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Goddesses in World Mythology Revised Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0874367157
ISBN-10: 0874367158
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This excellent dictionary compiles information on 9500 female deities, deified women, female spirits, nymphs, and fairies. The entries are alphabetically listed under geographic locations: Africa, Central and Mesoamerican, Eastern Europe, Egypt, the Far East, the Greek and Roman empires, the Himalayas, the Indian subcontinent, the Near East, North America, Northern Europe, Oceana, Southeast Asia, and Western Europe. Each entry lists the name, country of origin, major attribute and characterization of the goddess in question, and entries marked with an icon relate succinctly a portion of her legend. A name index and an index by attribute are included, and an extensive bibliography provides an excellent resource for further scholarship. Highly recommended for any reference collection.
Gail Wood, SUNY Coll. of Technology Lib., Alfred
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The authors aim "to compile as much accurate information as possible about goddesses," thus "adding to the pool of potential female role models, both fierce and gentle." The scope includes monsters, evil spirits, and witches. Ann has a graduate degree in religious studies; Imel is a professional writer. Twelve consultants are listed, most from the University of Colorado.

Entries are listed geographically, within 12 regions (Africa, Indian Subcontinent, Western Europe, etc.). They vary in scope; they may note region, people, attributes, description, translation of name, synonyms, cross-references, variant forms, and citations to the bibliography. For example, Esesar, a goddess of the Gbanya people of Ghana, has the attributes of earth and nature. She is described as an "earth goddess whose husband is the sky god, Ebore," and a reference is given to a source in the bibliography. Typically terse, few entries include detail. Occasionally, longer entries relate stories about the goddess and are highlighted with an icon that is specific to that chapter. Goddesses are indexed by name and by attribute (e.g., agriculture, household affairs), subdivided by region. The bibliography, to which entries are keyed, is lengthy.

No new ground is broken here; however, the more than 8,000 entries make this larger than any other collection of women deities. Whether this is a way to identify role models is debatable. Leach's more general Guide to the Gods [RBB Mr 15 92] is cited often here and is preferred for most libraries. Specialized collections (e.g., women's studies, anthropology, religion) will want to consider Goddesses in World Mythology.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 658 pages
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO; Revised edition (June 30, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874367158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874367157
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,477,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on April 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is extremely well researched. It is the most definitive collection of world goddesses available. The book is broken up into pantheons and attributes with an alphabetical index at the back. Though the descriptions aren't as in-depth as they could be the authors have done a great job of timelining the development and adaption that has taken place with each goddess over the centuries. I am astounded at their success in conquering such a magnitude of information. I reference this work constantly and am so glad to own it. A must for any goddess worshipper or academic scholar of mythology and religions!
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This book does not contain detailed information as one reviewer had pointed out, but it does have an extensive list of goddesses, where they originate from and a brief description. It will also point you to alternate spellings, etc. It is exactly what it says it is, "A Biographical Dictionary." It is meant for brief reference and is perfect for that.
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Potential buyers should carefully read the Booklist review above. This book does contain a comprehensive listing of goddesses from around the world. However, the vast majority of entries simply list the goddess name, region and sphere of influence. If you want nothing more than a alphabetical listing by goddess name within geographical region this book is fine. If you want even a modest amount of history and/or background you will be sadly disappointed. A good dictionary should provide the etiology and meanings (ancient and modern) of a word. One would expect that a volume such as this one claims to be would provide at least a brief description of the history of each entry.
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The most comprehensive book on Goddesses I have seen yet! If you can't find it here I doubt if you can find it anywhere!
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The mother of all Goddess books! This book is absolutely amazing. It includes Goddesses from all over the world. Fabulous book for learning about the many aspects and elements of Goddesses in all her glorious forms.
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