Great Myths of the World
Selected and Retold by Padraic Colum
Identical to Myths of the World, but in an older typesetting.
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As a tour of the world's great civilizations and the myths that give voice to their cultures, Padraic Colum's stands out as being not only sweeping in scope but beautiful in voice.As a tour of the world's great civilizations and the myths that give voice to their cultures, Padraic Colum's stands out as being not only sweeping in scope but beautiful in voice. Colum has selected what I will call 'keystone myths' from the ancient cultures that have informed our modern world:
Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Post-Christian Judaism, Greece, Rome, Graeco-Rome, the Celtic world, Finland (Kalevala), Iceland, India, China, Japan, Polynesia, Peru, Central America and Mexico, Zuni.
Colum also treats us to his wonderful essay, "The Significance of Mythology."
This one-volume edition carries within its covers more cultural heartbeats and beautiful vision than any other single book I can think of. Great Myths of the World is a book to enjoy throughout a lifetime. In Waldorf education, many of these myths are at the heart of 4th and 5th grade curricula.
India - Persia - Babylon - Egypt
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Yet another gift to teachers, parents and students from Charles Kovacs!
Stories of gods and demons, noble heroes and epic adventures from the world's great myths and legends, retold for children. Through colorful characters such as Buddha, Krishna, Zarathustra, Gilgamesh, Isis and Osiris, mankind's development from hunters of wild animals to builders of magnificent cities and the great pyramids springs to life. Beyond the historical narrative the stories reveal an ancient wisdom: the timeless source and substance out of which all myths and legends are woven.
Charles Kovacs told these stories to his Grade 5 students when he taught at the Edinburgh Rudolf Steiner School. Although he intended them as source material for teachers and parents of Waldorf School Children, the stories have a universal appeal for children and adults, beginning at about age 9.
Chapters from Ancient History
in a biographic vein
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NOTE: Chapters from Ancient History is once again out of print. We are hoping to hear about a new edition, we'll let you know when we do!
Though out of print for far too long, Chapters from Ancient History remains one of the finest resources for the Waldorf Fifth Grade. Dorothy Harrar, for many years one of the most respected teachers in the Waldorf movement, covers Ancient India, Ancient Persia, Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt and on through Ancient Greece with beautifully told stories, poems and insight which will enrich any fifth grade class or homeschool. Chapters is truly one of the "must haves" for the fifth grade year. How very, very nice that it is again available.
Folktales from India
A Selection of Oral Tales from 22 Languages
Edited and with an Introduction by A.K. Ramanujan
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I know of no other collection of folktales from India that is like this one - stories taken truly from the oral traditions of many groups and retold with an integrity that conveys so much life that I repeatedly find myself hearing the voice of the storyteller as I read them. For me, this collection is an exciting "find" - something I didn't know I wanted but now can't imagine never having had.
These are the types of fairy tales and folktales that explain the world around us - they reveal the types of people in the world, the way the spiritual world intermingles with daily life, the difference between what is wise and what only looks wise, and much, much more.
I would love to see more and more children hearing these stories - to me, they are a nectar of life. I would enthusiastically recommend various of these tales for children at several ages - during the "fairy tale years (ca. kindergarten and grade 1), "the fable years" (ca. grade 2), and then again as an enlivening addition to the myths of India (grade 5) as a way of uniting the heaven of the gods with the life of the earth. These tales are good, solid soul food - the kind that uplifts without carrying one off the ground. You'll love them!
Gilgamesh - Man's First Story
Softbound - elegantly illustrated
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This is a powerful - and powerfully beautiful - retelling of one of the oldest stories known to humanity. Bernarda Bryson tells this story with simplicity and grace - retaining as she does the uniquely Sumerian view of the world, some of the poetic responses, and above all, the heart and soul of this story that combines in equal measure the elements of both transcendent victory and deep tragedy. This retelling was written for children, but I can't think of any adult who wouldn't enjoy it as well. Ms. Bryson is rightly remembered as an author whose sensitivity was matched by her literary skill - and who used the fullness of her capacities in the making of this book.
The story of Gilgamesh was first written down about 3000 BC in Sumeria. It tells of a great flood and of one man, befriended by the gods, who survived by building an ark. In the feats of Gilgamesh and his companion, Enkidu, a monster who turns into a gentle man who loves and respects the King, are found the sources of great mythological heroes: Hercules, Jason and Theseus.
In addition to its vital importance in the history of literature, Gilgamesh is an exciting and often amusing tale - setting jealous god against jealous god, god against man, and man against man in remarkable battles of wit and strength.
A must for fifth graders - wonderful for the rest of us!
a chapter excerpted from Kultur und Kunst Agyptens Ein Isisgeheimnis
Translated by Rudolf Copple
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Background reading for teachers of Waldorf 5th and 10th grade Ancient Egyptian history.
Collected, translated, and with commentary by
Sir Flinders Petrie
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This small book, jam-packed with delicious and exotic stories, would be better titled Ancient Egyptian Folktales, for that is what it contains. Sir Flinders Petrie (1853-1942), one of the greatest Egyptologists of his generation, collected and translated from ancient papyrii these archetypal stories that were told and recorded from the 4th through the 19th Dynasties. These are not the tales of gods and goddesses, thought sometimes these great spiritual beings are present within the tales. These are stories of human beings, of their quests and trials and encounters with other realms, similar in content to the later European fairy tales and Haus Märchen collected by the brothers Grimm and others.
Within these tales, the Ancient Egyptians themselves spring to life, and we are offered not only wisdom and insight as is the provence of any folktale, but we also have before us picture after picture of daily life, expectations, society and much much more. Anyone who wishes to bring Ancient Egyptian society in its many facets alive for their students or children will want to read this book, then tell or read the stories. (note: It is important that you read them first because not all of them are finished due to the fact that parts of the papyrus were torn away over the ages. Most, however, are intact.)
A bonus is that Sir Flinders has added his own commentary at the end of each -- his knowledge and understanding of the significance of the stories is remarkable and will add greatly to your own understanding, and thereby, to that of any children you share these tales with.
A Retelling of Greek Mythology and History According to the Waldorf Approach for Grades 5 & 6
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Told by a master class teacher, the myths and history in Ancient Greece open the doors to an understanding of the heart of Ancient Greek culture and life. These are stories that are sure to stay with students throughout their lives, the sort of tales that will come back to the adult time and time again. Charles Kovacs did a masterful job in the retelling of each story, and covered well the various aspects of the Fifth Grade curriculum on Ancient Greece.
Contains 54 stories in the areas of Greek Mythology, The Argonauts, Perseus, The Twelve Labours of Heracles, Theseus, Greek History, Alexander the Great.
At the Hot Gates
An Account of the Battle of Thermopylae
Illustrated by Adam Agee
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We welcome this outstanding reader for the Waldorf Grade 5 curriculum! Between the excitement of the story and the resounding history that lies behind it, any student (an their teacher!) will be hungry to get to read more.
It’s the year 480 BC and the greatest army ever gathered in the ancient world is on the march to conquer all of Greece. An irresistible force, they are destroying whatever dares to stand in their path. One man steps forward to stop them, followed by 300 companions. His chances are next to null; yet he goes. This man is Leonidas. And his companions are Spartans. They go to stop the Persian advance and meet their destiny at the narrows known as The Hot Gates.
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This is a book I've been hoping to see for years - it is happy news that it is now available. Isabel Wyatt's retelling of the Odyssey is masterful and engaging. Without sacrificing any of the grandeur or scale of the original, she tells the complete story in a way that makes it a bit more immediate, more alive than the translations. This is the perfect reader for Grade 5 students in the Waldorf Curriculum, and a great story for everyone else.
The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy
Retold by Padraic Colum
Illustrated by Willy Pogany
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Master storyteller Padraic Colum beautifully captures the timeless adventure of Homer's Illiad and Odyssey as he weaves the ancient story afresh for young ears and hearts.
First, we follow Odysseus's son Telemachus into the hall of King Menelaus and Queen Helen, she whose face launched a thousand ships. From them we hear of the great battle that was the Trojan War, of the bravery of soldiers and princes on both sides of the walled city, and of the cleverness and craft of the Trojan Horse with which the Greeks won the war.
And then we learn how tragedy stuck Odysseus, how through a single act of disrespect to a powerful god, Odysseus was cast upon unfriendly seas and made to wander for 20 long years, as his wife Penelope struggled to postpone remarriage and his son searched in near-despair for a father he'd never known.
These adventures have woven themselves into the very fabric of our history and culture since they were first told over two thousand years ago -- and this book is a wonderful way to introduce children to them.
A Wonder Book
Heroes and Monsters of Greek Mythology
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What could be better than to have riveting stories from Greek mythology told by one of America's finest writers? Not much, at least not from my perspective.
Nathaniel Hawthorne remains one of my favorite authors, despite the treatment he was meted out during my high school years. His ability to engage the reader and unfold a story far surpasses most of the literature that followed him - I still go back to his books when I want the uprightness and intelligence he brought to the page, and when I want a book that inspires such interest that I can hardly put it down.
It is just these qualities that he brought to A Wonder Book. Children will be captivated by both the Greek myths and by the storyteller who is the 'outer story' of this book. The warmth of the narrator and the imaginations of the Greeks combine to make A Wonder Book one of the treasures of children's literature for all time.
Ages 10 and up.
The Story of the Golden Fleece
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When one of the finest storytellers turns his attention to one of the worlds richest stories, the results are simply wonderful. Colum's rendition of the Golden Fleece creates a world where Jason, Medea, Heracles (Hercules), Orpheus and others come to life in stirring detail. The Story of the Golden Fleece is itself an invitation to enter the world of Greek lore and and share the adventures of heroes and gods. Truly wonderful stuff!
Ages 10 and older.
Helen and Penelope
Greek Mythology and the Drama of Human Development ~ The Trojan War and the Adventures of Odysseus
L. F. C. Mees
Dr. Mees brings the imaginative pictures of Greek mythology, especially the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer, to new life. The author examines these images as expressions of the development of consciousness within the evolving human being. This book is a wonderful background reading for Waldorf 5th and 10th teachers, as well as for all students and lovers of Greek mythology.