Architecture, Mysticism and Myth

Overview

This delightful book describes the symbolism of real-world architecture, as well as architecture described in fiction, myth and folklore. Lethaby believed that architecture reflected the macrocosm. He speculated that many of the seemingly ornamental details of classical buildings actually represented aspects of the land, the sea and the sky. This is one of those books like the Golden Bough or the White Goddess that will turn you on to the mythopoetic side of reality, no matter whether you agree with its ...
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Architecture, Mysticism and Myth

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Overview

This delightful book describes the symbolism of real-world architecture, as well as architecture described in fiction, myth and folklore. Lethaby believed that architecture reflected the macrocosm. He speculated that many of the seemingly ornamental details of classical buildings actually represented aspects of the land, the sea and the sky. This is one of those books like the Golden Bough or the White Goddess that will turn you on to the mythopoetic side of reality, no matter whether you agree with its conclusions.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781500242862
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/18/2014
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.23 (d)

Table of Contents

Frontispiece: Ziggurat of Belus at Babylon 128
Introductory 1
I. The World Fabric 9
II. The Microcosmos 32
Fig. 1. Chinese 'Hall of Distinction'; Buddhist Plan of the World; Astrologers' Houses of the Sky 46
Fig. 2. A Buddhist Tope 48
III. Four Square 53
Fig. 3. Ezekiel's City 63
Fig. 4. Chinese Plan 63
IV. At the Centre of the Earth 71
Fig. 5. The Four Rivers and Central Tree 75
Fig. 6. The Central Stone of Delphi 79
Fig. 7. The Same 80
Fig. 8. Plan of Dome of the Rock 89
V. The Jewel-Bearing Tree 95
Fig. 9. Indian Lamp Tree 115
Fig. 10. Greek Lamp Tree 116
Fig. 11. The Golden Candlestick from the arch of Titus 117
VI. The Planetary Spheres 122
Fig. 12. Seven-Walled City, from 1481 Dante 137
Fig. 13. The Throne on Seven Steps of the Heavens 138
VII. The Labyrinth 149
Fig. 14. Floor Labyrinth at Ravenna 151
Fig. 15. Early Coins of Crete 153
Fig. 16. Isle of Crete, from the Hereford Map 154
VIII. The Golden Gate of the Sun 174
Fig. 17. Door Lintel, Ebba, Carthage 178
Fig. 18. Syrian Tomb Door, Galilee 180
Fig. 19. East Toran, Sanchi Tope 182
Fig. 20. Phoenician Toran, Coin of Paphos 183
Fig. 21. Chinese Tomb Door, Canton 185
IX. Pavements Like the Sea 201
Fig. 22. Marble Pavement, Constantinople 211
Fig. 23. Roman Pavement, Cirencester 213
Fig. 24. Pavement Patterns, The Baptistery, Florence 216
X. Ceilings Like the Sky 221
Fig. 25. Mosaic Dome, Ravenna 223
Fig. 26. Egyptian Goddess of the Sky 231
Fig. 27. Egyptian Temple Ceiling 233
XI. The Windows of Heaven and Three Hundred and Sixty Days 235
XII. The Symbol of Creation 254
Fig. 28. Italian Canopy, from a Tile 259
Fig. 29. Italian Lamp from Mantegna 261
Fig. 30. Ostrich Egg from Mycenae 269
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Introduction

Buildings reflect the culture of their creators, and civilizations express their dominant myths and archetypes through their architectural designs. This remarkable book, written from an architect's point of view, examines the inherent mysticism common to architecture around the world. Author W.R. Lethaby, the first Professor of Design at the Royal College of Art and a leader in the Arts and Crafts Movement, explores the intentions behind architectural structure and form. In doing so, he reveals the esoteric principles behind such grand buildings as St. Paul's Cathedral, the Taj Mahal, and the Palace of Versailles. Originally published in 1891, Architecture, Mysticism and Myth was among the earliest studies of the correlation between mysticism and the design process. Its examination of folk customs, myths, and folktales of many ancient civilizations demonstrates that architecture extends far beyond the obvious issues of style and function. Buildings are shown to harbor arcane meanings-secrets that lie deeply embedded in the human psyche, related to ancient and universal symbolism. Fascinating and far-reaching in its influence, this historical study is regarded as the architectural equivalent of Sir James George Frazer's The Golden Bough</>.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2001

    Lethaby's Architecture, Mysticism and Myth

    In the words of James Forlong (Encycl. of Religions, 1906) 'Ancient architecture depended on ancient myth and symbolism. It must be carefully studied by all who seek the key to creeds.' Because of the nature and expense of temple-construction (in all nations and ages) its symbolism invariably embodies the essence of the religious values of the peoples involved. Lethaby's work is a permanent contribution to this field of study and presents much material not found elsewhere.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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