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Composed in medieval Iceland, Hrolf's Saga is one of the greatest of all mythic-legendary sagas, relating half-fantastical events that were said to have occurred in fifth-century Denmark. It tells of the exploits of King Hrolf and of his famous champions,…

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Vivid, classic retellings of the myths of Greece and Rome, along with stories of the Norse gods and heroes. Zeus and Hera, Apollo, Jason and the golden fleece, the wanderings of Ulysses and Aeneas, the deeds of Thor, many more seminal stories underlying Western…

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Gilgamesh, half-god and half-man, in his loneliness and isolation becomes a cruel tyrant over the citizens of Uruk. To impress them forever he orders a great wall to be built, driving his people to exhaustion and despair so that they cry to the Sun God for help.…

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In this second volume in the Gilgamesh trilogy, Enkidu joins Gilgamesh in the quest to slay Humbaba, the monster who has attacked the city and caused great destruction, including the death of the beautiful singer, Shamat. Gilgamesh and Enkidu successfully slay…

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A new verse rendering of the great epic of ancient Mesopotamia, one of the oldest works in Western Literature. Ferry makes Gilgamesh available in the kind of energetic and readable translation that Robert Fitzgerald and Richard Lattimore have provided for.

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In his final quest, Gilgamesh, still mourning the death of his dear friend Enkidu, sets out to find the key to immortality. His journey is perilous. He must fight ferocious serpents and wild lions. He travels through bitterly cold caves, across scorching deserts,…

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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…

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What is classical about Classical civilization? In one of the most audacious works of scholarship ever written, Martin Bernal challenges the whole basis of our thinking about this question. Classical civilization, he argues, has deep roots in Afroasiatic…

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This enthralling anthology of Irish legends and tales of the occult is composed of three classic collections--"The Celtic Twilight, The Secret Rose", and "Stories of Red Hanrahan"--and reflects Ireland's greatest poet's deep and abiding interest in preserving and…

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Rich with implications for the history of sexuality, gender issues, and patterns of Hellenic literary imagining, Marcel Detienne's landmark book recasts long-standing ideas about the fertility myth of Adonis. The author challenges Sir James Frazer's thesis that…

Chinese Myths

by Anne Birrell

|September 15, 2000

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Chinese myths were primarily a diffuse and fragmentary oral tradition, eventually preserved in writing only in a piecemeal fashion. Many classical texts are unavailable in translation, and the stories have been unknown to Western readers. Anne Birrell here…