Did King Arthur really exist? The oldest manuscripts refer to him as a "Lord of Battle" who emerged soon after the Roman Empire crumbled. But what would be the origin of all these stories that turned a war leader into a king, an emperor, a legend... even a god? What if Arthur was really a deity similar to Zeus and Odin, with his roots in the rich Celtic mythology of the British Isles? A study of Arthurian myths reveals Britain's most legendary king as an ancient Sun God, known by many different names in the myths of Wales and Ireland. Even his Knights of the Round Table, and his sister Morgan le Fay can all be identified as ancient Gods and Goddesses of earth, sea and sky. Their survival in Arthurian legend stands as a shining testament of a story far more ancient, but by no means lost to us...
The African continent is home to a fascinating and strong tradition of myth, due in part to the long history of human habitation in Africa; the diversity of its geography, flora, and fauna; and the variety of its cultural beliefs. African Mythology A to Z is a readable reference to the deities, places, events, animals, beliefs, and other subjects that appear in the myths of various African peoples. For the first time, this edition features full-color photographs and illustrations.Coverage includes:
In a world thought to have been created--and nearly destroyed--by the primordial gods Izanagi and Izanami, mythic heroes battled ferocious dragons and giant spiders, while ordinary bamboo cutters and farmers made unexpected contact with the supernatural. Japanese Mythology A to Z, Second Edition is a valuable, colorful reference for anyone with an interest in mythology or Japanese culture.Coverage includes:
The debate surrounding the Christian aspects of C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter has revealed not only the prominence of religious themes in fantasy fiction, but also readers' concerns over portrayals of religion in fantasy. Yet while analyses of these works fill many volumes, other fantasy series have received much less attention. This critical study explores the fantastic religions and religious themes in American and Canadian works by Stephen R. Donaldson (Chronicles of Thomas Covenant), Guy Gavriel Kay (Fionavar Tapestry), Celia S. Friedman (Coldfire Trilogy), and Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn). References to biblical tradition and Christian teachings reveal these writers' overall approach to Christianity and the relationship between Christianity and the fantasy genre.
From the great Inca, Maya, and Aztec empires to the lesser-known cultures, such as the Olmec people, this revised edition of South and Meso-American Mythology A to Z is a comprehensive reference to the deities, legendary heroes and heroines, objects, animals, and places that make up the mythic lore of the peoples of Meso-America and South America. Learn how these peoples explained Earth's creation and which themes were common throughout the region. This new edition is now in full color for the first time.
The heavens and hells of the world's religions and the "far, far away" legends cannot be seen or visited, but they remain an integral part of culture and history. This encyclopedia catalogs more than 800 imaginary and mythological lands from all over the world, including fairy realms, settings from Arthurian lore, and kingdoms found in fairy tales and political and philosophical works, including Sir Thomas More's Utopia and Plato's Atlantis. From al A'raf, the limbo of Islam, to Zulal, one of the many streams that run through Paradise, entries give the literary origin of each site, explain its cultural context, and describe its topical features, listing variations on names when applicable. Cross-referenced for ease of use, this compendium will prove useful to scholars, researchers or anyone wishing to tour the unseen landscapes of myth and legend.
Folk Heroes and Heroines around the World 2nd Edition
This comprehensive collection of folk hero tales builds on the success of the first edition by providing readers with expanded contextual information on story characters from the Americas to Zanzibar. • Supplies entries on folk tale characters worldwide that identify related heroes and heroines and provide additional contextual information • Features a geographical organization that enables readers to research a specific region's folk characters • Provides an alphabetical index as well as an index of heroic character types to facilitate cross-cultural and historical comparisons • Includes sidebars with passages from the folk tales, popular culture, and other items of interest
Encyclopedia of Beasts and Monsters in Myth Legend and Folklore
“Here there be dragons”—this notation was often made on ancient maps to indicate the edges of the known world and what lay beyond. Heroes who ventured there were only as great as the beasts they encountered. This encyclopedia contains more than 2,200 monsters of myth and folklore, who both made life difficult for humans and fought by their side. Entries describe the appearance, behavior, and cultural origin of mythic creatures well-known and obscure, collected from traditions around the world.
The spiritual tenets of Wicca are steeped in an inherent reverence for nature and stewardship of the environment. In fact, Wiccan practitioners have been living—and cooking—green since ancient times. In the decade since the first edition of the The Wicca Cookbook cast its spell over culinary history buffs and adventurous cooks everywhere, many readers have asked “What makes a cookbook Wiccan?” The tenth anniversary edition answers that question and more, bringing fresh dimensions to this heady witches’ brew with new rituals and delicious recipes. More than 100 dishes, many historically authentic, all meticulously researched, emphasize the use of organic ingredients at their seasonal peak and celebrate all the major pagan holidays: enjoy Stuffed Nasturtiums, Goddess Athena Pitas, and Deva Saffron Bread for the Spring Equinox; serve Elder Flower Chicken, Lilith’s Lily Fair Soup, and Wild Woman White Sage Jelly during the Summer Solstice; and Cupid’s Cold Slaw, Imbolc Moon Cookies, and Snowflake Cakes make delightful Candlemas treats. Nature-honoring dishes, eco-friendly living tips, and an inclusive message of spirituality make The Wicca Cookbook a unique contribution to the culinary world and a magickal tribute to the pagan spirit.