Connoissance de la Mythologie, Quatrieme Edition

Title page of Connoissance et la mythologie

Connoissance de la Mythologie, par Demandes et par Reponses, François-Xavier Rigord (Paris: Etienne-Francois Savoye, 1753)

Library Call Number: BL720.R54 1753

A fourth edition, this book's avertissement states its purpose is to educate young people about ancient myths and fables. According to the author, the first three editions did not sufficiently outline the untrue nature of the myths, and therefore did not perform their intended duty. These stories were seen as integral to moral education as well as pointing out the errors of pagan religion and reaffirming the principles of Christianity.

The book, true to its pedagogical intention, is written as a series of questions and answers. The answers provide detailed information about the deities and their  associated myths, and are organized by deity in a table of contents at the front, and an index at the back.

This book was intended as a pedagogical tool for young people to learn about mythology, which, according to the author, was necessary in order to appreciate poetry and fine arts. This was a common opinion among academic artists and critics, as classical mythology ranked highly on the hierarchy of artistic subjects, classified as “history painting”. After history painting came portrait, genre painting, landscapes,animal painting and finally still life painting.

This book was acquired by ARC as part of the W. McAllister Johnson Collection to support studies in History, Art History, the Humanities, and Design.

Title page and interior chart from Connoissance de la mythologie