The Penguin Book of Classical Myths

The Penguin Book of Classical Myths

4.12 (339 ratings by Goodreads)
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What were the twelve labours of Herakles? Why did Zeus turn himself into a shower of gold? What was the name of the guard-dog of the Underworld? Which two-faced Roman god gave his name to the month January? What is the answer to the riddle of the Sphinx?

The myths of ancient Greece and Rome are the most dramatic and unforgettable tales of love, war, heroism and betrayal ever told. Whether it's Ikaros flying too close to the sun, Prometheus stealing fire from the gods or the tragedy of Oedipus, their characters have inspired art, literature, plays and films, and constellations named after them fill the night sky. But how much do you really know about them?

From the clash of the Titans to the fall of Troy, here are the greatest legends of all time, brilliantly retold by classical scholar Jenny March. All the heroes, monsters, villains, gods and goddesses of classical civilization are included; the epic journeys of Odysseus and Aeneas; the founding of Athens and Rome; the quests of Jason seeking the Golden Fleece and Theseus slaying the minotaur. Giving the origins, development and interpretation of each myth, this is the essential guide to the stories that have shaped our world.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 624 pages
  • 124 x 196 x 34mm | 439.98g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white line drawings, maps, colour plates
  • 0141020776
  • 9780141020778
  • 47,364

Table of contents

The Penguin Book of Classical MythsList of Plates
List of Illustrations
1. Creation
2. The Gods
3. The First Humans
4. The Quest for the Golden Fleece
5. Io and Argos
6. Heroes and Monsters
7. Herakles
8. Theseus, Athens and Crete
9. The Theban Saga
10. The Trojan War
11. Odysseus and his Odyssey
12. The House of Pelops
13. Dangerous Women
14. Aeneas and the Destiny of Rome
15. The Foundation of Rome
16. Metamorphoses
17. Myths of Love and Death
Select Bibliography
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About Jennifer R. March

Dr Jennifer March has taught at Oxford and London universities, is author of the acclaimed Cassell Dictionary of Classical Mythology and Editor of the Classical Association's journal CA News.
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Rating details

339 ratings
4.12 out of 5 stars
5 35% (117)
4 47% (160)
3 15% (52)
2 3% (9)
1 0% (1)

Our customer reviews

Review also available on my blog: Hi guys! If any of you pay attention to my posts then youâ??ll realise that this book is a bit different to what I normally review as it is non-fiction. In my policy page it even says no non-fiction books. However, some of you might have also realised that I absolutely ADORE classics - particularly Greco-Roman mythology. So when I saw this book (especially its gorgeous cover) I knew I had to have it. (Thank God for generous Grandmas!) For a non-fiction book, which I normally find dull, slow and hard to read, I tore through this book on the 4 hour journey to Cambridge. I know a little about mythology from my Classics class and the Percy Jackson books but not to this extent and detail. Although there are lots of names and families which are quite hard to pronounce, the way March writes is so accessible and I found it relatively easy to read. The illustrations throughout really helped me visualise the stories. Those in the middle especially were so bright and vivid and I just loved them. The structure was really helpful as well. The introduction gives the myths context and gives the reader lots of information. From then on it talks about creation, then the individual gods and then the myths. This means that even if your prior knowledge is minimal then you have a good basis of information before you start the myths allowing March to go into superb detail and offer different interpretations rather than just the most â??popularâ??. The myths are then told in chronological order and often intertwine with one another so that even though this is a non-fiction book, it gives a really sense of story-telling narrative. Overall, a wonderfully crafted book with a clear structure and easy to read style. Gorgeous illustrations and incredible detail, I highly recommend this book for anyone with an interest in mythology. I will definitely be referring to this book in the future! 5 stars. Have any of you read this book, or have an interest in Greco-Roman Mythology? :) -Mollyshow more
by Molly Gibson-Mee
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