Princeton University Library Catalog

The phoenix : an unnatural biography of a mythical beast / Joseph Nigg.

Nigg, Joe [Browse]
  • Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 2016.
  • ©2016
xxv, 487 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Summary note:
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 engaging (un)natural history of the phoenix is Joseph Nigg, esteemed expert on otherworldly creatures from dragons to gryphons 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. 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.
Bibliographic references:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 397-470) and index.
Introduction: Cultural transformations of the phoenix -- Prologue: Sacred to the sun. Egyptian beginnings ; Royal bird of China -- Part I. Classical marvel. Birth of the western phoenix ; Early Roman sightings ; Later Roman variations -- Part II. Bird of God. The Judaic phoenix ; The early Christian phoenix ; The phoenix in old English ; The bestiary phoenix ; Beyond the bestiaries -- Part III. Renaissance transformations. Innovations and renewals ; The Elizabethan phoenix ; The emblematic phoenix ; The philosopher's stone ; Metaphorical variety -- Part IV. Challenged and discredited. Rising doubts ; Battle of the books ; Fading into fable -- Part V. Modern rebirth. Mythical bird ; Poetic fire ; Literary distinction ; From literal ashes.
  • 9780226195490 ((hardcover ; : alkaline paper))
  • 022619549X ((hardcover ; : alkaline paper))
  • ((electronic book))
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