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The Complete World of Greek Mythology

by Richard Buxton

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278271,043 (3.85)7
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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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. ( )
1 vote cyderry | Feb 19, 2010 |
Excellent review of Greek mythology, with great pictures. Doesn't just catalog the myths, but gets into their meanings and contexts. n.b. also, poem 'Ithaca' by C.P. Cavafy on p. 242. ( )
  saholc | Dec 6, 2009 |
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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.

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