Thematic Guide to World Mythology (Google eBook)

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004 - Social Science - 244 pages
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All around the world, myths address questions that humans have always posed about their origins, their environments, their ultimate destinies, and the meanings of their lives. This book examines 30 common motifs that thread their way through mythological tales across history and around the globe. The themes are presented in alphabetical order, moving from The Afterlife and Animals in Myth to The Underworld, World Tree, and Ymir Motif. Each thematic section defines and discusses a single recognizable motif, compares a number of different mythological traditions, and traces the repeated occurrences of one of these patterns through several different categories of narratives.

The discussion of The Afterlife, for example, examines the theme's earliest known occurrences in ancient Mesopotamia and compares them with those in Greek, Aztec, Norse, and other ancient cultures, as well as with contemporary views from Innuit and Polynesian cultures. A glossary provides concise definitions of recurring terms. A list of suggested readings on these topics will further aid students who desire to deepen their knowledge of world mythology.

  

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Thematic guide to world mythology

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Covering all the themes of multicultural mythologies in one volume would seem a daunting task, but Stookey (English, Univ. of Nevada, Reno) does make a valiant attempt. She tackles themes traditional ... Read full review

Contents

The Afterlife
1
Animals in Myth
7
The Apocalypse
17
Changing Ages
25
The Cosmic Egg
33
Creation Myths
39
Culture Heroes
45
Deluge Motif
53
Messengers
129
Monsters
133
Primal Parents
141
The Quest
147
The Rainbow
155
Sacred Mountains
161
Separation of Earth and Sky
167
Theomachy
173

Descent Motif
63
EarthDiver Motif
71
Emergence Motif
77
Etiological Myths
83
The Fall
91
Fertility Myths
97
Gods
103
Goddesses
113
Guardians of the Underworld
123
Tricksters
179
Twins Pairs and Doubles
189
The Underworld
197
The Word Tree
205
Ymir Motiff
213
Glossary
219
Additional Readings
225
Index
229
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 2 - ... of the dead is separated from the world of the living by a body of water a river, lake, or sea.

About the author (2004)

LORENA STOOKEY is Assistant Professor in the English Department at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she teaches course in mythology, poetry, and literature. She is the author of Louise Erdrich: A Critical Companion (Greenwood 1999).

Bibliographic information