Ancient people were curious about the universe around them. What made the sun cross the sky each day? Why were some rainstorms nothing more than falling water while others included loud rumbles and bright flashes of light?
To answer these questions, they created stories, tales of fantastic figures who did amazing things. These beings were good or evil, thoughtful or thoughtless, but many had wisdom to share or lessons to teach. Some became part of their local folklore while others rose to sacred heights.
Even as these myths reflected their own unique cultures, they often echoed other legends from around the globe. Today, science has explained many of the mysteries that people once puzzled over, but the ageless characters and creatures of time-honoured myths remain tightly woven into our imagination. Here they will continue to inspire new stories, now and forevermore.
After the death of Ymir, only two giants survived – Ymir’s grandson, Bergelmir, and his wife. All future giants were descended from them.
Moon Rabbit Charming creature of Chinese legend who makes its home on the moon According to Chinese folklore, if you look up at the moon in the night sky, you may just be able to make out a shadowy figure – this is the Moon Rabbit.
This creature is not alone, though. It is a friend of the moon goddess Chang’e, who is the one who brought it to the moon in the first place. Stories about the Moon Rabbit have existed for over two thousand years. In many of them, it is said to spend much of its time grinding the elixir of life with a pestle and mortar, or bowl.
This elixir is a potion that is said to grant whoever drinks it eternal life. According to Korean legend, however, the Moon Rabbit is actually making rice cakes. This is also a task that requires pounding, but is not perhaps quite as mysterious or profound.
It is said that the Moon Rabbit once left the moon when a terrible plague beset the Chinese city of Beijing. Recognizing the dire need of the people, Chang’e sent the Moon Rabbit down to help.
The Moon Rabbit visited each infected family with a medicine to cure them. The Moon Rabbit is also sometimes called the Jade Rabbit or the Gold Rabbit, but whatever its name, it can be found pounding away in plain sight to anyone who looks up at the moon in the night sky.
Ghosts Appearing in folklore around the world, ghosts are spirits, and many are the spirits of dead people or animals.
Some ghosts are out for revenge because of the way they died. Others are just angry and mean. Then there are the good spirits who dedicate themselves to watching over loved ones they have left behind.
Ammit Demon known to Ancient Egyptians as the “Devourer of the Dead” The mythical demon or goddess Ammit was pretty hard to miss. She had the head of a crocodile, the mid-section of a lion, and the rear of a hippopotamus.
From the Egyptian standpoint, these animals had one thing in common. They all ate people. And Ammit did so, too. Her titles included “Devourer of the Dead”, “Eater of Hearts”, “Demoness of Death”, and “Bone Eater”. None of these descriptions was very comforting.
However, Ammit lived in the underworld, so the only people who had to deal with her were already dead – in a meeting that took place soon after death. The Ancient Egyptians believed that when they died, they were judged to see if they were worthy of residing in the underworld.
Their hearts were placed on a scale and measured against the ostrich feather belonging to the goddess Ma’at. If the heart was lighter or weighed the same as the feather, then the person was considered to have been virtuous enough to continue on to Osiris, and an afterlife of immortality.
But if the heart was heavier, then Ammit ate the heart right then and there, leaving the dead person’s soul to travel restlessly forever and never find peace. The Ancient Egyptians did not worship Ammit. She was simply a grim reminder of the fate that was waiting for anyone whose life and actions disappointed the gods.
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国家地理英文教材练习册_DK原版书籍_剑桥牛津杂志桥梁书-悠悠乐英语资源 » DK the book of mythical beasts magical creatures《神话中的野兽与魔法生物之书》writen by stephen krensky斯蒂芬·克伦斯基