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Bulfinchs Mythology The Age Of Fable

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  2,055 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews

The myths created by the Greeks and Romans, and the tales of the heroes and heroines that emerged during the Age of Chivalry in Europe, reflect man's enduring emotions: jealousy and hatred, compassion and devotion. They deal with the challenges that still confront man -- the search for truth, for a deeper understanding of the natural world, and of man's own nature.


Hardcover, Book Club Edition, 383 pages
Published May 1990 by DoubleDay / Guild America Books (first published 1855)
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(showing 1-30)
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Chris Brimmer
I think a lot of people miss the purpose of the volume. This is a 19th century course on classics taught in a very classical way. When poetry or other literature based on the mythology discussed is quoted you should pull the work up and read the whole thing. This is of course much easier to do now with the internet then when the volume was first written when this would have been a library course. This makes for a very slow but very rewarding reading effort. I plan to read the other two volumes b ...more
Aug 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 29, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is exactly what I thought about this book that took FOREVER to get through:

Jan 03, 2012
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 e
Marcelo Tempes
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: prateleira
Um belo apanhado de resumos sobre diversos mitos, poemas pagãos e informações a respeito das religiões mitológicas. Não se aprofunda, nem entra em reflexões, relata, e em alguns pontos engata em trechos dos mais clássicos poetas.

Posso dizer que seja, talvez, uma informação muito sintética para uma leitura fluída - como o fiz - porém, me parece, uma bela fonte de referências, e acredito que na hora que precisar me ocorrerá - assim espero - alguma lembrança, que mesmo tênue, será suficiente para m
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
Apr 20, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
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
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
西方文学离不开古希腊神话,Thomas Bulfinch的这本书算是经典级别的希腊神话入门读物了,内容丰富,语言精彩,放在书架上方便随时查阅
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: folklore, classics
**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
Gabriella Vieira
Sobre uma das leituras mais longas da minha vida, rs. Por vezes extremamente tediosa, mas que no fim foi de grande valia: é um livro ríquissimo que agregou muito conhecimento! <3
Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 21, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: martabak-telor
Kumpulan berbagai mitologi & kepercayaan, dirangkum dari berbagai sumber~
Yang paling banyak sih mitologi Yunani, dan ada lumayan mitologi Norse. Yang kepercayaan lainnya dibahas dikit-dikit ^ ^
Abis baca ini jadi pengen "berburu" karya Ovid (^..^)
Hann Remraf
i didn't really finish it, but my curriculum no longer requires me to read it. *finally*
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Um livro altamente recomendado para quem quer conhecer o universo da Mitologia Grega.
Ótimo para ter uma visão geral a respeito de diversos mitos e estórias interessantes.
John Bohnert
Many of the Roman myths remind me fondly of my Latin I and Latin II classes in high school.
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.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ahhh . . . the life of a gentleman. You settle down in your favorite wing-back and screw in your monocle. "Morris!" you call, but Morris is already at your elbow.

"Sherry, sir?" he asks, though he knows the answer.

"Yes, please, Morris. Don't be stingy."

Morris pours the drink and brings it to you. You already have your nose in your Bulfinch's. You feel the knowledge imparted will do you good at dinner parties, the more mundane anecdotes perfect for conversation with elderly ladies and the naught
Amir Nakar
Very hard to rate this book.
It was interesting, I learned a ton, but it was like reading a textbook.
While the author really made an effort to write fluently and in prose he was also meticulous not to miss details or overlook facts.

This book is essentially a collection of Greek, Roman,Egyptian, Norse and German mythology (Mostly Greek) accompanied by poetry that relates to the subject. The premise of the book is that "Today" (written in the 19th cent.) people who read poetry don't get all the all
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Keeping the book for reference, but also reading it from cover to cover for enjoyment are two reasons for owning a copy of these stories retold from ancient times. While most of the chapters narrate the exploits of the heroes and heroines of Greek and Roman fame (several recounting the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid), the last few chapters carpet the reader to the Far East and the far North.
Reading Bulfinch reminds us that our speech, our art, and even our war and peace are filled with refer
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding!! Very good, and savior this introduction of the world of gods. I was reading "Os Lusíadas", and taking almost all references, thanks to him. I'm so happy to discover this book, I did not expect it to help me that much.
Abraão Marques
May 06, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: estante
Um livro que descreve mitologia grega com nomes romanos sem conectar um capítulo ao outro e que descreve mitos sem envolvimento e sem citar fontes clássicas, preocupado apenas em fazer referências da literatura. Wikipédia é de graça e faz o mesmo trabalho.
Paulo Reimann
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely fantastic

Absolutely fantastic in all senses. Comprehensive, exciting, well written, actual. No need to search for another books, this is the classic and definitive. Would put 6 even 10 stars.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Outro livro que li até caírem as páginas (minha edição era mais antiga que essa, mas era da Ediouro também).
Dec 26, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2011
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
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
im not really that much into the book but I'm in a part where i can explain whats happening and the book is mainly about explaining who and what the gods are, right now I'm learning about the most famous greek god Zeus and who he is and his life, and thats where i am at my book.

in my book right now I'm on page 81 and I'm learning about Cupid and who he is (which i already know who he is) and what he does which i think everyone knows who he is and what he does. Right now I'm learning what he did
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
Lis Katrine 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
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
THE AGE OF FABLE. (1859). Thomas Bulfinch. ****.
Bulfinch wrote three books which explored the nature and content of myth, this one in 1859, the second being “The Age of Chivalry,” covering the world, mostly, of English myth, including King Arthur and his Knights, that volume also includes a summary of the Mabinogeon, and, finally, a third volume entitled “The Legends of Charlemagne.” This first study covers mostly the Greek and Roman myths, but the author also touches on bits of Indian and Egypt
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
Jul 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology
I think it's safe to say that overall this is an okay book. Certainly, it's not a terrible refresher course on Greek myth, although these days anybody who really wants to learn about Classical Mythology can easily check Wikipedia or read any of the better books that have come since. For me, there are two main problems with Bulfinch. First, he censors his accounts, especially in regards to any and all sexual content. Thus, there's no mention of Aphrodite arising from the castration of Uranus or v ...more
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“There is another deity who is described as the calumniator of the gods and the contriver of all fraud and mischief. His name is Loki. He is handsome and well made, but of a very fickle mood and most evil disposition. He is of the giant race, but forced himself into the company of the gods, and seems to take pleasure in bringing them into difficulties, and in extricating them out of the danger by his cunning, wit, and skill.” 1 likes
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