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Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend
     

Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend

by Anna L. Dallapiccola
 

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India is so vast that each of its regions is a land in its own right, with diverse languages, customs, and cultural traditions. Yet shared social systems, firmly grounded in religious beliefs, provide the cohesive force that unites over a billion people of different backgrounds. Hinduism is the main religion of India, and this new dictionary provides an unrivaled

Overview

India is so vast that each of its regions is a land in its own right, with diverse languages, customs, and cultural traditions. Yet shared social systems, firmly grounded in religious beliefs, provide the cohesive force that unites over a billion people of different backgrounds. Hinduism is the main religion of India, and this new dictionary provides an unrivaled insight to all aspects of Hindu life, past and present. Some thousand illustrated entries elucidate the history of Hinduism, its mythology, art, architecture, religion, laws, and folklore.

The development of Hinduism is presented from its ancient manifestations in local cults and epic poems to modern-day festivals and customs worldwide. The complex relationship between the multitude of gods, goddesses, and semi-divine beings is brought to light in the articles on religion and mythology, while its rich imagery is revealed in the entries on architecture, sculpture, painting, dance, and theater, including works of art illustrated here for the first time. Food and etiquette, the caste system, Ayurvedic medicine, love and marriage, and contemporary practices are just a few of the topics explored.

Maps and entries on the major cities and places of pilgrimage in India, as well as a concise chronology and a list of principal dynasties, provide a clear overview of the geography, history, languages, and vibrant religious and cultural traditions of Hinduism. This volume will serve as a lively and indispensable guide for those preparing a visit to India, for Indians living in the West, for students, or for anyone interested in the subcontinent.

Author Biography: Anna Dallapiccola taught Indian Art at the University of Heidelberg in Germany for twenty years, and is now Honorary Professor at Edinburgh University and Visiting Professor at De Monfort University, Leicester. She is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and of the American Oriental Society, and the author of numerous publications.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
From abhayamudra, the hand pose that Hindus use to dispel fear and offer divine protection, to the yupa, a pillar used in Vedic sacrifice, Anna Dallapiccola's Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend offers brief alphabetical entries on all aspects of Hindu history, belief and practice. Included are maps, a chronology, a brief rundown of India's most important dynasties and 243 b&w photos. The entries are short and not intended to be comprehensive, but they offer a useful overview of such topics as Hindu mythology, art, architecture and the caste system.
Library Journal
The territory staked out by this book is vast indeed. Dallapiccola (honorary professor, Edinburgh Univ.) "seeks to provide a clear and scholarly introduction to the myths, beliefs, practices, and arts of India." The book succeeds in this aim. The entries are necessarily short given the comprehensive coverage, but they are informative and to the point. An introduction of about ten pages provides very basic background. Helpful illustrations and photos, largely of artworks, are included on almost every page. In addition to two maps, Dallapiccola has also included lists of subjects and their Sanskrit equivalents and of principal dynasties and empires in alphabetical order, a chronology covering 3000 B.C.E to 2001 C.E., and a bibliography arranged by subject. For someone just starting a study of India and its cultures, this book would be a useful resource either on its own or as an adjunct to more in-depth works. Recommended for academic and public libraries.-Stephen Joseph, Butler Cty. Community Coll., PA Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500284025
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson
Publication date:
04/01/2004
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Anna L. Dallapiccola is Honorary Professor of Indian Art at The University of Edinburgh. She is Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and of the American Oriental Society, and the author of numerous publications.

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