The Illustrated Book of Signs and Symbols

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9780751354287: The Illustrated Book of Signs and Symbols
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For thousands of years, people have given symbolic meaning to the things around them. From animals, plants and flowers, rocks and minerals, to buildings and parts of the body, all are able to understand this mystical language and appreciate how it varies from country to country in different cultures and religions. This guide takes 2000 symbols from East and West, and explores their origins and significance in art, religion, psychology and folklore. The guide is colour-coded and cross-referenced for easy access of information.

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From Booklist:

This book provides thousands of brief descriptions for symbols from all parts of the world. It begins with a historical introduction to symbols, ranging from ancient times to modern fictitious characters that reflect characteristics of ancient gods and goddesses.

The entries are grouped into four major categories: mythologies and religions; nature; people; and symbol systems (e.g., mathematical symbols, traffic signs). Each symbol is represented by a colorful photograph or painting. A short paragraph explains the origin of the symbol, as well as geographical or historical variations in meaning. For example, the entry on the Roman goddess Minerva discusses her Roman significance as well as her Greek counterpart, Athena. A clear cross-referencing system uses see also boxes. For example, the entry legs, found in the People section under human body and described as possibly representing the swift-footed sun, is cross-referenced to triskele, described as the movement of the sun. Useful are the glossary of terms, additional reading selections, and a detailed index found at the end of the book.

The Illustrated Book of Signs & Symbols is a good basic resource for public and school libraries for readers of all ages. However, far more extensive treatment of symbols can be found in The Dictionary of Symbolism (Facts On File, 1992) and Dictionary of Symbols (ABC-Clio, 1991).

From Library Journal:

Signs and symbols are parts of our lives that are often unnoticed or, if noticed, are not always understood. With this lavishly illustrated book, the author looks at the essence of signs and symbols and defines many of them in brief and simple terms. Bruce-Mitford, a contributor to The World Directory of Minorities (Longman, 1990) and a lecturer at the British Museum, covers a wide variety of symbols, explaining their significance from cultural perspectives throughout the world views. The introductory chapter discusses the differences between signs and symbols and offers brief overviews of ancient, universal, and modern symbols. The main body of the work divides signs and symbols into major categories such as mythologies, nature, and people. Within the categories are items such as ancient deities, planets, clothing, and international signs. Very handy cross-referencing on many pages leads the reader to related symbols. A useful glossary, index, and additional reading list complete the book. For lengthier and more comprehensive coverage of signs and symbols, Carl G. Liungman's Dictionary of Symbols (LJ 12/91) or Hans Biedermann's Dictionary of Symbolism (LJ 9/1/92) will serve better, but for straightforward definitions and excellent color illustrations, this book will be quite helpful. Recommended for academic and public libraries.?Elaine M. Lucas, Moline P.L., Ill.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780789410009: Illustrated Book of Signs & Symbols

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0789410001 ISBN 13:  9780789410009
Publisher: DK ADULT, 1996
Softcover

9780888505453: The Illustrated Book of Signs and Symbols : Thousands of Signs and Symbols from Around the World

Reader..., 1996
Hardcover

9780751366747: The Illustrated Book of Signs and Symbols

Dorlin..., 2000
Softcover

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