The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology: An A-Z Guide to the Myths and Legends of the Ancient World

by Arthur Cotterell

Other authorsRachael Cotterell
Hardcover, 2003



Local notes

290 Cot




Hermes House (2003), Hardcover


Contains more than one thousand alphabetically-arranged entries that describes the central mythical figures and myths of ancient worlds, including Greece, Rome, Egypt, Norse, Celtic, Persia, India, China, and the Far East.


Original publication date


Physical description

11.8 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member ruric
Comprehensive reference guide to world mythology with sections on classical world, norse lands, south and central asia, egypt and west asia, celtic world, east asia.

Entries are made in A-Z format within each main section with lots of full colour illustrations and photos.
LibraryThing member goosecap
This is a decent one-volume overview of Eurasian mythology. (Eg classical, Northern European, Middle Eastern (eg Zoroastrian), Asian). Mythology often involves a lot of f*ck*ng and fighting, which can drive you towards asceticism, much like aversion to the radio. However, sometimes you have to
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forgive the radio, and like God used for good the twelve sons of Jacob, born of their mothers’ nervousness and jealous passions…. I don’t know, sometimes you just have to live with it. Of course, I’d hesitate to call that story “mythology”, but it certainly has many of the objectionable aspects of mythology. As entertaining as it can be to listen to the anti-Platonists, perforce and unconsciously ascetics, screed on and on because they’ve forgotten what they object to in mythology, because they’re so entitled, the Manichees, who rejected the Jewish revelations, must have objected to the personal layer of the Bible, and you don’t have to be like them.

…. I’m not the first; Emmet Fox, for example, talks about this—God as a magnified man, and God as a force like electricity being the two poles along a continuum of thought, with right thought, if you like, being in the middle, not quite mythology and not quite philosophy….

But not hating both, and paying none of your debts.

…. For remember that you were pagans once, lest you boast.

…. And I suppose that there are ascetic mythologies.

…. And anyway I guess that the relationship between enjoyment and restraint can be complicated, and either side can be The Bad Guy.

N.B. I read this whole book cover to cover before cataloging it, like I do for all my books. I do plan on reading a plain dictionary at some point too, like Malcolm X, although now I’m only up to Ar or As. I realize that this is a little freaky, but I think even a normal freak might enjoy reading this book cover to cover, especially since many of the entries describe beings I’ve never heard of before, so I’d have never looked them up. Anyway, this book is a great first steps in mythology kind of thing.
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LibraryThing member LynnMPK
Ok as long as you’re not looking for West African myths or myths from the native peoples of North and South America.


(109 ratings; 4)
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