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A dictionary? No, this is really an astonishing ark filled with beasts from a fabulous zoo far more varied and entertaining than anything from ordinary natural history. From 'Abaia' and 'Abath' to 'Ziz' and 'Zu', from the microscopic 'Gigelorum' that nests in a mite's ear to the giant serpent 'Jormungandor' who encircles the whole globe, there are beasts from every corner of man's imagination: the light-hearted 'Fearsome Critters' of lumberjack tales find a place alongside the 'Sirrush' of Babylon and the'Winged Bulls' of Assyria. Some of the fabulous beasts turn out to be real creatures in disguise - a Cameleopard is a kind of glamourised giraffe -while others are almost, but not quite, human. Among the six hundred entries are some which are full-scale essays in their own right, as on 'Phoenix' or 'Giants'; and just in case it seems as though the authors dreamt up the entire book, there is a detailed list of books for the would-be hunter in this mythical jungle.
The Boydell Press
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