Classical Myth
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Classical Myth

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  155 ratings  ·  12 reviews

Comprehensive and scholarly, this well-designed and class-tested text presents Greek and Roman myths in a lively and easy-to-read manner. It features fresh translations, numerous illustrations (ancient and modern) of classical myths and legends, and commentary that emphasizes the anthropological, historical, religious, sociological, and economic contexts in which the myths

Paperback, Fifth Edition, 752 pages
Published May 27th 2006 by Prentice Hall (first published December 31st 1995)
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“The Greek gods had personalities like those of humans and struggled with one another for position and power. They did not love humans (although some had favorites) and did not ask to be loved by them. They did not impose codes of behavior. They expected respect and honor but could act contrary to human needs and desires.”

Read (most of) this book for my mythology class in my senior year of college. Very comprehensive, very good layout. It introduces those who may not know much about myth, but g...more
Catherine Woodman
I think that it is very hard to strike the right balance with a book that is summarizing the classic myths of Greece--this book has some great excerpts from the original sources (which were written long after the myths were created, but the earliest versions that exist today--I saw a scroll that was salvaged from Hercaleneum, and was amazed that they were able to figure out anything at all from it...). The downside is that the telling of the stories is more pedantic than entertaining, and I thin...more
Jan 04, 2008 Megan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Megan by: Professor Rauk
Shelves: mythology, textbook
This is one of the best textbooks on classical (Greek and Roman) Mythology out there. It's well organized, and the organization really helps pull together the larger themes of many more well-known myths. The passages of texts chosen are appropriate and not too long but many are from less common sources. This book is excellent for an overarching survey text; outside reading assignments of the classics should be added in where relevant. There are also a lot of extras related to this book on the pu...more
I took this course because it was an elective. Little did I know how much I'd love Mythology and its importance to understanding who we are. Myth is rife throughout our language, labels, and in our meaning. If you want to understand yourself and your roots better then this is the place to go. Oh, by the way, Barry Powell is the master of myth and will not disappoint or lead you astray.
I used this book for a class, and while it gave all the information, I needed I didn't find it all that compelling to read. The author seems to know abundant information on both Greek civilization and the myths but it may be hard to read straight through.
Okay, the glossary in The Voyage of Argo is too abbreviated so I'm having to bust out my old mythology book as a reference. First read this one for undergrad coursework back in 2001. It's a succinct and well-organized survey text.
Ashley May
If you don't really know anything about Greek/roman mythology this is a great book. Besides focusing on Greek and roman myths it also ties in other cultural myths too. Even though I had to read it for class it was a great read!
I actually read the 2nd ed. and am ordering the 6th ed. for my mythology class. I like the many translations from many classical sources.
Danielle Stoll
Jun 09, 2011 Danielle Stoll rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Danielle by: Dane Wallace
I read most of this textbook for my Classical Mythology class in the fall of 2008. I started re-reading it a few days ago :-)
Stories are interesting but the way they are presented along with the author's opinions make this a annoying read
Probably the best overview of Greek mythology I have ever read. This book does not read like a text book.
Textbook for my Classical Mythology class, obviously. LoL!
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“As you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that your journey be a long one,
filled with adventure, filled with discovery.
Laestrygonians and Cyclopes,
the angry Poseidon--do not fear them:
you'll never find such things on your way
unless your sight is set high, unless a rare
excitement stirs your spirit and your body.
The Laestrygonians and Cyclopes,
the savage Poseidon--you won't meet them
so long as you do not admit them to your soul,
as long as your soul does not set them before you.
Pray that your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings
when with what pleasure, with what joy,
you enter harbors never seen before.
May you stop at Phoenician stations of trade to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and voluptuous perfumes of every kind--
buy as many voluptuous perfumes as you can.
And may you go to many Egyptian cities
to learn and learn from those who know.
Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
You are destined to arrive there.
But don't hurry your journey at all.
Far better if it takes many years,
and if you are old when you anchor at the island,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will give you wealth.
Ithaca has given you a beautiful journey.
Without her you would never have set out.
She has no more left to give you.
And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not mocked you.
As wise as you have become, so filled with experience,
you will have understood what these Ithacas signify.”
“The Greek gods had personalities like those of humans and struggled with one another for position and power. They did not love humans (although some had favorites) and did not ask to be loved by them. They did not impose codes of behavior. They expected respect and honor but coud act contrary to human needs and desires.” 3 likes
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