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Identifies heros, gods, goddesses, demons, giants, monsters, animals, objects and places featured in the world's mythologies.
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The late Anthony S. Mercatante was the author of several books on mythology, folklore, religion, and world literature, including Good and Evil: Mythology and Folklore and Zoo of the Gods: Animals in Myth, Legend and Fable.From Booklist:
Dow, a German professor and linguistics chair at Iowa State, has done a substantial revision of the first, 1988 edition, compiled by Mercatante, now deceased. Entries have been added, as have cross-references at the ends of most entries. Entries are in alphabetical order and numbered, and the general index and cultural and ethnic indexes refer to the entry numbers. There is an annotated, updated bibliography.
Most of the entries are related to Europe, but there is a substantial number of entries from Asia, Australasia, South^B and Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Each entry has a headword, variant spellings of the word, translation, definition, and cross-references. The writing is formal but clear. A pronunciation guide would have been useful. Illustrations are small black-and-white line drawings and reproductions of woodcuts.
Some omissions are curious--there is no article on Mordred, one of the central characters of the Arthurian mythos, although many other Arthurian characters, even Lancelot's sword, have entries. The entry on the Great Stone Face mentions that it is part of American folklore but not where the face was located in the Americas. There are also some errors. The entry on Aaron mentions his "flowing wand," which should probably be "flowering wand." The Appomattox Apple Tree entry mentions the "tree under which General Lee surrounded to General Grant."
Academic and larger public libraries with the first edition should consider replacing it with this edition. It is an optional purchase for most other folklore collections. RBB
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