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This is a pocket guide to the wealth of symbols and icons that have been used around the world from primitive times to the modern day. Taking a regional approach, the book examines the origins, style and meaning of the most significant symbols used in the art of different cultures. It breaks down each region by theme and analyses the types of symbols in each subject area. The symbols are shown in the context of beautiful art and as individual glyphs, allowing the reader to study everything from Egyptian hieroglyphs and Chinese characters through to Western heraldry and hagiography. Related symbols are cross-referenced to ensure that the reader can study fascinating cultural constrasts as well as thematic sets of symbols.