Here retold in all their original dramatic power are some of the most exciting and influential of all world myths, drawn from a fascinating range of ancient cultures. Epic struggles and heroic adventures, passionate jealousies and psychological deceptions, comic mistakes and tragic destinies—these fabulous tales are all part of our common legendary past.
This book is a compilation edition of five titles from the successful Legendary Past series. Each author describes the cultural background, written sources, and continuing legacy of the major myths, illustrated throughout by archaeological and artistic evidence. The included titles are:
• Mesopotamian Myths by Henrietta McCall, British Museum
• Persian Myths by Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis, British Museum
• Chinese Myths by Anne Birrell, University of Cambridge
• Aztec and Maya Myths by Karl Taube, University of California, Riverside
• Inca Myths by Gary Urton, Harvard University
Linking these supernatural worlds is a new introduction from the award-winning writer Felipe Fernández-Armesto. There is also a specially compiled glossary that gives brief definitions of the mythical characters and creatures whose traditions have contributed to our own legendary past.
Introduction, Felipe Fernández-Armesto
Mesopotamian Myths, Henrietta McCall
Persian Myths, Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis
Chinese Myths, Anne Birrell
Aztec and Maya Myths, Karl Taube
Inca Myths, Gary Urton
Glossary, Rosalind Kerven