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The Complete World of Greek Mythology (edition 2004)

by Richard Buxton

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181165,444 (3.85)7
Member:ClifSven
Title:The Complete World of Greek Mythology
Authors:Richard Buxton
Info:Thames & Hudson (2004), Hardcover, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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The Complete World of Greek Mythology by Richard Buxton

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I have started reading the Percy Jackson series so I thought I should brush up on my mythology before I got too far along in the Riodan series, so I picked up this book at the library.

I was surprised with very detailed lists of major and minor Greek gods as well as indications of their spheres of influence. The book included charts of the genealogy of the Gods (who begat who), details of ancient myths, and pictures of beautiful sculptures and art work from centuries ago I was, however, disappointed that there was not a detailed listing of the constellations and their connections to Greek Mythology.

Two things surprised me the most - 1) Apollo was the only God who didn't get his name changed when the Roman Gods were identified and 2) many of the myths both Greek and Roman have been used through the ages for a cultural basis - i.e. in Literature there is the Divine Comedy, Iliad and the Odyssey, art has Rembrandt's Rape of Ganymede, Botticelli's Birth of Venus and of course, there are sculptures galore.

A few other items that interested me were 1) I never realized that Poseidon was Zeus' brother 2) Zeus was so promiscuous ( had had over 25 different partners both mortal and immortal and a great number of children) and 3) many of the gods were patterned on the Egyptians' deities.

Overall, it was a very enlightening book and I'm glad that I happened upon it at the library. ( )
  cyderry | Feb 19, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0500251215, Hardcover)

A full, authoritative, and wholly engaging account of these endlessly fascinating tales and of the ancient society in which they were created.

Greek myths are among the most complex and influential stories ever told. From the first millennium BC until today, the myths have been repeated in an inexhaustible series of variations and reinterpretations. They can be found in the latest movies and television shows and in software for interactive computer games. This book combines a retelling of Greek myths with a comprehensive account of the world in which they developed—their themes, their relevance to Greek religion and society, and their relationship to the landscape. "Contexts, Sources, Meanings" describes the main literary and artistic sources for Greek myths, and their contexts, such as ritual and theater. "Myths of Origin" includes stories about the beginning of the cosmos, the origins of the gods, the first humans, and the founding of communities. "The Olympians: Power, Honor, Sexuality" examines the activities of all the main divinities. "Heroic exploits" concentrates on the adventures of Perseus, Jason, Herakles, and other heroes. "Family sagas" explores the dramas and catastrophes that befall heroes and heroines. "A Landscape of Myths" sets the stories within the context of the mountains, caves, seas, and rivers of Greece, Crete, Troy, and the Underworld. "Greek Myths after the Greeks" describes the rich tradition of retelling, from the Romans, through the Renaissance, to the twenty-first century.

Complemented by lavish illustrations, genealogical tables, box features, and specially commissioned drawings, this will be an essential book for anyone interested in these classic tales and in the world of the ancient Greeks.

250 illustrations, 120 in color

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:16 -0400)

Publisher description: From the first millennium BC onwards, Greek myths have been repeated in an inexhaustible series of variations and reinterpretations. Nowadays they can be found in film, television and computer games. This book combines a retelling of Greek myths with a comprehensive account of the world in which they developed. Throughout, the author draws upon the latest research into ancient Greek story-telling, presenting the material in an attractive, accessible and authoritative style.… (more)

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