September 17th, 2010


Study program book recommendations for students

For those working on the GSP/CTP/IP, here's a rundown of sources in a couple of courses, and what I thought of them:

First, key texts you must own that apply to several courses, or are so indespensible that you should really have them:

Magic 1

Key Sources:Helpful Sources:
  • Arcana Mundi, ed. by Georg Luck. This book has a lot of good background information, consisting of sources and some analysis. Centrally, this is an important book because it brings in key primary sources. Recommendation: Buy it if you like/focus on Greco-Roman religion, or are keen on magic sources. Otherwise, borrow.
  • In Search of the Indo Europeans by JP Mallory. You'll find some good stuff in here to answer the "background" type questions. Recommendation: Buy for general study program use, but not specifically for this course.
  • Apologia, by Apuleius. This text may border on "key" in some cases, and is very important. You can find several translations online, and there is a partial translation in Luck's book. Why so important? It is a deep refutation of an accusation of magical wrongdoing, and covers a hell of a lot about what people in antiquity thought about magic. An excellent work. Recommendation: Print it out and keep it.
  • The Golden Ass, by Apuleius. This is a humourous fictional tale about a guy who is turned into a donkey through magic. It's a pretty cool read (With the right translation) and several fictionalized incidents can help give a clear picture of what folk thought about magic. Recommendation: Buy a copy: it's cheap and a good read. But you won't find a lot of helpful stuff for course completion. For Study Program purposes, it's a "borrow."
  • Philopseudes, by Lucian. This is the origin of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and an entertaining read. This is a set of stories-within-a-story, and all of the stories are false (and illustrated as such by the narrator). Recommendation: Read it online.

Indo-European Studies 1

Key Sources:Helpful Sources:
  • You'll probably be fine with Mallory.

Indo-European Myth 1

Key Sources:
  • In Search of the Indo-Europeans Language, Archaeology, and Myth by JP Mallory. This book answers nearly all the exit standard questions. Recommendation: Buy it. It's good for several courses.
  • Comparative Mythology by Jann Phuvel. This book has an excellent comparative streak (imagine that), and it's not too tough a read. Covers nearly all potential hearth cultures and has enough specific information to help most anyone. Recommendation: Buy it.
Helpful Sources:
  • Classical Mythology by Morford and Lendardon. Great book, covers varying interpretations of myth. Recommendation: Borrow from the library.
  • Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe: Early Scandinavian and Celtic
    by HR Ellis Davidson. A great book for Norse- and Celtic-types looking to do this course. Deep enough to keep up with the questions, generally. Recommendation: Buy it if you're into either culture, borrow if not.
  • Vedic Mythology by A. A. MacDonnell. I used this extensively. The book is ideally organized for this course, with information about all the topics in the course under generally logical headings. Recommendation: Borrow it if you're not into Vedism yet, but want to use it for the course. If you are into Vedism, buy it.

Liturgy Practicum 1

Key Sources:Helpful Sources:
  • You should be fine with the above.

Liturgy Practicum 1

Key Sources:Helpful Sources:
  • You should be fine with the above.
More to come. . . Thoughts on what other courses you'd like to see the sources "reviewed" for?