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World of Myth : An Anthology

by
ISBN13:

9780195056013

ISBN10:
0195056019
Format:
Hardcover
Pub. Date:
1/24/1991
Publisher(s):
Oxford University Press

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Summary

Hercules, Zeus, Thor, Gilgamesh--these are the figures that leap to mind when we think of myth. But to David Leeming, myths are more than stories of deities and fantastic beings from non-Christian cultures. Myth is at once the most particular and the most universal feature ofcivilization, representing common concerns that each society voices in its own idiom. Whether an Egyptian story of creation or the big-bang theory of modern physics, myth is metaphor, mirroring our deepest sense of ourselves in relation to existence itself. Now, in The World of Myth, Leeming provides a sweeping anthology of myths, ranging from ancient Egypt and Greece to the Polynesian islands and modern science. We read stories of great floods from the ancient Babylonians, Hebrews, Chinese, and Mayans; tales of apocalypse from India, the Norse,Christianity, and modern science; myths of the mother goddess from Native American Hopi culture and James Lovelock's Gaia. Leeming has culled myths from Aztec, Greek, African, Australian Aboriginal, Japanese, Moslem, Hittite, Celtic, Chinese, and Persian cultures, offering one of the mostwide-ranging collections of what he calls the collective dreams of humanity. More important, he has organized these myths according to a number of themes, comparing and contrasting how various societies have addressed similar concerns, or have told similar stories. In the section on dying gods, for example, both Odin and Jesus sacrifice themselves to renew the world,each dying on a tree. Such traditions, he proposes, may have their roots in societies of the distant past, which would ritually sacrifice their kings to renew the tribe. In The World of Myth, David Leeming takes us on a journey "not through a maze of falsehood but through a marvellous world of metaphor," metaphor for "the story of the relationship between the known and the unknown, both around us and within us." Fantastic, tragic, bizarre, sometimes funny, themyths he presents speak of the most fundamental human experience, a part of what Joseph Campbell called "the wonderful song of the soul's high adventure."

Author Biography


About the Author
David Adams Leeming is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, and is the author of several books on myth and literature.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Dimensions of Myth 3(5)
Select Bibliography 8(3)
PART I COSMIC MYTHS 11(80)
The Creation
15(28)
The Creation Stories
17(1)
Egyptian: The Beginnings
17(1)
Mesopotamian: Enuma Elish
18(6)
Hebrew: Genesis
24(5)
Indian: The Rig Veda and the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad
29(3)
Greek: Hesiod's Theogony
32(3)
Christian: John's Gospel
35(1)
Hopi: Spider Woman
36(3)
Boshongo (Bantu): Bumba's Creation
39(2)
Modern: The Big Bang
41(1)
Bibliography
42(1)
The Flood
43(21)
The Flood Stories
44(1)
Mesopotamian: Utnapishtim
44(3)
Hebrew: Noah
47(6)
Chinese: YU
53(2)
Indian: Manu
55(1)
Greco-Roman: Deucalion and Pyrrha
56(4)
Mayan: The Popol-Vuh
60(2)
Bibliography
62(2)
The Afterlife
64(12)
The Afterlife Stories
65(1)
Egyptian: Osiris
65(2)
Greco-Christian: Lands of the Dead
67(1)
Judeo-Christian: Hell, Purgatory, Heaven
68(1)
Muslim: Hell and Heaven in the Koran
68(1)
Buddhist: The Pure Land
69(3)
Hopi: The Kachinas
72(3)
Bibliography
75(1)
The Apocalypse
76(15)
The Apocalypse Stories
77(1)
Hebrew: The Day of Yahweh
77(2)
Christian: St. John's Book of Revelation
79(2)
Indian: The End of the Kali Age
81(3)
Hopi: Emergence to the Fifth World
84(1)
Norse: Ragnarok
85(3)
Modern: Entropy and Heat Death
88(1)
Bibliography
89(2)
PART II MYTHS OF THE GODS 91(124)
The Pantheons
95(26)
The Pantheonic Stories
95(1)
Egyptian
95(3)
The Gods of Heliopolis
96(1)
The Separation of Geb and Nut
97(1)
Greek
98(19)
The Olympians
98(1)
The Originators
99(1)
The Children of Kronos and Rhea
100(3)
The Children of Zeus
103(14)
Roman: The Renamed Olympians
117(1)
Norse (Icelandic): The Aesir
118(3)
Bibliography
121(2)
The God as Archetype
123(1)
Stories of Archetypal Gods
124(1)
The Supreme Being
124(10)
Indian: Krishna-Vishnu-Brahman
125(5)
Hebrew: Yahweh
130(3)
Modern: Immanent Mind
133(1)
The Great Mother
134(12)
Mesopotamian: Inanna-Ishtar
136(9)
Modern: Gaia as Earth
145(1)
The Dying God
146(17)
Egyptian: Osiris and Isis
147(6)
Babylonian-Greco-Roman: Adonis and Aphrodite
153(2)
Phrygian: Attis
155(1)
Greek: Dionysos
156(1)
Aztec/Toltec: Quetzalcoatl
157(1)
Christian: Jesus
157(5)
Norse (Icelandic): Odin
162(1)
The Trickster
163(12)
Greek: Hermes
163(2)
Indian: Krishna
165(4)
Shoshoni: Old Man Coyote
169(2)
Fon (Dahomey): Legba
171(1)
Bibliography
172(3)
Gods, Goddesses, and Lesser Spirits
175(40)
Stories of Gods, Goddesses, and Lesser Spirits
175(1)
Greco-Roman
175(22)
Prometheus
175(2)
Pandora
177(1)
Tiresias, Echo, and Narcissus
178(5)
Hyacinthus
183(2)
Eros and Psyche
185(1)
Daphne and Apollo
185(3)
Pan
188(4)
The Muses
192(1)
The Eumenides
192(1)
Zeus and Io
192(4)
Zeus and Europa
196(1)
Non-Greek
197(1)
Persian: Mithras
197(2)
Japanese: Amaterasu and Susanowo
199(3)
Polynesian: Pele and Hiiaka'
202(5)
Indian: Indra and the Parade of Ants
207(6)
Bibliography
213(2)
PART III HERO MYTHS 215(98)
The Hero Stories
221(1)
The Conception, Birth, and Childhood of the Hero
221(14)
Native American (Tewa): Water Jar Boy
221(3)
Greek: Theseus
224(1)
Indian: Krishna
225(1)
Indian: Karna
226(2)
Greek: Herakles
228(1)
Indian: The Buddha
229(4)
Irish: Cuchulainn
233(1)
Bantu: Lituolone
234(1)
The Journey Quest of the Hero
235(63)
French: Joan of Arc
235(2)
Greek: Oedipus
237(2)
Greek: Antigone
239(4)
Celtic: King Arthur
243(1)
Greek: Theseus
244(4)
Hebrew: Moses
248(4)
Celtic: Parcival
252(3)
Hebrew: Jonah
255(2)
Greek: Jason
257(1)
Roman: Aeneas
258(2)
Hebrew: Samson And Delilah
260(2)
Indian: The Buddha
262(5)
Native American: Wunzh, or Hiawatha
267(7)
Greek: Herakles
274(7)
African: Wanjiru
281(2)
Australian Aboriginal: The Pleiades
283(4)
Hebrew: Abraham and Isaac
287(1)
Mesopotamian: Gilgamesh
288(4)
Greek: Orpheus and Eurydice
292(3)
Greek: Odysseus
295(3)
The Rebirth, Return, and Apotheosis of the Hero
298(15)
Blackfoot: Kutoyis
298(6)
Christian: Jesus
304(3)
Greek: Herakles
307(1)
Aztec/Toltec: Quetzalcoatl
307(1)
Christian: Mary
308(1)
Greek: Alcestis
309(2)
Bibliography
311(2)
PART IV PLACE AND OBJECT MYTHS 313(36)
Stories of Places and Objects
316(1)
The Mountain
316(3)
Hebrew: Mount Sinai
316(3)
The City
319(14)
Greek: Troy
319(11)
Hebrew: Jerusalem
330(2)
Greek: Delphi
332(1)
The Temple
333(3)
Judeo-Christian: The Temple At Jerusalem
333(2)
European: The Chapel Perilous
335(1)
The Genitals
336(2)
Greek: Tiresias
336(1)
Apache: The Vagina Girls
337(1)
Greek: The Fig Phallus of Dionysos
338(1)
The Stone
338(3)
Phrygian: The Agdos Rock
338(1)
Australian Aboriginal: Erathipa
339(1)
Hebrew: The Bethel
340(1)
The Tree
341(3)
India: The Cosmic Tree
342(1)
Norse: Yggdrasil
343(1)
Hebrew: The Tree of Knowledge
344(1)
The Garden, the Grove, and the Cave
344(3)
Muslim: Muhammad's Cave
345(2)
The Labyrinth
347(2)
Greek: Daedalus and Icarus
347(1)
Bibliography
348(1)
Index 349


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