World Mythology: From Indigenous Tales to Classical Legends
by Tamsin Hughes
I’m currently reading through a book called World Mythology. It looks at mythologies from around the world from creation myths to specific gods that appear and reappear in multiple countries as well as stories about creatures. It also helps identify the difference between what is a myth, what is a legend, and what is a folk story. These three things can all be quite similar and get confused often. However, they have some distinctions to help make them more clear.
“Myths tell us much about the past, present, and sometimes the future. They form a digest of sorts about humanity and the part it plays in the natural world.”World Mythology page 17
In the conclusion of the book, the author notes that there are many remarkable similarities among the various versions of these stories across the globe. She also marveled at how creative these people were when they were attempting to understand the world.
“Whether you have read this book from beginning to end or simply leafed through its pages at random seeing what piques your interest, you will surely have marvelled at the creative enterprise that our forbears employed to make sense of their world.”
“Being firmly rooted in an age of science and technology, it is easy for us to be critical of, and even to deride, the fantastical aspects of the belief systems of our progenitors. We can forget just how powerful a profoundly inspiring story was to earlier cultures where storytellers were revered and narrative was the epitome of invention.”World Mythology pages 247-248
I’m also currently pleasure reading the “Shield-Maiden” series The Road to Valhalla by Melanie Karsak. I had previously read the first four books but had not read the fifth. In these books, the main character Hervor (as well as many of the other characters) has a close and personal relationship with their gods. For Hervor, it’s the All-Father Odin and for her friend Eydis, it’s Loki. Throughout the books, the gods speak to the characters and guide them along their journey. I’m re-reading the series and am about to read book five so I’m not sure how their story ends yet. But I’m sure it will be interesting.
I am still in the process of reading these books (yes, I did skip to the end for some of this.) I do plan to put up another post on mythology in general soon as I plan to have a few more posts on mythology topics/books.
- World Mythology: From Indigenous Tales to Classical Legends by Tamsin Hughes
- The Road to Valhalla Series by Melanie Karsak