The Language of the Goddess

Overview

"The first authoritative work on the ancient goddess culture."—Boston Globe

The Goddess is the most potent and persistent feature in the archaeological records of the ancient world, a symbol of the unity of life in nature and the personification of all that was sacred and mysterious on earth.

In this pioneering and provocative volume, Marija Gimbutas resurrects the world of...
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Overview

"The first authoritative work on the ancient goddess culture."—Boston Globe

The Goddess is the most potent and persistent feature in the archaeological records of the ancient world, a symbol of the unity of life in nature and the personification of all that was sacred and mysterious on earth.

In this pioneering and provocative volume, Marija Gimbutas resurrects the world of the Goddess-worshipping, earth-centered cultures, bringing ancient matriarchal society vividly to life. She interweaves comparative mythology, early historical sources, linguistics, ethnography, and folklore to demonstrate conclusively that Goddess-worship is at the root of Western civilization. Illustrated with nearly 2,000 symbolic artifacts, Gimbutas' magnum opus is at once a "pictorial script" of the prehistoric Goddess religion and an authoritative work that takes these ancient cultures from the realm of speculation into that of documented fact. Over 500 illustrations.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780500282496
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 424
  • Sales rank: 592,399
  • Product dimensions: 7.38 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Marija Gimbutas was Professor of Archaeology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a prolific author of books on prehistory and archaeology.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction
Categories of Symbols
I Life-Giving
1 Chevron and V as Bird Goddess Symbols 3
2 Zig-Zag and M Sign 19
3 Meander and Waterbirds 25
4 Breasts of the Bird Goddess 31
5 Streams 43
6 Eyes of the Goddess 51
7 Open Mouth/Beak of the Goddess 63
8 Giver of Crafts: Associations with Spinning, Weaving, Metallurgy, and Musical Instruments 67
9 The Ram, Animal of the Bird Goddess 75
10 Net Motif 81
11 Tri-Line and Power of Three 89
12 Vulva and Birth 99
13 Deer and Bear as Primeval Mothers 113
14 Snake 121
II The Renewing and Eternal Earth
15 Earth Mother 141
16 Power of Two 161
17 Male Gods and Daimones 175
III Death and Regeneration
18 Symbols of Death 187
19 Egg 213
20 Columns of Life 221
21 Regenerative Vulva: Triangle, Hourglass, and Bird's Claws 237
22 Ship of Renewal 247
23 Frog, Hedgehog, and Fish 251
24 Bull, Bee, and Butterfly 265
IV Energy and Unfolding
25 Spiral, Lunar Cycle, Snake Coil, Hook and Axe 279
26 Opposed Spirals, Whirls, Comb, Brush, and Animal Whirls 293
27 Hands and Feet of the Goddess 305
28 Standing Stones and Circles 311
The Place and Function of the Goddess 316
Continuity and Transformation of the Goddess in the Indo-European and Christian Eras 318
The World View of the Culture of the Goddess 321
Glossary of Symbols 322
Types of Goddesses and Gods 326
Summary of Functions and Images of the Neolithic Great Goddess 328
Chronologies 330
Maps 337
Bibliography and References 354
Sources of Illustrations 370
Index 374
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