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Comparative Mythology [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Prof Jaan Puhvel
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Kurzbeschreibung

1. August 1989
In a magisterial work, Jaan Puhvel unravels the prehistoric Indo-Euopean origins of the traditions of India and Iran, Greece and Rome, of the Celts, Germans, Balts, and Slavs. Utilizing the methodologies of historical linguistics and archaeology, he reconstructs a shared religious, mytholoigcal, and cultural heritage. Separate chapters on individual traditions as well as on recurrent thees - god and warrior, king and virgin, fire and water - give life to "Comparative Mythology" as both a general introduction and a detaled reference.

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 320 Seiten
  • Verlag: The Johns Hopkins University Press (1. August 1989)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0801839386
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801839382
  • Vom Hersteller empfohlenes Alter: Ab 22 Jahren
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 23 x 15 x 2 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 171.205 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

A judicious evaluation of what has been written about Indo-European mythology over the past forty years. Times Literary Supplement

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Einleitungssatz
While "mythology" is the study of myth, a look at the history of mythology is a study of the study of myth, thus a sort of "metamythology" not unlike the history of science or the history of any other branch of scholarly endeavor. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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4.5 von 5 Sternen
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Spectacular! 17. Juli 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Taschenbuch
This is absolutely the best text on Indo-European Comparative Mythology that you will ever find. Dr. Puhvel has a wonderful sense of humor as well as a knack for complicated topics in a manner that is easy for anyone to understand. You can't beat this book for overviews of the traditions of Vedic India, Epic India, Ancient Iran, Epic Iran, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Celtic peoples, Germanic peoples, and Baltic and Slaveic peoples. Add to that essays on the study of myth, an analysis of creation myth in the ancient Near East, a discussion about Indo-Europeans and Indo-Iranians, as well as sections on "God and Warrior," "King and Virgin," "Horse and Ruler," "Fire in Water," and "Twin and Brother," and you just can't find anything that compares to this text. Dr. Puhvel offers suggestions for further reading at the end of every chapter and an excellent bibliography. This is a wonderful book to use as a text in classe! ! s on mythology as well as a great reference work for your personal library. If you love mythology, whether you are a scholar or an aficionado, this is definitely the book for you!
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Very good with a few drawbacks 10. August 2012
Format:Taschenbuch
Jaan Puhvel is a professor of Indo-European Studies and was apparently urged by his students to write the book. As a student of Georges Dumézil, the latter's tripartite theory dominates the book. In this point he assumes a lot of previous knowledge. I miss the look towards the critics of Dumézil's theory and some apprehension of the flaws. This was especially problematic in the first part of the book for me.

The book has three parts: The first chapters cover general Indo-European Studies, the second part looks at different mythologies and the third looks at different themes within the mythologies.

In the first part he covers definitions and discusses the different studies of myth and the difference of independent origination or diffusion. During these first chapters I felt like reacting to the outlined theories with anger. What angered me was the giving of a sublime domination of the IE Mythology above others. As I am quite versed in Mesopotamian mythology I found myself often questioning some points because I could tell some Mesopotamian parallels, which were not explained. After reading a few times through the explanation of why something is diffusion and how to tell when it is not, I've found myself still unable to really grasp the difference and would have liked to ask questions. This may be due as well as I read about the connection (Kavoukjian, 1987) and then there is a theory that probably the people living in Sumer before the Sumerians where IE (Whittaker, 1998, 2005). I really had to fight my way through the first chapters. I've found the quick look at Semitic Mythology way too cursory and had the impression that he (un)consciously left out information that could bring in other theories to consider than 'his' (e.g.
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46 von 47 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Spectacular! 17. Juli 1998
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
This is absolutely the best text on Indo-European Comparative Mythology that you will ever find. Dr. Puhvel has a wonderful sense of humor as well as a knack for complicated topics in a manner that is easy for anyone to understand. You can't beat this book for overviews of the traditions of Vedic India, Epic India, Ancient Iran, Epic Iran, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Celtic peoples, Germanic peoples, and Baltic and Slaveic peoples. Add to that essays on the study of myth, an analysis of creation myth in the ancient Near East, a discussion about Indo-Europeans and Indo-Iranians, as well as sections on "God and Warrior," "King and Virgin," "Horse and Ruler," "Fire in Water," and "Twin and Brother," and you just can't find anything that compares to this text. Dr. Puhvel offers suggestions for further reading at the end of every chapter and an excellent bibliography. This is a wonderful book to use as a text in classe! ! s on mythology as well as a great reference work for your personal library. If you love mythology, whether you are a scholar or an aficionado, this is definitely the book for you!
32 von 32 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen From an interested amateur 22. März 2005
Von Rick A. Riedlinger - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
This book is a study of the comparative mythology of the Indo-European cultures.

A university lecturer, Jaan Puhvel's style is, at times, light and breezy and one would imagine he was a popular professor. His grasp of the various sources- Indian, Iranian, Greek, Roman, Germanic and Celtic- is impressive and he shows the detachment necessary to look for the underlying proto-IE mythological commonalities.

Jaan Puhvel was a student of Georges Dumezil and the latter's tripartite view of ancient IE cultures pervades the book. While mostly to the good, it is sometimes disconcerting. Quite a few suppositions are treated as fact and the author then proceeds to build on those. On the otherhand, this detracts little from the overview of the IE cultures he presents.

He does, on occasion, go too far: I have a hard time believing that the song Silent Night has anything to do with a Roman goddess; and while many would agree his political views of the Nixon era and Viet Nam are laudable, they did not need to be interjected in the text. The casual contempt shown for the post-Ragnarok deities was likewise not necessary. It probably sounded better as a lecture.

It was worth the read, but I was not unhappy to finish it.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Pithy overview of Indo-Europian mythology 26. März 2004
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Dr. Puhvel's writing is a breath of fresh air. He makes occasional pithy use of modern colloquialisms ("hit parade") to clearly and simply describe the relevance and context of elements of archaic Indo-European mythology. His book would make a good textbook for a college undergraduate or lower graduate-level anthropology course on Indo-Europeans, or a supplementary text for a religion or sociology course on mythology in general.

The title of this book is somewhat misleading: it's not really about Comparative Mythology in general; the text only covers Indo-European myths, and only to the degree that those myths illustrate what the myths of the Proto-Indo-Europeans might have been. So for example, Australian, Chinese, African, and North- and Meso-American mythologies are missing, which a comprehensive book on comparative mythology might include. The only exception is a brief review of middle eastern myths in chapter 2, which serves double duty as an illustration of cultural diffusion, and prepares the reader for the intrusion of Mesopotamian themes and characters into Greek mythology, covered in chapter 8. For Indo-European studies, however, this book is excellent.

Dr. Puhvel makes a restrained, although selective and suggestive presentation of the myths; his form is almost "just the facts." Puhvel presents evidence and (mostly) leaves it for the reader to decide how certain the hypothetical original characters and themes might be. His relaxed presentation is a refreshing contrast to the oppressive speculation of earlier Indo-European mythographers.

This book is a good read for the avid lover of myths, college students studying related courses, and people following with interested the archeological search for the Proto-Indo-Europeans.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Intriguing study of Indo European mythology 17. August 2007
Von Siobhan Olaoghaire Sannes - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Comparative Mythology is just what its title suggests. It is an overview and comparison of the mythic and epic stories of Vedic, Iranian, Greek, Roman, Celtic, Germanic, Baltic and Slavic cultures. It begins with an overview of just what the study of mythology is, a history of that study, and approaches to the study.

The overview is interesting as it traces the ups and downs of the study of mythology and details certain ways of studying myth. These include Universal Mythology which seeks to explain mythological accordances and reduce them to basic common levels of human existence, and Diffusionary Mythology which seeks to trace how myths spread over time and geography. The approach of the book itself is explained as monogenesis, "tracing the mythological matter of disparate societies back to a common ancestry, one that includes language, society, and culture alike." The tracing of the cultures mentioned above mean we are trying to reconstruct Indo European myth and perhaps culture with a comparison of myths and epic stories from the cultures spawned from Indo European ethnogenesis.

While I give this book very high marks overall, it is obviously the product of decades of scholarship on the part of the author, its construction and content leave much to be desired from the promise of the title. Of its 290 pages only 50 comprise actual comparative essays on the themes of God and Warrior, King and Virgin, Horse and Ruler, Fire in Water, and Twin and Brother. While the previous bulk of the text separately covers the various myths and epics of the aforementioned named cultures, with a little comparison woven in along the way, there could be more of the "Comparative" versus the "Mythology."

These themed essays are where the book really picks up steam. But, the author seems to me to choose obscure ideas to trace along the comparative lines. I was quite disappointed that there wasn't more, for instance, on cosmogony and anthropogony, the creation of the universe and mankind, and eschatology, the end (and sometime regeneration) of the world, as well as post-death experience. These, after all, are the most basic questions man ponders "Where did I come from?" and "Where am I going after here?". Historically, science has been able to do little to none to answer these questions and they have then fallen under the religious purview. While it can be argued that not every IE culture has left us with creation myths, for instance, even the author argues that epic stories of urban foundations (i.e. Rome) often contain inklings of the original myth if we study them carefully enough.

I also think the author could have chosen some more basic subjects for comparison. While the study and comparison of myths about, for example, the creation and sanctification of kings and the accompanying horse sacrifices, was interesting enough, I would have enjoyed more comparisons on gods and goddesses as they fulfilled specific roles such as water deities, smiths, fertility gods, etc.

In closing, though, I did find this book highly enjoyable, and while a challenge to read, being written at a somewhat advanced level, it was written with clear prose and just enough linguistics to illustrate points without being overly complicated. This book is clearly a must read and one that I highly recommend.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Best text of its subject 23. Februar 2008
Von Manya - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Dr. Puhvel was one of my university professors nearly 40 years ago. I took his course in Indo-European mythology at UCLA in the late 60s and was delighted to find that he published much of that course material into this text. He was a fascinating lecturer; I've retained a lot of what he taught me to this day. If you have interest in this somewhat arcane subject matter, this definitely is the volume for you.

As an aside, I found Dr. Puhvel and his wife to be wonderful people and my first exposure to the delightful Estonian culture. He was definitely one of my better university experiences.
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