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by H. Crosthwaite


THIS book, written for readers who are enthusiastic students of linguistics, of the classics, and of ancient history, results from an effort to detect and collect instances of a certain common factor in the history of the ancient Mediterranean world.

Casting my net as far and as wide as I could, I have assembled a body of myth and behaviour in Greece, Italy, Palestine and elsewhere, that reveals a universal concern over electricity, communicated among all the ancient peoples, and distinguishable in their language, myths, and behaviour.

Because of the wide-ranging nature of the inquiry, which demands an interdisciplinary approach, I have perhaps made more than the usual number of errors. I have also found it difficult to be consistent in the matter of transliteration.

Translations and paraphrases are mostly my own; where not, I have tried consistently to make acknowledgments to the author.

My chief sources are the ancient authors themselves, many of them available in the Oxford Classical Texts, and Loeb Classical Library. For the non-specialist reader, the Penguin Classics translations cover most of the ground.

I am greatly indebted to Prof. Alfred de Grazia. As a result of reading his 'God's Fire', I decided to expand an article I had written into this larger work which owes much to his and Mrs. de Grazia's help and hospitality.

I could not have written this book without the constant support, interest, and inspiration of my wife Shirley. She made valuable suggestions and helped in many ways, in company with our daughter Susan, who performed the arduous task of deciphering and typing my manuscript. My thanks also go to Mr. David Brailsford for his help in making copies, and to the staff of Metron Publications and Mr. Fred Plank of Princeton University Printing Services.

H. Crosthwaite Three map sketches to help recollect some of the principal loci operandi of the Handbook --Greece, Italy, the ancient Mediterranean region.

(Click on the picture to get an enlarged view. Caution: Image files are large.)

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