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Showing: 1-10 results of 46

PREFACE Just as a little child holds out its hands to catch the sunbeams, to feel and to grasp what, so its eyes tell it, is actually there, so, down through the ages, men have stretched out their hands in eager endeavour to know their God. And because only through the human was the divine knowable, the old peoples of the earth made gods of their heroes and not unfrequently endowed these gods with as many of the vices as of the virtues of their... more...

THE BOYHOOD AND PARENTS OF ULYSSES Long ago, in a little island called Ithaca, on the west coast of Greece, there lived a king named Laertes.  His kingdom was small and mountainous.  People used to say that Ithaca “lay like a shield upon the sea,” which sounds as if it were a flat country.  But in those times shields were very large, and rose at the middle into two peaks with a hollow between them, so that Ithaca, seen... 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...

INTRODUCTION It may well be doubted whether works of controversy serve any useful purpose.  ‘On an opponent,’ as Mr. Matthew Arnold said, ‘one never does make any impression,’ though one may hope that controversy sometimes illuminates a topic in the eyes of impartial readers.  The pages which follow cannot but seem wandering and desultory, for they are a reply to a book, Mr. Max Müller’s Contributions... more...

The Heroic Mythology of the North Sigemund the Waelsing and Fitela, Aetla, Eormanric the Goth and Gifica of Burgundy, Ongendtheow and Theodric, Heorrenda and the Heodenings, and Weland the Smith: all these heroes of Germanic legend were known to the writers of our earliest English literature. But in most cases the only evidence of this knowledge is a word, a name, here and there, with no hint of the story attached. For circumstances directed the... more...


The Divine Mythology of the North The Icelandic Eddas are the only vernacular record of Germanic heathendom as it developed during the four centuries which in England saw the destruction of nearly all traces of the heathen system. The so-called Elder Edda is a collection of some thirty poems, mythic and heroic in substance, interspersed with short pieces of prose, which survives in a thirteenth-century MS., known as the Codex Regius, discovered... more...

PREFACE TO NEW IMPRESSION. When this book first appeared (1886), the philological school of interpretation of religion and myth, being then still powerful in England, was criticised and opposed by the author. In Science, as on the Turkish throne of old, "Amurath to Amurath succeeds"; the philological theories of religion and myth have now yielded to anthropological methods. The centre of the anthropological position was the "ghost theory" of Mr.... more...

BOOK I—THE COMING OF PARIS Of the coming of Paris to the house of Menelaus, King of Lacedaemon, and of the tale Paris told concerning his past life. I. All day within the palace of the King   In Lacedaemon, was there revelry,Since Menelaus with the dawn did spring   Forth from his carven couch, and, climbing high   The tower of outlook, gazed along the dryWhite road that runs to Pylos through the... more...

ZUÑI PHILOSOPHY. The Á-shi-wi, or Zuñis, suppose the sun, moon, and stars, the sky, earth, and sea, in all their phenomena and elements; and all inanimate objects, as well as plants, animals, and men, to belong to one great system of all-conscious and interrelated life, in which the degrees of relationship seem to be determined largely, if not wholly, by the degrees of resemblance. In this system of life the starting point... more...

by Various
MYTHS OF GREECE AND ROME BAUCIS AND PHILEMON ADAPTED BY C.E. SMITH One evening, in times long ago, old Philemon and his wife Baucis sat at their cottage door watching the sunset. They had eaten their supper and were enjoying a quiet talk about their garden, and their cow, and the fruit trees on which the pears and apples were beginning to ripen. But their talk was very much disturbed by rude shouts and laughter from the village children,... more...