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I. The Prologue One night at the palace of Cruachan in Connacht, a dispute arose between Queen Medb, the sometime wife of Conchobar, king of Ulster, and her consort Ailill, as to the amount of their respective possessions. It may be remarked in passing that in those days in Ireland, married women retained their private fortune independent of their husbands, as well as the dowry secured to them in marriage. To procure the evidence of their... more...

INTRODUCTION Three thousand years ago the world was still young. The western continent was a huge wilderness, and the greater part of Europe was inhabited by savage and wandering tribes. Only a few nations at the eastern end of the Mediterranean and in the neighbouring parts of Asia had learned to dwell in cities, to use a written language, to make laws for themselves, and to live in a more orderly fashion. Of these nations the most brilliant... more...

CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTORY. To summon a dead religion from its forgotten grave and to make it tell its story, would require an enchanter's wand. Other old faiths, of Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Rome, are known to us. But in their case liturgies, myths, theogonies, theologies, and the accessories of cult, remain to yield their report of the outward form of human belief and aspiration. How scanty, on the other hand, are the records of Celtic religion!... more...

I. THE YOUTH JASON A man in the garb of a slave went up the side of that mountain that is all covered with forest, the Mountain Pelion. He carried in his arms a little child. When it was full noon the slave came into a clearing of the forest so silent that it seemed empty of all life. He laid the child down on the soft moss, and then, trembling with the fear of what might come before him, he raised a horn to his lips and blew three blasts upon... more...

FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO Once there was another Sun and another Moon; a different Sun and a different Moon from the ones we see now. Sol was the name of that Sun and Mani was the name of that Moon. But always behind Sol and Mani wolves went, a wolf behind each. The wolves caught on them at last and they devoured Sol and Mani. And then the world was in darkness and cold. In those times the Gods lived, Odin and Thor, Hödur and Baldur, Tyr and... more...


INTRODUCTION Much has been written about the chronology of Alexandrian literature and the famous Library, founded by Ptolemy Soter, but the dates of the chief writers are still matters of conjecture. The birth of Apollonius Rhodius is placed by scholars at various times between 296 and 260 B.C., while the year of his death is equally uncertain. In fact, we have very little information on the subject. There are two "lives" of Apollonius in the... more...

CHAPTER ONE The Cicons.—The Fruit of the Lotos-tree.—Polyphemus and the Cyclops.—The Kingdom of the Winds, and God Aeolus's Fatal Present.—TheLaestrygonian Man-eaters. This history tells of the wanderings of Ulysses and his followers in their return from Troy, after the destruction of that famous city of Asia by the Grecians. He was inflamed with a desire of seeing again, after a ten years' absence, his wife and native... more...

I   his is the story of Odysseus, the most renowned of all the heroes the Greek poets have told us of—of Odysseus, his wars and his wanderings. And this story of Odysseus begins with his son, the youth who was called Telemachus. It was when Telemachus was a child of a month old that a messenger came from Agamemnon, the Great King, bidding Odysseus betake himself to the war against Troy that the Kings and Princes of Greece were about... more...

CHAPTER I. Foundation of Rome and Division of its Inhabitants. Ancient Italy was separated, on the north, by the Alps, from Germany. It was bounded, on the east and north-east, by the Adriatic Sea, or Mare Superum; on the south-west, by a part of the Mediterranean, called the Tuscan Sea, or Mare Inferum; and on the south, by the Fretum Siculum, called at present the strait of Messina. The south of Italy, called Græcia Magna, was peopled... more...

Introduction Ancient Babylonia has made stronger appeal to the imagination of Christendom than even Ancient Egypt, because of its association with the captivity of the Hebrews, whose sorrows are enshrined in the familiar psalm: By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down; Yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows.... In sacred literature proud Babylon became the city of the anti-Christ, the symbol... more...