Why Hell Stinks of Sulfur: Mythology and Geology of the Underworld

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Why Hell Stinks of Sulfur

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Please note: not all stock is available in all stores. HardCover November 1, Along the way he turns a scientific spotlight on the background to myths of the underworld. Check your local Dymocks store for stock. Enter your postcode: Please enter a valid postcode. Please note that prices may vary between www. Sorry, an error occurred while checking availability. Sort order. What a great book this is! The author goes on a quest to the center of the earth to find out where the hell is locate.


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He uses Dante's text of Inferno and Vergilius to find the entrance. He also uses existing myths and legends. As he is a geologist he tells with a lot of humor about the different stones and minerals he finds on his trip. Very important is that he constantly refers to the history of geologie and the situation at this moment. Over illustrations support his explanation. Most of What a great book this is! Read this book a second time, because I'm doing a literature course on Dante's Inferno.

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It's a great read this second time, mainly because I bought a dead tree copy, which has an amazing colorful layout. Of course Kroonenberg doesn't reach the center of the earth, but his way of telling about what's beneath our feet is fantastic. His book is also a warning that the minerals one day will all be mined. What will be left is a network of underground mining tunnels which can cause catastrophic events if they collaps.

Mythology and Geology of the Underworld

Sep 17, Julian Karas rated it really liked it. I discovered this eccentric title while wandering around in my local branch of the public library. It is an interpretation of how mythology and literature has been shaped by geology, and has in turned influenced our understanding of the earth's interior. Geology professor Salomon Kroonenberg of Delft University in Holland has marshaled an impressive array of literary and cultural references, and unusual geological facts in order to put this book together. The structure of the book is arranged I discovered this eccentric title while wandering around in my local branch of the public library.

The structure of the book is arranged like that of Dante's Inferno, with chapters loosely corresponding to "levels of hell", depicted as concentric layers of the earth.

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The early chapters are spent trying to follow up the original locations of events occurring near the Acheron, the river of Hades, and find its source. The karst-like nature of much of the geology of the Mediterranean means that the original locations of such things as caves and lakes may not be the same, or could have disappeared altogether.

Other chapters make forays into the origin of soil science as a field of study; neolithic flint mining techniques; modern subway system construction; and some of the unusual geologic features in and around Baku, in Azerbaijan, which Kroonenberg states is the real place of origin of petroleum exploration not Pennsylvania, as I had previously thought. We get a tour of the historic Falun mine in Sweden, which supplied most of Europe's copper for about three hundred years, and the working conditions there in the s as described by the taxonomist Carl Linnaeus.

It is incredible to read his descriptions of what these miners had to do!


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He also gives a summary of the evidence that much of the theme of Dante's Inferno was derived from early Islamic writings about Muhammad's descent into hell, and later ascent into heaven. This is amazing information based on comparison between the two respective texts. I had never heard any of this before, so this section alone makes the book well worth reading. Kroonenberg's contention is that all construction and mining work that goes on below the ground level robs us of a piece of the earth's history, just as burning historical archives robs us of a piece of human history.

You can't help but like him, and it's a breath of fresh air for a North American to read a European perspective on geology, especially as Kroonenberg has such a command of all these historical and classical topics.

Why Hell Stinks of Sulfur: Mythology and Geology of the Underworld, Kroonenberg, Brown

It's an offbeat book that meanders around quite a bit, but all of the small unusual pieces that Kroonenberg has gathered together make a very interesting and unique whole. A good read. May 15, Malwae rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: everybody.

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