The Facts on File encyclopedia of world mythology and legend /
Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow.
3rd ed.
New York : Facts On File, c2009.
2 v. (xv, 1241 p.) : ill. ; 24 cm.
0816073112 (hc : alk. paper), 9780816073115 (hc : alk. paper)
More Details
added author
New York : Facts On File, c2009.
0816073112 (hc : alk. paper)
9780816073115 (hc : alk. paper)
contents note
Preface to the third edition -- Users' guide -- Introduction -- The encyclopedia of world mythology and legend -- Annotated bibliography -- Web resources -- List of entries categorized by culture and ethnicity -- General index.
general note
v.1 A-L -- v.2 M-Z.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
First Chapter
Praise for the previous edition:...a wide scope...Recommended.—Choice...a valuable addition to almost all library collections...a fun book to browse...a scholarly resource.—Reference ReviewsLibraries...who can afford the new [edition] would do well to acquire it.—School Library JournalThe Facts On File Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition is a complete revision that provides an even more extensive survey of myths, legends, and folklore from around the world. With assistance from a team of scholars, James R. Dow has revised and updated the entire text in this comprehensive resource. This edition boasts approximately 3,000 entries, 150 of which are new; a substantially updated bibliography; an overhauled art program, with hundreds of new images; and a new guide to Internet sources on world mythology and legend.Entries include important scholarly terms, figures important in folklore and mythology, the historical figures that have inspired myths and folklore, and the authors who wrote down folktales or used folklore and mythology extensively in their work. Many new entries focus on the mythology and folklore of Cambodia, Tibet, Ukraine, and other areas.New entries include:
The Grimm Brothers
Mayan Letter Gods
Puss in Boots
The Sun Snarer
William Tell
Eudora Welty.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2004-04-15:
First published in 1988 and now newly edited and expanded to two volumes, this comprehensive reference provides entries of varying lengths for nearly 3000 myths and legends from around the world. Alphabetically arranged and cross-referenced for ease of use, the entries discuss the folktales of both ancient and modern Eastern and Western cultures and clarify the relationship of these tales to the scriptural traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Various botanical, zoological, and other references with mythical implications are succinctly identified, and brief portraits of gods, heroes, demons, saints, and universal mythic figures are provided. Originally compiled by the late Mercatante, who edited and authored numerous articles and books on folklore literature, this edition was revised by Dow, an active scholar who has published widely on European and American folklore topics. Together with Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend, this reliable resource will be used by both students and scholars in public and academic libraries.-Richard K. Burns, MSLS, Hatboro, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 1989-04:
Mercatante's ambitious aim is to provide a quick reference to world myth, fairy tale, and legend, thus giving a better understanding of "the thematic contents of the world's masterpieces in art, music, and literature." More than 3,000 entries purport to cover it all, in concise definitions and background information. In addition to a general index, there are indexes for variant spellings of names and for cultural/ethnic groupings of entries. A lengthy annotated bibliography lists sources by subject; an introduction rather narrowly defines myth, legend, folktale, and fable; there are black-and-white illustrations. Although intended for use by those with little or no understanding of the subject, this can be a frustrating tool for just those users. The lack of any internal cross-references for names makes reliance on the indexes essential, since less-familiar names are often used as entries (e.g., "Devi" for "Kali"). This practice also causes confusion over illustrations (e.g., a picture labeled "Altar of Moloch" appears in the entry "Adrammalech"). In order to locate all the Arthurian entries, one must search the entire British portion of the cultural index, where Welsh entries have been denied their own heading and divided between "Celtic" and "British" groupings. The Upanishads are described as Hindu philosophical writings valued by Schopenhauer, with no further discussion. Those entries that do have references to works of art are less than thorough in their listings. There are always questions of inclusion about a work of this type: Why include Afanasiev but not Stith Thompson? Why no mention of Paradise Lost under Adam and Eve? Such a massive project is bound to fall short of its own objectives, but libraries collecting comprehensively in mythology, legend, and folklore may wish to add this title. Those with very tight budgets might continue to rely on three works with similarly wide range and brief entries accessible to beginners: Gertrude Jobes's Dictionary of Mythology, Folklore, and Symbols (1962), Man, Myth, & Magic, ed. by Richard Cavendish (1983), or the Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology (1959). -M. R. Pukkila, Colby College
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, February 2009
Library Journal, April 2009
Booklist, June 2009
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Bowker Data Service Summary
This edition boasts approximately 3000 entries, 150 of which are new; a substantially updated bibliography; an overhauled art programme, with hundreds of new images; and, a new guide to Internet sources on world mythology and legend.

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