A Critical Edition of Alexander's Ross's 1647 Mystagogus Poeticus, or The Muses Interpreter
First published in 1987, this is a critical edition of the 1647 text by the Scottish author Alexander Ross which offered the Renaissance reader not only a wealth of factual information concerning the gods, goddesses, heroes and monsters of ancient myth and legend, but also served as a treasury of interpretation and commentary ingeniously explaining the facts in terms moral, theological, historical and scientific. The critical edition brought this text alongside its counterparts, Cartari’s Imagini and Comes’ Mythologia, which had in recent years begun to receive the scholarly recognition they deserve. It constituted a preliminary essay at defining a distinctively English approach to mythological studies by focusing on the only original myth handbook produced in Renaissance England which in scope and intent may be placed next to the great compilations of the Continent.
Part I. Introduction. 1. Alexander Ross. 2. The Renaissance Mythographical Tradition. 3. Mythography in England. 4. Mystagogus Poeticus. 5. Composition and Text. Part II. Mystagogus Poeticus, or the Muses Interpreter.