Precession of the Equinoxes, page 8

Appendix 2: Bibliography

These scientific tracts mentioned below are perfectly readable to anybody who has read and understood this essay on precession of the equinoxes. They all show how precession has been the bedrock of mythology in cultures separated in time as well as geography. I recommend them all.

Hamlet's Mill by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, first published in 1969, my paperback edition first published in Nonpareil Books, by David R Godine, Publisher, Inc. 1977. This is the seminal work that discovered a technical language embedded in mythology. The language was that of astronomy. It should be required reading for all those seriously interested in understanding mythology. It includes a short course in precessional astronomy, but if science isn't strictly your forte, there are Internet websites that can help you visualise the concepts. Some find this book somewhat dense, but you should consider it instead extremely rich in detail. It should not be taken in one meal, as it is more of a moveable feast, an intellectual tour de force that can enlighten those readers with the patience to delve. It will open unsuspected doors on our preliterate forebears.

The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries by David Ulansey, first published by Oxford University Press in 1989, still available from this publisher. It is subtitled Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World. The author begins work with no written gospel nor written theologies, working primarily from images the cult of Mithras left in its temples. Unravels the Mithraic belief system. His article in Scientific American in December 1989 provided a broader view of Mithraism in Western culture.

The Secret of the Incas by William Sullivan, first published in hardcover by Crown Publishers in 1996, currently published by Three Rivers Press of New York. It is subtitled Myth, Astronomy, and the War Against Time. In decoding Andean mythology from an astronomical viewpoint, the author discovered a social and political history of Andes cultures stretching back some 2000 years.

The Death of Gods in Ancient Egypt by Jane Sellers, published by Penguin, London 1992. One of the first Egyptologists to have used Santillana and von Dechend's system to analyse Ancient Egyptian religion.

The Timæus Dialogues by Plato, available on the Internet in various places. Plato's ideas from the fourth century BC on how the Great Architect went about his work in making the universe. Often quoted by those decoding mythology, why not read it yourself?


These are starting points for those interested in diving into the waters of our mythological heritage. Each of these books contains a substantial body of references, notes and bibliography, far more than I could assess and include here. Consider my essay as a mere portal into the world of decoding mythology. These are early days, there is much to do, and plenty of unexplored territory right in front of us.