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Paperback The Greek Myths: Combined Edition Book

ISBN: 0140171991

ISBN13: 9780140171990

The Greek Myths: Combined Edition

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Book Overview

F rom the creation out of Chaos and the birth of Olympians to the Labours of Hercules, the Trojan War and Odysseus's return, Robert Grave's superb retelling of the Greek Myths - now published for the... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

An Exhaustive Text For Advanced Students of Greek Mythology

Robert Graves' THE GREEK MYTHS falls between the Victorian bombast of Bulfinch and the popular style of Edith Hamilton, less stylistically intimidating than the former and more scholarly than the latter. Originally published as a two volume set in 1955 with author revisions in 1957 and 1960, this single volume text does not abridge the original text but merely confines it to a single binding.One's reaction to THE GREEK MYTHS will depend to some extent on one's purpose in acquiring it. This is an exhaustive collection of Greek mythology that far outstrips any other modern anthology that I have encountered, including myths both better known and extremely obscure. Each myth is presented in concise, graceful prose, and where possible Graves includes genealogies of the characters and major variations of each myth; an interpretive essay also follows each myth.While Graves' retelling of the myths themselves have been widely praised, his interpretations of the myths have been somewhat criticized--and justly so. Graves tends to see incarnations of the "White Goddess" and the "Sacrificial King" in every third story; more dangerously, he tends to tie the myths to historical events in a highly speculative way. While this does not undercut the interest of his interpretations, it does hold a number of traps for the casual reader, who may assume that Graves' essays offer standard, scholastically unbiased interpretations based on proven historical events.For myself, I use Graves' THE GREEK MYTHS as both reference and pleasure-reading, and I enjoy it a great deal; it is an indispensable purchase for any one with a serious interest in Greek mythology for any one who must frequently reference the same for scholarly purposes, and I strongly recommend it to them. At the same time, however, I would hesitate to recommend it to readers who have not previously been exposed to Greek mythology or who wish only a general knowledge of the major Greek myths; in such cases I would instead recommend Edith Hamilton's MYTHOLOGY: TIMELESS TALES OF GODS AND HEROES.

Wore out first copy; purchasing a new one

As a writer of fiction who bases work on Greek mythology, this is my most frequently consulted reference. Graves focuses on the sources of the myths as well as the myths themselves, puts them into context with contemporary culture and history, and also puts them into context with each other. The index, maps, cross-references, and the organization of the book as a whole are invaluable to me as a writer and a student of Greek and Roman mythology. Graves' writing is precise and evocative, as well. I've underlined, dog-eared, and completely worn out my first copy and will be purchasing a second for more "casual" reading.

Soul and Underworld

Much good stuff has been said about this book, right here on this page, so I would like to focus on just one important aspect: Graves's treatment of the Underworld. Here, for the first time in history, as far as I know, the author provides a genuine "map" of that dark realm, complete with Who judges Europeans, Asians and others, along with a superb description of the three roads of Hekate, the real ruler of the Three Realms -- Heaven, Earth, and Underworld -- a magnificent opus not to be intellectualized but felt in the heart, the Soul.

The most exhaustive comparison of Greek Myth & stories extan

Robert Graves, like Joseph Campbell, is one of half a dozen mythographers who are in the top rank of this century. His exhaustive research and comparisons of sources are stunning in scope but instead of being bewildering he has captured the themes and synergies between stories and come to some remarkably cogent conclusions. Graves sees history in the myths rather than psychology, primarily, and believes that they tell veiled stories of real happenings that became emotionally and spiritually significant and therefore ripened into the orthodox Greek religion of the millenium B.C.. Just as the stories, therefore, of Jesus and Moses are also cloaked in a real history, he analyzes the probabilities that the coming of Zeus' patriarchy played a huge role in the formation of the Greek myths, and he tells us credibly how this influence clashed with the beliefs of earlier times. Graves has few peers in the depth and scope and detail of his understanding and because his research is so comprehensive, his conclusions must be given great weight.

The Greek Myths brought to life.

Despite being nearly 40 years old, Robert Graves' brilliant mixture of poetic prose and scholarly exegesis continues to make his Greek Myths a stunning read as well as a valuable resource for ancient greek mythology. As a poet, novelist, classicist, translator, historian and literary critic, Graves' had the ability to blend "poetic intuition" with scholarship to bring the myths of a distant time to life. As Graves himself always claimed, the ancient past is no less knowable than a contemporary political cartoon; however, a contemporary political cartoon seems easier to understand than an ancient myth because it's a product of what we know well. Graves sought to bring the past to life so that the ancient myth would seem as current and knowable and understandable as the present. Classicists and historians often reject Graves *because* he demystifies the knowledge they claim as their own.Anyone at all interested in Greek mythology must come to own Graves' work. They can serve themselves well by also reading his The White Goddess, and The Hebrew Myths. His famous Claudius Novels, The Golden Fleece (Hercules, My Shipmate in America), and King Jesus are vaulable reads as well.

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