Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Complete World of Greek Mythology

Rate this book
Greek myths are among the most complex and influential stories ever told. From the first millennium BC until today, the myths have been repeated in an inexhaustible series of variations and reinterpretations. They can be found in the latest movies and television shows and in software for interactive computer games. This book combines a retelling of Greek myths with a comprehensive account of the world in which they developed their themes, their relevance to Greek religion and society, and their relationship to the landscape.

"Contexts, Sources, Meanings" describes the main literary and artistic sources for Greek myths, and their contexts, such as ritual and theater.
"Myths of Origin" includes stories about the beginning of the cosmos, the origins of the gods, the first humans, and the founding of communities.
"The Olympians: Power, Honor, Sexuality" examines the activities of all the main divinities.
"Heroic exploits" concentrates on the adventures of Perseus, Jason, Herakles, and other heroes.
"Family sagas" explores the dramas and catastrophes that befall heroes and heroines.
"A Landscape of Myths" sets the stories within the context of the mountains, caves, seas, and rivers of Greece, Crete, Troy, and the Underworld.
"Greek Myths after the Greeks" describes the rich tradition of retelling, from the Romans, through the Renaissance, to the twenty-first century.
Complemented by lavish illustrations, genealogical tables, box features, and specially commissioned drawings, this will be an essential book for anyone interested in these classic tales and in the world of the ancient Greeks.

256 pages, Hardcover

First published June 28, 2004

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Richard Buxton

19 books23 followers
Richard Buxton works on ancient Greek literature (especially tragedy), and ancient mythology and religion. One of his main aims is to explore the contexts – for example, social life and the landscape – which can help us to recover the meanings which myths had for their tellers and hearers/readers (see his Imaginary Greece, 1994, and The Complete World of Greek Mythology, 2004).

In 1996 he organized a major international conference at Bristol, whose proceedings appeared as From Myth to Reason? (1999) Since 2003 he has been one of the editors of Thesaurus Cultus et Rituum Antiquorum and since 2006 he has been President of the LIMC Foundation. His book 'Forms of Astonishment: Greek Myths of Metamorphosis' was published in 2009. He will next be revising for publication a selection of his papers on Greek myth and tragedy.

He has taken part in a number of radio programs about myth. His work has been translated into nine languages.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
919 (47%)
4 stars
644 (33%)
3 stars
287 (14%)
2 stars
52 (2%)
1 star
21 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 68 reviews
Profile Image for Anna.
398 reviews54 followers
August 1, 2007
Seriously, the day I have children I hope I'll have the guts :-) to unplug the TV once in a while and get them hooked on the Greek myths instead: love, revenge, humor - who needs soaps??
Profile Image for Heather.
9 reviews2 followers
March 27, 2012
Really well organized book. Meant to introduce the subject of Greek Mythology in context. Excellent for high school and early college students who want solid contextual understanding of this subject.
Profile Image for Natalie.
74 reviews
March 20, 2008
I really love mythology(preferably greek). I loved reading this book because it gave me all the stories in one book but they did leave out some tiny details, kinda like an abridged version. I really do recommend it though!
Profile Image for Giorgos Kariotis.
5 reviews31 followers
August 23, 2022
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ann.
5 reviews
November 10, 2011
I loved it. I'm a HUGE greek-roman mythology nerd.
Profile Image for Moody Claire.
38 reviews16 followers
July 4, 2009
i really loved greek mythology... every single story included in it is so lovable and awesome! Like echo and paris, odysseus, jason and the argonauts etc...
Profile Image for Felicia.
153 reviews39 followers
February 21, 2017
This was my prescribed book for my Greek Mythology in context course at university. It is very informative and has pictures. Definitely pick this up if you are doing research.
Profile Image for Simon Ri.
10 reviews41 followers
December 8, 2019
Diving into mythology always equals the attempt of understanding the foundations of our civilization. Myths provide boiled down truth about how we are supposed to act in the world, articulated by our unconscious long before our consciousness even grappled with the ideas.

Carved on the temple at Delphi were the exhortations "Know yourself" and "Nothing too much," mottoes which remind us if our own limitations: You are only human, so don't try more than you are able or you will pay the price. A recurring theme in Greek myth is the man or woman who loses sight of human limitations and acts arrogantly and with violence, as if immortal. And pays a terrible price.

Buxton did a wonderful job and paved a way which makes Greek Mythology not only easily accessible but also fun.
12 reviews27 followers
August 29, 2012
I love Greek Mythology. I've always enjoyed reading their stories growing up.
Profile Image for Rob Dudek.
36 reviews25 followers
April 18, 2016
5/5 What can I say? I'm a fan of Greek mythology and this book really delivers. A very entertaining and informative read!
Profile Image for Stella.
489 reviews205 followers
June 18, 2014
A great resource to pick up for anyone interested in a basic overview of Greek myths and their significance on Greek culture. However, because this book took more of a Greek civilization route, the myths themselves were bare-boned. I would have preferred a more in depth look into the variation that exist in various Greek myths.

Overall, I enjoyed reading through this. Now I really need my professor to send us that list of recommended readings for the summer...
Profile Image for Greg Strandberg.
Author 89 books92 followers
March 20, 2015
You really can't go wrong with Greek mythology, and this book will give you lots of characters and stories. I got this book from the public library, so there's not a lot to crow about. There are some boring parts, but if you're looking for a quick rundown, this is a good way to go.
Profile Image for Lisa.
1,144 reviews62 followers
September 10, 2008
I loved this book, which is pretty much an overview of the Greek myths. I would have preferred a little more in depth in some places, but I guess that's what Homer is for.
Profile Image for Megan Creel.
Author 2 books3 followers
May 2, 2011
Useful for quick research, the book has a very easy to use format for finding what you need to know.
Profile Image for Leif.
1,637 reviews86 followers
February 19, 2016
An excellent textbook for those keen to see the range and get a glimpse of the depth of Greek myth. Buxton maintains a buoyant voice that never lingers longer than it should over details – although some of the later chapters feel tired, or were at least subject to my readerly exhaustion and so weren't as interesting as the majority of the middle chapters.
Profile Image for Lisa Baeringer.
Author 1 book25 followers
November 7, 2016
For anyone interested in Greek mythology this book is for you. It's very informative and pictures to boot. It gives you a better understanding into the stories surrounding the Greek gods and their religious practices.
Profile Image for Lauren.
3,323 reviews122 followers
May 4, 2012
Even though this book shows to give a good overview of myths I was not that impressed with the set up of writing style in general.
Profile Image for nathalie.
280 reviews10 followers
April 4, 2021
finished my essay so

tbd if i passed tho lol
Profile Image for Nick Black.
Author 1 book703 followers
June 2, 2018
Really good, modern coverage, with great sourcing and comparison among the original texts. I liked the chapter on historical development of the Greek myths. I would have appreciated more coverage of the Roman "editions", especially as I read this as Jeopardy prep, and overall more text and fewer pictures would have been just fine. The breakup of myth along thematic lines was sensible from a didactic perspective, but it doesn't work very perfectly from a reference perspective.

Anyway, probably my go-to now for Greek mythology, though hardly as portable as Hamilton.
Profile Image for Christina.
12 reviews
February 12, 2009
Reads like a textbook, must be a textbook - okay, I guess, if you're into scholarly arguments. I expected more of the actual stories included, I think I had the wrong expectations for this type of book.
Profile Image for Barry.
202 reviews4 followers
April 11, 2009
Fun to read, but those Greeks just had too many characters and stories.
1 review
February 2, 2017
How can i read this??
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 68 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.