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Specialised Sources & Academic Studies - General Historic Information

Since the first studies of labyrinths and mazes were written in the late 19th century, many general and specialised studies have been published, especially during the last few decades. The following list contains many of the more interesting and worthwhile titles that should be on your reading list - from Matthews through to Kern and some more recent studies.

Bord, Janet. Mazes and Labyrinths of the World. London: Latimer, 1976.
Many photos and illustrations, if a little short on information, this was one of the first books to re-kindle modern interest in the subject.

Candolini, Gernot. Das Geheimnisvolle Labyrinth. Augsburg, Germany: Pattloch, 1999.
Well-illustrated German-language study of labyrinths, ancient and modern.

Field, Robert. Mazes: Ancient & Modern. Diss, England: Tarquin Publications, 1999.
Colourful introductory booklet on the history of mazes and labyrinths.

Fisher, Adrian & Georg Gerster. The Art of the Maze. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1990.
Reprinted by Seven Dials, London, 2000. Published in the USA as Labyrinth - Solving the Riddle of the Maze by Harmony Books, 1990. Fully illustrated guide to mazes and labyrinths worldwide, with good historical summary.

Hallman, Frithjof. Das Rätsel der Labyrithe. Ardagger, Austria: Michael Damböck, 1994.
Quirky and rather unreliable, this collection of theories and ideas about labyrinths also contains a useful catalogue of examples.

Kern, Hermann. Labyrinthe. Munich: Prestel, 1982.
The original German language edition of Kern's exhaustive catalogue, still available, but now replaced by the new revised and updated English edition.

Kern, Hermann. Through the Labyrinth, ed. Robert Ferré & Jeff Saward. Munich: Prestel, 2000.
Definitive scholarly catalogue of historic labyrinths from around the world, now translated to English and extensively updated. Unbeatable detail of Roman labyrinth mosaics, medieval manuscripts and early printed sources. An essential book for the serious researcher.

Krause, Ernst. Die Trojaburgen Nordeuropas. Glogau: 1893.
Quirky by modern standards, this was one of the first books written about labyrinths. Attempts to prove a Bronze Age origin for labyrinths in the far north.

Matthews, W.H. Mazes and Labyrinths - Their History & Development. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1922.
Reprinted, New York: Dover Publications, 1970. The 1922 classic study of the subject and still full of facts and surprising snippets of information.

Pennick, Nigel. Mazes and Labyrinths. London: Robert Hale, 1990.
A wide-ranging study of maze and labyrinth history, especially in the UK and Europe.

Reed Doob, Penelope. The Idea of the Labyrinth from Classical Antiquity through the Middle Ages. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1990.
Scholarly study of labyrinths from classical antiquity through the mediaeval, especially in texts and literature. A valuable and reliable source for labyrinth descriptions and references in early manuscripts and the works of classical writers.

Saint-Hilaire, Paul de. L'universe Secret du Labyrinthe. Paris: Robert Laffont, 1992.
French language guide to mazes and labyrinths, especially in Europe. Historically unreliable, but with extensive gazetteer of 500+ examples.

Santarcangeli, Paolo. Il Libro dei Labirinti. Firenze: Vallecchi Editore, 1967.
Published in French as Le Livre des Labyrinthes, Paris: Gallimard, 1974. Pioneer study of labyrinths, now dated by recent research.

Saward, Jeff. Labyrinths & Mazes. London: Gaia Books, 2003 & New York: Lark Books, 2003.
The definitive illustrated guide to historical labyrinths and mazes worldwide, with 400+ illustrations, maps, tables and extensive bibliography.

Saward, Jeff. Magical Paths - Labyrinths & Mazes in the 21st Century. London: Mitchell Beazley, 2002.
Published in French as Labyrinthes, Paris: Flammarion, 2003. Lavishly illustrated study of the current resurgence of mazes and labyrinths with historical summary.

Schuster, Carl. Social Symbolism in Ancient & Tribal Art, Volume 3, Book 2, ed. Edmund Carpenter. New York: Rock Foundation, 1988. A remarkable collection of labyrinth images and information from the archives of the late Carl Schuster.

Seifried, Ilse M. Das Labyrinth - oder Die Kunst zu Wandeln. Innsbruck, Austria: Haymon, 2002. Well-illustrated German-language study of labyrinth history and the modern labyrinth revival, with contributions from a number of artists and labyrinth builders.

Thordrup, Jørgen. Alle Tiders Labyrinter. Silkeborg, Denmark: Dixit, 2002. Nicely illustrated Danish language study of labyrinths with particular emphasis on Denmark and Scandinavia and much valuable documentation.

Wright, Craig. The Maze and the Warrior. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2001. Scholarly study of the labyrinth symbol in mediaeval and renaissance architecture, theology and music, with valuable analysis of contemporary documentation and perceptions.