Best folklore & mythology studies according to redditors

We found 193 Reddit comments discussing the best folklore & mythology studies. We ranked the 49 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Folklore & Mythology Studies:

u/itsallfolklore · 54 pointsr/AskHistorians

My search for examples in my library - which is admittedly weighted to Europe - did not yield other examples. The Ashliman site I provided, however, often provides non-European examples, and yet there are none provided for this legend. I looked for scholarly analysis of this tradition, and I couldn't find any. I feel I may be overlooking something. I will continue to look. The following discusses this genre from my Introduction to Folklore; see #2 especially:

>Europeans were fascinated by the idea of condemned souls, either of individuals or groups of people, who could not find rest. These unfortunates were forced to exist in a nether world, appearing occasionally before the living as evidence of their hideous or peculiar plight. Such motifs have been favorites with artists and writers. It is possible to identify six types of these beings.

>1. The “Wild Hunt” is probably the oldest, occurring in ancient Greek sources and Scandinavian mythology. A cluster of stories refers to ghostly riders who race across the landscape or the night sky, questing for some phantom quarry that they can never catch. Legends tell of people seeing this eerie phenomenon. There are occasional references to the leader as being the god of death.

>2. The “Sleeping Army” is a motif that appears in a variety of stories telling of a group of warriors killed in combat, who haunt the battlefield or wait inside a mound for some future conflict. People often believe such an army serves as a matter of last resort, a supernatural force that will rise up if their country is threatened with destruction. King Arthur’s knights are often regarded as sleeping in this way, waiting for the return of their king, healed from his wounds after recuperating in the western island of Avalon.

>3. The “Flying Dutchman” is one of the better known and often used motifs of the condemned souls. This motif describes a phantom ship of ghostly sailors who travel the seas but never find harbor or rest. Their only respite comes every one hundred years, when they are allowed to anchor at a legendary port. Their ship is seen in bad weather. The story seems to be of medieval origin.

>4. The “Wandering Jew” is also a motif belonging to this class. Like the Flying Dutchman, the Wandering Jew appears to be of medieval origin. The legend tells of Ahasverus, a shoemaker of Jerusalem who refused to allow Jesus to sit while carrying his cross to Calvary. His fate is to wander the world, longing for rest.

>5. The Will-’o-the-Wisp is described in Chapter 4. The character was not good enough for heaven and made himself feared by the devil, and so he was exiled from hell. He carries a burning ember, a relic from the time when he briefly entered the abode of Satan, and with this phantom light, he lures nighttime travelers away from their destination. This character is common in Britain.

>6. There are also various legends of medieval origin about cities that sank underground or into the sea because of some collective sin committed by the inhabitants. These towns return to earth every hundred years for a few hours, only to sink back to their eternal existence in perpetual limbo.

u/matts2 · 35 pointsr/AskHistorians

Have you read Trickster Makes This World (excerpt here? Great book on the use and meaning of Trickster stories.

u/arbili · 12 pointsr/Showerthoughts

"Long, long ago, there was a king who had a son, and this son had two penises hanging there. So when it came time for him to marry, his father planned to marry him to a girl with two vulvas. But although they searched far and wide, they couldn’t find such a girl.

The king’s son died without ever getting married, so he became a ghost who wandered around looking for a girl with two vulvas. This ghost searched everywhere and looked very hard, but he just couldn’t find one. And so, since there was nothing else to do, he began doing it to people’s nostrils. From that time on, people began to catch cold. When somebody catches a cold his nose is stuffed up at first and he can’t breathe, and then later his nose starts to run. That’s because when the ghost puts his penises up there the nose feels stuffed up. After he’s finished, he takes them out and that’s when people can start to breathe again. But because he left his liquid up there, their noses run."

From the book Folktales Told Around the World by Richard Dorson

u/aftrnoondelight · 12 pointsr/trees

Buy it on Amazon or your favorite online book retailer. 😉

u/Local_Human · 8 pointsr/politics

>You’re shooting yourself in the foot.

For the Jungians out there, as you know that’s what the trickster archetype does sooner or later. Whether the trickster is a super-genius Coyote or an overgrown stable-genius Oompah-Loompah. Trump is dominated by the trickster archetype.

u/sunagainstgold · 8 pointsr/AskHistorians

We have a lot of excellent (material book) already-published authors (Mike Dash, Roel Konijnendijk, Cassidy Percoco come immediately to mind, that is, /u/mikedash, /u/Iphikrates, and /u/mimicofmodes!), and a lot of brilliant flairs with books coming in the next year or two.

But I am confident I speak for every single AH community member when I say the place to start is:

u/theredknight · 7 pointsr/AskHistorians

Personally, I'd argue that the archetype of the trickster is one of the oldest there are. One book you might be curious to read is Trickster makes the World by Lewis Hyde. Hyde goes through the more elements of trickster characters, such as Hermes, Coyote, or Raven very well and outlines their common patterns.

Essentially, the reason I expect trickster archetype to be very old (might not always have been a coyote) is that it is a very common archetype worldwide and due to something else, a hypothesis I'm sort of working on.

Now, that hypothesis hinges on one interesting motif: If you want to get a trickster to reveal itself when it is cloaked, is to spread some filth around and it is forced to roll in it. (See African Mbulu stories as one example)

If I were to take my own dog, who is a sweet lab mix. He has no cunning or trickery in him. He is straightforward, predictable and extremely well mannered. The only time he ever ever does anything to "trick" is when he finds filth to roll in, to hide his scent. That is truly the only trick he knows.

So my theory is, that if evolutionarily this is the first trick, or the origin of the archetypal pattern which later in our bigger brains became the idea of the trickster, then this 'character' must be very old because it is common in lots of animals as a form of disguising themselves. That's just my hunch but I hope it helps, and I'd love feedback on what you all think as well.


Since we're dealing with the topic of Tricksters and tricks, I felt the need to hide one in this post. Have fun!

u/swift_icarus · 5 pointsr/literature

yeah ... i am not sure i would say that it was a horrible read, but lazy project really fits the bill. you can read the poetic or prose edda in a variety of translations, and other people with more expertise have attempted the same project (i read one a few years ago, think it was penguin). gaiman's verve or flair nowhere really on display, and as mentioned, he is not an academic or an expert (he didn't translate the works).

Edit: Look, Gaiman even blurbed this book! Jeez.

u/Quorraline · 5 pointsr/trees

I have a book I read to my son, called "the magic grinder".

In it, a dragon who seems to be very stoned gives Minnie mouse a magic grinder for saving him from a cave ceiling falling on him.

"turn the handle and say these words: grinder grinder help me please. You will know just what I need, and the grinder will give you whatever you want until you say the magic words golden grinder, stop and stay".

I want that.

u/PrincessArjumand · 4 pointsr/AskHistorians

On the Roman side, you have the comedies of the author Plautus, which are actually adapted from Greek New Comedy. Greek New Comedy came around in the Hellenistic World, and was less of the raunchy fart jokes of Aristophanes (and is thus less fun), and more poking fun at social class. Menander is the only extant author we have of this type of comedy, but the Roman authors like Plautus translated some plays, and wrote others in the same tradition. These comedies are based on stock characters...the most popular of these is the "clever slave". My favorite of Plautus is Amphitryon, which mocks the parentage of Hercules...unfortunately, it's hard to find a good translation. Miles Gloriosus is also popular, and a fairly good translation is here.

Laughter in Rome was actually considered good luck in some instances, because it could divert the Evil Eye. For other instances of Roman laughter, check out satire in Juvenal and Martial. If you want to go earlier in the Greek world, there are a few lyric poets who make fun of people, such as Semonides.

I don't know about the eastern side of this, although I do know that tricksters such as those featured in the Chinese text Monkey were meant to be funny. It might at least give you a start for the east...wikipedia link here. It's a really fun read. Come to think of it, trickster tales from all sorts of cultures might help you...the book Trickster Makes This World.

u/BigBearKitty · 4 pointsr/witchcraft

Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries by Walter Evans-Wentz, who was a fascinating character in his own right.

Examines the beliefs in the Celtic regions of Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man, Cornwall and Britanny in regards to the fey at the very beginning of the 20th c.

Here's the table of contents:

The book is widely available online: the amazon cite includes a free version on kindle, project gutenberg also has it online.

It's a classic.

If you want a compendium of little people, fairies, gnomes etc. A Field Guide to the Little People is wonderful.

Katharine Brigg's An Encyclopedia of Fairies: Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, & Other Supernatural Creatures is another classic.

You must read at least one of R.J. Stewart's books on the subject of faery healing.

u/82364 · 3 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Book by a flaired /r/AskHistorians member.

An elephant cleaning up litter.

/u/kratzalot, do you think that /u/rarelyserious will be less of a grumpasaurus when /u/dryan0 flies out to visit?

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/Harley
u/jerichojak · 3 pointsr/mythology

This one's a great book for trickster gods across cultures: the Raven, Coyote, Odysseus, Hermes, Krishna, etc.

u/tuctrohs · 2 pointsr/shittyaskscience

More about skipping rituals in the book, Skipping Around the World: The Ritual Nature of Folk Rhymes.

u/QuerkyPhellow · 2 pointsr/DnD

Bit of an out-of-the-box suggestion but perhaps pick up a copy of or something similar. The one I linked is full of descriptions of real world fey/faeries from European folklore, and each description usually includes some sort of short cautionary tale. You might be able to find online collections of such folklore if you search for stories about "the Little People" or "the Fair Folk."

Once you get a handle on how the stories tend to run (usually involving someone ignoring/following old superstitions and being punished/rewarded or making a deal with a fey and either keeping it or breaking it) it should become easier to come up with new ones on the fly, and gives you a much wider cast of oddball fey to pick from than usual DnD lore really gets into.

Hope this helps!

u/shaneisneato · 2 pointsr/news

It very much is tied together. Hell, go look on amazon

There is white supremacy book with viking imagery. The creepy thing is that if you go through the frequently bought together for that book and the other viking related white supremacy books related, half of the suggested books are gunfighting, krav maga, etc. Stuff that chubby mall ninja cops would buy.

u/Brontesrule · 2 pointsr/witchcraft
u/Twigryph · 2 pointsr/marvelstudios

> The Trickster's Skin

Ah, realized I got the name wrong :It's "Trickster Makes this World"

I'll look up Galveston :)

Yeah, GOT doesn't hold up in the later seasons when I think about it. Makes me sad.

u/Skollgrimm · 2 pointsr/asatru

Here is a good beginner's book on OHG.

Here is an OHG-English dictionary in PDF form.

Germania is perhaps the greatest source we have for insight into the Germanic tribal religion.

Jacob Grimm's Teutonic Mythology, while controversial, provides a lot of insight into lesser-known Germanic deities.

Even post-conversion works like the Kinder- und Hausmärchen can help us understand the remnants of heathen belief in German culture.

u/Jaberkaty · 2 pointsr/Writeresearch

Trickster Makes the World by Lewis Hyde is a fabulous book about global trickster gods and he has a great section on Native American folklore as well as central and south american indigenous lore. Well worth a read.

I also snagged a book on Arctic Giants, which covers a lot of cannabalistic giants of arctic. Some cool gruesome stuff in that.

I have an older edition of Aleksandr Afanas'ev's "Russian Fairy Tales," which includes Baba Yaga stories and a lot of other interesting tales. Not sure if there is a difference between mine and what I linked to (i.e. updated items, etc.)

If you snag yourself a Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, you can find some really good items. I also tend to collect reference books, which can let you leapfrog to other books on the topic.

u/amazon-converter-bot · 1 pointr/FreeEBOOKS

Here are all the local Amazon links I could find:

Beep bloop. I'm a bot to convert Amazon ebook links to local Amazon sites.
I currently look here:,,,,,,,,,,,,, if you would like your local version of Amazon adding please contact my creator.

u/at-night_mostly · 1 pointr/occult

>This is a foundational text and deserves to be read.

I'll second this. The book contains a wealth of references to research that is hard to find otherwise - experimental results that science fails to acknowledge because it cannot explain them. The author comes surprisingly close to outlining the basis of a magickal system.

I'd like to add Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth and Art, for an analysis of trickster's many tales. If you know how to look, it's a good introduction to trickster magick.

And also Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics, and the Paranormal - a comparative theologian's fascinating excursion into pulp fiction weirdness, the magick of writing, and how to make a hypersigil.

None of these books are likely to appear in the occult section, but I've found them more useful in developing my understanding of magick than many books that address the subject directly.

u/InsideOutsider · 1 pointr/mythology

Not analytical, but [The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony] ( and [Trickster Makes This World] ( are both pleasurable reads.

u/Yossarion · 1 pointr/SubredditDrama

I'm reading Trickster Makes This World, I'll throw down all smarty-pants with yas.

u/BenPapple · 1 pointr/Fantasy

For the fantasy bingo I looked for free japanese fantasy ebooks and found two collections of folk tales, not exactly what you asked for but I guess nontheless interesting for you:

u/Elissa-Megan-Powers · 1 pointr/NoStupidQuestions
u/Spiritwalke · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

Well, not a dozen books. Let's start with one, maybe?

u/MOzarkite · 1 pointr/horrorlit

Not a novel, but you might find Benjamin Radford's Bad Clowns worth a look.

u/noahz72 · 1 pointr/slavelabour

Introduction to Mythology: Contemporary Approaches to Classical and World Myths

$5 USD

u/smaileh · 1 pointr/whatsthatbook

If I'm thinking of the right ones, the author was Aylesworth. Amazon has a listing for Vampires and Other Ghosts by Thomas Aylesworth, but there's not a cover image. There is a cover image on the listing for Werewolves and Other Monsters