Bulfinch's Mythology
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Bulfinch's Mythology

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  6,925 ratings  ·  158 reviews
For almost a century and a half, Bulfinch's Mythology has been the text by which the great tales of the gods and goddesses, Greek and Roman antiquity, Scandinavian, Celtic, and Oriental fables and myths, and the age of chivalry have been known. The forerunner of such interpreters as Edith Hamilton and Robert Graves, Thomas Bulfinch wanted to make these stories available to...more
Kindle Edition, 888 pages
Published (first published 1863)
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Have problems distinguishing Perseus from Theseus? Can't tell a Titan from an Olympian? Do those mythology questions on Jeopardy leave you stumped? Could mythology be your Achilles heel?

If your knowledge of Greek mythology is derived primarily from Saturday morning cartoons, then maybe it's time for a refresher course. Yes, I know - life is busy, and you have philosophical objections to the dominance accorded the Greeks where mythology is concerned. Too bad. That argument may be theoretically so...more
I have mixed feelings on this book. I bought it to read because I heard it was a good resource to get caught up on Greek myths before my Literature GRE and I read a bit more than half of the book before giving up on it (p. 468). While I really liked the excerpts from literature used when explaining the various gods and goddesses and other mythological characters, I did not like the structure of the book. It was in no sort of coherent order. I also did not like the comment by the author at the be...more
Damn. Bulfinch's Mythology. About as classic as you can get. The early Victorian (hence highly bowdlerized and edited) version of classical Greek and Roman ideas about their then gods and goddesses. I'm sure you'll expect an erudite and telling critique of this all too proper version of stories that in the beginning (and for a very good while thereafter) were about as improper as improper could be. Well, the worse for you, friend.

A very long time ago, when I and my now long-time spouse were you...more
Erik Graff
May 04, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: literature
Having heard about Bulfinch's Mythology since childhood I finally broke down, purchased the cheap Modern Library edition containing all three volumes at a local mall and read the thing. Unsurprisingly, it was a bit of a disappointment, Bulfinch not being a scholar and his versions of the stories being mostly 19th century reworkings of particular texts popular in his time. For someone interested only in understanding some of the major Western myths, epics and legends well enough to catch referenc...more
Jason Krakauer
Have you ever wanted to know more about Greek, Roman, and Egyptian legends about gods, goddesses, and heroes? Well then, Bulfinch's Mythology is the right book for you. This 680 paged book goes into depth about the early creation of the gods and the legends and stories about how the world of gods and humans came to be.
I enjoyed this educational book about gods, goddesses, and heroes because I have an interest in Greek mythology for many years. I would recommend this book to anyone that also en...more
Classic book on mythology.
M.G. Bianco
The graphic is misleading, as I did not read all three volumes that make up Bullfinch's Mythology, I only read the Age of Fables--his account of Greek and Roman mythology. The book starts out with the creation account and concludes with an exploration of the realms of the dead as told by Virgil in his account of Aeneas. Between them, are the various hero stories and othes.

Bullfinch's telling of the stories is traditional and thorough. One of the things I most like about it was his quoting of lat...more
I was a little disappointed to discover that this edition cuts out all but the myths from cultures besides Greek and Roman, which I'd really looked forward to, and there were some other edits to cut out "superfluous" material, that isn't really superfluous to people who are trying to study the myths. But I paid $1.50 for it at a book sale, so I'll take it and be grateful.

I found it odd that Bulfinch uses primarily the Roman names for the gods and goddesses, rather than the more commonly known G...more
Jonathan Winegar
This book seems like a great starting point for people interested in Greek Myths, Charlemange/Chivalry and Norse Myths.

I already knew all the Greek Myths so I skipped through them quickly.

The Charlemange and Chivalry section was interesting. It had historical info on knights and their lives. He also has the legend of King Arthur.

The Norse myths were the most interesting for me. It can be difficult to find good sources on the gods of Asgard. Reading about Thor is always awesome.

There is a story w...more
Gabrielle Belisle

I picked this book up as a means of studying more mythology (I am a mythologist who has competed at a national level) and let me tell you, I have never had such a hard time finishing a book as I had with this. I started this book two years ago and I was only able to read roughly 150 pages of it. It is made up of a series of short (often flawed or religiously biased) stories and is incredibly dry. Bulfinch has mastered the art of horrible storytelling and appalling use of language. I don't reall...more
While a very ambitious work, Bulfinch's Mythology didn't quite live up to my expectations. Assembling it was clearly a major undertaking, but the spotty coverage and uninspiring presentation hinder the overall quality of the work.

The book starts off fairly strongly, with an exhaustive chronicle of Greek mythology. Here Bulfinch's enthusiasm for the topic is clearly visible. Not only does he relate the stories, but he also points out allusions to the characters and themes to them in literature a...more
For almost a century and a half, Bulfinch's Mythology has been the text by which the great tales of the gods and goddesses, Greek and Roman antiquity; Scandinavian, Celtic, and Oriental fables and myths; and the age of chivalry have been known.
The stories are divided into three sections: The Age of Fable or Stories of Gods and Heroes (first published in 1855); The Age of Chivalry (1858), which contains King Arthur and His Knights, The Mabinogeon, and The Knights of English History; and Legends...more
Jerome Peterson
By Thomas Bulfinch
November 4, 2013

“The justly famous Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch contains three volumes the contents of which are retained in this abridgment for the student and general reader. “

The Age of Fable: The gods and goddesses of Greece and Rome, as well as the mythology of Germanic tribes, England, and the Near East.

The Legend of Charlemagne: Accounts of the reign of the first great French Emperor, his wars, and conquests.

The Age of Chivalry: King Arthur and his court, Launcelot and G...more
Steven Peterson
Thomas Bulfinch taught at Harvard College in the mid-1800s. He saw a need to collect myths and legends of the classical and later world, as these were important parts of the Western culture. Three books ensued: "The Age of Fable," "The Age of Chivalry," and "Legends of Charlemagne."

First, there are nice introductions to each of the three component works. These provide useful context for what follows.

"The Age of Fable" includes some well known episodes, such as Prometheus and Pandora, Midas, Mo...more
Feb 27, 2008 Lance rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with an interest in greek myth
Shelves: greek-myth
A nice review of classic Greek mythology. This version is a classic in itself. It contains nice asides wherein the author lists excerpts from other classic works of literature when they reference the myth he is then reviewing.

This book would be a nice introduction to Greek mythology, but is also a nice supplement even if you are familiar with the myths.

It makes a nice contrast with Robert Graves "the Greek Myths", which is more scientifically speculative in a social anthropological kind of way...more
A good addition to anyone's mythology collection. I am disappointed by the heavy focus Greco-Roman mythology, since books on that topic are easy to come by, and the sparse attention to Irish mythology. However, there is a nice portion of medieval myths that aren't commonly encountered. Remember, though, that this isn't a modern book, so you'll need to be prepared for that 1700-1800s style of writing, which some other reviewers have remarked as being dry or otherwise unappealing. If you can get b...more
Harper Kingsley
A very interesting read. A lot of the myths I read elsewhere are completely different than the ones I read elsewhere. I'm not sure which myths are the more prevalent, but the differences were very interesting.

As I like to include some mythology and mythological stories into my writings, I think this will be a very helpful tool. My copy of "D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths" brings in the whimsical, while "Bulfinch's" bring in a more practical view.
I know that this is one of the most popular books for teaching mythology in school, but I think that's a real shame.

Thomas Bulfinch is *far* more concerned with how the Greek and Roman myths are integrated into the literature of other cultures than he is with telling the stories of those myths.

To *really* study Greek Mythology, read Edith Hamilton.
Killian Weber
This book will be a good read to any one who wants to learn about mythology or if you just want to read some thing for fun. In this book there are stories about Greek and Roman gods and King Arthur.
I enjoyed this book because I love Greek mythology especially and I am very interested in mythology and I love medieval times.
Am I really dorky that this is one of my favorite books, ever? Oh, I just love it. When I was a kid I used to curl up with this and a Granny Smith apple. It was just that fun.
Come on, what ten-year-old shouldn't know the entire Greek and Roman pantheon(s)?
Benjamin Spurlock
Anyone who's studied mythology for any length of time knows that there is a lot of material to go through, and there's no way of telling if you missed something. Those who haven't can often find the sheer size of the accumulated stories to be confusing and intimidating. What both people can use is a primer, a collection of the stories in a concise summary form.

That is precisely what Bulfinch's Mythology is, and that's precisely why anyone interested in the topic needs it.

For those interested in...more
First off, I read a very old edition of The Age of Chivalry and the Legends of Charlemagne, without The Age of Fable. Apparently, this sort of edition no longer exists, so I review it here.

Overall, my impression of this book can be boiled down to: Holy Euphemism Batman!

It was written in a different era, and the language reflects that. It makes it a slow read, but interesting. But whenever sex comes up (and it does, a lot), the oldness of it means that it has to be heavily euphemised. There's a l...more
I read parts of this book for a course in college. It was so boring, it got me my lowest grade. Maybe it was the professor; but I tried again in Athens, Greece, a decade later when I was more motivated. It was still a dud. While perhaps thorough enough, there's just no pizzaz. Maybe it's the author. (It might be the reader, but I hope not, for he likes the subject in other books.)
A good introduction. It was fun to read and remember the Greek myths as well as learn a lot more. This is a first step in a process of learning about Greek myth and writing that has so influences Western thought and the arts. Only one step, if you are well versed in Greek writing you probably will find this too simple.
Stephanie Trinity
It has its deficits, most notably severe editing out of violence and sex. But this was the volume that I read first, at a very young age, and quite honestly it is still one of the very best introductions for mythology for children out there.
Michael Rubin
If you want a reference book tracing not only Greek and Roman mythology, but also the age of fable, the age of chivalry, and the legends of Charlemagne, with a synopsis of all the key stories, this is the book to get.
The book is a combination of three works. The Age of Fable covers Greek Mythology. Next is The Age of Chivalry, which covers King Arthur and the knights of the round table. Last is the Legends of Charlemagne. The last two sections are not bad at all. But the Age of Fable was so horrible I almost couldn't get through it. There is just no depth to it. You can't become involved in the storyline because there isn't one. There's just a few paragraphs here about some god, and the next page is about so...more
Sep 15, 2013 Bracken rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
If J.R.R. Tolkien's magisterial Silmarillion was the key to unlocking my imagination as a child, Thomas Bullfinch's collective mythologies served the oily ward. Between the two: a vast panorama of possibilities. Worlds untouched by mortal hand, but gleaned by our minds.

Here for the first time I was exposed to poetry of substance within its clime. Here the Romantics made their first appearance, as did Dante - unrivaled, and Milton. At the time I could not fully understand their import in context...more
The Greek and Roman mythology - good.
The Authurian legends - OK
The Legends of Charlemagne - like having Thomas Bulfinch rip my arm off and and beat me with it.
Fredrick Danysh
A collection of myths and legends handed down through the ages up through the Middle Ages though primarily ancient tales. A useful reference.
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Latona and the Rustics 2 5 May 30, 2013 02:35PM  
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The Age of Chivalry (Bulfinch's Medieval Mythology) The Age of Fable Bulfinch's Mythology: The Age of Chivalry/Legends of Charlemagne O Livro de Ouro da Mitologia - Histórias de Deuses e Heróis Golden Age of Myth & Legend (Wordsworth Reference)

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