The Greek Myths
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The Greek Myths

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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  3,105 ratings  ·  81 reviews
The gold standard in Greek mythology, in a dazzling Graphic Deluxe Edition with a new introduction by the bestselling author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series

From the creation of the world out of Chaos and the birth of the Olympians to the Trojan War and Odysseus's return, Robert Graves's superb retelling of the Greek myths has long been acclaimed as the defini...more
Paperback, 793 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Penguin Classics (first published 1955)
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Lynne King
The Folio Society published this rather splendid two volume book of The Greek Myths by Robert Graves in 1996. I purchased it then but I basically only looked at it from time to time when I wanted to know about certain myths or gods, and thus there was always something that I could look up which would give me pleasure.

This is not a book for the faint-hearted as, well to me anyway, it is an excellent reference book that I will pick up from time to time and browse through it or look for further inf...more
Lee Broderick
My edition came with an introduction by Kenneth McLeish which mentioned the importance of this book in re-establishing the Greek myths as suitable reading for adults. It also went on to highlight Robert Graves's extensive reading but McLeish was forced to acknowledge some weaknesses in Graves's scholarship.

The legends themselves are very dry, descriptive accounts redolent of an essay on the story at hand rather than a retelling. It's clear that the author carried out very thorough reading on the...more
Dave
Robert Graves “The Greek Myths” is a wonderful resource for learning about the myths of ancient Greece. Originally published in 1955, it was updated for the last time in 1960. There are two volumes, but they are often available in a single book, which makes it easier for the reader to handle. Graves does a wonderful job of making the myths easy to read and understand, and discusses the variations which often occurred in the myths. His interpretation of the myths is a bit subjective, so the reade...more
Plucino
Dry collection / encyclopadedia of Greek Myths. Author did his homework diligently and quoted all the classical sources. So far so good.

However... Author felt compelled to «explain» almost everything in terms of a matrilinear / Mother Goddess ancient tradition that I consider crackpot (since no source was quoted). I even detected some «Golden Bough» stench but I could be oversensitive or overreacting because of disappointment.
charta
Opera affatto didascalica o pedante, è corredata da note preziose che uniscono la mitologia greca a quella micenea ed aria.
Pur essendo improntata a una ormai superata concezione antropologica e storico-religiosa di un primevo matriarcato, la classifico tra gli imperdibili perchè narra in toto la mitologia dell'Ellade, la quale, a sua volta, altro non è che la trasposizione, onirica e quindi immaginifica, delle paure, dei desideri e delle esigenze del nostro inconscio.

Feedback da A.


Non è che al...more
Tony
THE GREEK MYTHS. (1945; rev. 1960; this ed. 1996). Robert Graves. ****.
This work was first published by Penguin Books in 1955, and later revised by the author in 1960. I bought a copy of the two-volume paperback edition sometime in the late 1960s and found that it was almost unreadable – primarily because of the voluminous footnotes and interjections by the author. This edition (Folio Society; two-volumes) takes the 1960 edition and removes the distraction of the footnotes, combining all of the...more
Jak
There are several pros and cons to this book.

Pros: It’s very comprehensive in that it covers just about all the Greek mythology.

Cons: It’s very focused towards the academic. Each myth is told a break neck speed with a bare bones of story followed by a list or sources and then a list of how the myth came to be with interpretations of historical events/persons basically and entomology. This would be an invaluable tool to an academic but as some one who only wanted to read and enjoy the stories I...more
Christopher H.
If you plan to read Homer's The Iliad or The Odyssey, or any of the great plays of the Greek classicists, I have a suggestion for a book that will prove to be indispensable to you on your journey through these great works of literature. Robert Graves (1895-1985), the British poet, translator and novelist, produced some 140 works. He is probably best known for his novel, I Claudius, and his historical study of poetic inspiration, The White Goddess. In the late-1950s, he also completed a two-volum...more
Ensiform
NB: This is not the original, heavily annotated two-volume work but an illustrated edition, condensed by one John Buchanan-Brown. It is an informative dash through the major Greek myths. The condensation from two thick volumes into one sparse, illustrated book dashes any hope of narrative flow, of course, but the crucial facts are here for the reader. The epic of Heracles and the saga of the house of Atreus (Agamemnon, Orestes) are explored in detail. The myths are also refreshingly not bowdleri...more
Ed Smiley
This book was exhaustive and exhausting in that it goes into tertiary incidents with enormous detail.

I admit I did have to skim a bit. It is a great reference, however. I would suggest you not read it cover to cover as I did, but grab an interesting that grabs your attention.

It is supplied with copious illustrations of Greek representations of the various mythic persons.

Greek myths seem to have total disregard for any ethical guidelines in the behavior of any of the characters, a problem remark...more
Serena
A very good reference book to all those little details that one can love and hate.

Robert Graves writes the myths in a few paragraphs which do more to "telling" then to "showing" the myths. Yet there are things I do not agree with (the mix-and-mash of myths which were once religions unrelated to the Greeks) also I do not quite like his assumptions upon myths and the ancient Greek people themselves.

It isn't so clear to me as it seems cut to him; it makes me wonder where he got a lot of those ass...more
James
If you are looking for Greek myths where a random person takes a journey to distant lands, finds monsters, travels through mystical lands, saves the girl, is elevated to hero status, has a final fight, and then lives happily ever after – this set is not for you. This two volume set does cover Greek mythology but instead of a story like Homer’s Iliad these are the stories of where the Greek gods and deities came from. Basically, an extremely detailed family tree of the deities and characters from...more
Regina Lindsey
Graves has pulled together an exhaustive compilation of Greek myths, arranged by themes, and provides short commentary on their history as well as documentation on where and when they appear.

I have been a fan of Robert Graves since reading I, Claudius in college. I also read a range of hisotrical fiction set in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Often myths of the time period are important elements of the story line. I had a cursory knowledge base of the basic myths. What Graves did for me was c...more
Cliff Garner
A very interesting look at the Greek myths and comparative mythology. It makes a fine reference for interpreting mythology with somewhat of a historical perspective and giving a view of influences upon Greek myth. It suffers a bit from Graves's own prejudices and 'goddess' oriented beliefs, but overall it is a small flaw. I am in process of re-reading and adding notes for my own future reference. Graves's style is easy to read and enjoyable.
Aaron
Jan 18, 2009 Aaron rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Aaron by: professor of my Greek religion course
an excellent place to go for exploration of the Greek myths. This book has been especially helpful to me since Graves very accurately lists the ancient sources he used for each myth...then there's that little star followed by his own interpretation and comments. If you need to write a paper on the subject it's the book to have. I haven't read it cover to cover, but I think I've gotten to just about every myth via the index
Mary
Alright I actually like this book a lot because unlike Bulfinch's Mythology, this book delivers what you're looking for. It actually has the Greek Myths in a style that is understandable and for entertainment purposes. You'll get the whole stories here and they are easy to read!
Yoshiki Omagari

-IBC public level 4
-Time 10/1= 80 min
-7 words summary:Apollo-angry-Eros-love-Daphne-run-turn
-Discussion question
1.Are you interested in Greek Myths?,and when and where did you know Greek Myths?
Of course,yes,I am. I knew them after I read Japanese myths.Japanese myths look like Greek myths.
2.Why do you think Greeks myths were made?
It is a big problem for me because the Greeks was as wise as the Ruman. Did the Greeks really believe in Gods and Gooddesses.

I like Greek Myths, but I do not actually k...more
Anna
Prima della scienza, prima della religione, c'è il Mito. Modo fantasioso e divertente di spiegare fenomeni naturali, l'origine delle cose e degli uomini, gli usi e i costumi e le leggi. Robert Graves è riuscito a raccogliere in 161 capitoli l'intero percorso mitologico fin dal CAOS!Tutto questo con brio e humour divertendo il lettore poichè privo di retorica e manierismo. In questa raccolta possiamo notare quanto gli dei e gli eroi siano simili a noi, Zeus con le sue scappatelle, Era con la sua...more
Erika Maruo
1.Kodansya English Library
2.5/11 = 60 minutes
3. 7 words summary: Chaos - Night - Gaia - Uranus - make - nature - monstrous
4.Q: Do you believe that gods are exist? Why or Why not?
A: I believe that gods are exist because sometimes things go well or bad. Also I and my family go to the shurine in the New Year's Day and pray something to the gods.
5. Reading this book is so interesting! There are some mysterious stories!


2.5/17 = 45 minutes, 5/20 = 20 minutes
3. 7 words summary: Prometheus - Zeus - fire...more
Hannah
I've found this very useful in researching the 12 Labors of Heracles. I wish I had the edition pictured here, which apparently contains a lot of images and artwork. Instead, I'm actually reading a hardcover version I got from the library sans illustrations.

The layout is good for research: each chapter is a different narrative, with each paragraph labeled with a letter so that specific references may be looked up in the index paragraph-by-paragraph. The narrative is followed by footnotes of his s...more
Kirsty
My brain hurts.

I love Robert Graves and this is my first real dive into Greek Mythology if you discount watching Troy and Clash of The Titans.

I enjoyed this read without a doubt but I felt a lot of it wasn't sinking into my squishy brain parts and I could read whole chapters then realise I had been thinking about what I should have for dinner.

That has nothing to do with Robert Graves' writing because he was a baws and one of my favourite writers. It's probably more to do with those crazy Ancie...more
Dan
Feb 27, 2008 Dan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people wanting a reference of Greek myths
Graves' retelling of the Greek myths was interesting, though he certainly kept it to the bare bones. Many of the sagas I had to reread several times to gather who was who. This is expected of course, but a better volume would offer genealogies or other visual aids. Or how about six degrees to Heracles?

The illustrations did add much to this book as far as breaking up the reference book-esque entries. I really would have liked a little more effort put into the retelling though. Some commentary, s...more
Kay Robart
The ideas Graves espouses are very interesting and the book is extremely well written. However, the sheer number of names and places and similar incidents can be overwhelming. Some deities or other figures go by six or eight names, for example. And there’s only so much killing and rapine a person can take. I finally bogged down over Heracles, who has more than 100 of the 600+ pages devoted to him (and whose adventures are very similar to those of Gilgamesh). Heracles, I feel, was a thug, and rou...more
Brendan Boehning
An indispensable compendium of Greek mythology, explicated with eloquence and wry wit.
Pensieve
Compare with Tony's recommendation, or more.
Ashley Chen
Jun 05, 2014 Ashley Chen marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ashley by: Dr. Sacks
Recommended by my greek myth prof. :3
Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson
I have two copies of this classic book by Robert Graves--a beautiful hard cover that sits on my desk and is easily accessible and the paperback edition that comes in two volumes is at the beach. Any time I write and need a quick reference to the various gods and goddesses, demi-gods and heroic humans that inhabit Greek myth I always see what Robert Graves has to say. There are painstaking references to the resources and interesting assessments as to the symbolic meaning. If you love Greek myth t...more
Hazel
Good reference book. I always get confused about the entangled familial/sexual relationships, so about halfway through the names began to blur a bit. But this edition has some nice photos of pottery, sculpture etc. (There's a particularly hunky statue of Heracles from a Neopolitan museum.)
Now I have to start the Canongate series looking more deeply into each myth. Lots of incest, bestiality, matricide, fratricide etc! There'll be a lot to think about.
Robin
Dry and disjointed at first, but markedly more interesting around the halfway mark (approximately Theseus onwards), where previous myths begin to intertwine. Graves' footnotes are singleminded and add little to the myths themselves, which often feel rushed and abridged.

Serves well as a surface glance of the great myths, told in workmanlike, rather than poetic, fashion. Captures little of the glory and wonder you'd expect.
Godka
Seems like a great reference book.
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Goodreads Librari...: change title and publisher 4 164 Sep 01, 2013 07:52AM  
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3012988
Robert Ranke Graves, born in Wimbledon, received his early education at King's College School and Copthorne Prep School, Wimbledon & Charterhouse School and won a scholarship to St John's College, Oxford. While at Charterhouse in 1912, he fell in love with G. H. Johnstone, a boy of fourteen ("Dick" in Goodbye to All That) When challenged by the headmaster he defended himself by citing Plato, G...more
More about Robert Graves...
I, Claudius (Claudius, #1) Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina (Claudius, #2) Goodbye to All That The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth I, Claudius/Claudius the God

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