Alphabetically arranged entries explain approximately two thousand words and expressions from the Bible and from the mythology of the Greek, Roman, and Norse cultures among others.
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This dictionary is the latest effort by the author of, among other titles, The Facts On File Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases (2002) and The Facts On File Dictionary of Proverbs [RBB Mr 15 03], which are somewhat similar in format. As a companion volume to The Facts On File Dictionary of Cultural and Historical Allusions (2000), the new dictionary contains approximately 2,000 allusions drawn from the Bible, Greek and Roman mythology, and Norse mythology and includes some Egyptian and Celtic examples. All allusions predate 1,000 C.E. Each entry begins with the term (followed in some cases by a pronunciation guide), focuses on an explanation, and ends with an example. About half of the examples are from literature; others are sample constructions to illustrate common usage. Biblical allusions seem to outnumber other types, and all biblical quotations are taken from the King James Version.
The Facts On File Dictionary of Classical, Biblical, and Literary Allusions (1987) is broader in scope but has no examples as the present volume does. Focused content and alphabetical entry by allusion are strengths of this dictionary in comparison to Allusions--Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary (Gale, 1986). The latter's advantages include wider coverage, higher numbers of allusions, and access by theme. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions (1999) and The Oxford Dictionary of Allusions (2001) contain more in-depth descriptions and extensive literary quotations illustrating each allusion but have many fewer classical and biblical allusions. The Facts On File Dictionary of Classical and Biblical Allusions is recommended for high-school and public libraries and academic libraries serving undergraduates. RBB
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Grade 9 Up--This companion volume to The Facts On File Dictionary of Cultural and Historical Allusions (2000) focuses on literary references from Greek, Roman, Norse, Egyptian, and Celtic mythology, as well as the Bible. The book contains approximately 2000 alphabetically arranged entries with pronunciations, definitions, examples, origins, and quotes. Definitions and origins of names such as "Ishmael," "Goliath," and "Pygmalion"; places including "heaven's gate," "Mount Parnassus," and "Shiloah"; and objects such as the "olive branch" are included. Students can also find entries on concepts such as "dog days," "lilies of the field," and "Oedipus complex"; and phrases like "carpe diem," "a house divided against itself," and "fly in the ointment." Cross-references are provided. This is a valuable book for students and for casual readers to find word or phrase origins. High school teachers and librarians will find it quite useful as a ready reference tool.--Pat Bender, The Shipley School, Bryn Mawr, PA
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