- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
W. L. Hanaway
Until now Arabian myth has been ignored at the same time that other ancient Near Eastern myths have been studied at length. Stetkevych (Univ. of Chicago) succeeds brilliantly in reconstructing the myth of the destruction of the Thamud, an ancient people of north Arabia. His key to this myth is a canonical story of the discovery by the prophet Muhammad of a golden bough at the very site where the Thamud are thought to have been destroyed by a scourge from God. Through careful philological, historical, and literary analysis he sets the story of this golden bough in an ever—widening context of myth and legend, reaching back to Gilgamesh, the Bible, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid. James Frazer's The Golden Bough (1890, 1915) is examined and reevaluated in the light of the other golden bough myths. Stetkevych's argument for the existence of an autochthonous Arabian myth is entirely convincing, and this book will add a new dimension to the study of Near Eastern and Mediterranean myth and legend. Highly recommended for collections in folklore and mythology, ancient Near Eastern studies, and Islam.W. L. Hanaway, emeritus, University of Pennsylvania, 1997apr CHOICE.