and proposing a definition as a universal language.
Briefly dipping into the ways our understanding of myth has changed from Aristotle and Plato to modern scholars such as Joseph Campbell, the introduction loosely places the concept in its present context and precedes articles on influential mythologists and mythological approaches that appear later in the Companion.
The main body of Leeming's work consists of A-Z entries covering all aspects of mythology, including substantial essays on the world's major mythological traditions (Greek, Native American, Indian, Japanese, Sumerian, Egyptian), mythological types and motifs (Descent to the Underworld, the Hero, the Trickster, Creation, the Quest), mythological figures (Odysseus, Zeus, Osiris, Spider Woman, and Inanna) as well as numerous interrelated subjects such as fairly tales and legends.
The Companion also locates myth in our lives today, relating it to language patterns, psychology, religion, politics, art, and gender attitudes. Many of the better-known and more significant myths are vividly retold in this volume that will be illustrated with maps, more than 70 black and white images, and eight pages of colour highlighting the central role art has often played in the transmission and perpetuation of myth. Following the entries, a rich section of appendices will include family trees of the major pantheons, equivalency charts for the gods of Greece and Rome, Babylon and Sumer, as well as other traditions, an extensive bibliography, and an index.
- Format : Thick 2nd Hand Hardback with Dust Jacket
- Condition : Very Good
- Category : Non-Fiction - History & Futurology
- Published : 2005 (Oxford University Press - USA)
- ISBN : 9780195156690
- SKU : B002853
- PPC : SP900gm
- RRP : $65.00
- Quantity Available : 1 only.
"The scope of this companion to world mythology belies its compact, easy-to-hold format . . . Leeming's Companion has a place in any library." - Voice of Youth Advocates.
"Dependable information, clear and concise writing, and well-chosen illustrations make this a useful resource. The volume offers easy access to a broad range of topics . . . This is a grand book." - School Library Journal.
"To be honest, it's one of the few books on mythology that is easy to read, unbiased, helpful, and insightful: one problem many dictionaries (it's a dictionary btw) have is they just state very generic facts, rather than providing insightful information about a topic. What I mean is the book isn't just a catalogue of "this god, who was the child of this god and this god, and who did this and this"; it instead discusses themes and gives insights that allow the reader to understand the topic more fully." - Goodreads Review.
David Adams Leeming is an American philologist who is Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut, and a specialist in comparative literature of mythology.
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