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Myths & Legends: An Illustrated Guide to Their Origins and Meanings

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Myths and legends are integral to all cultures. Their narratives, themes, and characters address and provide answers to eternal questions: where do we come from, how do we live, what do we believe in? This fascinating book explores the major myths and legends across the world, from Classical mythology to Eastern beliefs, and from American legends to African folk tales. The Myths and legends are integral to all cultures. Their narratives, themes, and characters address and provide answers to eternal questions: where do we come from, how do we live, what do we believe in? This fascinating book explores the major myths and legends across the world, from Classical mythology to Eastern beliefs, and from American legends to African folk tales. The stories are retold in compelling detail, while key aspects of each myth are considered: their meaning, purpose, and power; the main characters; and their importance to modern culture. Special illustrations and photographs combine with informative text, family trees, and a focus on themes such as creation, death, and the afterlife. From Gilgamesh to Quetzalcoatl, Heracles to Pan Gu, Myths and Legends provides a full and captivating reference guide to the worlds of mythical beings, mortal heroes, and immortal gods.


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Myths and legends are integral to all cultures. Their narratives, themes, and characters address and provide answers to eternal questions: where do we come from, how do we live, what do we believe in? This fascinating book explores the major myths and legends across the world, from Classical mythology to Eastern beliefs, and from American legends to African folk tales. The Myths and legends are integral to all cultures. Their narratives, themes, and characters address and provide answers to eternal questions: where do we come from, how do we live, what do we believe in? This fascinating book explores the major myths and legends across the world, from Classical mythology to Eastern beliefs, and from American legends to African folk tales. The stories are retold in compelling detail, while key aspects of each myth are considered: their meaning, purpose, and power; the main characters; and their importance to modern culture. Special illustrations and photographs combine with informative text, family trees, and a focus on themes such as creation, death, and the afterlife. From Gilgamesh to Quetzalcoatl, Heracles to Pan Gu, Myths and Legends provides a full and captivating reference guide to the worlds of mythical beings, mortal heroes, and immortal gods.

30 review for Myths & Legends: An Illustrated Guide to Their Origins and Meanings

  1. 4 out of 5

    Horace Derwent

    all i could find was the french version, it's good and a chunkster -je t'aime! -c'est vrai? all i could find was the french version, it's good and a chunkster -je t'aime! -c'est vrai?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}

    This a visually stunning masterpiece with so many vibrant paintings (sometimes covering two pages), photos of artefacts, pretty illustrations and a wonderful gold and black colour scheme. Myths and Legends is no encyclopaedia but it does cover the general myths of Europe, West and Central Asia, South and East Asia, Africa, the Americas including the Caribbean and Oceania with at least 20 pages on each. Though a third of the book is about Europe there is enough on other parts of the world to give This a visually stunning masterpiece with so many vibrant paintings (sometimes covering two pages), photos of artefacts, pretty illustrations and a wonderful gold and black colour scheme. Myths and Legends is no encyclopaedia but it does cover the general myths of Europe, West and Central Asia, South and East Asia, Africa, the Americas including the Caribbean and Oceania with at least 20 pages on each. Though a third of the book is about Europe there is enough on other parts of the world to give you a starting point to work from if you are interested in finding out more. The myths range from Beowulf to Oedipus to Shiva to the myths of the Navajo (a tribe of Native Americans), the Maori, the Maya, the Taino (the first settlers of the Caribbean) and so many more. My only grievance is that the titles and artists of the stunning artwork showcased here are not always named. Very well constructed and easy to read. Suitable for all ages.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katie Daniels

    This is a good introduction to myths around the world, especially if you want a comprehensive overview of all mythology, rather than looking at just one in particular.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anja von "books and phobia"

    Als ich dieses Buch in den Händen hielt, fragte ich mich zuerst einmal selbst, welche Mythen und Sagen ich überhaupt kenne. Das Ergebnis davon war übersichtlich, denn neben Siegfried, Baba Jaga und den griechischen Mythen, fielen mir partout nicht mehr ein. Da war mir klar, das ich wohl in dieser Richtung noch eine Menge aufzuholen hatte. Es war somit klar, das dieses Buch ganz schnell begonnen wurde. Dies lag aber auch Aussehen, denn der blaue Hintergrund in Verbindung mit den kupfernen Buchst Als ich dieses Buch in den Händen hielt, fragte ich mich zuerst einmal selbst, welche Mythen und Sagen ich überhaupt kenne. Das Ergebnis davon war übersichtlich, denn neben Siegfried, Baba Jaga und den griechischen Mythen, fielen mir partout nicht mehr ein. Da war mir klar, das ich wohl in dieser Richtung noch eine Menge aufzuholen hatte. Es war somit klar, das dieses Buch ganz schnell begonnen wurde. Dies lag aber auch Aussehen, denn der blaue Hintergrund in Verbindung mit den kupfernen Buchstaben und Darstellungen lockte mich förmlich an. Ganz besonders, wenn dann auch noch ein wenig Licht darauf fiel. Doch war der Inhalt genauso schön? 91zIrxx+ILL818cDRuAf7L Natürlich war innen nicht alles in Kupfer gehalten, aber deswegen nicht weniger ansehnlich. Ab der ersten Seite arbeitete man mit allerhand Illustrationen, welche später durch Gegenstände, Gemälde oder Fotografien ergänzt wurden. Für die Optik war somit ausreichend gesorgt, zumal wieder alles in gestochen scharfen Bilder abgedruckt wurde. Hier und da noch ein Rahmen oder ein Ornament und schon hatte das Auge eine Menge Dinge zu bestaunen. Doch nicht nur optisch konnte das Buch überzeugen, sondern auch inhaltlich. Dies begann bereits bei der Einführung, welche auf relevante Dinge hinwies und meine Neugier auf bestimmte Kulturkreise nur noch vergrößerte. Dann ging es aber los. Zuerst ging es nach Europa, was man in die europäische Antike, Nordeuropa, Westeuropa, sowie Mittel- und Südeuropa unterteilte. Diese Vorgangsweise wiederholte sich auch bei den anderen Kontinenten, so das nie ein komplettes Gebiet beleuchtet wurde, sondern viele verschiedene. 91CR2qg3t3L81GfQ1Be8SL Auch wenn ich mich sehr auf die Mythen und Sagen aus Asien, Afrika und Australien freute, nahm ich mir natürlich auch nochmal Europa vor. Durch die Aufteilung in verschiedene Gebiete lernte selbst da noch einiges neues. Gerade die osteuropäischen Mythen überraschten mich sehr, da ich nur Baba Jaga von Ihnen kannte. Das Highlight waren aber trotzdem die 3 oben genannten Kontinente da ich hier wirklich auf Neuland stieß. Egal ob Indien, Ägypten oder die Karibik, dieses Buch verschaffte mir einen kolossalen Einblick in die wichtigsten und bekanntesten Mythen dieser Kreise. Was für viele nach viel Text aussehen dürfte, war allerdings wirklich flott zu lesen, da viele Beschreibungen zu Bildern oder Illustrationen waren. Ebenfalls gab es Seiten wo man Familienstammbäume finden konnte und so sah, wer eigentlich von wem erschaffen wurde. Dabei war der Schreibstil sehr sachlich, weswegen ich nicht alles mit einmal lesen konnte, sondern mir Abschnitt für Abschnitt vornahm. In Verbindung mit den Bildern war es aber trotzdem sehr angenehm. Wer sich einmal für die Mythen & Sagen aus unserer Welt fasziniert, der dürfte in diesem Band eine wunderschöne Zusammenfassung finden. Ich fand es zwar sehr schade das Gebiete wie die Antarktis oder Russland fehlten, konnte aber damit leben, da ich ansonsten wirklich unglaublich tolle Informationen erhielt. Dafür sorgte nicht nur die tolle Aufteilung nach Kontinenten und ihren Abschnitten, sondern auch die vermehrte Anwendung von Illustrationen oder Bildern. Mittlerweile habe ich schon öfter zum Buch gegriffen, um einige Stellen nachzulesen. Denn ganz ehrlich fürs Einmal-Lesen ist dieses Buch wirklich zu schade.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Angeli

    Asked my friend to get me this book (together with my Percy Jackson collection) during the Big Bad Wolf sale in the Philippines. I just had to have it. Most of the myths and legends that I have read were all Greek and Roman. I loved that this, too, covered Norse Mythology. I'm still getting the hang of Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, so this one is a nice reference book for that. Though I have been pretty much distracted by the contemporary/modern/young adult/coming of age lits I've been reading, Asked my friend to get me this book (together with my Percy Jackson collection) during the Big Bad Wolf sale in the Philippines. I just had to have it. Most of the myths and legends that I have read were all Greek and Roman. I loved that this, too, covered Norse Mythology. I'm still getting the hang of Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, so this one is a nice reference book for that. Though I have been pretty much distracted by the contemporary/modern/young adult/coming of age lits I've been reading, I hope I could get back to reading this.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Annerie RooibosReads

    This was very very interesting. If you love learning about mythology, this is the book for you. It is a chunker though...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Asounani

    Tarde muchisimo en leerlo no porque fuera malo, más bien porque queria leerlo con tiempo, asi que solo lo lei en mis ratos libres en la oficina, es sumamente interesante aveces es tanta información que te abruma pero es muy muy interesante

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hung Bui

    In less than 157 pages, this book provides an impressive variety of folklore and myths around the world in an integrated and fascinating approach. Sadly, Southeast Asia, especially Vietnam's myths are not included in this book. But I would totally reread it anytime soon. In less than 157 pages, this book provides an impressive variety of folklore and myths around the world in an integrated and fascinating approach. Sadly, Southeast Asia, especially Vietnam's myths are not included in this book. But I would totally reread it anytime soon.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alexandru

    A beautiful book on mythologies in different cultures and parts of the world. Very nice graphical presentation. The more you read books on mythology you wonder why religions are not included in the same category. The same ideas - floods, angels, spirits and demons and resurrections. Probably because there is a difference between myths that are believed no more and those that are still believed by a lot of people.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dachi

    Al igual que Signos y Símbolos, Mitos y Leyendas es una guía ilustrada de excelente calidad, muy extensa pero básica. Se la puede considerar una muy buena base para conocer mitos y leyendas a lo largo y ancho del mundo. Al igual que Signos y Símbolos, Mitos y Leyendas es una guía ilustrada de excelente calidad, muy extensa pero básica. Se la puede considerar una muy buena base para conocer mitos y leyendas a lo largo y ancho del mundo.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cel R. White

    No está mal, aunque tiene uno que otro error. Sirve para darse una idea de mitologías con las que uno puede no estar muy familiarizado, como la africana o la de Oceanía. Además, uno puede ver a grandes rasgos las semejanzas entre varias mitologías, cosas como los mitos de la creación, los héroes culturales o que muchas veces hay gemelos teniendo aventuras... algo se traen con los gemelos.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    I am in love with this book, it is amazing! A lot of details, dynamic and interesting :) :) :)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    A nice visual book with some great background into varies Myths and Legends from around the globe.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    Beautifully illustrated and organized for any ancient history buff!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Fallon

    A fantastic cornicoupia of information that is very interesting to read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jacobs

    It's awesome!!! So far I've read a whole section on Greek mythology. But I wonder why the Romans copied the Greek religion? It's awesome!!! So far I've read a whole section on Greek mythology. But I wonder why the Romans copied the Greek religion?

  17. 5 out of 5

    Burak Taşcı

    Harikulade bir kitap. Kaliteli görsellerle desteklenmiş akıcı bir anlatımla dünya mitlerinde kıtalararası bir yolculuğa çıkıyoruz. Görselliğin de ön planda olduğu bir eser olduğu için yalnızca en olmazsa olmaz efsaneler üzerinde durulmuş diyebilirim. Fakat neyin ne kadar aktarıldığına değil nasıl ele alındığına bakacak olursak gerçekten şölen havasında bir kitap. Mitolojiye dair genel kültür edinmek, okumaları derinleştirmeden önce mitolojiye duyulan merak ve heyecanı artırmak gibi saiklerle oku Harikulade bir kitap. Kaliteli görsellerle desteklenmiş akıcı bir anlatımla dünya mitlerinde kıtalararası bir yolculuğa çıkıyoruz. Görselliğin de ön planda olduğu bir eser olduğu için yalnızca en olmazsa olmaz efsaneler üzerinde durulmuş diyebilirim. Fakat neyin ne kadar aktarıldığına değil nasıl ele alındığına bakacak olursak gerçekten şölen havasında bir kitap. Mitolojiye dair genel kültür edinmek, okumaları derinleştirmeden önce mitolojiye duyulan merak ve heyecanı artırmak gibi saiklerle okunabilir.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Mcquirk

    This is a great source of knowledge on the myths and legends which drove religious beliefs of ancient and pagan societies, before the monotheistic religions took over. The illustrations are fantastic.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Elkaza

    This is also another one of my books I keep around to help me when I need quick information about the Myths and their Gods. Its easy to read and love the pictuers in it. I know you can go on the net, but I still perfer to read about it!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    I love having some good entry level books to these sorts of topics in the library. "101" as I call them. And this is a very good book to familiarize yourself with various world mythologies and get a foothold before you get deeper into specific studies. I love having some good entry level books to these sorts of topics in the library. "101" as I call them. And this is a very good book to familiarize yourself with various world mythologies and get a foothold before you get deeper into specific studies.

  21. 5 out of 5

    MJ

    This is a must have coffee table book for people who are intrigued by mythologies and ancient stories.

  22. 4 out of 5

    the dark knight

    Good

  23. 5 out of 5

    Emma Church

    An excellent overview of all the different cultures’ legends and myths. As it deals with them all it can only concentrate on the main stories, but a great overview, well laid out and illustrated.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Skord

    Excellent reference and pointer to further reading. Covers parts of the world that most books miss.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Koro Amv

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. G

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alexandrina

    2.5 stars

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nerita

    Very informative and full of interesting pictures.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Wilkinson

    Beautiful detailed book

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    Mlle Alice, pouvez-vous nous raconter votre rencontre avec Le Petit Larousse Illustré des Légendes et des Mythes? "Avant de découvrir la blogosphère littéraire, je lisais déjà beaucoup, mais pas seulement des romans. J'ai eu une période où tout ce qui parlait de fées, de légendes et de mystères finissait sur ma table de chevet. Cet ouvrage date de cette époque mais avait fini englouti sous une montagne de livres que je savais désormais s'appeler une PAL." Dites-nous en un peu plus sur son histoir Mlle Alice, pouvez-vous nous raconter votre rencontre avec Le Petit Larousse Illustré des Légendes et des Mythes? "Avant de découvrir la blogosphère littéraire, je lisais déjà beaucoup, mais pas seulement des romans. J'ai eu une période où tout ce qui parlait de fées, de légendes et de mystères finissait sur ma table de chevet. Cet ouvrage date de cette époque mais avait fini englouti sous une montagne de livres que je savais désormais s'appeler une PAL." Dites-nous en un peu plus sur son histoire... "Le titre est assez parlant par lui-même. Il s'agit d'une encyclopédie regroupant les divers mythes et légendes des six continents." Mais que s'est-il exactement passé entre vous? "Comme je le disais, j'ai eu une période où je dévorais ce genre de livres, jusqu'à ce que j'arrive à saturation. Cela explique déjà mon manque d'enthousiasme pour l'ouvrage mais ce n'est pas la seule raison. Esthétiquement d'abord, plusieurs éléments ont rendu ma lecture pénible. Certains encadrés sont écrits extrêmement petit, d'autres sur un fond doré qui demande vraiment un bon éclairage pour déchiffrer le texte et je ne vous parle pas des doubles pages sur fond noir, sur lesquelles je ne pouvais pas poser un doigt sous peine de laisser une grosse empreinte. Pour ce qui est du contenu, il a les avantages et les inconvénients d'une encyclopédie. J'ai trouvé passionnantes certaines parties sur des coutumes que je ne connaissais pas, en revanche la partie sur la Grèce, mythologie que je connais déjà bien, m'a parue très sommaire. Mais il est évident qu'ils pouvaient difficilement en dire plus dans un seul livre qui est déjà extraordinairement dense." Et comment cela s'est-il fini? "Je ne regrette pas d'avoir cet ouvrage dans ma bibliothèque et je suis sûre que j'aurais plaisir à m'y référer à différentes occasions mais je le conseille plutôt à ceux qui n'ont vraiment que peu de connaissances sur le sujet et qui voudraient une vue d'ensemble." http://booksaremywonderland.hautetfor...

  30. 5 out of 5

    Yced

    Bonne lecture dans l’ensemble. Un bon survol de toutes les mythologies dont certaines sont beaucoup méconnues. Toutefois, certaines sections sont très légères et on enchaîne beaucoup trop rapidement à la suivante; je conçois qu’il est impossible de rentrer dans les détails sans que cela prenne des proportions trop énormes mais la coupure entre la mythologie grecque et le reste est beaucoup trop grande

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