The Universal Myths: Heroes, Gods, Tricksters and Others

Overview

Crossing the boundaries of time, religion, and culture, universal myths have provided inspiration and guidance for countless generations- laying a foundation for the religious, social, and political heritage of nations and peoples since the beginning of time. Here is a rich and absorbing survey of the common myths that connect all cultures, Eastern and Western, from antiquity to the present day. With stunning power, the stuff of legend is explored in all its drama and magnificence.There are stories of gods and ...
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Overview

Crossing the boundaries of time, religion, and culture, universal myths have provided inspiration and guidance for countless generations- laying a foundation for the religious, social, and political heritage of nations and peoples since the beginning of time. Here is a rich and absorbing survey of the common myths that connect all cultures, Eastern and Western, from antiquity to the present day. With stunning power, the stuff of legend is explored in all its drama and magnificence.There are stories of gods and men - and legendary heroes from Zeus to King Arthur to the "Superman" of modern media; tales of heaven, earth, and the origins of man from Hindu, American Indian, and Western thought; and retellings of mythic quests and legendary lovers, from the epic wanderings of Odysseus to the tradegy of Tristram and Iseult and the Krishna marriage of Heaven and Earth. This extraordinary work, compiled and arranged by theme from stories of creation to tales of death and rebirth, examines and compares the world's myths that have shaped our common past and continue to influence us still.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452010277
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/1990
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 785,837
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Campbell was interested in mythology since his childhood in New York, when he read books about American Indians, frequently visited the American Museum of Natural History, and was fascinated by the museum's collection of totem poles. He earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees at Columbia in 1925 and 1927 and went on to study medieval French and Sanskrit at the universities of Paris and Munich. After a period in California, where he encountered John Steinbeck and the biologist Ed Ricketts, he taught at the Canterbury School, then, in 1934, joined the literature department at Sarah Lawrence College, a post he retained for many years. During the 1940s and '50s, he helped Swami Nikhilananda to translate the Upanishads and The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. The many books by Professor Campbell include The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Myths to Live By, The Flight of the Wild Gander, and The Mythic Image. He edited The Portable Arabian Nights, The Portable Jung, and other works. He died in 1987.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Mythosphere

Creators of Nature and Mankind
Creator Gods Animals and Creation The First Couple The Great Mother The Greek Gods from Chaos to Zeus Cosmology The Structure of the Universe Mythic Cosmograms Creation Myths The Birth of Man

Worlds Above Below and Within
The Light The Sun The Way of the Great Light Sun Worship and Sun Dance The World and Stars Heaven and Earth The Bridge of Heaven Thunder and Lightning Demons and Spirits Yggdrasil World Tree, Tree of Life, and Tree of Knowledge The World Mountain Towers to Heaven Paradise The Reaches of Heaven and the Depths of Hell

Bringers of Magic and the Arts
Bringers of Wisdom Fire - a Gift of the Gods The Divine Blacksmith The Healers Hermes Shamans: Magicians and Priests Witches: Disciples of the Devil Teachers and Leaders Protectors of the Herd The Rainmakers The Fertile Earth Gods of the Hunt Fisher Gods Maui

Animals Monsters and Mythic Beasts
Mythic and Legendary Animals Creators and Protectors of Animals Deities of the Nile Bull Cults Holy Steeds Animals in the Sky Fabulous Creatures, Magic and Demonic Emblems and Attributes of the Gods Animals, Deities, and People The Serpent Symbols of the Seasons The Dragon

Lovers and Bearers of Divine Seed
The Great Mother The Goddess of Love, Aphrodite/Venus Tragic Love Orpheus and Eurydice The White Cow Miraculous Conceptions Divine Birth Mysterious Births of Gods and Heroes The Goddess of Fertility Heavenly and Earthly Couples The God of Love Krishna and the Marriage of Heaven and Earth The Loves of Zeus Compassionate Love Tantra

Combat in Heaven and on Earth
Heroic Battles Against Monsters The Labors of Heracles Shen I, the Cosmic Archer The Twilight of the Gods Nordic Warrior Gods Guardians of the East The Battle of the Greek Gods Thor and the Wild Hunt Sigurd, the Nordic Hero The Ramayana Good and Evil Gods of War The Trojan War Mythic Struggles in Defense of Divine Order

Distant Quests and Mortal Tests
Quests and Questers Odysseus and His Journey Heroes and Animals The Round Table The Holy Grail Eternal Youth Theseus, the Hero of Athens The Benevolent Quest The Feathered Serpent The Dragon Slayer Buddha and the Search for Enlightenment The Persian Hero Rustam The Nine Heroines and the Nine Heroes

Death and Rebirth
Realms of the Dead The Journey to the Underworld Messengers of Death The Beyond Hades, the Greek Underworld The Tortures of Hell Dwellers in the Paradise of Heaven The Triumph of Death The Last Judgment The Journey to Paradise Resurrection and Rebirth Return from the Underworld Nirvana The Rebirth of Light and Life

Select Bibliography Index

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