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The Penguin Book of Classical Myths
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The Penguin Book of Classical Myths

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  199 ratings  ·  24 reviews
What were the twelve labours of Herakles? Why did Zeus turn himself into a shower of gold? What was the name of the guard-dog of the Underworld? Which two-faced Roman god gave his name to the month January? What is the answer to the riddle of the Sphinx? The myths of ancient Greece and Rome are the most dramatic and unforgettable tales of love, war, heroism and betrayal ev ...more
Paperback, 590 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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CONTAINS BRIEF NUDITY. (Have I got your attention yet?)

Ever since reading the tragic tale of Echo and Narcissus, absorbing the triumphs of Hercules and spending a glorious sum of hours composing papier-mâché Gorgon heads in sixth year, I've been irreparably hooked on Greek mythology. Reading March's collection has only rekindled my love for these truly fantastical tales. It's captivating to learn how large an impact these characters and stories have made, such as the lending of certain vocabula
Yasiru (reviews will soon be removed and linked to blog)
This seems not a very well known collection, but is highly readable and as comprehensive as one can expect. Serves as an appealing middle option between more terse classical dictionaries or compendia and shorter, outlook(as opposed to retelling)-inclined accounts like Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction.
March, Jenny. THE PENGUIN BOOK OF CLASSICAL MYTHS. (2008). ****. I have to be honest. I didn’t really “read” this book. I dipped into it a lot and found myself reading the next fifty pages or so each time. It’s a massive (suitable for use as a doorstop) compendium of the Greek and Roman myths. Everything you ever want or need to know about this subject is in here. The author – obviously an expert in the field – has managed to make it much more than a simple cataloging of the gods and myths. Asid ...more
Christopher H.
This is an absolutely superb compendium of the Greek myths. I think it is, in fact, an even better read than Robert Graves' The Greek Myths that I finished reading a few weeks ago. While I think that Graves' book is the more scholarly treatment, Ms. March's collection is better written and is probably organized in a more user-friendly fashion for readers trying to access information quickly. This is a wonderful book to have on the shelf with your editions of Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripide ...more
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Hi guys!

If any of you pay attention to my posts then you’ll realise that this book is a bit different to what I normally review as it is non-fiction. In my policy page it even says no non-fiction books. However, some of you might have also realised that I absolutely ADORE classics - particularly Greco-Roman mythology. So when I saw this book (especially its gorgeous cover) I knew I had to have it. (Thank God for generous Grandmas!)

Kayleigh Bannigan
Love love love this book, I am now deeply hooked on Classical mythology, I've always had an interest in it but this book just sealed the deal. I had previously read parts of the Aneid and the Odyssey and had just completed the Illiad but I wanted something that gave you an overview of all the Greek myths, to create a solid foundation of knowledge on which to build on and that is exactly what this book gave me. I had to read it all the way through because it was a library book, but I'm so glad I ...more
So far its really good and non complicated like books on the classical myths tend to be.
One of the best mythology books right beside Edith Hamilton's.
An engaging summary of the principal classical myths, nicely organized around major storylines such as the voyage of Jason and the argonauts, the Trojan war etc. I found this a very useful introduction to the epic poems of Homer and Virgil for example. These abound in allusions to the gods and principal characters of Greek and Roman mythology. Now as I reread the Iliad, I find the poem much more accessible than when I first tackled it in a state of relative ignorance of the background mythology ...more
I read this after "The Penguin Book Of Myths & Legends of Ancient Egypt", and it is just as clear, concise and engaging. While the naming conventions differentiating between the original Greek and Roman stories can be a tad confusing, it didn't detract from the reading experience, nor did it make it difficult to take the key elements from each tale.
Tom Brown
A great interpretation of the stories I used to read all the time.

I want to say the story of Demeter & Persephone is my personal favorite, however, The Trojan War is an epic style crossover type story.
The immortal glory that is Greece...
A good entry point for anyone who, like me, is a newby to Greek and Roman mythology. Some fantastical, inspiring, and tragic stories. I'm looking forward to reading more.

Full of myths and an easy read. Giving various versions of the same myth and making them clear. Begins with creation and goes on through time for most of the book until later chapters where part mentioned earlier are given further detail.

Great book for anyone who knows nothing of myth to anyone who knows plenty.
Melissa Yates
I'm actually still reading this (as of Oct 12, 2011) because it's too much to absorb all at one time for me. Chris read it in two or three days though. I usually read some in between other books. It's very detailed.
Infinitely better than Edith Hamilton's Mythology, this Penguin Book gives all the vivid details and variations of the myths and arranges them in a logical order. Great as a reference or simply to read straight through.
Great way to learn about all of the Greek and some Roman myths. It's not written in the prose style like The Illiad and Odyssey are, it's very easy to understand and love it.
A very interesting read about Greek and Roman myths, that isn't at all dull (which is a nice relief from most text books). If you love mythology, this is a good book to go for.
Venus Smurf
It's just not possible to go wrong with mythology. The myths are always fascinating, complicated, and very entertaining. What's not to love?
I love this book! I trust Jenny March's authority on the subject and turn to it whenever I need a definitive guide on Classical Mythology.
Craig McConnell
A nice compromise between scholarly apparatus and reability - a definite improvement over Edith Hamilton.
The author portrays the classical myths in a very enjoyable and accessable way. Great book!
I finished approximately half of this book. The half I read was excellent.
Christa  Seeley
Not as interesting to read as it could've (should've been).
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