The Phoenix: An Unnatural Biography of a Mythical Beast

The Phoenix An Unnatural Biography of a Mythical Beast Arising triumphantly from the ashes of its predecessor the phoenix has been an enduring symbol of resilience and renewal for thousands of years But how did this mythical bird become so famous that it

  • Title: The Phoenix: An Unnatural Biography of a Mythical Beast
  • Author: Joseph Nigg
  • ISBN: 9780226195490
  • Page: 192
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Arising triumphantly from the ashes of its predecessor, the phoenix has been an enduring symbol of resilience and renewal for thousands of years But how did this mythical bird become so famous that it has played a part in cultures around the world and throughout human history How much of its story do we actually know Here to offer a comprehensive biography and engagingArising triumphantly from the ashes of its predecessor, the phoenix has been an enduring symbol of resilience and renewal for thousands of years But how did this mythical bird become so famous that it has played a part in cultures around the world and throughout human history How much of its story do we actually know Here to offer a comprehensive biography and engaging un natural history of the phoenix is Joseph Nigg, esteemed expert on mythical creatures from griffins and dragons to sea monsters Beginning in ancient Egypt and traveling around the globe and through the centuries, Nigg s vast and sweeping narrative takes readers on a brilliant tour of the cross cultural lore of this famous, yet little known, immortal bird Seeking both the similarities and the differences in the phoenix s many myths and representations, Nigg describes its countless permutations over millennia, including legends of the Chinese phoenix, which was considered one of the sacred creatures that presided over China s destiny classical Greece and Rome, where it can be found in the writings of Herodotus and Ovid nascent and medieval Christianity, in which it came to embody the resurrection and in Europe during the Renaissance, when it was a popular emblem of royals Nigg examines the various phoenix traditions, the beliefs and tales associated with them, their symbolic and metaphoric use, the skepticism and speculation they ve raised, and their appearance in religion, bestiaries, and even contemporary popular culture, in which the ageless bird of renewal is employed as a mascot and logo, including for our own University of Chicago Never bested by hardship or defeated by death, the phoenix is the ultimate icon of hope and rebirth And in The Phoenix An Unnatural Biography of a Mythical Beast, it finally has its due a complete chronicle worthy of such a fantastic and phantasmal creature This entertaining and informative look at the life and transformation of the phoenix will be the authoritative source for anyone fascinated by folklore and mythology, re igniting our curiosity about one of myth s greatest beasts.

    One thought on “The Phoenix: An Unnatural Biography of a Mythical Beast”

    1. Only made it halfway through before it had to go back to the library. WAAAAAY heavier deep-dive into history than I anticipated - so this can surely function as the go-to compendium reference guide thing for anyone who needs to know all there possibly is to know about this beast's global origins. Didn't seem to function quite as well as a narrative, which is more the direction I'd hoped it would go. ah well.

    2. A charming and fun biography of the mythical bird Phoenix.One thing the book does not mention, that I discovered through an old cyclopedia is that during the early 1930s local Egyptians were claiming that a Phoenix actually existed and traveled to the city of Heliopolis (this city is not found on a modern map, but it does indeed exist, it has some of the oldest religious statutes; the statues have been photographed by National Geographic in the early 1920s). Their tale of the Phoenix was quite w [...]

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