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The Language of the Goddess (1989)

de Marija Gimbutas

Outros autores: Joseph Campbell (Prefácio)

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468339,232 (3.94)14
The Goddess is the most potent and persistent feature in the archaeological records of the ancient world, a symbol of the unity of life in nature and the personification of all that was sacred and mysterious on earth. In this pioneering and provocative volume, Marija Gimbutas resurrects the world of the Goddess-worshipping, earth-centered cultures, bringing ancient matriarchal society vividly to life. She interweaves comparative mythology, early historical sources, linguistics, ethnography, and folklore to demonstrate conclusively that Goddess-worship is at the root of Western civilization. Illustrated with nearly 2,000 symbolic artifacts, Gimbutas' magnum opus is at once a "pictorial script" of the prehistoric Goddess religion and an authoritative work that takes these ancient cultures from the realm of speculation into that of documented fact. Over 500 illustrations.… (mais)
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I bought this book last year, after winning Harald Haarmann's Roots of Ancient Greek Civilization as an Early Reviewer. Haarmann, based on linguistic studies, argues that "Old Europe" – the peoples of Europe prior to the arrival of Indo-Europeans – significantly influenced the language and culture of the Indo-European arrivistes. Haarmann's study of paleo-Greek linguistics was superb, and Haarmann expressed his own admiration for the archeomythological work of Marija Gimbutas.

I gave Haarmann's Roots of Ancient Greek Civilization 5***** but I'm giving Gimbutas's Language of the Goddess 3½***. I have some skepticism of Haarmann's view of "Old Europe" as an Edenic paradise, but that's a relatively minor flaw that isn't overemphasized by Haarmann. In contrast, Gimbutas too often reads like "New Age" speculation.

Additionally, Haarmann's study is based on very specific linguistic analysis while Gimbutas goes "all over the place" with interpretations of pottery and statuary designs that tend, in my view, to be far too speculative given our limited knowledge of "Old Europe" and its cult of the Goddess. In fact, I wonder if there even was a single Goddess cult as opposed to a multiplicity of cultic practices.

This particular book is lavish in its design and very generously illustrated. Some might even complain that it approaches the "coffee table" level, but I found Gimbutas's illustrations and photographs very appropriate and demonstrate her vast command of the factual evidence (as opposed, however, to the conclusions which she draws, which tend toward the speculative).

Caution: Despite its highly pictorial nature, this book is not a quick read and you should expect to read just a couple or three short chapters at a time if you don't want to be overwhelmed in details. ( )
  CurrerBell | Mar 7, 2016 |
Beginning with a short Foreword by Joseph Campbell and an Introduction by the author, this book is illustrated on nearly every page by multiple photos and drawings of the artifacts being discussed. The author believes that the symbols craved or painted on cave walls, and tomb and temple walls, and pottery, as well as the forms of the pottery and sculptures are a language of the worship of the early European Goddess. She also shows how the worship of the various forms of the Goddess went underground, so to speak, with the arrival of the Indo-European gods, and traces its survival through the ages with traces still to be found in folk customs and legends of the present.

While the subject was interesting to me, this book would only be for those with a great curiosity in this area because of the overwhelming amount of material and the repetition as she attempts to convince the reader. I did eventually start skimming in places since the information in the captions was often exactly reproduced in the text.
  hailelib | May 17, 2015 |
As Joseph Campbell explains in the Foreword, this assembly of several thousand artifacts by Gimbutas from Neolithic village sites enables us to understand Neolithic Europe, is comparable to the "Rosetta Stone" in establishing a glossary of the hieroglyphs. With these keys, we are able to access the treasury of the past. ( )
1 vote keylawk | Aug 20, 2007 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Marija Gimbutasautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Campbell, JosephPrefácioautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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The Goddess is the most potent and persistent feature in the archaeological records of the ancient world, a symbol of the unity of life in nature and the personification of all that was sacred and mysterious on earth. In this pioneering and provocative volume, Marija Gimbutas resurrects the world of the Goddess-worshipping, earth-centered cultures, bringing ancient matriarchal society vividly to life. She interweaves comparative mythology, early historical sources, linguistics, ethnography, and folklore to demonstrate conclusively that Goddess-worship is at the root of Western civilization. Illustrated with nearly 2,000 symbolic artifacts, Gimbutas' magnum opus is at once a "pictorial script" of the prehistoric Goddess religion and an authoritative work that takes these ancient cultures from the realm of speculation into that of documented fact. Over 500 illustrations.

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