Flights of Fancy: Birds in Myth, Legend and Superstition by Peter Tate

By Peter Tate

The right bedside spouse for each bird-watcher and nature lover, inside of Flights of Fancy you’ll locate:

“Don’t promise the crane within the sky, yet provide the titmouse on your hand.”
Russian proverb

“One for sorrow, for joy…”
Traditional English rhyme

“The owl shrieked at thy beginning, an evil sign.”
Shakespeare, Henry VI, half III

“The peacock is ashamed of its huge black feet.”
Medieval Persian tradition

“When the raven attempted to deliver fireplace to the area, ash grew to become its feathers black.”
Cherokee Indian legend

“Sewing a swan’s feather into your husband’s pillow will hold him faithful.”
British superstition

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Extra resources for Flights of Fancy: Birds in Myth, Legend and Superstition

Sample text

Neither can the similarly named 'beautiful rising' of Rameses and the 'firm life' of Neferarkara be satisfactorily placed. It is highly unlikely that these structures can have crumbled into a ruin so complete that no trace whatsoever has been left of them-that is, unless they were built of mud bricks. The brick pyramid of Amenemhat III at Howara, however, still remains, as does that of Senusert III at Dahshur. So much has been written of late concerning the pyramids that it would be idle to pursue the subject further in a work such as this, which professes to give an account of the mythology of Egypt and an outline only of its polity and arts.

The sites of towns, with the temples, fortifications, and private dwellings, have been comprehensively treated, so that the record is almost complete from the building of the foundation to the decorative designs of the artists. The site of each city, again, is generally tha,t of several belonging 39 ANCIENT EGYPTIAN MYTHS to different epochs; the ruins of the older buildings were levelled to an even surface and the newer one begun several feet higher. The artificial mounds thus made are sometimes as much as 80 or 90 feet in height.

We are not at present finally considering the natures or characteristics of the deities mentioned in the Pyramid Texts, but merely affording such a brief outline of them as will give the reader some idea of Egyptian religion in general during the early dynasties. The goddess Net, or Neith, who is mentioned in the Pyramid Texts of Vnas, is a figure in which we descry a personification of moisture or rain, because of her possession of the arrow, the symbol of lightning. The hawk-headed Horus, probably originally a hawk totem, is one of the manifestations of the sun-deity, from whom he may have evolved, or with whom he may have been confounded.

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