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Bullfinch's Mythology:...
 
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Thomas Bulfinch
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Bullfinch's Mythology: The Age of Fable

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  1,240 ratings  ·  94 reviews
THE religions of ancient Greece and Rome are extinct. The so-called divinities of Olympus have not a single worshipper among living men. They belong now not to the department of theology, but to those of literature and taste. There they still hold their place, and will continue to hold it, for they are too closely connected with the finest productions of poetry and art, bo...more
Published (first published 1855)
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Pollopicu
I thought the Age of Fable would be better than Edith Hamilton's "Mythology". Not that her book was anything to write home about.. but at least I was able to absorb more about subject of Mythology than I was with Bulfinche's summary. He seemed to gloss over the legends, but it felt like it took me ages to finish this book. Another thing that threw me off was his preference in using the Latin/Roman version of the names which I initially learned in Greek. A quarter into the book I was too lazy to...more
Gary
It seems like I should have read this a long time ago, and perhaps I did. I started reading this (again?) last summer as we prepared to go to Italy/Greece with a BYU summer Study Abroad group. Now I'm finally finishing it.

Bear in mind that this book was written in 1859. For this time period, it is a remarkable bit of scholarship made accessible to the general public. But because it is 150 years old, the style may feel a little dry to contemporary readers. Also, those with a scholarly interest m...more
Adam
Bulfinch's Mythology, Thomas Bulfinch

The book serves as an excellent reference and beginner's guide to mythology. It has guided me through multiple courses in college, from beginner's level Latin, to graduate level philosophy and political science. I highly suggest the Kindle version. It is for free and easy to quote through the computer program, which is also for free. The search function on both the computer program and the Kindle itself is also very helpful, and will get you all of the inform...more
Carly
**edited 12/15/13

No matter what other versions of the Greek myths you've read, there's a certain quaint charm to Bullfinch's take on the stories. Written in the 1850s, the book opens with a forward in which Bullfinch attempts to argue the value of mythology. He notes that without some background in mythology, the allusions of the famous poets will simply whizz over a reader's head, and also adds that despite its pagan beginnings, mythology contains pure and valuable moral lessons. He then procee...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Couldn't find the exact edition I have, went with date.

This is a good intro to the classical myths of Greek and Roman lenage. It's possible some of this may be familiar to some and some will be new. Nice book.
Sandrus
Most of the book is about classical myths of Greece, but the last chapters have some information about those of Ancient Egypt, India, Northern Europe.
Lindsey
I found this book (actually, it was the whole Bulfinch's Mythology, but I never brought myself to plow through Charlemagne and King Arthur, so I can't honestly review all three sections) at my grandparents' house when I was, um, maybe nine--I've been a Greek geek for about as long as I've known how to read. My little heart nearly exploded when Grandpa said I could have it. (Of course, I realize now that he probably hasn't ever missed it, but I still remember that wide-eyed joy of possession when...more
Laura
Review em português aqui.

The Age of Fable, by Thomas Bulfinch, is a work that aims to, in the authors words (translated from the portuguese by me), "popularize mythology and expand the pleasure of reading". If he succeeds in this, I don't know, but I believe it's possible to extend the pleasure of reading.
Bulfinch explains, in a very succinct and direct way, the story of many entities (such as Jupiter, Achilles, Odysseus, Aeneas, and others) and relevant events (such as the Trojan War, for examp...more
Courtney
Bulfinch, Thomas
Bulfinch's Mythology

In compilation only.

1) Introduction
2) Prometheus and Pandora
3) Apollo and Daphne; Pyramus and Thisbe; Cephalus and Procris
4) Juno and her Rivals, Io and Callisto; Diana and Actaeon; Latona and the Rustics
5) Phaeton
6) Midas; Baucis and Philemon
7) Proserpine; Claucus and Scylla
8) Pygmalion; Dryope; Venus and Adonis; Apollo and Hyacinthus
9) Ceyx and Halcyone
10) Vertumnus and Pomona; Iphis and Anaxarete
11) Cupid and Psyche
12) Cadmus; The Myrmidons
13) Nisus and Scy...more
Jenny Maloney
Bulfinch likes the word 'propritious'...at least that's the word that stuck out the most to me as I listened to the narrator. Also 'thither'--such an old word that it seemed really forced, even with the knowledge that the book was written Back in the Day.

However, as far as getting across the stories of the myths of Ancient Greece, and The Northern (read: Norse) Mythologies, he does a fairly accurate--and sometimes painfully detailed--job. All of the old favorites are there, though I did get conf...more
Bob
Bulfinch’s The Age of Fable is an interesting novel. It summarizes a lot of Greek and Roman myths and other stories from pagan religions that are known to us nowadays through videogame, book, TV-series and movies. The past years the heroes of ancient times have been extensively reinvigorated. Troy (2004) for example gives an account of the Trojan War; Clash of the Titans (2010) is (loosely) based on the adventures of Perseus; and Thor (2011) is based on its namesake-hero of Northern mythology. T...more
Ray
Bulfinch's "The Age of Fable" is a compendium of mythology, and more complete than I would have ever imagined. But it read more like an encyclopedic description of the various gods rather than the telling of the original stories. That is, it was more a description of the original stories rather than the original legends themselves.
In describing the various gods, Bulfinch made frequent references to various works of classical literature and poetry which include references to the Greek and Roman...more
Lis Albers
Review of
The Age of Fable
Seeing as this is a work of old myths and beliefs, and therefore not exactly the kind of book I normally read, I had a hard time, finding out, whether I liked this book or not. At some places, it was incredibly boring, but in others it was incredibly interesting. Thomas Bulfinch does a good job telling these stories and legends in the correct order, so the reader is at no point in doubt of which events there has just been told.
Some readers, myself included, will have a...more
Jake
I picked up this compendium of mythology and couldn't set it down. It was split into 2 books so I have just read the first half of it. It tells all the stories from Greek mythology in the first book, and from what I understand covers other myths from other countries in the second book. The main thing I got out of this book is there is truly no new thing under the sun. After reading story after story I realized that so many famous works of literature were based on or were variations of these many...more
Katie
Excellent reference book and great for beginners interested in Mythology... Stories are short but filled with all the basics needed to know... One of those books you can always refer back to, if needed...

Thomas Bullfinch is a great author and I highly recommend this book along with his others. Happy reading all!
Jen3n
Classic, well written, informative, beautifully researched, and with careful and delicious verbosity which tends to add to rather than detract from the subject matter. It's a very fine reference guide for people who already have a pretty good handle on Greek Mythology, and a pretty good guide for those who do not.

Look, there are better book out there. Even better books in this specific category; but I really think Bulfinch's Mythology, of which this book is a part, is something everyone should o...more
Kobe Lin
I think that Richard P. Martin did a very good job of putting many different myths together into one book. In each section, there is a main theme. For example, in Apollo and Daphne, Pyramus and Thisbe, and Cephalus and Procris, they all are myths about love. Richard P. Martin does a great job deciding what myths go in which theme section. In the intros, they are mainly talking about what the myth or myths will be about. In Prometheus and Pandora, its intro is talking about the creation of Earth....more
Rainboe Sims-Jones
The Age of Fable contains brief summaries of major and minor characters in Greek, Roman Norse mythology. Sometimes the characters briefings have enough supplemental story to make sense, but more often the book reads like a scattered puzzle: most of the entries are disjointed and out of context making it difficult to understand the whole picture. The text is often cross-referenced with excerpts from literature or poems in which the subject is discussed. The book was clearly well researched and th...more
Scott
This has been my upstairs bathroom reading for probably a year. It has been enjoyable to refresh one's memory on various mythological stories and fables and learn a few new things.

The book is very dated. It eliminates (and announces this at the beginning) anything that is morally problematic for the author and the intended audience. Pretty much all the gay stuff disappeared then.

The book also presents itself as an aid in understanding modern poetic allusions to the ancient myths. On the one hand...more
Jessi
I've read a LOT of Greek/Roman mythology books in my time, and this was probably the most painful. In the Prologue, it was stated that he wrote The Age of Fable to help non-Classic scholars understand the merits of the mythos because so much of it was referred to in other literature.

Bulfinch spent so much time quoting those other authors that the myths were broken up and disjointed. He also conflated the Greek and Roman myths, only using the Roman names, even in specifically Greek stories. I'm...more
Justus
Nice as a book on tape not sure I could have handled it actually sitting down and reading it. The stories are pretty far out and awesome though.
Brian
Really informative on a fascinating subject that I want to hit even deeper. Christians rightly critique our Lord's enemies. But Our Lord and his followers did not do that by simply throwing out or avoiding, but walking straight up to the line and subverting.

There was a common grace and the grace God gave the Greeks was depth. Bulfinch spends most of his time with the geeks, but gives some time to the Egyptians, Norse and Druids. Anyone who has enjoyed literature in the Western world should read...more
Nani Flores
Thomas Bulfinch really outdid himself. I enjoyed the book and its many stories within it. If you have not read it yet, I stress that you read it as it makes clear common Greek myths that are quoted today. However, I would have liked if he went more in depth in a few stories rather than skimming over many stories. On the whole, the book of Greek myths was definitely good and well written. Read it ASAP(I recommend you do)! *On a side note, it also clarifies quoted Greek myths in common conversatio...more
James Marsh
I can't believe it took me this long to read this book!

I grew up loving mythology, and this volume organizes and collects myths in easy to read, vivid short stories. It is somewhat sanitized so as to be appropriate for the younger reader, without sacrificing the powerful imagery and messages of the myths of old.


This book is mostly Greek/Roman mythology, but there are also sections devoted to Egyptian, Zoroaster, Hindu, Buddhist, Norse and other fables.

This is a volume I will gladly keep for refe...more
Mohsen
First of we need to understand that this book was published in 1855 for the first time. And for someone to actually put together this much of information in one place is mind blowing.

This book is a little encyclopedia for all the beginners in the field of Mythology, because it covers a huge portion of the subject briefly and in a very simple and interesting language with poetic evidence to almost every story and myth.

I highly recommend it for a first reference, even though it might get boring...more
Toby
I was trying to make myself get through this because it really was rather interesting and I think that I should know the mythology. It seems like I really ought to know all of the gods and fables, it would really enrich my other reading. But I just couldn't get engaged. I made it about 90% of the way through and just quit. The stories are fascinating, it wasn't boring, I just couldn't make myself care enough to keep listening! (Yes, I was listening on my MP3 player while commuting...)
Dan
This work, along with Aesop's Fables and other classics, graced our large family's common bathroom when I was a child (not the typical household?) but I'm glad that I waited to read it through until adulthood, after I had gained greater familiarity with many of the mythological figures. It is well-organized, loaded with quotations from classical poetry, and illustrated with beautiful line drawings. Best taken in small doses, it remains an ideal bathroom reader.
Chantel McCray
I picked this one up to put in the bathroom. Because I like to read about Greek and Roman Gods while I'm sitting on the Porcelain God :)

I was obsessed with this book as a child; checking it out from the library countless times. I couldn't get enough of these ancient stories of Gods and Goddesses. This is a great book to get acquainted with the main characters is Greek and Roman mythology. Especially useful if your studying ancient history.
W.M. Driscoll
Thomas Bulfinch's The Age of Fable, though slightly dated, was written for the average reader and still speaks to a modern audience interested in myth and legend. Together with his Age of Chivalry and Legends of Charlemagne (the latter of which I highly recommend as the tales are less known in the wider western world), it forms an interesting and effective cannon for those seeking tales of gods, knights and peers. Recommended for all readers.
Tgirl
This book is fun and interesting, but in some parts, laborous and boring. There are so many names for gods and men that over time I got confused who was who, and then there were times when the god or man had two names so I had to keep reminding myself that that was the same being. So, not something extremely wonderful, but if you like mythology it might not seem that laborous.
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Greek myths 1 3 Feb 04, 2013 05:01PM  
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