Mythology
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Mythology

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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  26,078 ratings  ·  1,166 reviews
The world-renowned classic that has enthralled and delighted millions of readers with its timeless tales of gods and heroes.

Edith Hamilton's Mythology succeeds like no other book in bringing to life for the modern reader the Greek, Roman, and Norse myths that are the keystone of Western culture--the stories of gods and heroes that have inspired human creativity from antiqu...more
Paperback, First Black Bay Paperbak Edition, 497 pages
Published September 14th 1998 by Back Bay Books / Little, Brown and Company (first published 1942)
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K.D. Absolutely
"This book makes me feel smarter," says my GR friend in her review of this book. I worked the same for me.

Greek, Roman and Norse mythologies are so old because they have been in existence thousands and thousands of years even before Christ was born. No wonder that many literary works have been based on them. Even the names of the planets and the stars. Even the names of my, mortal as they are, relatives and friends. I have a nephew by a cousin in Canada whose name is Hector but he does not write...more
David
This is the second in a series of six reviews focusing on books about Greek mythology. The books included in this comparative evaluation are:

Bulfinch's Mythology (Modern Library Paperback Edition, 2004)
Mythology by Edith Hamilton (originally published in 1942; Back Bay Books edition of 1998)
The Greek Myths by Robert Graves (Penguin Books combined edition, 1992)
Gods and Heroes of Ancient Greece by Gustav Schwab (Pantheon Books, copyright 1946)
Don't Know Much About Mythology by Kenneth C. Davis (H...more
Jennifer
Sep 18, 2007 Jennifer rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Students
Shelves: classics
I believe, deep in my heart, that everyone who has attended high school in the past twenty to thirty years or so (in the United States, at least) owned a ratty, most likely used copy of this work at one time or another. This book has been on the required reading list of so many schools that nearly everyone has seen it, owned it, and opened it at least twice.

This is one only two such books I still have, 15 years out of high school: this and Strunk and White. This is a good book to have lying arou...more
Welwyn Katz
This book is very hard to classify. Doesn't the title make you think "World Mythology"? Well, if it did, you would be wrong. I bought this book, looking forward to (especially) a female viewpoint of comparative mythology from various different countries around the world. What I got was an extremely thorough set of retellings (with impeccably named sources) by Hamilton of virtually every classical (Greek and Roman) myth ever told), with the very strange inclusion of approximately 20 pages of Nors...more
Jessica
I remember reading this over and over when I was in high school, just for my own pleasure. Then I got to college, and took an actual mythology class, and the first thing the professor said was, "I hope you all haven't been reading junk like Edith Hamilton." What?! Well, most of his problem was with those bite-sized little rundowns of the myths, which is what I liked about it. It's a nice survey of Greek mythology, an introduction, if you will. There are a few inaccuracies, and she barely mention...more
Janus Vielle (The Blair Book Project)
This book, aside from fairy tales, has introduced me to the world beyond our reach. I first had this book because back in high school, we were required to read it. I never really understood back then why it seemed that I was one of the few who enjoyed reading this and majority of our class despised having to be given the assignment to read it. I always found it entertaining. Well, the first few stories were a bit tedious but it was a foundation that helped me understand the other tales so it was...more
Christopher
Feb 05, 2013 Christopher marked it as to-read
Only made it to page 180, but someday I'll finish it. In the meantime, some paintings of a few myths I did read:


John William Waterhouse, Echo and Narcissus, in which Echo (who can only echo what other people say) fails to save Narcissus from drowning himself while admiring his own wonderful visage.



Francisco de Goya, Saturn Devouring His Son, in which the titan Saturn eats all his children so that they won't be the death of him.



Peter Paul Rubens, Leda and the Swan, in which a woman is raped by Z...more
Mike
I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. On one hand, I didn't like the practice of Hamilton retelling only the myths that she enjoyed, rather than using the most wildly accepted version of the stories or combining the different stories into one retelling. I also didn't understand the point of the Norse mythology at the end, after more than ninety percent of the book was dedicated to Greek and Roman mythology - it was a little jarring, and very unnecessary. But on the other hand, the book wa...more
Summer {is puntastic}
Read this for English class. For greek-mythology lovers like me, it gave quite a good explanation of numerous myths and clarifies the big pictures of Norse, Roman, and Greek mythology. A bit too heavy to read in one sitting, but an excellent reference for fans of the genre. I wouldn't say this is a must-read, but definitely beneficial for a devoted reader.
Thomas
I love this classic collection of Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology. It has many negatives, but I still have an affection for it because I read it during a formative period in my life. I find it relatively readable -- not true of most mythology guides written for adults.

Hamilton does a certain amount of commenting on the major sources from which she draws the myths. Therefore it's a great way to follow threads back through the actual sources; many other mythological guides don't reference their...more
PurplyCookie
Edith Hamilton loved the ancient Western myths with an obvious passion--and this classic compendium is her tribute. Her "Mythology" tell the "Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes" of classical mythology and this volume, first written in 1942, is now a timeless classic itself. This was the first book of mythology that I ever read and it is still the best. I still have that much worn, much loved paperback on my book shelves that later in life inspired me to read other myths of other times and places....more
Heid E.
This work gave me entry into the world of myth as a highschool student. My English teacher assigned it as a reference book to use when we were reading poetry and drama. Without it I would not have understood important references. But when I looked back at this book years later, having suggested it to a students, I realized that the versions of the myths Hamliton used were less complex, less gender-balanced, and less universal than the myths I had come to know through other sources. So, while I v...more
Mohamed
Literature and poetry that are based on mythology are in abundance in pretty much every era, it is only the method of approaching the myth that differentiates the well writ and the mediocre. In this book, Hamilton is basically offering a collection of Greek mythology (and little Norse mythology) in a style that is similar to bed time stories. Only in her introduction and briefly within the myth itself does she offer deep insights or some sort of analysis.
However, this book was still an enjoyabl...more
Salymar
Since Elementary I am very fascinated on how things work on the the Greek times back when they we're really devoted with their Gods and Goddess.

I was expecting that this book would made my day boring as ever...but It didn't. :)
It's OSM - AWESOME
Sarah
I've always loved mythological stories..So when I first obtained this book, I was so happy I started reading it right away.

I got to say Greek Gods are Freaks..Love their stories and all but My God they are just like children with a lot of power !!

Even Athena whom I've always admired came out as a Damn kid throwing a tantrum some times..
Specially in the judgment of Paris that led to the Trojan war..
and I don't want to even start with Zeus and Hera...Seriously they are Hilarious..It is amazing to...more
Brandi
May 11, 2012 Brandi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone, but especially those who liked Percy Jackson

Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series got me hooked on Greek mythology.

Or I thought I was hooked, until I picked up Mythology.

This is the best guide to mythology I could have found. After the first hundred pages, I knew stories behind every single god or goddess. Edith Hamilton has made me feel like an expert in Greek mythology.

Don't miss this book! I especially recommend the stories about Apollo, Hermes, the twins Castor and Pollux, Artemis' ill-fated pursuers, and the love story between Cupid an...more
Jackie
Mythology Comes Alive!
Edith has a way of breathing the myths into life while not being overly long. I loved it the first time I read it. I was 14 at the time and every night I'd read more and let the stories come alive in my mind. It was a great experience.
In some ways, it's responsible for setting me down a fantasy path in my reading tastes.

Upon re-reading it recently for the third time, I didn't find it as full of life as I did as a teenager. But I think it's me, not the writing, as my tastes...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
This is a scholarly, but very readable presentation on Greek mythology. In fact, this story really added to my love of the Greek myths. It doesn't spare the reader the darker aspects, so be warned. I would give this book to a good reader of 8 or more years of age, if they were unfamiliar with the Greek myths. Probably would leave Bulfinch for an older reader.
Mark
I have never read, or even seen, a book quite so straightforward, compact, and simply written that brings together the mythology of the ancient Greeks and Romans (even a little Norse mythology thrown in).

I picked up this book for some beach reading. (I imagine that sounds strange, but I don't read novels very often.) As I expected, it was dry in parts and entertaining in other parts. Overall, I can't imagine getting a better introduction to the subject. I feel much better prepared to read the o...more
Dione Sage
Mythology by Edith Hamilton is a great book for anyone interested in mythology. She has summarized some epic stories drawing from Greek, Roman and even Norse folklore. Hamilton takes the book from the creation to the great families of mythology and in between filing us with stories of lovers and fighters. There are a few lesser known myths that she touches on such as the tale of the fisherman Glaucus who becomes a sea god and falls for Scylla a lovely nymph who ends up poisend and becomes a hid...more
Liz
When I started reading this book I found it really interesting and I couldn't put it down. But then as I read on I became bored. It became apparent that I was reading a book, re-telling the tales from other books/scrolls/parchments...whatever. It would be like reading a book that re-tells the plot of movies...I've tried to read those kind of books in the past and they kill me with boredom.

I managed to finish the book because I love Greek Mythology and have read Homer and Sophocles in the past a...more
Lilly Anne
Sep 17, 2011 Lilly Anne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: A great resource for every mythology story ever. Name it, this books most likely has it.
I'm FINALLY done with this book after three weeks! After each chapter or short story I would have to take it in, and find out how this Greek person is related to that person and they had the same father and oh, he knew Theseus? What a huge incestuous family web.

This book was so good, and I'm thankful I own it. So many stories and gods and myths to learn! I learned so much from this book I could talk to you for hours about it, about how Theseus is a better hero than Hercules and how the story of...more
Victoria
It is important to first note that Hamilton's Mythology is a good friend of mine. Within the past four years, we've spent a lot of time together. Essentially a textbook for two classes that I've taken (Latin and Classical Civilizations), and the required text for a multitude of contests and competitions that I've participated in, I know the classical myths in Mythology inside and out, and have quite a bit of affection for them.

This book serves its purpose well- it gives a good introduction a...more
Yair Bezalel
An amazing collection and excellent primer to read before diving into the classics themselves. Miss Hamilton gives a sampling of the major (and notable minor) myths of greek and roman (derivative) mythology. The stories themselves are wonderful and are told in a simultaneously simple but profoundly descriptive way (along with hamilton's dry wit every now and again.

The section detailing norse mythology at the end of the collection feels a bit tacked on. It's definitely fascinating but gives no m...more
Jazzmin
When I hear "mythology", I think of how because of this book I have suffered greatly. Yet, I learned a great deal of information. When I finished this book recently, I felt like I'd just taken in about a lifetime of brainpower. I mean the sun's power could not have zapped me more than this book did. Useful, I'm not sure, but informing, definately. I would only and I mean only recommend this to someone who either has nothing better to do with their time or who is absolutely obsessed with the subj...more
Dave Maddock
Hamilton has created an enjoyable survey of Greco-Roman mythology which is also a useful reference for when you bump up against a mythological allusion in another book which goes over your head. I've been reading this in little chunks over the past few months, which I think is the best way to tackle it. As I neared the end where the stories get shorter and less important I began reading larger chunks at a time which got tedious and repetitive.

The final section introduces Norse mythology and felt...more
Kim
I've read about 1/2 of this before the library called and demanded it back. I saw it at B&N so I'll pick it up and keep it for future references to make me look smarter.
Fran
The book that started it all!
Rad Ryan
I feel my brain has boosted up. Edith Hamilton fed my brain with one of the most important pieces in literature. The mythology. Greek, Roman and Norse Mythology is in the book.
I read this book plainly because of our senior English class. Though our English teacher didn't say that we should read it. I felt that I should, for knowledge I guess. So now I'm advanced for the mean time.

Mythology became such a basis for daily life, stories, names and even the day itself. They had had been affected gre...more
Steven Peterson
This is a long standing work on mythology. The emphasis is on Greek and Roman tales, with a too brief discussion of Norse mythology. That some of the other reviewers mention it in the same breath as Bulfinch is testimony to the volume's value.

The work features a nice introductory essay to "set up" the discussion of Greek and Roman myths. There is also a rather unsatisfying brief introduction to the underdeveloped section on Norse mythology.

The first part features "The Gods, the Creation, and t...more
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  • Bulfinch's Mythology
  • Classical Mythology
  • The Greek Myths
  • Gods of the Greeks
  • The Complete World of Greek Mythology
  • The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology: An A-Z Guide to the Myths and Legends of the Ancient World
  • D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths
  • Don't Know Much About Mythology: Everything You Need to Know About the Greatest Stories in Human History but Never Learned
  • American Indian Myths and Legends (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)
  • Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths
  • Parallel Myths
  • The Greeks
  • Myths of the Greeks and Romans
  • Occidental Mythology (The Masks of God, #3)
  • Celtic Myths and Legends
  • World Mythology: An Anthology of Great Myths and Epics
  • Gods and Myths of Northern Europe
  • Myths of the Norsemen: From the Eddas and Sagas
13263
Edith Hamilton, an educator, writer and a historian, was born August 12, 1867 in Dresden, Germany, of American parents and grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, U.S.A. Her father began teaching her Latin when she was seven years old and soon added Greek, French and German to her curriculum. Hamilton's education continued at Miss Porter's School in Farmington, Connecticut and at Bryn Mawr College near Ph...more
More about Edith Hamilton...
The Greek Way The Roman Way The Echo of Greece Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes 1rst. UNITED STATES Edition by Hamilton, Edith [1999] Witness To The Truth

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