The different antediluvian races of men, from the Liber Chronicarum, by Hartmann Schedel, published in Nuremberg in 1493, one of the first illustrated books ever printed.

The different antediluvian races of men, from the Liber Chronicarum, by Hartmann Schedel, published in Nuremberg in 1493, one of the first illustrated books ever printed.

The Sleeping Beauty is the most recent folk-tale avatar of the very old mythological motive of the death and resurrection of a god. The princess is named Aurore, which is latin for dawn. Her one-hundred year sleep is a symbol for (all at once) night, winter and death, and like Mithra, Dionysus, Jesus or Osiris, or any other god whose resurrection is celebrated periodically, her awakening is a symbol for the hope that daylight, spring and life will occur again.

The goddess Dawn, in Homeric literature, is always qualified as rosy-fingered, ῥοδο-δάκτυλος Ἠώς. Is it thus only by chance that the Sleeping Beauty is, under the terms of the malediction, to be wounded at her finger by a spindle?

(Illustration: engraving by Gustave Doré)

The Sleeping Beauty is the most recent folk-tale avatar of the very old mythological motive of the death and resurrection of a god. The princess is named Aurore, which is latin for dawn. Her one-hundred year sleep is a symbol for (all at once) night, winter and death, and like Mithra, Dionysus, Jesus or Osiris, or any other god whose resurrection is celebrated periodically, her awakening is a symbol for the hope that daylight, spring and life will occur again.

The goddess Dawn, in Homeric literature, is always qualified as rosy-fingered, ῥοδο-δάκτυλος Ἠώς. Is it thus only by chance that the Sleeping Beauty is, under the terms of the malediction, to be wounded at her finger by a spindle?

(Illustration: engraving by Gustave Doré)

Rhinoceros, from Buffon’s Natural History (1784)

Rhinoceros, from Buffon’s Natural History (1784)

The constellation of Capricorn, from al-Sūfī’s Kitāb suwar al-kawākib al-ṯābita.

The constellation of Capricorn, from al-Sūfī’s Kitāb suwar al-kawākib al-ṯābita.

A giant squid — illustration from the first edition of Jules Verne’s 20 000 lieues sous les mers.

A giant squid — illustration from the first edition of Jules Verne’s 20 000 lieues sous les mers.

The Red Riding Hood. A tale about a predator that first appears to be gentle, and a young girl wearing a blood-coloured cap, red like the innocence (the virginity) she’s about to lose in the wolf’s bed. The sexual undertext is obvious, and was obvious to Perrault himself, and Tex Avery was not too far from its obscure meaning in his cartoons.

The Red Riding Hood. A tale about a predator that first appears to be gentle, and a young girl wearing a blood-coloured cap, red like the innocence (the virginity) she’s about to lose in the wolf’s bed. The sexual undertext is obvious, and was obvious to Perrault himself, and Tex Avery was not too far from its obscure meaning in his cartoons.

In November 1572, the astronomer Tycho Brahe discovered a supernova in the constellation of Cassiopeia. This illustration shows the stars (including the new one) on the body of Cassiopeia, tied to a chair in the heavens and holding a palm leaf, as the mythological tradition mandates. It is extracted from Brahe’s work Astronomiæ instauratæ progymnasmata.

In November 1572, the astronomer Tycho Brahe discovered a supernova in the constellation of Cassiopeia. This illustration shows the stars (including the new one) on the body of Cassiopeia, tied to a chair in the heavens and holding a palm leaf, as the mythological tradition mandates. It is extracted from Brahe’s work Astronomiæ instauratæ progymnasmata.