Coupon
The Bear : History of a Fallen King
by Michel Pastoureau and George Holoch


Overview -

The oldest discovered statue, fashioned some fifteen to twenty thousand years ago, is of a bear. The lion was not always king. From antiquity to the Middle Ages, the bear s centrality in cults and mythologies left traces in European languages, literatures, and legends from the Slavic East to Celtic Britain.  Read more...


 
Hardcover
  • $29.95
  • 20% off for Members: Get the Club Price
    $ 23.96
Add to Cart
+ Add to Wishlist
Limited Availability. Allow Additional 2-4 Weeks for Shipping.

This item is Non-Returnable.
FREE Shipping for Club Members
 
> Check In-Store Availability

In-Store pricing may vary

 
 
New & Used Marketplace 14 copies from $20.05
 
 
 

More About The Bear by Michel Pastoureau; George Holoch
 
 
 
Overview

The oldest discovered statue, fashioned some fifteen to twenty thousand years ago, is of a bear. The lion was not always king. From antiquity to the Middle Ages, the bear s centrality in cults and mythologies left traces in European languages, literatures, and legends from the Slavic East to Celtic Britain. Historian Michel Pastoureau considers how this once venerated creature was deposed by the advent of Christianity and continued to sink lower in the symbolic bestiary before rising again in Pyrrhic triumph as a popular toy.

The early Church was threatened by pagan legends of the bear s power, among them a widespread belief that male bears were sexually attracted to women and would violate them, producing half-bear, half-human beings invincible warriors who founded royal lines. Marked for death by the clergy, bears were massacred. During the Renaissance, the demonic prestige bears had been assigned in biblical allegory was lost to the goat, ass, bat, and owl, who were the devil s new familiars, while the lion was crowned as the symbol of nobility. Once the undefeated champions of the Roman arena, prized in princely menageries, bears became entertainers in the marketplace, trained to perform humiliating tricks or muzzled and devoured by packs of dogs for the amusement of humans. By the early twentieth century, however, the bear would return from exile, making its way into the hearts of children everywhere as the teddy bear.

This compelling history reminds us that men and bears have always been inseparable, united by a kinship that gradually moved from nature to culture a bond that continues to this day.


This item is Non-Returnable.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780674047822
  • ISBN-10: 0674047826
  • Publisher: Belknap Press
  • Publish Date: October 2011
  • Page Count: 343
  • Dimensions: 9.27 x 6.42 x 1.26 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.56 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Social Science > Folklore & Mythology
Books > Religion > Christianity - History - General
Books > Social Science > Popular Culture - General

 
BAM Customer Reviews