Saturday, February 13, 2010

Don't Know Much About Mythology

Kenneth C. Davis, author of several previous "Don't Know Much About" guides to subjects as diverse as geography, history, and the Bible, takes on world mythology.  The book uses a question and answer format along with timelines and alphabetical listings of deities to cover Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek and Roman, Celtic and Norse, Far Eastern, African, Native American, and Pacific Island mythology.  The Far Eastern chapter includes Chinese and Japanese myths; the Native American section touches on everything from Inuit to Inca, and the Pacific Island chapter includes Australia.

Obviously, this is not an in-depth guide to any of the covered mythologies, but it is a good overview of belief systems that the target audience (of Western European descent, mostly) may know little to nothing about.  I've read a lot of Greek, Roman, Celtic and Norse myths, but the other sections were mostly new to me.  I also liked the author's emphasis throughout the book on how mythology influences history and culture to this day.

Originally posted at MySpace on 1/11/06

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