Category: Myths and Legends

Book Review: Myths and Legends of the Australian Aborigines

Myths and Legends of the Australian Aborigines By W. Ramsey Smith Originally published around 1932, Myths and Legends of the Australian Aborigines claims to be a collection of campfire tales and oral traditions of the aboriginal people of Australia. This is mostly true. About a fifth of the book is devoted to tribal customs rather …

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Book Review: The Library of Greek Mythology

The Library of Greek Mythology By Apollodorus Translated by Robin Hard The Library is a summary of Greek Mythology. In ancient times it was attributed to Apollodorus of Athens, who lived in the second century BCE, but it contains references to works written centuries after his death. The Library contains a brief history of the …

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Book Review: Tales Before Tolkien

Tales Before Tolkien Edited by Douglas A. Anderson Tales Before Tolkien is a collection of literary fairy tales, or fairy tales written to imitate genuine folklore, all of which were written before J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit was published in 1937. While there is no evidence that Tolkien was familiar with all of these stories, he …

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“Plato’s Atlantis” eBook

For those who missed my promotional Kindle giveaway version, my short compilation, Plato’s Atlantis, is now available to purchase as an ebook. “For centuries, the tale of Atlantis has captured the imaginations of millions across the world. Atlantis has been featured in everything from books to films to toys, and the search for the lost …

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The Legend of Atlantis

Atlantis

The primary source for the legend of the lost city of Atlantis is Critias, a dialogue by Plato dating to around 360 BCE. The text is unclear whether Atlantis was a real nation, destroyed in a natural disaster, or an allegory intended to teach a lesson. The dialogue was either left unfinished or the ending …

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Book Review: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Sir Orfeo

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Sir Orfeo Translated by J.R.R. Tolkien Edited by Christopher Tolkien While not strictly fantasy in the modern sense, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Sir Orfeo are both fantasy in their own rights. They are both circa 14th century poems containing fantastical elements which could not possibly …

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The Mabinogion and The Chronicles of Prydain

Most fantasy books draw upon myths and legends in some way or another, even if only in their use of such fantastical creatures as dragons and elves. Lloyd Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain is one such series, based on the Welsh legends in The Mabinogion. While the plots of his Chronicles are original, Alexander draws …

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The Childhood of Christ

Madonna with the Christ Child

Aside from his birth and a brief incident in the temple at the age of twelve, the Christian Bible gives little information concerning the early years of Jesus of Nazareth. What events transpired during the family’s sojourn in Egypt? When did Christ perform his first miracle? While these questions are not answered in the biblical …

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Two Biblical Creation Accounts

The Biblical Creation

Most religious traditions contain some form of cosmogony, or creation myth, and Abrahamic religions are no different. The Book of Genesis opens with a tale of creation which provides an interesting look at the origin of the world. Genesis says that God created the heaven and the earth in the beginning. When the earth was …

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Isis and Demeter

Demeter

While reading the Egyptian myth of the death of Osiris, I was struck by the similarities in Isis’s search for Osiris’s body and the Greek myth of Demeter’s (Ceres) search for Persephone (Proserpina). In the Egyptian myth, Isis searched the world for Osiris’s body, locked inside a casket. She discovered that the casket had been …

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