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The World of Myth

An Anthology

Second Edition

David A. Leeming

Publication Date - November 2013

ISBN: 9780199316366

352 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $24.95

The bestselling anthology of world mythology, substantially updated and revised in a new edition


Since its publication in 1991, The World of Myth has provided thousands of students with a fascinating, wide-ranging introduction to world mythology. Building on the bestselling tradition of the first edition, the long-awaited second edition offers a uniquely comprehensive collection of myths from numerous cultures around the globe. Featuring a thematic organization, it helps students understand world mythology as a metaphor for humanity's search for meaning in a complex world. Author David Leeming presents a sweeping variety of myths whose origins range from ancient Egypt and Greece to the Polynesian islands and modern science. Students will be captivated by stories of great floods from the ancient Babylonians, Hebrews, Chinese, and Mayans; tales of apocalypse from India, the Norse, Christianity, and modern science; myths of the mother goddess from Native American Hopi culture and James Lovelock's Gaia; and much more. One of the most wide-ranging anthologies available, this volume includes myths from African, Australian Aboriginal, Aztec, Celtic, Chinese, Greek, Hittite, Japanese, Muslim, and Persian cultures.

New to this Edition

  • Greatly expanded coverage of non-Western myths, including new selections from Arabia, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Mesoamerica, North and South America, and Sub-Saharan Africa
  • More coverage of "Great Mother" and "World Mother" myths--including new selections from Ireland, Mexico, and North American Indian cultures--and other feminine-based myths
  • Many new translations, a new design, key terms (boldfaced at their first appearance), and a glossary
  • A world locator map at the front of the book showing the geographical distribution of the myths covered in the text

About the Author(s)

David Leeming is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. He is the author of many books on mythology, including The Oxford Companion to World Mythology (2005).

Previous Publication Date(s)

January 1991


"Indispensable and by far the most accessible anthology available."--Susan A. St. Peters, Riverside City College

"The World of Myth is incredibly informative, covering a large range of cultures and regions. It could easily stand alone as the main text in an Intro to Mythology course. It is comprehensive, culturally inclusive, and well researched."--Maggie DiVito, Columbus College of Art and Design

"This text is the most accessible survey of world myth on the market today. All cultures are represented. As far as coverage goes, it offers all that teachers need in order to give students a concise but representative perspective on the stories that we tell about ourselves."--Edward Karshner, Roberts Morris University

Table of Contents

    Introduction: The Dimensions of Myth
    Select Bibliography
    The Creation
    Egypt: Ex Nihilo Beginnings
    Mesopotamia: Enuma Elish and the World Parent
    Israel: Genesis and the Talmudic Lilith
    India: The Sacred Words
    Iran (Persia): Aryan and Zoroastrian
    China: Cosmic Egg and Yin and Yang
    Greece: Hesiod's Theogony
    Iceland (Norse): The World Parent of the Eddas
    Meso-America (Aztec-Mexica): Coatlicue the World Mother
    Native North America (Onondagan): Star Woman and Earth Divers
    Africa (Boshongo-Bantu): Bumba's Creation
    Native North America (Acoma): Goddesses and the Emergence
    Darwin: Origins
    Modern Physics: The Big Bang
    The Flood
    Mesopotamia (Sumer-Babylon): Utnapishtim (Ziusudra)
    Israel: Noah
    Iran (Zoroastrian): Yima
    Egypt: Hathor, Blood and Beer
    China: Yü
    India: Manu
    Greece-Rome: Deucalion and Pyrrha
    Meso-America (Mayan): The Popol-Vuh
    South-America (Incan): Viracocha and the Giants
    The Apocalypse
    Israel: The Day of Yahweh
    Asia Minor (Christian): The Book of Revelation
    Iran (Zoroastrian): The Savior Saoshyant
    Arabia (Muslim): End of the World
    India: The End of the Kali Age
    Native North America (Hopi): Emergence to the Fifth World
    Iceland (Norse): Ragnarök
    Modern Physics: Entropy and Heat Death
    The Pantheons
    Mesopotamia (Sumer): Gods of the Elements
    India: The Triad
    Greece: Orginators and Olympians
    Rome: The Renamed Olympians
    Iceland (Norse): The Aesir and the Vanir
    Ireland and Wales: The Family of Don and the Tuatha de Danann
    The God as Archetype
    The Supreme Being
    India: Krishna-Vishnu as Brahman
    Israel: Yahweh
    Native South America (Uitoto): Nainema
    Africa (Bushman): Mantis
    Native North America (Cherokee): Sun Goddess
    Japan: Amaterasu
    Modern Science: Immanent Mind
    The Great Mother
    Ireland and Wales: Danu-Don
    Native North America (Inuit): Sedna
    Native North America (Lakota Sioux): White Buffalo Woman
    Mexico: Our Lady of Guadaloupe
    Modern Science: Gaia as Earth
    The Dying God
    Mesopotamia (Sumer): Inanna (Ishtar)
    Egypt: Osiris and Isis
    Greece and Rome: Adonis and Aphrodite
    Asia Minor (Phrygia): Attis
    Greece: Dionysos
    Iceland (Norse): Odin
    Native North America (Penobscot): Corn Mother
    The Trickster
    Mesopotamia (Sumer): Enki and the Me
    Greece: Hermes Steals the Cattle
    India: Krishna and the Gopis
    Iceland (Norse): Loki
    Native North America (Maida): Coyote
    Africa (Fon): Legba
    Gods, Goddesses, and Lesser Spirits
    Greece and Rome
    Native North America (Tewa): Water Jar Boy
    Greece: Theseus
    Greece: Herakles (Hercules) and the Twelve Labors
    India: The Buddha
    Ireland: Cuchulainn
    Greece: Antigone
    Europe: King Arthur
    Europe: Parcival and the Holy Grail
    Israel: Jonah
    Greece: Jason and the Golden Fleece
    Rome: Aeneas
    Arabia: Muhammad and the Night Journey
    Africa (Kikuyu): Wanjiru
    Indonesia (Ceram): Hainuwele
    India: Rama and Sita
    India: Draupadi
    Australia (Aboriginal): The Pleiades
    Mesopotamia: Gilgamesh
    Greece and Rome: Orpheus and Eurydice
    Greece: Odysseus
    Israel: Jesus
    Meso-America (Toltec/Aztec): Quetzalcoatl
    Europe: Mary
    Greece: Alcestis
    The World of Afterlife
    Egypt: Osiris
    Greece and Rome: Lands of the Dead
    Native North America (Hopi): The Kachinas
    The Mountain
    India: Mount Meru
    The City
    Greece and Rome: Troy
    Israel-Palestine: Jerusalem
    Greece: Delphi
    The Temple
    Europe: The Chapel Perilous
    The Genitals
    Greece: Tiresias
    Native North American (Apache): The Vagina Girls
    The Stone
    Asia Minor (Phrygia): The Agdos Rock
    Australia (Aboriginal): Erathipa
    The Tree
    India: The Cosmic Tree
    China: Fusang
    Iceland (Norse): Yggdrasil
    The Garden, the Grove, and the Cave
    Arabia: Muhammad's Cave
    The Labyrinth
    Greece: Daedalus and Icarus