The Illustrated Book of Signs and Symbols by Mirinda Bruce and Mitford

An expert in Eastern art and culture deciphers the meanings of more than two thousand images from around the world, exploring their origins, meanings, and cultural context in words and full-color illustrations.

This book provides thousands of brief descriptions for symbols from all parts of the world. It begins with a historical introduction to symbols, ranging from ancient times to modern fictitious characters that reflect characteristics of ancient gods and goddesses.

The entries are grouped into four major categories: mythologies and religions; nature; people; and symbol systems (e.g., mathematical symbols, traffic signs). Each symbol is represented by a colorful photograph or painting. A short paragraph explains the origin of the symbol, as well as geographical or historical variations in meaning. For example, the entry on the Roman goddess Minerva discusses her Roman significance as well as her Greek counterpart, Athena. A clear cross-referencing system uses see also boxes. For example, the entry legs, found in the People section under human body and described as possibly representing the swift-footed sun, is cross-referenced to triskele, described as the movement of the sun. Useful are the glossary of terms, additional reading selections, and a detailed index found at the end of the book.

The Illustrated Book of Signs & Symbols is a good basic resource for public and school libraries for readers of all ages. However, far more extensive treatment of symbols can be found in The Dictionary of Symbolism (Facts On File, 1992) and Dictionary of Symbols (ABC-Clio, 1991).

Price INR 75

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