Dictionary Of Northern Mythology * Rudolf Simek (2007 d.s. brewer * isbn 0859915131)

Northern MythologyGermany has a habbit of making “Lexikons” which they have for about everything. I have a few of those in my library, because these Lexikons are often very cheap or cheaply reprinted when the copyright has expired. I don’t suppose I ever ran into the Lexikon der Germanischen Mythology, because I cannot imagine that I would have left it in the shop; especially not because it is written by noone else than Rudolf Simek. The original Lexikon is already from 1984 and apparently it has been available in English since 1993, another thing I never knew. I saw a copy of the English translation at the home of a fellow investigator of Northern Mythology and needed to get a copy of my own. The original Lexikon has been translated by Angela Hall together with Simek and it is said to have been expanded and revised as well. As the title suggests, this is nothing more or less than a dictionary. A staggering amount of terms, including short articles about poems, sagas and concepts and a great number of names which are often also explained etymologically. Many of those names come from what Simek calls “the Ížulur” which term he himself explains as “collections of mnemonic verses, lists of synonyms or names which served to pass on knowledge to the following generations orally […]”. I don’t know if these Ížulur are available or if it is agreed upon which they are. The book is extremely informative and truely a reference work, since the sources are usually mentioned, references are made, there is a gigantic bibliography and there are many terms that I never even heard of. What does irritate me a little are the missing internal references of which I already ran into a few. “Hotherus -> Hötherus” wouldn’t that be exactly the same place alphabeticaly? I cannot find the place where Simek hid Hötherus. Another one is that there are several references to a text about the “Three Functions Theory”, which is another one that I cannot find. I am very glad that Simek’s approach is quite ‘Dumézilian’, but how comes that nobody noticed that the key-article is missing? Of course there is no index, so I just have to keep paging through the book to find out if these terms are put in some ilogical place. For the rest, this book is truely a must-buy for anyone seriously interested in Northern Mythology.
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I have got one quote from this book here.

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