A collection of comic books
Amar Chitra Katha
is like the American Illustrated Classics
, except that the stories are from Indian sacred texts, mythology, history, folktales and legends
. It was conceived by Anant Pai
. The series has sold over 86 million copies of about 440 titles. [more inside]
Theoi Greek Mythology
is an internet encyclopedia with over 1500 pages on various characters from classical myth, covering everything from famous gods
to obscure nymphs
. If the confusing familial relations of the Greek gods vex you, there are 10 different family trees
to help you make sense of it all. There's also an extensive library
of ancient works concerning classical mythology and a bibliography
should you long for more to read. Last but not least, Theoi has a gallery
of over 1200 artworks from antiquity, which I have been happily browsing for a good while.
- From 1518 to 1519, Olaus Magnus
made a journey across Sweden. On his journey, he encountered fish the size of elephants
, sea serpents
and a tribe of pygmies
Zeitgeist, the movie
[Google Video link embedded] - An interesthing, if bizarre, mix of buffed-up comparative mythology
, 9/11 conspiracy theories
and New world order
rambling about banks, loans, debts and war.
the spirit of our times?
Sing to us, O Muse, of our Timeless Myths
. A site dedicated to Classical, Norse & Celtic mythology and Arthurian legends.
(arguably better known as 'The Dreamtime') is more than just the story of how the world was created as told by Aboriginal Australians. It is also the basis for their way of life and death, their source of power in life and it tells of the life and influence of their ancestors on their culture. It was so important to Aboriginal Australians in the time before the white invasion of Australia that it was the one commonly held belief amongst a culture that consisted of over 500 different tribes (discussion of Dreamtime beliefs here
). Thought to be the oldest continuously maintained cultural history on Earth, it is often presented as a series of inter-related stories explaining Aboriginal Australian origins and culture, such as how the Australian landscape was created or how the Mimi spirits taught them how to paint these stories on the walls of caves more than 40,000 years ago
And what better way to learn of several of the many different Dreamtime stories than to listen and watch them being told by Aboriginal Australians elders themselves
? And if that isn't enough Dreamtime mythology for you, here's some links to various sites
which allow you to view Aboriginal rock art to see how these stories were translated into a form of artistic expression which is now five times older than the Egyptian Pyramids themselves.
I want to love the Table of Gods
, a list of "4862 gods, godesses,
deities, avatars, incarnations, angels, demons and various spirits, and 520 aliases, mispronounciations and
generally confusing name variations." There isn't much more than a list of names with short descriptions, but you
can search by keyword
), by origin
), and by name
. The information and presentation are not in the same league as Encyclopedia Mythica
, or even Godchecker
, but it does list Hanuman
The listings invite you to add keywords and comments, but unfortunately the feature is broken. You can add either, but they are appended unmoderated to the record for "A", which is consequently a mess
. If I've been a good boy this year, this feature will work and be gleaning meaningful user contributions on Christmas morning, and I will get to love the Table of Gods.
Amar Chitra Katha
were the comics
of my youth. Illustrated painstakingly
details, the immortal epics
and stories of India
going back over 5000
years were crystallized
in these thin graphic novels. I will always remember Mirabai
, for the romance
between her and the god of love and war, Krishna
. And Chanakya,
aka Kautilya, author of the Arthashastra
but better known to me for his Nitishastra
- niti means political ethics
. But other nitishastras include the famous Panchantra [pdf]
, the equivalent of Aesop's
Fables for India, a textbook of 'niti'
or the wise conduct of life.
- a stop motion animated short set to Stravinsky's in which Picasso confronts the minotaur and some other painted characters come to life. The image of the Minotaur
is a recurring symbol of self
in Picasso's works. (main link via Milinkito [more])
Why are political extremists so interested in UFOs? The Nation of Islam has its “Great Mother Wheels.” Their melanin-challenged brethren in the Neo-Nazi movement have the myth of Neu Schwabenland
, an Antarctic redoubt where the remnants of the Third Reich fled after the war, with the U.S. military in hot pursuit. There, hidden among the ice and the Emperor Penguins, the frostbitten Aryans plotted to reconquer the world. To that end, they created a fleet of UFOs, using top-secret Nazi technology that They don’t want you to know about. Nizkor has recreated pamphlets published by the Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel
on this topic, one of which includes a helpful list of German phrases to be used during an encounter of the Third Kind.
(This myth is also covered in the eighth chapter of this book
In the study of mythology
, folklore and religion
, a trickster is a god
, human hero or anthropomorphic animal who plays pranks or otherwise disobeys normal rules and norms of behaviour
in all forms
, from all cultures
. Notable examples include Br'er Rabbit
, and Loki
; most or all of whom you are likely familiar with.
Jesus walked on the
So sayeth... um... well, this guy at Florida State. Doron Nof
has released a paper
positing that when Jesus walked on the water in Galilee, he was actually walking on a patch of floating ice. What's interesting about science like this to me is that it both validates and invalidates scripture, since if Jesus was walking on ice... no miracle (although, it's a miracle he didn't slip and fall, har har har). But if Jesus was walking on ice, then at least he historically existed, which is still an open question
at least in some quarters
. In case you think you recognize Mr. Nof's name, you may be remembering his work explaining that the parting of the Red Sea was totally possible
(flash video link).
Did Jesus Really Exist?
Also some notes on the doubtful existence of Hannibal.
Reason #48713 for teaching the Bible in schools:
"The classics of British and American literature are filled with biblical allusions that would be lost on a reader without basic knowledge of the Bible"
Rainbows, pots of gold, and leprechauns
are images that come to mind on St. Paddy’s Day. They are beautiful
to behold, but how much do you really know about rainbows
? Did you know that there are double
, and supernumerary
rainbows, that no two people ever see the same rainbow
, and that rainbows consist of more than just the ROYGBIV colors
? Rainbows permeate mythology
, and sexuality
. Rainbows are a job
for one, a link to the past
for some, and a hope for the future
I have been thinking about masks
, our ancestors put on masks to become an other, to become a god, even unto this day
. Greek tragedy
began in the worship of Dionysos
, the god of wine, intoxication, and creative ecstasy
, in rituals
where worshipers often wore or worshipped masks. Indeed, the word for mask in Greek drama was persona, now commonly used to describe constructed online identities
. And so we understand ourselves
as wearing masks, whole series of masks--behind which we find only emptiness, for we can never see ourselves truly.
Pygmalion stories in literature and art.
The myth of the scuptor who fell in love with a statue and prayed for it to be brought to life.
Related :- Galatea
, a piece of interactive fiction which allows you to interact with a interpretation of the living statue (by Emily Short
); Wikipedia entry on the myth.
Like most people who love mythical creatures (cryptozoology), I also collect stamps (philately). At last, someone has combined these twin fetishes in one easily displayed fashion
. My favorites include the Loch Ness Monster
and his ancient cousin the Kraken
, especially these two
which feature a guest appearance by Mickey Mouse.
Narts! The Nart Sagas are arguably the most essential ingredient of Circassian Culture, to which they are what Greek mythology is to Western Civilization. Though much less known than their Greek counterparts, the Nart epic tales are no less developed. The heroism, sagacity, guile and ferocity of the Nart demi-gods are more than matches
to those of the Greek Pantheon.
If this selection of stories
captures your interest, you might want John Colarusso's Nart Sagas from the Caucasus
; you can read the introduction
online ("A ship sailing across the Black Sea in the year 1780 eventually would have come upon a lush shore at the eastern end of the dark gray waters..."). Although they seem to have been brought by the Ossetes
(and J. Cassian is posting an Ossetian tale, The Death of Soslan
, on his blog
), they're everywhere
in the Northern Caucasus. And some people
say they were the source of the King Arthur stories.
The Paganism of Suomi.
Before the arrival of Christianity, and even for centuries after, Finland
(popups) had a rich religious tradition
. Like most things Finnish, it was wholly different from the mythology
of their Nordic neighbors, but shares much with that of the Sámi
The Meaning of Life
according to various rather famous people (Dennett, Fukuyama, etc). I'm watching the Dennett video at the moment and it starts rather weakly, but, by midway through, is rolling along nicely. With topics like "being good without god" and "the anthropic principle" it struck me as relevant to a couple of recent askmefi threads
Dennett: [pause] i guess i'll say it again, more slowly...
(oh, and the player interface is rather delicate - give it time to load and click play a few times...)
Ancient Greek mythology
for aspiring young pagans.
warning: educational friday flash fun for the geeklings!pre-emptive comment: it's now friday in oz :)
in pictures and words: Kachina
Folklore and Mythology E-Texts
A multicultural collection classified according to types and variants. See also the SurLaLune Fairy Tales Pages
(portal with annotated tales, tons of illustrations), Folk and Fairytales From Around the World
(not updated since 1997, unfortunately), Hans Christian Andersen
(tales and illustrations, plus additional links), Fairy Tales by the Grimm Brothers
(German and English, with some illustrations), the Grimm Index Page
(a complete set), Red Riding Hood: A Multimedia Edition
(exactly what it sounds like; those with sensitive eyes should be warned that the page is, well, red), and Tracey Callison's extensive Sources for the Analysis and Interpretation of Folk and Fairy Tales
The Internet Sacred Text Archive
is an online archive of electronic texts about religion, mythology, and various esoteric topics. The site has many complete books
from a wide variety of traditions, including the only (to their knowledge) comprehensive online translations of the Kalevala
, Shinto texts
, and the Upanishads
. There's a lot of fascinating stuff here.
The werewolf myth
lives at this site, with essays, reviews, fiction and art, while the likely genesis of the werewolf mythos has its roots in folks like Larry Gomez
, just your ordinary guy with congenital hypertrichosis.
holds the center of the stage, the role of the personalized Brahman is colored with death and destruction. Shiva's stern asceticism casts a blight over the fields of rebirth. His presence negates and transcends the kaleidoscope of sufferings and joys. Nevertheless, he bestows wisdom and peace and is not only terrible but profoundly benign. Shiva's nature at once transcends and includes all the polarities of the living world." "Shiva opens his third eye only in anger, and the offender is burnt to cinders.
"The Druids of the ancient Celtic world have a startling kinship with the brahmins of the Hindu religion,"
according to popular historian Peter Berresford Ellis
. Another author examines the parallels between Celtic and Vedic culture in the article The Celtic Vedic Connection
, and a particular diety is analyzed in The Horned God in India and Europe
. This may not be very conservative scholarship, but I found it intriguing and fun to contemplate.
Lucas: Powerful reteller of myth - or galactic gasbag?
Salon has a scathing review of Lucas' claim that the basis of the Star Wars saga is in "man's oldest stories" and that he was guided by Joseph Campbell.
"With 'Star Wars' I consciously set about to re-create myths and the classic mythological motifs," Lucas says. "I wanted to use those motifs to deal with issues that exist today."
Hogwash, says author Steven Hart. Star Wars is based not on "The Odyssey" or the "Upanishads", but on Asimov, Heinlen, Herbert and other 20th century S.F.
"There's a lot of killing going on in Miami," he says. "You want to fight, want to learn how to live, you got to learn the secret stories."
Homeless children build hope and community through a shared mythology which includes demons, spirits, a beautiful guardian, and a harbinger of death named Bloody Mary.
the new European currency is now official in 12 European countries
. In Crete the ancient home of Europa
who was a Kings daughter abducted by Zeus, Europa gave Zeus 3 sons and he in turn promised to name a continent after her. Now Europa has a currency as well.
In Italy it may not mean love but it does mean cheaper sex
. Tonight the ATMs are restocked and even Monopoly money is reprinted.
- An encyclopedia on mythology, folklore, and legend.