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Religion, Myth and Folklore in the World's Epics

Author : ,

ISBN10 : 3110874555

Publisher : Walter de Gruyter

Number of Pages : 597

Category : Religion

Viewed : 525


Book Summary: The series Religion and Society (RS) contributes to the exploration of religions as social systems – both in Western and non-Western societies; in particular, it examines religions in their differentiation from, and intersection with, other cultural systems, such as art, economy, law and politics. Due attention is given to paradigmatic case or comparative studies that exhibit a clear theoretical orientation with the empirical and historical data of religion and such aspects of religion as ritual, the religious imagination, constructions of tradition, iconography, or media. In addition, the formation of religious communities, their construction of identity, and their relation to society and the wider public are key issues of this series.


Author : Elias Lönnrot

ISBN10 : 0241403073

Publisher : Penguin UK

Number of Pages : 656

Category : Poetry

Viewed : 1875


Book Summary: 'One of the great mythic poems of Europe' The New York Times Sharing its title with the poetic name for Finland - 'the land of heroes' - Kalevala is the soaring epic poem of its people, a work rich in magic and myth which tells the story of a nation through the ages from the dawn of creation. Sung by rural Finns since prehistoric times, and formally compiled by Elias Lönnrot in the nineteenth century, it is a landmark of Finnish culture and played a vital role in galvanizing its national identity in the decades leading to independence. Its themes, however, reach beyond borders and search the heart of human existence. Translated with an Introduction by Eino Friberg

The Silver Bough

Author : Amy Dyer

ISBN10 : 1839522526

Publisher : eBook Partnership

Number of Pages : 416

Category : Fiction

Viewed : 1833


Book Summary: The Silver Bough is a journey into a forgotten Otherworld of hollow hills, glass mountains and fabled islands. With over twenty myths and folktales arising from the rich traditions of the world, from ancient Egypt and Iceland, to New Zealand, Siberia and the Celtic lands, among the stories are Gwyn and the Lady of the Lake, The Shipwrecked Sailor, Galahad’s Quest for the Grail and Apples of Immortality. Each of the five accompanying sections is woven from the threads of each tale. Rich in symbolism, shamanic traditions and esoteric wisdom, The Silver Bough traverses ancient cosmologies, from the kingdom of the dead and the starlit realm, to the domain of the flood and the land of the hidden folk.

The Temporal Structure of Estonian Runic Songs

Author : Jaan Ross,Ilse Lehiste

ISBN10 : 3110885999

Publisher : Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG

Number of Pages : 214

Category : Language Arts & Disciplines

Viewed : 567


Book Summary: The Kalevala, or runic, songs is a tradition at least a few thousand years old. It was shared by Finns, Estonians and other speakers of smaller Baltic-Finnic languages inhabiting the eastern side of the Baltic Sea in North-Eastern Europe. This book offers a combined perspective of a musicologist and a linguist to the structure of the runic songs. Archival recordings of the songs originating mostly from the first half of the 20th century were used as source material for this study. The results reveal a complex interaction between three different processes participating in singing: speech prosody, metre, and musical rhythm.


Author : Abolqasem Ferdowsi

ISBN10 : 1101993235

Publisher : Penguin

Number of Pages : 1040

Category : Poetry

Viewed : 1388


Book Summary: The definitive translation by Dick Davis of the great national epic of Iran—now newly revised and expanded to be the most complete English-language edition A Penguin Classic Dick Davis—“our pre-eminent translator from the Persian” (The Washington Post)—has revised and expanded his acclaimed translation of Ferdowsi’s masterpiece, adding more than 100 pages of newly translated text. Davis’s elegant combination of prose and verse allows the poetry of the Shahnameh to sing its own tales directly, interspersed sparingly with clearly marked explanations to ease along modern readers. Originally composed for the Samanid princes of Khorasan in the tenth century, the Shahnameh is among the greatest works of world literature. This prodigious narrative tells the story of pre-Islamic Persia, from the mythical creation of the world and the dawn of Persian civilization through the seventh-century Arab conquest. The stories of the Shahnameh are deeply embedded in Persian culture and beyond, as attested by their appearance in such works as The Kite Runner and the love poems of Rumi and Hafez. For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

The Scottish Fairy Book

Author : Elizabeth Wilson Grierson

ISBN10 : 1465613331

Publisher : Library of Alexandria

Number of Pages : 382

Category : Fairy tales

Viewed : 1244


Book Summary: There are, roughly speaking, two distinct types of Scottish Fairy Tales. There are what may be called "Celtic Stories," which were handed down for centuries by word of mouth by professional story-tellers, who went about from clachan to clachan in the "Highlands and Islands," earning a night's shelter by giving a night's entertainment, and which have now been collected and classified for us by Campbell of Isla and others. These stories, which are also common to the North of Ireland, are wild and fantastic, and very often somewhat monotonous, and their themes are strangely alike. They almost always tell of some hero or heroine who sets out on some dangerous quest, and who is met by giants, generally three in number, who appear one after the other; with whom they hold quaint dialogues, and whom eventually they slay. Most of them are fairly long, and although they have a peculiar fascination of their own, they are quite distinct from the ordinary Fairy Tale. These latter, in Scotland, have also a character of their own, for there is no country where the existence of Spirits and Goblins has been so implicitly believed in up to a comparatively recent date. As a proof of this we can go to Hogg's tale of "The Wool-gatherer," and see how the countryman, Barnaby, voices the belief of his day. "Ye had need to tak care how ye dispute the existence of fairies, brownies, and apparitions! Ye may as weel dispute the Gospel of Saint Matthew." Perhaps it was the bleak and stern character of their climate, and the austerity of their religious beliefs which made our Scottish forefathers think of the spirits in whom they so firmly believed, as being, for the most part, mischievous and malevolent. Their Bogies, their Witches, their Kelpies, even their Fairy Queen herself, were supposed to be in league with the Evil One, and to be compelled, as Thomas of Ercildoune was near finding out to his cost, to pay a "Tiend to Hell" every seven years; so it was not to be wondered at, that these uncanny beings were dreaded and feared. But along with this dark and gloomy view, we find touches of delicate playfulness and brightness. The Fairy Queen might be in league with Satan, but her subjects were not all bound by the same law, and many charming tales are told of the "sith" or silent folk, who were always spoken of with respect, in case they might be within earshot, who made their dwellings under some rocky knowe, and who came out and danced on the dewy sward at midnight.

The Imagination of Plants

Author : Matthew Hall

ISBN10 : 1438474393

Publisher : SUNY Press

Number of Pages : 330

Category : Religion

Viewed : 563


Book Summary: Examines the role of plants in botanical mythology, from Aboriginal Australia to Zoroastrian Persia. Plants have a remarkable mythology dating back thousands of years. From the ancient Greeks to contemporary Indigenous cultures, human beings have told colorful and enriching stories that have presented plants as sensitive, communicative, and intelligent. This book explores the myriad of plant tales from around the world and the groundbreaking ideas that underpin them. Amid the key themes of sentience and kinship, it connects the anemone to the meaning of human life, tree hugging to the sacred basil of India, and plant intelligence with the Finnish epic The Kalevala. Bringing together commentary, original source material, and colorful illustrations, Matthew Hall challenges our perspective on these myths, the plants they feature, and the human beings that narrate them. Matthew Hall is Associate Director of Research Services at Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand. He is the author of Plants as Persons: A Philosophical Botany, also published by SUNY Press.


Author : Anon E. Mouse

ISBN10 : 1907256466

Publisher : Abela Publishing Ltd

Number of Pages : 194

Category : Fiction

Viewed : 1185


Book Summary: THE EVENTS described in the saga of Gisli the Soursop reach from about the year AD930 to AD980. In a time when the law of Iceland had not yet been established and when men were ruled by their conscience. Gisli, a champion of Iceland, was outlawed for murder by the Chieftain Bork at the Thorsness Thing (council). But besides his sentence he was doomed, even before his birth. He and his kin were under a curse, for they had kept the broken bits of "Graysteel," the thrall's good sword, which came with a withering spaedom (spell). So under sentence and under a curse Gisli went on the run. For fourteen years with the help of family, friends and those who really knew the truth, he managed to evade Bork's men and bounty hunters alike. As with many champions through the ages, Gisli was also a true poet and his verses have genuine thought and feeling lying underneath, as you will frequently find in this volume. To the end Gisli fought hard, taking with him eight of the fourteen who eventually cornered him one snowy night on the crags. It has been said by many that there never was a more famous and honourable defence made by one man in times of which the truth is known. Even as death approached Gisli managed to compose and sing one final verse to his wife who stood nearby. It has also been said that this is one of the finest, if it be not the very finest, of the lesser Sagas. When translating it is difficult to grasp the full spirit of the story, but here it has been accomplished with the detail of scenery and costume thoroughly mastered. 33% of the net profit will be donated to charities, schools and special causes.

Introduction to Nordic Cultures

Author : Annika Lindskog,Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen

ISBN10 : 1787353990

Publisher : UCL Press

Number of Pages : 244

Category : Social Science

Viewed : 1109


Book Summary: Introduction to Nordic Cultures is an innovative, interdisciplinary introduction to Nordic history, cultures and societies from medieval times to today. The textbook spans the whole Nordic region, covering historical periods from the Viking Age to modern society, and engages with a range of subjects: from runic inscriptions on iron rings and stone monuments, via eighteenth-century scientists, Ibsen’s dramas and turn-of-the-century travel, to twentieth-century health films and the welfare state, nature ideology, Greenlandic literature, Nordic Noir, migration, ‘new’ Scandinavians, and stereotypes of the Nordic. The chapters provide fundamental knowledge and insights into the history and structures of Nordic societies, while constructing critical analyses around specific case studies that help build an informed picture of how societies grow and of the interplay between history, politics, culture, geography and people. Introduction to Nordic Cultures is a tool for understanding issues related to the Nordic region as a whole, offering the reader engaging and stimulating ways of discovering a variety of cultural expressions, historical developments and local preoccupations. The textbook is a valuable resource for undergraduate students of Scandinavian and Nordic studies, as well as students of European history, culture, literature and linguistics.