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International Encyclopaedia of Gods and Goddesses
ISBN : 9781619520004
Volumes : Set in 22 Volumes
Author : H. B. Alexander, et.al.
Pages : 7800 pp + 2300 Images
Year of Publishing : 2012
Binding : Hardbound
Publisher : Impact Global Publishing Inc. USA
There are many good books on the mythology of particular peoples or races, ancient and modern, and much material accessible in books of travel and works on ethnology and religion, for classical antiquity excellent dictionaries of mythology exist. There are also books of narrower or wider range on comparative mythology, besides many in which myth and custom have been pressed into the service of theories of society, civilization, and religion, or are adduced for the illustration of art and archaeology.
But a comprehensive collection by competent scholars of Gods and Goddesses from all quarters of the earth and all ages has not hitherto been attempted; for several important parts of the field, no satisfactory works exist in English, while in some there is none in any language. That no comparable work exists of this scope and nature is the justification for this massive work.
The intrinsic interest of the subject is very great; for better than almost anything else the idea of Gods reveal men’s first notions about their world and the powers at work in it, and the relations between men and those powers. They show what things in their surroundings early engaged men’s attention, what things seemed to them to need explanation; and how they explained them.
A comprehensive collection like the present lends itself also to comparative study of single myths or systems of myth among different and widely remote peoples. It is one of the merits of this collection that it is made for its own sake, with no theory to maintain or illustrate.
The names of the contributors are a sufficient guarantee of the thoroughness and trustworthiness of their work. The volumes are amply illustrated, not for the sake of making picture books, but for the legitimate purposes of illustration – a feature which will add much to the usefulness as well as to the attractiveness of the series. Taken all in all, therefore, the International Encyclopaedia of Gods and Goddesses may safely be pronounced one of the most important enterprises of this age of co-operative scholarship.