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Mythology: The Illustrated Anthology of World Myth and Storytelling
by C. Scott Littleton
Search Amazon for other books by or about C. Scott Littleton.

Rating:
Reviewed by: Rose Glavas

"Myths are magic mirrors in which we can see the reflection of not just our own deepest hopes and fears but also those of people from the earliest times. Lying at the roots of much of our literature, art, and religion, myths represent the heritage of the world's imagination."

This statement is taken from the first chapter – "Meaning of Myth" – and summarises this complex topic well.

The author, C. Scott Littleton is a Professor of Anthropology at Occidental College, Los Angeles. He has taught at Waseda University and the University of Tokyo, and has twice been awarded the prestigious Fulbright Research Fellowship. Previous publications include the Sacred East – I haven't seen a copy of this yet but if Mythology is an indicator of the type of work he does, then it is likely to be well worth investigating.

A reference book of this quality is an excellent addition to your reference library... especially if you are the type of person who likes to understand other's at a deep level. Whatever your subject, students of many different topics would also find this an indispensable title to have in your library. With more than 700 colour photographs and nearly 700 pages of information-packed pages to look through, Mythology is an excellent value reference book to add to your collection.

Even though there is a lot of information presented in this book, it is set out in a way that makes it easy to find the information you are looking for. The chapters are set out in the following structure:
1. Meaning of Myth
2. Cradles of Civilisation
--Egypt's Divine Kingship
--Ancient Mesopotamia
--The Glories of Greece and Rome
3. The Celtic, Viking and Germanic Worlds
--Celtic Deities and Heroes
--Sagas of the Norsemen
4. The Eastern World
--India's Eternal Cycle
--China's Heavenly Mandate
--Japan's Realm of the Rising Sun
5. The New World
--North America's Mother Earth, Father Sky
--Mesoamerica's Gods of Sun and Sacrifice
--South American Kingdoms of Gold
6. The Southern World
--The Ancestral Voices of Africa
--The Unseen Worlds of Australiasia

If you are not sure which section your myth belongs to you can always use the index, which is very well set out too.

I would recommend Mythology as a reference book for artists, writers, those of your involved in religious studies and/or readers who just have a curious mind!


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