The object of this book is to present in compendious form the evidence which myths and dreams supply as to primitive man’s interpretation of his own nature and of the external world, and more especially to indicate how such evidence carries within itself the history of the origin and growth of beliefs in the supernatural.
The examples are selected chiefly from barbaric races, as furnishing the nearest correspondences to the working of the mind in what may be called its “eocene” stage, but examples are also cited from civilised races, as witnessing to that continuity of ideas which is obscured by familiarity or ignored by prejudice.
HE story of our world is a story that is still very imperfectly known. A couple of hundred years ago men possessed the history of little more than the last three thousand years. What happened before that time was a matter of legend and speculation. Over a large part of the civilized world it was believed and taught that the world had been created suddenly in 4004 B.C., though authorities differed as to whether this had occurred in the spring or autumn of that year.More info →
Oliver Cromwell, the future Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, was born at Huntingdon on April 25, 1599, receiving his baptismal name from his uncle, Sir Oliver Cromwell of Hinchingbrooke, a mansion hard by the little town. It was at Huntingdon that the father of the infant, Robert Cromwell, had established himself, farming lands and perhaps also adding to his income by the profits of a brewhouse managed by his wife, Elizabeth—a descendant of a middle-class Norfolk family of Steward—originally Styward—which, whatever writers of authority may say, was not in any way connected with the Royal House of Scotland.More info →
For both the mummified body and the spiritual elements which had inhabited it upon earth had to be protected from a multitude of devils and fiends, and from the powers of darkness generally. These powers of evil had hideous and terrifying shapes and forms, and their haunts were well known, for they infested the region through which the road of the dead lay when passing from this world to the Kingdom of Osiris. The "great gods" were afraid of them, and were obliged to protect themselves by the use of spells and magical names, and words of power, which were composed and written down by Thoth.More info →
SOME men are renowned in history on account of the extraordinary powers and capacities which they exhibited in the course of their career, or the intrinsic greatness of the deeds which they performed. Others, without having really achieved any thing in itself very great or wonderful, have become widely known to mankind by reason of the vast consequences which, in the subsequent course of events, resulted from their doings. Men of this latter class are conspicuous rather than great. From among thousands of other men equally exalted in character with themselves, they are brought out prominently to the notice of mankind only in consequence of the strong light reflected, by great events subsequently occurring, back upon the position where they happened to stand.More info →
The Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian law code of ancient Mesopotamia, dating back to about 1754 BC. It is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world. The sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi, enacted the code, and partial copies exist on a man-sized stone stele and various clay tablets.More info →
This new edition contains quotations from the literature of the periods covered, from the Apocrypha, Philo, Josephus and the Mishna. Three chapters have been added, two on "Stories and Sayings of the Sages of the Talmud" and one on "Rabbi Judah and his times." Other chapters have been placed in more logical sequence. Both the Chronological Tables and the Notes are fuller. A new feature has been introduced in a "theme for discussion" at the close of each chapter that may be found helpful to study circles and Chautauqua societies. This has also been introduced in the recently issued "Modern Jewish History."More info →
For twenty-five years Professor Mau has devoted himself to the study of Pompeii, spending his summers among the ruins and his winters in Rome, working up the new material. He holds a unique place among the scholars who have given attention to Pompeian antiquities, and his contributions to the literature of the subject have been numerous in both German and Italian. The present volume, however, is not a translation of one previously issued, but a new work first published in English, the liberality of the publishers having made it possible to secure assistance for the preparation of certain restorations and other drawings which Professor Mau desired to have made as illustrating his interpretation of the ruins.More info →
YOU have heard of Homer, and of the two wonderful poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey, which bear his name. No one knows whether these poems were composed by Homer, or whether they are the work of many different poets. And, in fact, it matters very little about their authorship. Everybody agrees that they are the grandest poems ever sung or written or read in this world; and yet, how few persons, comparatively, have read them, or know any thing about them except at second-hand!More info →
THE Spanish peninsula, separated from France on the north by the Pyrenees, and bounded on the three remaining sides by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, contains an area of 225,600 square miles, being a little larger than France. Nature has reared a very formidable barrier between Spain and France, for the Pyrenees, extending in a straight line 250 miles in length, from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean, and often rising in peaks more than ten thou-sand feet in height, offer but three defiles which carriages can traverse, though there are more than a hundred passes which may be surmounted by pedestrians or the sure-footed mule. The soil is fertile; the climate genial and salubrious; and the face of the country, diversified with meadows and mountains, presents, in rare combination, the most attractive features both of loveliness and sublimity.More info →