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The following annotated bibliography was written by Michael Zibelman for Kip Wheeler's English 199 Class, on July 19, 2001.

Annotated Bibliography on the Sea Serpent

Bright, Charles. Sea Serpents. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1991.

Bright offers a great beginner's book for monster lovers and serpent enthusiasts as well. The book is short but well rounded. It includes Olaus Magnus' illustrations of the "Monster Fish." It also compares Eastern and Northern European serpent myths. Starts with the Leviathan and the Bible and ends with the Gloucester Sea monster of 1817 and recent sightings of Nessie. Historiography and text analysis make this one a winner.

Ellis, Richard. Monsters of the Sea. New York, NY: Alfred A Knoff, Inc., 1994.

One of the best sources I found. Explains everything from a historian's point of view. Includes the Kraken, Leviathan, Giant Squid. Nothing is skipped over in this book. Excellent resource.

Encyclopedia Mythica. On-Line at <http://www.pantheon.org/mythica.html>.

Answers some questions on Jormungandr and other mythic sea beasts from ancient Rome to the present. Includes images if you search hard enough. Great Links to other Web pages

Habel, Norman C. The Book of Job: A Commentary. London: SCM Press, 1985.

Lengthy commentary on Job and the Leviathan. Original "Book of Job" text included. Answers modern biblical scholars' questions on the Behemoth and Leviathan and explains Leviathan as the mythological chaos monster of the sea. Goes into depth concerning the heroism of Job and the capture and the silencing of Leviathan. Helps to create a starting point for studying all sea serpents.

Magnus, Olaus. Historia De Gentibus Septentrionalibus. Ed. E.A. Cabejibeba. Hayka: 1983.

Good luck with this one. I hope you can read Magnus' original 1555 Latin account of sea serpents translated into Russian. You might be able to find it in English through Orbis, maybe. Only redeeming factor: An exact copy of Olaus' maps detailing the islands and seas where serpents dwell.

Sturlason, Snorri. The Prose Edda. Ed. Jean Young. Cambridge, England: Bowes & Bowes Publishers, 1954: 79-80.

The real deal. Written in 1220 CE by Snorri Sturlason. Explains the Midgard Serpent and its relation to Norse mythology. Excellent primary source on Norse monsters, serpents, Hymir, and Thor.

Weiser, Artur. The Psalms: A Commentary. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1962: 663-671.

Weiser provides valuable commentary on Psalm 104 of the Old Testament. Includes description of the Leviathan Sea Serpent as the embodiment of the primeval flood and the chaos monster. He also inserts the Psalm in its entirety. This might be where to start if one needs to gather evidence of Sea Serpents prior to medieval times.

 

 

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kwheeler@cn.edu. Copyright Dr. L. Kip Wheeler and Michael Zibelman, 1999-2003.