Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities
Charles Russel Coulter and Patricia Turner
597 Pages, ISBN 978 1 4766 8556 4
Published by McFarland & Company, 2000
Throughout history, humans have pondered the question of their
existence. In nearly every society, part of the answer has included some
form of god or goddess. For the Mayans, one such deity was Ajtzak,
who tried to create humans from wood; for the Yorubas of Africa, Shango
controlled the thunder and lightning. The Chinese of the Shang dynasty era
worshipped Shang Ti. Evil deities were also part of the answer, as in the case of
the Kuvera, the Hindu chief of evil in the Vedic period, and Tu, the Persian or
Islamic demon of fatal accidents.
All of the known ancient gods, many heretofore obscure or known only from
mythological literature, are included in this exhaustive reference work. The
focus is on their origins, histories, and functions. The people who believed in
each deity are identified, along with alternate names or spellings both old and
modern. The descriptions that follow are of the functions, origins and physical
nature of the deities. Extensive cross references are provided for alternate
spellings and names.
The late Charles Russell Coulter was a novelist and engineer.
Patricia Turner is a writer and researcher in Margate, Florida.
(The text above comes from the back of the book)