Beyond the Blue Horizon: Myths and Legends of the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Planets

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9780060156534: Beyond the Blue Horizon: Myths and Legends of the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Planets

In his classic study The Masks of God, Joseph Campbell conducted us on a fascinating global tour, showing how the seeds of myth grew in a similar fashion throughout the history of civilization. Before Campbell there was Sir James George Frazier who, in The Golden Bough--his pioneering study of magic, relgion, and folk custom--demonstrated how world mythologies exhibit "the effect of similar causes acting alike on the similar constitution of the human mind in different countries and under different skies." Now, in Beyond the Blue Horizon, eminent astronomer E.C. Krupp guides us expertly through a bewildering maze of cultures and civilizations--from the stone age to the present day--making clear that while the skies of these diverse peoples may vary, they speak nearly the same language.
Beyond the Blue Horizon is a treasure trove of myths, legends, and stories in which people have, through the ages, attempted to understand the cosmos and its meaning for humankind. Collecting an astonishing amount of lore between the covers of a single book, Krupp explains why our ancestors were so intrigued by the heavens, and what their celestial stories meant. Readers will learn, for example, that many cultures saw a rabbit--rather than a man--in the moon, and that this moon-rabbit, as a symbol of sacrifice and rebirth, is a cousin of our own Easter Bunny; that to our ancestors, an eclipse challenged the stability and integrity of heaven and thus threatened order and life on earth; that the magical sleighride and chimney antics of Santa Claus echo the ancient journeys of shamans and witch doctors; that our "dog days" of July and August originated in Roman times with the summer appearance of Sirius, the Dog Star; and that the contemporary stories of UFOs reveal the mystery and meaning the sky still holds for us as we approach the twenty-first century. Of course, there is much, much more that will delight and intrigue; even readers familiar with world mythology will find plenty that is new and strange in Krupp's rich panorama.
An epic, authoritative, and cross-cultural exploration with over 150 illustrations, Beyond the Blue Horizon tells how all civilizations searched the sky to understand to universe--and our own place in it.

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About the Author:


About the Author:
E.C. Krupp is an astronomer and Director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. An internationally recognized expert on ancient and prehistoric astronomy, he is the author of numerous books including Echoes of the Ancient Skies. In 1989 he won the prestigious Klumpke-Roberts Award of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for outstanding contributions to public understanding and appreciation of astronomy.

Review:

"Gathers an amazing amount of interesting material to escort readers on an exploration of human thought about the sky, its phenomena, and objects. It presents abundant examples of how very different peoples have viewed the sun, moon, planets, stars, comets, the Milky Way, and their apparent
behavior....Krupp's writing is always in the best style, and this work is no exception....In summary, this is an impressive, interesting, and useful work whose pages should become worn from use over the many years it will remain a standard, highly treasured source of information."--Sky and
Telescope

"A delight, a gentle scientific look at the stories humjanity has told to explain the unknown, presented in an accessibly conversational style....Krupp is educational, but he's also fun."--The Sacramento Bee

"[A] scintillating tour of the myths, legends, and science of the moon, stars, and planets....An erudite but easy-going guide to how the human imagination has filled the world above us with ideas, inventions, and beliefs."--A Common Reader

"An epic, entertaining, and exhaustively researched volume."--Science News

"Full of fascinating connections and odd facts....Lavishly illustrated."--Science Frontiers Book Supplement

"Excellent....An extraordinary collection of folktales and myths and lore relating to the cosmos and our place in it, all placed into context by an astronomer who revels in the wonder and beauty of the natural world."--Skeptical Inquirer

"The writing style is easy and flowing, now pure poetry, now humorously vernacular....A tremendously helpful compendium of countless legends and myths....[Here] speaks a true scientist, one who learns from nature, letting intuition speak for instinctively recognized values of a reality beyond
the gravitationally bound brainmind."--Sunrise

"A detailed yet readable look at the world's myths and legends relating to the sun, moon, planets, and stars."--Astronomy

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