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The Dictionary of Symbols: An Illustrated Guide to Traditional Images, Icons and Emblems

Jack Tresidder

6 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1900131625 / ISBN 13: 9781900131629
Published by Duncan Baird Publishers
Condition: VERY GOOD Soft cover
From OwlsBooks (Toledo, OH, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins not affecting the text. Possible clean ex-library copy, with their stickers and or stamp(s). Bookseller Inventory # 2624077098

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Dictionary of Symbols: An Illustrated ...

Publisher: Duncan Baird Publishers

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:VERY GOOD

About this title


The crow spelled death for medieval Europeans, but for Native Americans it represents a guide from the spirit world. Dictionary of Symbols explores 1,000 symbols from across the world's cultures and throughout the ages. Unlike other books on the subject, it is truly comprehensive, including entries, arranged alphabetically, for everything from amaranth (a Greek symbol of immortality) to ziggurat (a temple-shaped Mesopotamian icon). Indexed, cross-referenced, and packed with over 100 drawings, this is an indispensable reference for writers, artists, and anyone intrigued by the power of primal metaphors.


With its gorgeous layout, slick paper, catchy cover, and French flaps, the Dictionary of Symbols: An Illustrated Guide to Traditional Images, Icons, and Emblems is exactly what you'd expect from Chronicle Books (the publishers of Griffin and Sabine). It's a perfect gift book right down to the small trim size and new-book smell; the blue, black, and white illustrations, inset feature panels, and margin cross-references combine to make it an irresistible browse.

Romp through the alphabetic arrangement for access to informative histories of hundreds of symbols, from "eleven" (which signified sin to St. Augustine but fecundity to African shamans) to "trickster," from "mistletoe" to "monkey" to "mimosa" (the certainty of resurrection in Western traditions). Consult the "Index of Supplementary Words" to track down the hoards of additional terms that are referenced in main entries.

Beware that the two-column layout detracts somewhat from the clarity of the text (the writing is too dense to be read easily in short lines), and that no bibliographic citations are included. For a less beautiful, more academic option, consider the Dictionary of Symbolism: Cultural Icons and the Meanings Behind Them. But is it a combination of entertainment and erudition that you seek? Then there's no need to look any further. --Elizabeth Briskin

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