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I grew up fascinated with the mythology, legends, and history of every culture I ever heard of - Greek, Roman, Norse, Sumerian, Egyptian, Indian, Chinese, Native American, Arthurian and even more exotic cultures like the Mitanni and the Elamites. I read as much as I could on all of it. Then I read historians like Leslie Alcock and Rachel Bromwich to gain an historical context and Joseph Campbell and Robert Graves for an understanding of the mythology.
I took a Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow in Medieval Studies in 1999 focusing on the Arthurian legends, but peripherally studying several other historical periods and their mythologies.
Check out my wiki, the Xiaverse. It has everything covered in any of my work - bios and historical information on technology, language, religion, art, society - you name it.