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Description: In The Oxford Companion to World Mythology, David Leeming explores the role of mythology in history, revealing how the dreams of specific cultures add up to the larger collective story of humanity. Appealingly illustrated with nearly one hundred black-and-white halftones and eight full-color plates, the Companion provides thousands of alphabetically arranged entries covering all aspects of mythology. Leeming includes substantial essays on the world's major mythological traditions (Greek, Roman, Native American, Indian, Japanese, Sumerian, Egyptian), on mythological types and motifs (Descent to the Underworld, the Hero, the Trickster, Creation, the Quest), on mythological figures (Odysseus, Zeus, Osiris, Spider Woman, and Inanna), and on numerous related subjects such as fairly tales and legends. The Companion also locates myth in our lives today, relating it to psychology, religion, science, politics, art, and much more. Many of the better-known and more significant myths are vividly retold in this volume, ranging from epic works such as the Odyssey and Mabinogion (a major source of Welsh mythology) to the brief Native American tale of The Water Pot Boy. Following the entries, a rich section of appendices contains family trees of the major pantheons, equivalency charts for the gods of Greece, Rome, Babylon, Sumer, and other traditions, an extensive bibliography, and an index. From King Arthur and the Round Table to Jonah and the Whale, from the wicked and destructive Norse trickster Loki to the great mother goddess of Chinese mythology Nuwa, here is a comprehensive and thoughtful look at mythology around the world.