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Encyclopedia of Gods

af Michael Jordan

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605439,538 (3.73)9
"'Encyclopedia of Gods' offers concise information on more than 2,500 ... deities, from the most ancient gods of polytheistic societies -- Hittite, Sumerian, Mesopotamian -- to the most contemporary gods of the major monotheistic religions -- Allah, God, Yahweh. Among the cultures included are: African peoples, Albanian, Pre-Islamic Arabian, Aztec, Babylonian, Buddhist, Canaanite, Celtic, Egyptian, Native American, Etruscan, Germanic, Greek, Roman, Hindu, Persian, Polynesian, [and] Shinto. The 'Encyclopedia' includes not only the most significant gods of each culture but minor deities as well. Here you will find information not only on Zeus, Thor and Astarte but also on Tozi, the Aztec goddess of healing. Annamurti, the Hindu patron deity of the kitchen, and Nyakaya, the Shilluk crocodile goddess. Each entry provides details on: what culture worshiped the god, the role of the god, the characteristics and symbols used in identification. In the case of the more important personalities, references in art and literature and known dates of workship are also provided. In the case of the more important personalities, references in art and literature and known dates of worship are provided. Indexes by civilization and role of the god enable the researcher to compare gods across cultures or to find information on specific topics of interest. 'Encyclopedia of Gods' will be indispensable to students and researchers in religions, anthropology, history and archeaology ..."… (mere)
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Výkladový slovník jmen antických, keltských, aztéckých, čínských, japonských, indických a slovanských božstev. U některých bohů jsou uvedeny i literární prameny, umělecké zobrazení, místo a období uctívání. Kniha je doplněna seznamem použité literatury, který česká redakce slovníku rozšířila o odkazy na české knihy ( )
  Hanita73 | Feb 27, 2022 |
The dustjacket blurb describes Encyclopedia of Gods author Michael Jordan as a “writer and broadcaster” and notes he spent nine years researching the book. If he had spent a couple of days of those nine years adding references, it might have been a useful work. As it is, we get a listing of the deities (I’ll take 2500 on faith; I’m not going to count them) and a few sentences on each, but usually no clue as to where to go for more information. For “major” gods, Jordan sometimes provides a “literary” source – for example, Theogeny for Zeus – but if you’re interested in learning more about (say) Lauka Mate, the Latvian god of agriculture, you’re out of luck.


There are a few tantalizing descriptions – for example, Niruktipratisamvit is a Buddhist deity of etymological analysis. Aztec mythology continues to be confoundingly creepy; Coatilicue is headless; has claws for hands and feet; wears a necklace of hands, hearts, and skulls; has a skirt of snakes, and two snakes rising from her decapitated neck; has thirteen leather cords hanging down her back, covered with snails (nice touch, those snails); and feeds on human corpses. She’s the goddess of florists. If she’s the goddess of florists, I wonder what the Aztec goddess of psychotic torturers looks like; probably a fluffy bunny.


About the only thing this might be useful for is as a reference for a D&D cosmology, or something similar; not recommended otherwise. ( )
1 stem setnahkt | Dec 7, 2017 |
A great resource book. It has all the major and most of the minor deities. A good guide when studying minor gods. ( )
  Anagarika | Oct 30, 2009 |
This book infuriates me, because the indexing is frankly - terrible. When I open an encyclopedia of Gods to its index, I would like to firstly not have to be restricted to searching via civilisation. Even if I find the god I'm looking for, there are no page numbers - I know I'm being pedantic (the book is alphabetised), but it IS meant to be an encyclopedia, no?

Additionally, it might have been helpful to index in other categories aside from 'Civilisation.'

The information is also not very adequate, and Russian and Slavic deities are poorly covered. ( )
  Ravenari | Oct 9, 2006 |
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"'Encyclopedia of Gods' offers concise information on more than 2,500 ... deities, from the most ancient gods of polytheistic societies -- Hittite, Sumerian, Mesopotamian -- to the most contemporary gods of the major monotheistic religions -- Allah, God, Yahweh. Among the cultures included are: African peoples, Albanian, Pre-Islamic Arabian, Aztec, Babylonian, Buddhist, Canaanite, Celtic, Egyptian, Native American, Etruscan, Germanic, Greek, Roman, Hindu, Persian, Polynesian, [and] Shinto. The 'Encyclopedia' includes not only the most significant gods of each culture but minor deities as well. Here you will find information not only on Zeus, Thor and Astarte but also on Tozi, the Aztec goddess of healing. Annamurti, the Hindu patron deity of the kitchen, and Nyakaya, the Shilluk crocodile goddess. Each entry provides details on: what culture worshiped the god, the role of the god, the characteristics and symbols used in identification. In the case of the more important personalities, references in art and literature and known dates of workship are also provided. In the case of the more important personalities, references in art and literature and known dates of worship are provided. Indexes by civilization and role of the god enable the researcher to compare gods across cultures or to find information on specific topics of interest. 'Encyclopedia of Gods' will be indispensable to students and researchers in religions, anthropology, history and archeaology ..."

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