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World Mythology : The Illustrated Guide

by ;
ISBN13:

9780195307528

ISBN10:
0195307526
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
6/29/2006
Publisher(s):
Oxford University Press, USA
List Price: $24.99

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Summary

The great myths of the world create meaning out of the fundamental events of human existence: birth, death, conflict, loss, reconciliation, the cycle of the seasons. They speak to us of life itself in voices still intelligible, yet compellingly strange and distant. World Mythology offers readers an authoritative and wide-ranging guide to these enduring mythological traditions, combining the pure narrative of the myths themselves with the backtground necessary for more complete understanding. Here, noted mythology expert Roy Willis, brings together a team of nineteen leading scholars navigate a clear path through the complexities of myth as they distill the essence of each regional tradition and focus on the most significant figures and the most enthralling stories. All aspects of the world's key mythologies are covered, from tales of warring deities and demons to stories of revenge and metamorphosis; from accounts of lustful gods and star-crossed human lovers to journeys in the underworld. All are told at length and are accompanied by illuminating and readable introductory text. Also included are summaries of important theories about the origins and meaning of myth, and an examination of themes that recur across a range of civilizations. Beautifully illustrated with more than 500 color photographs, works of art, charts, and maps, World Mythology offers readers the most accessible guide yet to the heritage of the world's imagination.

Author Biography


Roy Willis, Ph.D., is Honorary Fellow in Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh.

Table of Contents

Foreword 8(2)
Robert Walter
Introduction 10(7)
Dr Roy Willis
GREAT THEMES OF MYTH
17(18)
Dr Roy Willis
Creation/The origins of the world
18(2)
Cosmic Architecture/The structure of the universe
20(2)
Myths of Humanity/Causes of life and death
22(2)
Supernatural Beings/Gods, spirits and demons
24(2)
Cosmic Disasters/The end of the world
26(2)
Heroes and Tricksters/Agents of change
28(2)
Animals and Plants/Energy, transformation and kinship
30(2)
Body and Soul/Spirit and the afterlife
32(2)
Marriage and Kinship/Myths of the social order
34(1)
A WORLD MYTHOGRAPHY
35(273)
Egypt
36(32)
Professor John Baines
Dr Geraldine Pinch
The First Gods/Order from chaos
38(2)
The Ennead/The Nine Gods of Heliopolis
40(2)
Osiris/Upholder of order
42(1)
Isis/The devoted widow
43(1)
Horus and Seth/The struggle for the throne of Osiris
44(2)
Solar Myths/The eternal cycle of renewal
46(2)
Myth and Magic/The secret name of Ra; the Book of Thoth
48(1)
Snakes and Scorpions/Agents of chaos
49(1)
Powerful Goddesses/Neith, Sekhmet and Bastet
50(1)
Other Goddesses/Anat, Astarte, Hathor and Taweret
51(1)
Kings and the Gods/The sacred role of the pharaohs
52(2)
Priest-Magicians/Setna Khaemwese and Imhotep
54(1)
Life After Death/The soul in the underworld
55(1)
The Middle East
56(2)
Professor Reverend Canon J.R. Porter
Sumer and Babylon/Myths from the first cities
58(2)
Gilgamesh/The great epic of mortality
60(1)
Ishtar and Tammuz/The descent to the underworld
61(1)
Myths of Creation/Enki, Marduk and the divine decrees
62(1)
The Flood/Destruction and survival
63(1)
Ugaritic Myths/Kingship and succession
64(2)
Myths of the Hittites/Dragons and lost gods
66(1)
Persian Myths/Ahura Mazdah and the battle between good and evil
67(1)
India
68(20)
Dr John Brockington
Origins of the World/Sacrifice and conflict
70(2)
Indra/Warrior and king of the gods
72(2)
Brahma/The creator god
74(1)
Vishnu/Protector of the world
75(1)
Vishnu's Incarnations/The avatars
76(1)
Rama/The righteous avatar
77(1)
Krishna, the Adorable/The eighth avatar of Vishnu
78(2)
Shiva/The erotic and ascetic combined
80(2)
Devi/The manifold goddess
82(2)
Shiva's Family Circle/Shiva, Parvati, Skanda, Ganesha
84(1)
Jain Myth/A response to Hinduism
85(1)
The Enlightened One/Myths of Buddhism
86(2)
China
88(22)
Dr John Chinnery
Order Out Of Chaos/Pan Gu and Hun Dun
90(1)
Nu Gua and Fu Xi/The creation of humanity; flood myths
91(3)
Sun, Moon and Stars/Myths of the heavenly bodies
94(2)
Chinese Buddhism/Amitabha and Guanyin
96(2)
Taoist Myth/Gods and Immortals
98(3)
Myths of the Family/Filial piety and household gods
101(1)
Tibet and Mongolia
102(2)
Dr Martin Boord
Myths of Origin/Radiant, Black Misery and the karmic wind
104(1)
Myths of the Ancient Kings/The sky-descended rulers
105(1)
King Gesar/The warrior-king
106(1)
The Taming of the Gods/The impact of Buddhism
107(1)
Mongolian Shamanism/Encounters with the spirit realm
108(2)
Japan
110(14)
Dr C. Scott Littleton
Izanagi and Izanami/The primal couple
112(3)
Amaterasu and Susano/The contest of the sibling deities
115(1)
The Divine Crisis/Amaterasu's removal of the sun
116(2)
The Izumo Cycle/Susano's descent to earth; Okuninushi and the White Rabbit
118(3)
Gods, Heroes and Demons/Inari, Hachiman and the Oni
121(1)
The Realm of Saga/The exploits of Jimmu-tenno and Yamato-takeru
122(1)
Buddhist Myths/Three figures of mercy
123(1)
Greece
124(42)
Dr Simon Goldhill
Myth and Society/Public and private observances
126(2)
The Birth of the Gods/The rise of the Olympians
128(2)
The Origins of Humanity/Prometheus, Pandora, Deucalion, Pyrrha
130(2)
Zeus/King of the gods
132(1)
The Couplings of Zeus/Human and divine consorts
133(3)
Athene/The virgin goddess
136(1)
Poseidon/God of the sea
137(1)
Apollo/The brilliant god
138(1)
Artemis/Chaste goddess of the hunt
139(1)
Dionysos/God of wine and altered states
140(2)
Goddesses of the Soil/Demeter and Persephone
142(1)
Ares and Aphrodite/War, love and sex
143(1)
Home, Hearth and Fire/Hermes, Hestia and Hephaistos
144(2)
The Underworld/The kingdom of Hades
146(1)
Heroes and Monsters/The world's prodigies
147(1)
Herakles/The archetypal hero
148(2)
Theseus/Athenian hero and statesman
150(2)
Jason/The great adventurer
152(2)
The Argonauts/Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece
154(2)
Perseus/Slayer of Medusa
156(1)
The Trojan War/Homer's warrior epic
157(3)
After Troy/Odysseus and Agamemnon
160(2)
Transgressors/Breakers of the natural order
162(2)
Centaurs and Amazons/Races of fabulous beings
164(1)
Transformations/Myths of metamorphosis; Orpheus
165(1)
Rome
166(10)
Dr Mary Beard
Gods and Goddesses/The borrowed pantheon; household gods and civic virtues
168(4)
The Foundation of Rome/The destiny of Aeneas the Trojan
172(2)
Romulus and the Kings of Rome/The she-wolf and the myths of the past
174(2)
The Celtic World
176(14)
Dr John MacInnes
The Celtic Pantheon/A miscellany of gods
178(2)
Myths and Gods of Ireland/The Mythological Cycle
180(2)
The Hero of Ulster/Tales of Cu Chulainn
182(2)
Finn and His Warriors/The Fenian myths
184(2)
Goddesses/Motherhood, war and sovereignty
186(1)
Otherworldly Voyages/Conla, Mael Duin and Bran
187(1)
Stories of Wales/The ``Mabinogion''
188(1)
The Arthurian Legend/Arthur and his knights
189(1)
Northern Europe
190(16)
Dr Hilda Ellis Davidson
Early and Lost Gods/Fragments of Northern myth
192(1)
Cosmology in the Viking Age/The World Tree and its realms
193(2)
Loki and Ragnarok/The trickster, the wolf and the last great battle
195(1)
Odin/Ruler of Asgard
196(2)
Thor/The thunder god
198(2)
Freyr and the Vanir/Gods of sky, land and water
200(2)
Goddesses and Female Spirits/Freyja, Golden Apples, Valkyries and Norns
202(2)
The Dragon-Slayers/Beowulf and Sigurd
204(2)
Central and Eastern Europe
206(8)
Dr Faith Wigzell
The Other World/The thrice tenth kingdom
208(1)
The Baba Iaga and the Amazons/Female creatures of folk tale
209(1)
Ancestors and Hearth Spirits/Ivan the Fool and the domovoi
210(1)
Spirit Souls of the Departed/The rusalka, vila and other visitors
211(1)
Malevolent Spirits/Forest creatures, werewolves and vampires
212(2)
The Arctic Regions
214(6)
Dr David Riches
Dr Piers Vitebsky
Myths of the Inuit/Spirits of sea and sky
216(2)
Myths of Siberia/Animals, trees and shamans
218(2)
North America
220(14)
Dr Guy Cooper
Creation Myths/Great Spirit and Earth Diver
222(1)
The Origins of Humanity/The first human ancestors
223(1)
Gods and Heroes/Shapers and controllers of the world
224(2)
Shamans/Vision quests and guardian spirits
226(1)
Tricksters/Entertainers and mischief-makers
227(1)
Navajo Myths/Curing ceremonies and Coyote tales
228(2)
Myths of the Plains/Wakan Tanka and the sacred pipe
230(2)
Animal Myths/The relatives of humankind
232(2)
Mesoamerica
234(16)
Dr Nicholas J. Saunders
The Old Gods/The jaguar and the fire deity
236(1)
Creations and Cataclysms/The myth of the suns
237(2)
Tezcatlipoca/Lord of the Smoking Mirror
239(1)
Quetzalcoatl/The feathered serpent
240(2)
Huitzilopochtli/God of sun and war
242(2)
Tlaloc and Fertility/Aztec gods of rain and corn
244(2)
Gods of the Sacred Calendar/Sacred and solar cycles
246(2)
Gods of the Maya/The three-layered cosmos
248(2)
South America
250(14)
Dr Nicholas J. Saunders
Ancient Religions/Spirits, sacrifice and sacred journeys
252(1)
Myths of the Andes/The Incas and their predecessors
253(3)
The Inca Pantheon/Viracocha, Inti, Mama Kilya - and Ilyap'a
256(2)
The Sacred Skies/Animal constellations and sacred lines
258(2)
Spirit Worlds/The universe transformed
260(2)
The Ancestral Forest/Origin myths of the forest peoples
262(2)
Africa
264(14)
Dr Roy Willis
Origins of the World/Africa's creation myths
266(2)
The Upside-Down World/The realms of the living and the dead
268(1)
Death and Sex/The loss of immortality
269(1)
Myths of Kingship/The divine lineage of earthly rulers
270(3)
Tower Myths/The folly of human presumptuousness
273(1)
Eshu The Trickster/Cunning mediator between heaven and earth
274(2)
Animal Myths/Tricksters, inventors and transformers
276(2)
Australia
278(10)
Professor Robert Layton
The Big Flood/Myths of origin
280(2)
Death and Mourning/The origins of mortality
282(2)
The Origins of Marriage/Eaglehawk and Crow; Wodoy and Djunggun
284(1)
Tricksters/The ancestral order disrupted
285(1)
Shaping the Landscape/Myths of ancestral wanderings
286(2)
Oceania
288(12)
Dr James Weiner
Myths of Origin/Creator gods and culture heroes
290(2)
Myths of the Sky/Human and heavenly realms
292(1)
Food and fertility/Sex and the origins of horticulture
293(1)
Myths of the Maori/Rangi, Papa and the Polynesian pantheon
294(2)
Ku and Lono/The Hawaiian ritual cycle
296(1)
Maui/Oceania's trickster hero
297(1)
Cargo Cults/The European impact
298(1)
Myth and Magic/Living myth on Goodenough Island
299(1)
Southeast Asia
300(8)
Dr Ing-Britt Trankell
Dr Roy Willis
Myths of Origin/The creation of the world and humanity
302(2)
Humans, Gods and Spirits/The origins of civilization
304(2)
Encounters With Magic/Barbarians, demons and witches
306(1)
The Giver of Life/Myths about rice
307(1)
Further Reading 308(2)
Picture Credits 310(1)
Index 311


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