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Any investigation into vampire legends leads inevitably to the works of Montague Summers (1880–1948), whose research and writings in the 1920s established him as the subject’s preeminent authority. This study examines vampire lore in fantastic detail, constituting a record of folk beliefs unequaled in its sheer scope and depth. It features all the apparatus of an academic work, including footnotes and references to rare source documents, and it addresses such issues as how vampires came into existence, vampirish behavior, vampire-like ancient myths, and vampires in modern literature.

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The member of a distinguished British literary family, A. B. Mitford traveled widely with his parents as a youth and lived in various European countries. From 1866-70, he served as an attaché with the British legation at Edo (Tokyo) — one of the first foreign diplomats to do so. During his brief stay there, Mitford lived through a period of dramatic and tumultuous change in Japanese history. A feudal nation on his arrival, Japan had entered the era of “Westernization” before he left some three years later. During that time, however, he quickly and thoroughly mastered the Japanese language and acted as an interpreter between the young Japanese Emperor and British royalty.Mitford’s famous collection of classic tales (the first to appear in English) covers an engrossing array of subjects: grisly accounts of revenge, knightly exploits, ghost stories, fairy tales, folklore, a fascinating eyewitness account of a hara-kiri ceremony, gripping narratives of vampires and samurai, Buddhist sermons, and the plots of four Noh plays.A treasury, as well, of information on most aspects of Japanese life, with information on locales, customs, and characters, the illustrated volume delights as it entertains, chronicling acts of heroism, devotion, ruthlessness, and chivalry that illuminate the island nation's culture.“One of the first and in many ways still one of the best books on Japan.” — The Japanese Times.“An excellent introduction to Japanese literature.” — Mainichi Daily News.

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Great stories of the epics; deeds of Krishna, Shiva, taken from puranas, Vedas, folk tales, more. 32 illustrations.

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Gods and giants bestride these ancient tales, in which warrior queens and noble heroes battle with elves, dwarves, and fearsome monsters. Spanning the dawn of the world's creation to its fiery destruction, these gripping Norse legends chronicle the triumphs and tragedies of a lost era. Resounding with a poetic instinct for the picturesque, the dramatic, and the human, they form vivid portraits of the characters' personalities. They also depict the comic and disastrous results of ambition, passion, and destiny.The wellspring of modern knowledge of Norse mythology, these sagas preserved the Vikings' narrative style from an invading European influence. Iceland's great literary genius, Snorri Sturluson (1179–1241), combined oral traditions, genealogical records, and old songs to immortalize his country's glorious past. Edda means «poetic art,» and Sturluson's guidebook for Icelandic poets has been a timeless inspiration for generations of writers around the world, including Wagner, Borges, and Tolkien.

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This fascinating and informative compendium of Native American lore was assembled by one of twentieth-century America's premier ethnographer/anthropologists. Hartley Burr Alexander recounts the continent's myths chronologically and region-by-region, offering a remarkably wide range of nomadic sagas, animist myths, cosmogonies and creation myths, end-time prophecies, and other traditional tales.The stories begin in the far North, among Norsemen and Eskimos, and range through the land of the forest dwellers, with extensive representation of tribes such as the Iroquois and Algonquian. Legends from the Gulf region and Great Plains encompass sun worship and trickster pranks, and from the Indians of the mountain and desert come tales of Navajo gods and episodes from the ghost world. The collection concludes among the natives of the Pacific coast, with stories of secret societies, totemism and totemic spirits, and the Raven Cycle — the supernatural lore surrounding the black bird who hung the sun, moon, and stars in the sky, put the salmon in the rivers and the fish in the sea, and amused itself by fooling people with its shape-shifting tricks.

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What is the relationship of the individual to the state? What is the ideal state, and how can it bring about the most desirable life for its citizens? What sort of education should it provide? What is the purpose of amassing wealth? These are some of the questions Aristotle attempts to answer in one of the most intellectually stimulating works.Both heavily influenced by and critical of Plato's Republic and Laws, Politics represents the distillation of a lifetime of thought and observation. «Encyclopaedic knowledge has never, before or since, gone hand in hand with a logic so masculine or with speculation so profound,» says H. W. C. Davis in his introduction. Students, teachers, and scholars will welcome this inexpensive new edition of the Benjamin Jowett translation, as will all readers interested in Greek thought, political theory, and depictions of the ideal state.

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The legends of ancient Britain retain a profound allure for readers around the world, assuring a warm reception for this introduction to the colorful pageant of Celtic myth. Its wondrous tales range from the oft-told deeds of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table to the less-familiar adventures of the mighty Finn and his Fenians, Ulster's Champions of the Red Branch, and other figures from the Gaelic pantheon. Tracing the exploits of kings and saints back to their earliest origins, the author reveals the pagan roots beneath the medieval Christianity and follows the stories' transformations into the fairy tales of the Victorian age. Minimal use of scholarly notes and a highly accessible style make this reader-friendly volume an ideal steppingstone in the path toward the magic cauldron of Celtic myth.

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Few of the sacred texts of the world's great religions present their wisdom with the clear simplicity of the verses of the Buddhist Dhammapada, or Path to Virtue. Its direct style, clarity, and beauty place it at the forefront of Buddhist sacred literature, and its noble intent raises it to the highest level of humanity's spiritual guides. Easily accessible to any reader, the Dhammapada offers a wealth of wisdom for the novice, as well as the most ardent and experienced of spiritual seekers.Gathered by Buddhist masters into related groups — «On Earnestness,» «Flowers,» «The Fool,» «The Wise Man,» «Happiness,» «Pleasure» — these ancient texts transcend the limitations of time, tradition, and culture to express the ethical principle underlying all wise and compassionate philosophy and conduct. Here are the Four Truths that reveal the nature of the world and our lot in it; here also is the Eightfold Path, the way to enlightenment, incorporating the means to overcome the essential suffering revealed by the Four Truths as the essence of life. The Dhammapada serves as a coherent summation of the necessities for following the Eightfold Path as well as an encouraging and thought-provoking resource to consult along the way.Expressed with great beauty and translated with painstaking scholarship, this classic guide is certain to stimulate, challenge, and inspire students of religion and philosophy as well as all who thirst for enlightenment.

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Often ranked as the greatest of Plato's many remarkable writings, this celebrated philosophical work of the fourth century B.C. contemplates the elements of an ideal state, serving as the forerunner for such other classics of political thought as Cicero's De Republica, St. Augustine's City of God, and Thomas More's Utopia.Written in the form of a dialog in which Socrates questions his students and fellow citizens, The Republic concerns itself chiefly with the question, «What is justice?» as well as Plato's theory of ideas and his conception of the philosopher's role in society. To explore the latter, he invents the allegory of the cave to illustrate his notion that ordinary men are like prisoners in a cave, observing only the shadows of things, while philosophers are those who venture outside the cave and see things as they really are, and whose task it is to return to the cave and tell the truth about what they have seen. This dynamic metaphor expresses at once the eternal conflict between the world of the senses (the cave) and the world of ideas (the world outside the cave), and the philosopher's role as mediator between the two.High school and college students, as well as lovers of classical literature and philosophy, will welcome this handsome and inexpensive edition of an immortal work. It appears here in the fine translation by the English classicist Benjamin Jowett.

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Rooted in an oral tradition, fantastic sagas of Norse mythology found their way into print seven centuries ago, in documents known as the Eddas. This book presents 17 of the most popular tales, from the creation of the world to the death of the gods and the world’s destruction.Masterfully retold, the legends include Odin's trip to Mimer in search of knowledge, the making of Thor's hammer, the loss of Idun's wondrous apples, and the task of securing the dreaded Fenris-wolf with unbreakable silken twine devised from «the sound of a cat’s footsteps, the roots of the mountains, the breath of a fish, and the sinew of a bear.» Here, too, are accounts of «The Wooing of Gerd,» «Thor Goes a Fishing,» «The Death of Balder,» «How Loki Was Punished,» «The Twilight of the Gods,» and «The New Earth.»