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Hamlet's Mill: An Essay Investigating the Origins of Human Knowledge And Its Transmission Through Myth
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Top Customer Reviews
The authors show compelling evidence that myth was a way of handing down complex information in easy to manage packages within stories, and that modern man has lost all understanding of the true nature of the myth. They also boldly state that the majority of this information pertains primarily to the mechanics of celestial movements and the precessional cycle.
However, it can be at times a very heavy text and can indeed be hard to understand upon first reading, but perseverence is most rewarding. At times the text is interupted by periodic quotes of German, Latin or French which, if one does not know the language can cause the reader to feel that he/she has missed some major point of the argument. Having been published in 1969, this book is beginning to feel its age especially with the help of modern authors explaining many of its main arguments in a much more simple and effective way.
It is an excellent book, and one that you may go back upon in future to study again and again. However, it is not advised for the casual reader, and most definately not for any one with a less than passing interest in myth.
myths and mythical stories are, in fact, how archaic astronomy had been past from generation to generation. They
reinterperet catastrophic mythical events as reference to the precession of the equinoxes. Mythical personage (Gods, Titans, Dragons, Heroes etc.) from China to Ancient Egypt to Greece to Meso-America are shown to be, in fact, referencing constellations and their positions as these changed due to the precession of Earth's axis over centuries.
Moreover, the authors discuss myths from linguistically, culturally, temporally distinct societies and show the astonishing commonality of names, events, and motifs.
They make a cogent argument that the knowledge base of archaic people was far deeper and wider; that the archaic people have had empirical knowledge of the precession of equinoxes-a knowledge that requires at least a couple of hundred years of continuous observation to arrive at-and that they encoded their knowledge in the language of myths. This was knowledge for the elect and unlike our contemporary sciences it was not for everyone.
In addition, the authors claim that these myths are tatters of an archaic World-View that placed man in an orderely universe of change. A world view whose echoes may still be heard in the Illiad & Odyssey, Shahnameh,Timeaus, Mahabaharata, and Nihon-gi.
It is remarkable that this book, first published in 1968, has not made any waves in those circles that value such
understanding. It is also remarkable that how much more convincing the author's arguments have become in the light of the discovires chronicled by E. C.Read more ›
Unfortunately, (and treat this as a warning) all my friends and not-so-friends that love A&P (Atlantis and Pyramids) material, and who should be much more critical with their reading, never seem to have the patience to get through this book and often don't even have the desire to read it. No levitating monoliths, no alien gene splicers, no global catastrophe...B-O-R-I-N-G. That's probably just as well; this is a book for grown-ups with open and questing minds who have serious interests in archeology, anthropology, technological history, astronomy, and related fields. Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Somewhat disappointed in this classic book. The authors seem to repeat themselves over & over again, though some of the myths are interesting to read.Published 2 months ago by Violet Bunny
I gave this book 5 stars because this is an exhaustive compendium of mythological knowledge in one short (505 pages) volume. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tom Waylett
This is an amazing 340 plus page essay which will enhance your understanding and interpretation of myth and its application to today's world. Read morePublished 7 months ago by JayByrd
Hamlet's Mill is so old I had to blow the dust off the pages to read it. Santillana was one of the first to suggest that ancient cultures knew about the Great Year. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Mark
..being an artist I am drawing out the descriptions used by the authors as relayed in the myths, they may or may not realize it but their interpretations corresponds with my... Read morePublished on January 28, 2014 by Dave Mowers
Pure joy to read! Mythology and legends, even the most familiar ones, gradually acquire cosmic proportions, stellar layers of new meaning, the starry net of galactic metaphors,... Read morePublished on September 7, 2013 by Yelena Shekhtman