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The Migration of Symbols
     

The Migration of Symbols

by Goblet d'Alviella
 

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THOSE familiar with the delightful papers contributed in recent years by the Count Goblet d'Alviella to the Bulletin de l'Academie royale de Belgique on "le Tricula, ou Vardhamana des Bouddhistes," "l'histoire du Globe Ailee," "la Croix Gammee ou Svastika," "les Arbres Paradisiaques," and other allusive types of the ancient religions of the Old World, warmly welcomed

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THOSE familiar with the delightful papers contributed in recent years by the Count Goblet d'Alviella to the Bulletin de l'Academie royale de Belgique on "le Tricula, ou Vardhamana des Bouddhistes," "l'histoire du Globe Ailee," "la Croix Gammee ou Svastika," "les Arbres Paradisiaques," and other allusive types of the ancient religions of the Old World, warmly welcomed the publication, at Paris, in 1892, of his collective work on La Migration des Symboles, setting forth on a more systematic plan, and with fuller references to original authorities and illustrations from authentic examples, the matured and permanent results of the learned and accomplished author's examination of the enigmatic subject of which he is now everywhere recognized as the greatest living exponent. It had been treated by others in a similar comprehensive spirit, but never before in the same thoroughly scientific manner; and thus, while the writings of Dupuis and Creuzer have, in spite of their immense erudition, but served to discredit it, and are already obsolete, the Count Goblet d'Alviella, by pursuing his investigations on a severely inductive basis, at once, and, so to say, single handed, raised the inquiry to its proper position as a department of archaeological research, producing a work destined to exert an abiding influence on the whole future of the study of symbolism, and also, I would fain hope, on that of the decorative designs of the artistic industries of the West. One, indeed, of Messrs.

Archibald Constable and Company's special objects in publishing the present English translation of the Count Goblet d'Alviella's alluring book has been to bring it within the reach of the Schools of Art throughout the United Kingdom: the other being to make it as widely accessible as possible to archaeological students in India, where so much of the symbolism of antiquity still survives as a quickening religious and aesthetic force, permeating the entire mass of the Hindu populations,--like that idealizing thread of scarlet which runs through the ropes used in the British Royal Navy, "from the strongest to the weakest,"--elevating it by the constantly felt presence of the unseen realities of human life, and the diffusion throughout it of a popular spiritual culture; and where, consequently, the clues to the mystery of so many historical emblems may be successfully followed up on every hand, even among the humblest and the most illiterate.

Of course, the way had been prepared for the Count Goblet d'Alviella by the remarkable discoveries made during the passing generation of the rich remains of ancient art in Egypt, Phoenicia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Phrygia, and Greece, and by the wide interest created on the continent of Europe in the ancient arts of India by the French International Exhibition of 1878. All this the Count Goblet d'Alviella frankly and generously acknowledges; but none the less is his merit in having applied the true Baconian principles of observation and comparison to the classification of the bewildering mass of materials thus placed at his disposal, and elaborating therefrom, in the laborious processes of his most patient analysis, a volume that will always remain the locus classicus on the various transcendental types constituting the materials of its seductive theme.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940014555340
Publisher:
Library of Alexandria
Publication date:
04/26/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
386 KB

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