Terracotta Angel, c.1896
Watts Chapel, England

 Photo : Jeff Saward/Labyrinthos

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Philosophical Studies

The labyrinth has long been a subject for philosophical debate and symbolic metaphor. The following studies are recommended reading for those wishing to explore further:

Labyrinthos Bibliography - General Reading

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The Labyrinth in Culture and Society
Jacques Attali.
North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California, 1999.

Historically muddled study of the philosophy and function of mazes and labyrinths. Despite numerous factual errors, the conclusions are none the less thought provoking.

The Labyrinth: Symbol of Fear, Rebirth, and Liberation
Helmut Jaskolski.
Shambhala, Boston, Massachusetts and London, 1997.

Well researched, this reflective and playful study of the labyrinth motif ranging from ancient myths, mediaeval tales to modern fiction is well worth reading.

Il Labirinto Metrico di Oronzo Pasquale Macri
Cosimo Giannuzzi
Congedo Editore, Lecce, Italy, 2004
Italian-language study of metrical labyrinth manuscripts - verses and texts formed as printed labyrinths, often with various interpretations according to how they are read. Fascinating material with a long tradition throughout Europe.

The Mystic Spiral - Journey of the Soul
Jill Purce.
Thames and Hudson, London, 1974.

Nicely illustrated introductory study of spirals and labyrinthine patterns in artistic and spiritual traditions from around the world.

Rosegarden and Labyrinth
Seonaid M. Robertson
Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1963. 2nd edition, 1981.

A classic exploration of art therapy, with sections on the theme of labyrinths, protective enclosures and gardens.