Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Golems and Gargoyles

Most have heard of gargoyles, beings of animated stone. Much to my consternation, those weren't listed in my handy Dictionary of Mythology by J. A. Coleman (Arcturus Publishing, 2007). But this was:


an image brought to life: a servant automaton

A golem, in my mind, is only slightly different from a gargoyle. A gargoyle springs to life on its own -- that is the nature of a gargoyle. On the other hand, a golem must be created and brought to life by someone else. 

Check out these resources for interesting things about gargoyles and golems:

-The Gargoyle Wikipedia page

-The Golem Wikipedia page

-About Gargoyles

-Gargoyle Etymology and History

-The Golem myth in film and literature

-Background on Golem Legends

-The Jewish legend of the Golem

-Babylonian Talmud: Sanhedrin 65(b) (The earliest account of a golem)

-Jewish Magical and Mystical Traditions on the Artificial Anthropoid by Moshe Idel (golem tales from ancient times onward).

Coming up next: A 5-part special! Return next week to see my reviews of each of the four stories in Stone Heroes by Cindy Spencer Pape, now in paperback with Ellora's Cave! And to follow up, I'll be interviewing Cindy.


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