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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  A new system, or, an analysis of ancient mythology: wherein an attempt is made to divest tradition of fable; and to reduce the truth to its original purity. In this work is given an history of the Babylonians, Chaldeans, Egyptians, Canaanites, Helladians, Ionians, Leleges, Dorians, Pelasgi: also of the Scythæ, Indoscythæ, Ethiopians, Phenicians. The whole contains an account of the principle events in the first ages, from the deluge to the dispersion; also of the various migrations, which ensued, and the settlements made afterwards in different parts: circumstances of great consequence, which were subsequent to the gentile history of Moses, Vol. I (II, III). By Jacob Bryant, ...
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BRYANT, Jacob (1715--1804)
A new system, or, an analysis of ancient mythology: wherein an attempt is made to divest tradition of fable; and to reduce the truth to its original purity. In this work is given an history of the Babylonians, Chaldeans, Egyptians, Canaanites, Helladians, Ionians, Leleges, Dorians, Pelasgi: also of the Scythæ, Indoscythæ, Ethiopians, Phenicians. The whole contains an account of the principle events in the first ages, from the deluge to the dispersion; also of the various migrations, which ensued, and the settlements made afterwards in different parts: circumstances of great consequence, which were subsequent to the gentile history of Moses, Vol. I (II, III). By Jacob Bryant, ...
London: printed for T. Payne; P. Elmsly; B. White; and J. Walter, 1774-1776.
3 vols ; 28.7 cm. (4º)
I: [2], v--xx, [2], 516 p., X [i.e. 8] pl. : [2] engr. illus.
II: vii, [3], 537, [1] p., XIX [i.e. 18] pl. : [1] engr. illus.
III: viii, 601, [1] p., III engr. maps (2 fold.) : [1] engr. illus.

The third volume was published in 1776. The engravings in vol. I are numbered I--X but the first and last of these are printed on p. 215 and as a tailpiece on p. 516; likewise in vol. II, plate XIX is the tail-piece on p. 537. The plates were mostly engraved by James Basire, although his protégé William Blake may have had a hand in them. See Robert N. Essick, William Blake's commercial book illustrations: a catalogue and study of the plates engraved by Blake after designs by other artists (Oxford 1991), p. 117. Bryant's speculative mythology, now considered 'a fantastic hodgepodge of spurious etymology ... and riotous imagination' (ODNB) is now chiefly remembered for its influence on Blake, who followed Bryant in some of his work. ESTC t88928 (vols I--II), t214664 (vol. III); Lowndes II, 296.

Copy Notes Imperfect; wanting pl. IX in vol. I and pl. XI in vol. II, indicated as such in pencil on the respective lists of plates. Wanting a half-title in vol. I? Amendment in ink to the list of plates in vol. I: 'I. ... To front Page: 251' substituted 214 [itself an error in that this illustration is on p. 215]. Purchased 3 July 1806 for £10 10s. from C. Malton. (Jnl 5, p. 59, SNB). Volume I inscribed on fly leaf in ink Much disfigured by damp previous to 1837. G[eorge] B[ailey]. p.p. 136--145.

Binding Late C18th/early C19th sprinkled calf, gilt double-ruled spine, red and black morocco spine-labels.

Reference Number 939


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