RAW Book Review: World Mythology in bite Sized Chunks

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The Real African|| By Dumani Mandela

World Mythology by Mark Daniels is an excellent book if one would like to understand the cultural continuity that runs through out all cultures. 

From the Ancient Egyptians to the ancient Sumerians, Aztecs, Mayans, Greeks, Norse and Romans there are stories of creation, heaven and hell and the afterlife that resemble one another across cultures.


The book World Mythology is not an intimidating read and is told in a serious but not an intellectually imposing tone. I was fascinated to learn how Greeks copied the pantheon of Gods from Ancient Egypt and that an African cultural continuity ran through the Greek, Roman and Scandinavian civilizations around 1000BC.

Although the book looks at history’s Mythologies it makes no mention of some of the biblical mythology that exists like the trinity and how the stories in the bible like the great flood were directly taken from the Epic of Gilgamesh. It makes no mention of the African trinity of Osiris, Isis and Horus was copied by the Greeks to form the modern trinity of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

There is a cultural continuity within the modern bible from the Ten Commandments, which emerged from the Laws of Maat in Ancient Egypt to the modern trinity, which the book seems not to pay attention to.

I guess it comes to modern western culture it is difficult for writers to refer to a lot of the biblical stories as modern myth but rather as “The word of God”. I go to church every Sunday but like many, I know there is no scientific proof available today on in any other modern age that has proved the existence of the bible beyond modern myth making for people to derive meaning out of.

I think if this book is to be critical of other societies and call their religious beliefs myths then it must also be as critical on many of the myths in the modern bible. This book makes me aspire to read an African take on ancient mythologies and how they have been influenced by African culture.

A documentary that is worth watching in this regard is a documentary by Ali Mazrui called Africa’s Triple Heritage which looks at how African traditional culture, Christianity and Islam have borrowed heavily from one another leading up to modern African cultural beliefs.

This book World Mythology by Mark Daniels comes highly recommended from the Raw book review series as a seminal book which ad’s to a greater understanding of Africa’s place in the world of modern mythology and cultural practices.

About Dumani Mandela 25 Articles
Dumani Mandela was born in Cofimvaba, Eastern Cape, South Africa and is a graduate of Wits University with a degree in Political Science and International Relations. His background is research, and he worked at Nextwork Consulting and Skandia Insurance Company in Sweden prior to joining his family’s investment company, OSR Holdings, for whom he works as a project manager. Dumani Mandela is a co-author of 'African Soul Talk – When Politics is Not Enough' with Warren Goldstein and participated in research for the book 'Lekgotla: The Art of Leadership Through Dialogue' by Willem de Liefde.

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