Dictionary of Nature Myths: Legends of the Earth, Sea, and Sky

Paperback | April 5, 2000

byTamra Andrews

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This engaging reference work explores our age-old desire to interpret and control natural phenomena. Without the benefit of science, our ancestors sought to explain forces--such as wind, clouds, earthquakes, and stars--in a manner they believed to be inexorably connected to the will of thegods. Mythology afforded them the means to make sense of the world's seemingly senseless aspects. The Dictionary of Nature Myths is a unique addition to the mythological literature. It pulls information from a variety of disciplines including archaeology, anthropology, religious studies, astronomy, meteorology, and geology. The book's main subject areas concern natural forces, gods andgoddesses of natural forces, terms relating to the myths of natural forces, and broad geographical areas. Within these categories Tamra Andrews groups stories from cultures around the globe, tales of an animated universe moved by supernatural power. Her volume is comprehensive and fullycross-referenced, and it contains a lengthy bibliography and an innovative guide to primary sources. Readers young and old will delight in reading about ABSU, a freshwater ocean that the Mesopotamians believed flowed beneath the earth; about IX CHEL, the Mayan moon and water goddess who controlledfloods and rainbows; and about YGGDRASIL, the huge evergreen ash tree of Norse mythology that marked the center of the world. These entries and hundreds more will enchant and inform as they show how and why people from all ages and all cultures found power and magic in the natural world.

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From Our Editors

Many people have a problem believing natural phenomena because they have no control over them. Imagine how hard it was for people in early civilizations to explain the wonders of our world without the benefit of modern science. In A Dictionary of Nature Myths: Legends of the Earth, Sea, and Sky, Tamra Andrews the mythology that exists ...

From the Publisher

This engaging reference work explores our age-old desire to interpret and control natural phenomena. Without the benefit of science, our ancestors sought to explain forces--such as wind, clouds, earthquakes, and stars--in a manner they believed to be inexorably connected to the will of thegods. Mythology afforded them the means to make...

Tamra Andrews is a former university reference librarian who has written professionally about astronomical mythology for the last nine years. She has written for both children and adults, and has been a longtime contributor to "Star Date", the National Public Radio program and magazine produced by the McDonald Observatory at the Unive...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.21 × 6.1 × 0.98 inPublished:April 5, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195136772

ISBN - 13:9780195136777

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From Our Editors

Many people have a problem believing natural phenomena because they have no control over them. Imagine how hard it was for people in early civilizations to explain the wonders of our world without the benefit of modern science. In A Dictionary of Nature Myths: Legends of the Earth, Sea, and Sky, Tamra Andrews the mythology that exists to explain everything from wind and stars to earthquakes. Readers will learn about such myths as Absu, a freshwater ocean that flows beneath the earth Ix Chel, the moon and water goddess.