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The text of this book, originally published in 1912, is organized completely in chart form covering a wide range of topics including such things as numbers; halo and crown; architectural forms; demons, satyrs and nymphs; and plants and blossoms. Each chart is subdivided into meanings by Hebrew and Pagan Form, and Early Christian and Modern Form, and then further subdivided by culture or country. (Modern readers may find the equation of Hebrew with Pagan off-putting, but at the time of the original publication this wording would have been an acceptable way of distinguishing non-Christian from Christian.) Definitions are brief, usually only a phrase or two, still, that may be all that's needed to understand the inclusion of an object in a piece of art, or a literary reference, or to serve as a jumping off point for further research.

 

~review by Jackie Gorman

Author: Adelaide S. Hall

Ibis Press, distributed by Red Wheel/Weiser LLC, 2003

pp. 104, $14.95

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