In Egypt Seb-the earth-is a goose, "the great cackler," who lays the gold egg-the sun. The goose was early tamed by Egyptians, though they had neither ducks nor fowls as domestic birds. In India Brahma rides the goose (see Hansa), and in mythology it is often confused with the swan, which is the great emblem of white, and snow, clouds. The goose is an emblem of Frey, and the swan of Freya, among the Norse. The swan was sacred to the sea god Niord. Russian folk-lore abounds with tales of geese, swans, and ducks. Wedding gifts always include geese, which are symbolic of conjugal fidelity.
This 1906 classic of comparative literature, hard to find in print today, was the first English-language project to approach the world's religions from an anthropological perspective. The work of thirty years for Scottish author JAMES G. R. FORLONG (1824-1904), it was originally published under the now-antiquated title A Cyclopedia of Religions and produced at the author's own expense, so strongly did he feel about the need for it despite the reluctance of the publishing houses of the day to produce it.
A road engineer by trade, Forlong traveled the world, learning seven languages and becoming an avid amateur student of native culture-his labor of love was gathering, in this three-volume set, a comprehensive, academic knowledge of the totality of human religious belief.
Volume II: E-M includes entries on such gods, peoples, places, practices, symbols, and concepts as:
. Easter Isle, eggs, fear, and fetish
. gipsies, gorgons, Helene, and horse
. incubi, inspiration, Jacob, and Japan
. Kadesh, Kant, lion, and logos
. Maia, Maimonides, and Mennonites
. and much more.