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The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology: An A-Z Guide to the Myths and Legends of the Ancient World

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  1,761 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
The myths and legends of the ancient worlds, from Greece, Rome and Egypt to the Norse and Celtic lands, through Persia and India to China and the Far East, the Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology is a comprehensive A to Z of the classic stories of gods and goddesses, heroes and mythical beasts, wizards and warriors.
Published January 1st 2003 by Hermes House (first published January 1st 1990)
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The book is oversize and has over 1,000 entries over hundreds of pages. It's bulky, but it's lavishly illustrated which makes the full size worthwhile, if you're into those kinds of things.

I think the Goodreads summary can give as good a feel as anything for this book: "An authoritative A to Z of the mythical figures of two great continents, with copious cross-references." Yeah, those "two great continents" are, you guessed it, Europe and Asia. I have to downrate this book for calling itself th
Sep 04, 2012 Erica rated it it was amazing
My most treasured book (^___^)
This is one of a number of similar reference works -- highly visual, pointlessly list-oriented and presented without much context -- which I bought in chains of busy remainder stores, downtown Bucharest. This book in particular has really astonishing, but oddly garish illustrations of every imagineable mythology and sort, but all a similar shade of orange red, which blurred detail as it was printed at some bargain in China.

It's hard to know where to begin with alphabetical listings of every majo
Jun 29, 2007 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: historical
Another one of those Gold colored books you see in the discount bin at Barnes and Nobel or Borders, this book is an attempt to organize mythological/religious characters from all around the world.

What's mythology to one person is religion to the next, and this book does a fine job of demonstrating key points in each character's history.

Finding this book now may be a trial, especially under the current ISBN, however, a search of the authors Arthur Cotterell & Rachel Storm return a new book en
Dec 31, 2011 Zezee rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: myth lovers
Shelves: favorites
This is a great reference book. It contains a lot of mythological characters and is detailed (although sometimes I wish it contained a bit more). I recommend this to all myth lovers. Myths covered: Greek/Roman, Celtic, Nordic, South and Central Asia, Egypt and West Asia, East Asia.
As with most encyclopedias, this is not the sort of book which one reads from cover to cover.
AS with a dictionary one either goes straight to the topic needed or one browses and cross references....and Time flies.
I have been doing BOTH since late March when I began a Ten Week series of lectures "LIVING MYTHS" at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) scattered through March, April, May and June 2012.
Alas,only two lectures remain.
Lecture notes, an intermission of chat with tea/coffee and supe
I originally bought this book for a college class, but I enjoyed it so much that I kept it instead of selling it back. Details Greek, Roman, Celtic, Norse, Egyptian/West Asian, South/Central Asian, and East Asian mythologies.
Ashley Adams
Amazingly comprehensive collection of myths from around the world. The best part of this collection is that it includes impressive artwork to represent almost every entry. Wonderful reference!
Tom Quinn
Feb 09, 2016 Tom Quinn rated it liked it
I'm a sucker for these sort of coffee table books. Give me a great big bunch of trivia and slap a few pretty pictures in it, bind it all together and call it a bathroom reader and I'm captivated. This one I read ten or twelve pages at a time and it's a fine example of its kind--that is to say, the kind of book you leave lying out for people to flip through while waiting around for an appointment someplace. Of course we cover the Greek and Roman myths, but the authors also include the Norse myths ...more
Mar 30, 2012 Mackenzie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is a good source to start your research into not just Greek mythology but also other myths from around the world: Roman, Egyptian, Norse, Celtic, Persian, Indian and Far Eastern.

For the Greek mythology section, it doesn't always provide a comprehensive entry for some entities (e.g. I couldn't find anything about the Chimera in here) but the more prominent figures are all in there so, again, if you need a starting point for your research, this book will provide it.

Personally, I use it
Harlan Martin
Apr 04, 2013 Harlan Martin rated it did not like it
The research that went into this is faulty and filled with misinformation. They based the majority of the writing on one source called the Prose Edda that was written by a gentleman named Snorri Sturlsun who was a classically educated scholar who lived 100 years after the conversion of Iceland. That once source is pretty much taken with a grain of salt as being a doctored version of the Eddas because of the influence christianity and the church had on his writings. Most of true Asatru scholars t ...more
Jesse Evans-Jenkins
Jun 04, 2010 Jesse Evans-Jenkins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mythology Buffs
A great book for the mythology expert or student. I mainly bought this for Greek and Roman mythology, but it also includes Celtic, Nordic, Egypt and West Asia, South and Central Asia, and East Asia's myths. The books are very organized with an easy to use index so you can find all of the gods and godesses you want. Each myth is completely told with descriptions. In grey and oranged outlined pages, a certain part of a culture's mythology is explained. An example of this is that under the Greek an ...more
Ashley Logan
I used this book to look up Greek mythology for the Percy Jackson series. It was a lot of help and fun to read.
Reading it for Norse mythology now, focusing on Thor due to the new movie that is out. This is a big book and I hate to put "read" on here when it would probably take a person 2 years to read! I've read everything important to the Norse mythology I possibly could and it was 300 pages +. A lot to cover when it comes to mythology, but this is one of the better books on all the mythologies
Aug 11, 2008 Asia rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, reference
I picked this up at Borders for like... $19.99 instead of the original MSRP.

It's a very nice and quite informative book, with lots of good photos and illustrations. The information is somewhat run-of-the-mill, at times, consisting of a lot of the same old regurgitated tidbits as so many other mythology books, but the fact it runs the gamut from Norse to Southeast Asian and everywhere in between kind of makes up for it.
Jun 30, 2014 Danelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, mythology
A fairly comprehensive book of mythology covering Europe & Asia. It begins with Greek & Roman mythology and then continues on with Celtic and Nordic. There are also sections on Africa and Asia. It's definitely not something you'd sit and read all the way through. It is nice for browsing, to keep on hand for reference, or to read bits on a rainy day.

Though it's not as in-depth as it could be, it does cover quite a bit.

The artwork throughout is an added bonus.
Jan 31, 2011 Milo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mythology Enthusiasts
Shelves: golden, mythology
More like a textbook of all the worlds myths than anything else, this encyclopedia is interesting to peruse at your leisure. I loved it so much because it was able to point me in the direction of some of the most epic yarns ever woven from the beginning of recorded time to recent history. I still to this day look fondly through it from time to time.
Laura Galarza
Sep 19, 2011 Laura Galarza rated it really liked it
One of my all time favorite books, which is of course part of my collection. This book has an immense amount of information from Greek and Roman mythology to Celtic and Asian mythology. It’s something like your one stop book for all your mythological needs. Really is a must have book in any readers collection.
A fantastically written book on myths, mythology, and Gods from every country that practices any sort of religion.

Full of drawings, photographs and, of course stories and myths, this book will teach every member of your family something about mythology.
Feb 27, 2012 Nanci rated it really liked it
The tiny fonts make this compact book a bit hard on the eyes, but the extensive photos, pictures, variety of cultures covered in a multitude of entries make it a worthwhile addition to any library section on mythology.
Jul 02, 2013 Jovy rated it really liked it
Love this book! It's a good reference for mythology not just Greek or Roman but also Norse, Egyptian and other myths. It is a huge book, but what can you expect, it's an encyclopedia for mythologies for crying out loud! If you don't like encyclopedia do not read this.
Mar 18, 2010 Tracy rated it really liked it
This is an awesome reference book for mythical figures. I am dissapointed that it didn't cover more Egyptian figures and that it lumped them in the same chapter as West Asia. Other than that, it is an excellent reference book.
Ruric Amhari
Dec 29, 2012 Ruric Amhari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology
Comprehensive reference guide to world mythology with sections on classical world, norse lands, south and central asia, egypt and west asia, celtic world, east asia.

Entries are made in A-Z format within each main section with lots of full colour illustrations and photos.
April Helms
Jan 17, 2008 April Helms rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
An amazing collection of myths from all over. I keep this one on my reference shelves in my computer room in case I ever need to look something up. Great reference for Greek, Roman, Celtic and Egyptian mythology.
Apr 21, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Ever get stumped on a mytholgical question? (yeah-because I know it happens everyday-right?) This book gives a brief description of just about every mythogical creature/god/human throughout time from all different regions from the Celtics to Rome and back again.
Bernadette' Hammelman
a very good resource book. easy to find info and simple but informative.
Malcolm Forman
Jan 29, 2014 Malcolm Forman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well written book for those searching basic information on mythological gods and goddesses from different cultures around the world
Sep 12, 2011 Greg rated it it was amazing
This is an Encyclopedia; you never 'actually' finish reading it.
If you're interested in; Art, Ancient Worlds and obviously Mythology, it's good to have in your collection.
Sabrina Flynn
Nov 03, 2013 Sabrina Flynn rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A wonderful resource book for Mythology in every culture. Vibrant illustrations and a host of legends that are grouped in a logical way.
Feb 26, 2009 Maziyar rated it really liked it
Shelves: mythology
Though the accounts of the stories are not accurate, the quality of the book is wonderful.
Ms. Nikki
Sep 16, 2012 Ms. Nikki rated it liked it
Shelves: own-it-pb-or-hc
Other than the pictures (most likely, the pictures too), you can find most of these mythical beings online.
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Arthur Cotterell, former Principal of Kingston College in London, has spent many years combining senior educational management with historical research. He is the respected author of more than thirty books, and is now writing on the Chinese empire, from the history of which he considers one can learn as much about leadership as from Ashridge or Harvard.
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