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Mass Market Paperback Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes Book

ISBN: 0446607258

ISBN13: 9780446607254

Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes

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This deluxe edition of the world's most beloved, bestselling classic on Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology is stunningly illustrated with specially commissioned full-color plates and a beautiful... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

7 ratings

LOVE the book!!!

Easy to understand with lots of information!!! Perfect for beginners interested in learning Greek and Roman Mythology.

Great for a range of stories to keep you interested

This was a great book and I think it's suitable for anyone looking for a range of mythical stories to get started with. They're very interesting and a lot of them I had never heard before. I still read parts of it every now and then and I've had this book for 3 years.

Mythology is my favorite!

I love the whole book itself!

Timeless Tales of the Gods and Heroes of Classical Mythology

Edith Hamilton's "Mythology" tell the "Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes" of classical mythology and this volume, first written in 1942, is now a timeless classic itself. This was the first book of mythology that I ever read and it is still the best. When Hamilton retells the love story of Cupid and Psyche or the tragedy of Agamemnon and his children, she does so with a full sense of what it meant when first told by Apuleius or Aeschylus. These are not children's tales, but the heroic legends and religious beliefs of the ancient Greeks. Furthermore, the illustrations by Steele Savage have the elegance of wood block prints, which, for all I know, is exactly what they are. I appreciate Hamilton's choice to avoid relying on Ovid, for while the "Metamorphoses" is the most comprehensive ancient text dealing with the classical myths, Ovid is an unbeliever. For Hamilton the writings of Homer, Hesiod and Pindar are more abbreviated in terms of providing details for the myths, but at least they take the tales seriously. Another strength of the book is how she organizes the myths in her seven parts: (1) Covers the complete pantheon of deities, including the lesser gods of Olympus and Earth and the later Roman additions, as well as the earliest heroes. (2) Retells the various tales of love, between mortals and the gods or each other, along with the Quest for the Golden Fleece and other early heroic adventures. (3) Focuses specifically on the greatest heroes, Perseus, Theseus and Hercules, with Atalanta thrown in the mix in a curious but understandable editorial decision by Hamilton. (4) Puts together Homer's Iliad and Virgil's Aeneid into a giant epic stretching from the Judgment of Paris to the founding of Roman, with the Odyssey and the tragedies of Euripides. (5) Tells about the great mythological families, namely the House of Atreus (Agamemnon), the Royal House of Thebes (Oedipus and Antigone), and the Royal House of Athens. (6) Covers all of the lesser myths, most notably Midas. (7) Goes off in a new direction, providing a very brief introduction to Norse mythology that seems woefully inadequate given the comprehensive compilation of classical mythology that precedes it. I looked over other possibilities as a basic textbook for my Classical Greek & Roman Mythology course (I know, it sounds redundant and repetitive to me too), but I selected this one as my basic text. If you want analysis of these myths, then you certainly want to look elsewhere. But if you want a solid retelling of virtually every tale of classical mythology, then Edith Hamilton's volume is still at the top of the list as far as I concerned.

Edith Hamilton's classic introduction to classical mythology

Edith Hamilton's "Mythology" tell the "Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes" of classical mythology and this volume, first written in 1942, is now a timeless classic itself. This was the first book of mythology that I ever read and it is still the best. When Hamilton retells the love story of Cupid and Psyche or the tragedy of Agamemnon and his children, she does so with a full sense of what it meant when first told by Apuleius or Aeschylus. These are not children's tales, but the heroic legends and religious beliefs of the ancient Greeks. Furthermore, the illustrations by Steele Savage have the elegance of wood block prints, which, for all I know, is exactly what they are. I appreciate Hamilton's choice to avoid relying on Ovid, for while the "Metamorphoses" is the most comprehensive ancient text dealing with the classical myths, Ovid is an unbeliever. For Hamilton the writings of Homer, Hesiod and Pindar are more abbreviated in terms of providing details for the myths, but at least they take the tales seriously. Another strength of the book is how she organizes the myths in her seven parts: (1) Covers the complete pantheon of deities, including the lesser gods of Olympus and Earth and the later Roman additions, as well as the earliest heroes. (2) Retells the various tales of love, between mortals and the gods or each other, along with the Quest for the Golden Fleece and other early heroic adventures. (3) Focuses specifically on the greatest heroes, Perseus, Theseus and Hercules, with Atalanta thrown in the mix in a curious but understandable editorial decision by Hamilton. (4) Puts together Homer's Iliad and Virgil's Aeneid into a giant epic stretching from the Judgment of Paris to the founding of Roman, with the Odyssey and the tragedies of Euripides. (5) Tells about the great mythological families, namely the House of Atreus (Agamemnon), the Royal House of Thebes (Oedipus and Antigone), and the Royal House of Athens. (6) Covers all of the lesser myths, most notably Midas. (7) Goes off in a new direction, providing a very brief introduction to Norse mythology that seems woefully inadequate given the comprehensive compilation of classical mythology that precedes it. I looked over other possibilities as a basic textbook for an introductory mythology course, but I keep coming back to this one. If you want analysis of these myths, then you certainly want to look elsewhere. But if you want a solid retelling of virtually every tale of classical mythology, then Edith Hamilton's volume is still at the top of the list.

All You'll Likely Need

"Mythology" covers all the major and most minor Greek, Norse and Roman gods, goddesses, stories and locales. Edith Hamilton makes no pretenses that this is all there is to say on mythology, but she gives a reader a fine start. Hamilton puts them into sensible structures so beginners can learn in a context which are easy to understand. She provides major section titles helping readers get straight to the required story, like "Stories of Love and Adventure" You'll find "Cupid and Psyche" as a chapter. Chapters are named mostly by story like, "The Trojan War." She quotes from the sources, so the reader knows how it is she got her information. Character-driven in format, readers can look up a name, find the subtitle with that name, and read why that character matters. She writes narratively, sounding a little like "Cliff's Notes." This is a good thing, because the poetry from which these myths are drawn can be overwhelming. Nicely organized is the geneological table section. It looks like a family tree, in a English royalty kind of way. As a writer, I use it for a quick reference guide. I usually only need a few nuggets of information, and she gives me plenty. I first acquired it high school, using it to get out of those tough jams when I did not understand books like "The Odyssey," by Homer. More than mere reference, "Mythology" is good reading for no other purpose than serendipitous curiosity. I fully recommend it. Anthony Trendl editor, HungarianBookstore.com

A must read. Couldn't put it down.

I have been trying to find a good book to tell the great stories of ancient mythology and this did it. It was a wonderful book for anyone. Even if you are not really into mythology this would be and interesting book since it is part of history. After reading this book, it enhanced my love for mythology and I am now on a mythology binge, reading Homer's Odessey and Iliad. It is a definate must read
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