Myths from the ancient world usually have some supernatural element, a component often generated from a particular intoxicant. These substances promoted a variety of states including possession by the gods, liberation of the soul or a communion with the spirit world. From Acan, the Mayan god of intoxicating drinks, to Zagreus, the first incarnation of the Greek god Dionysus, this encyclopedia encompasses intoxicant-related stories from world mythology that explain the origins of a particular intoxicant or how that intoxicant was involved in creating a particular culture. Entries are arranged alphabetically without regard to category (e.g., gods, intoxicants, places, and rites). Different versions of a single myth are presented when pertinent to the overriding theme. Entries record the referenced story, the identity of the culture in which the myth originated, and when applicable, information about related plant sources and pharmacological effects. Cross-references are noted in bold and sources appear at the end of each entry. Appendices group entries by category and by place of origin.
About the author
E. Lawrence Abel teaches at Wayne State University, where he has received the honor of “Distinguished Professor.” He is also the author of more than forty other books and his articles have been published in various popular and scholarly magazines and journals.
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