Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes” as Want to Read:
Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes

by
really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  44,180 ratings  ·  2,350 reviews
Since its original publication by Little, Brown and Company in 1942, Edith Hamilton's Mythology has sold millions of copies throughout the word and established itself as a perennial bestseller in its various available formats: hardcover, trade paperback, mass market paperback, and e-book. For 75 years readers have chosen this book above all others to discover the thrilling ...more
Hardcover, 75th Anniversary Illustrated Edition, 384 pages
Published September 26th 2017 by Black Dog & Leventhal (first published 1942)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mythology, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Lori I just wanted to add to Emily's (excellent) answer. It's *like* the Bible in that is tells the stories of the Greco-Roman gods, much like the Christia…moreI just wanted to add to Emily's (excellent) answer. It's *like* the Bible in that is tells the stories of the Greco-Roman gods, much like the Christian Bible contains stories in both the Old and New Testaments. However, like Emily said, it opens with a break down of the gods, grouped together with similar gods. It gives their Greek and Roman names and elucidates the minor differences between the Greek stories and the Roman stories of each god.

The book then moves into stories/myths involving the gods. The stories are edited with comments to include (sometimes) where the story came from (e.g. Homer's earlier writings, etc.) and slight variances in the story that are the result of translations or just disagreements in the retellings throughout history.

I actually read the Percy Jackson series and realized just how little I knew of Greek mythology. This book is an excellent read if you want to brush up, or (like me) learn about it from the ground-up.

In short, once you read through the descriptions of the gods, it becomes more story-like (divided into chapters, etc.). Highly recommend. (less)
Sheryl McCoy Yes, this is the second chapter book that my daughter read. She self-selected it from the library when she was in the 4th grade (10 yrs old) She would…moreYes, this is the second chapter book that my daughter read. She self-selected it from the library when she was in the 4th grade (10 yrs old) She would read the stories to me at night. The year before, she had already read the various Greek and Norse mythologies by wife/husband d'Aulaire team, and she said she wanted to know more. Her teachers and I were flabbergasted by her choice, but ONLY because we had read it in college as a text supplement. I love the way Virginia Hamilton puts a story together. The stories are short, interesting, human, and often poignant. Hamilton also includes stories that are not as well known but are interesting.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  44,180 ratings  ·  2,350 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes
Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
4 Stars

Wow. So this took me almost a full year to get through.

description

And no, I'm not actually joking (shocking, I know). GR says I started this in August....of 2018.

description

But what can I say.

Aside from the fact that I am probably just too dumb and too uncultured to truly enjoy this thing to it's full capacity...I'm also not a pretentious asshole who is going to pretend I lurved it to pieces just to look smart. (And no, I am not suggesting anyone who says they love this is a liar. One of my BBF GR buds An
...more
Helena of Eretz ✰
This book is considered as a classic for a reason... And I just wanted to say that this edition is GORGEOUS. Please, BUY IT! I promise that it'll look as AMAZING on your shelves as it does on mine! :D

description

description

description

description

P.S. These beautiful photos aren't mine! ;)
...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
Ahmad Sharabiani
Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, Edith Hamilton

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 antiquity to the present.

We meet the Greek gods on Olympus and Norse gods in Valhalla. We follow the drama of the Trojan War and the wanderings of Odysseus.

We hear the tales of Jason and the Go
...more
Jason Koivu
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Edith Hamilton may have written Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes more than a half century ago and she may have been fairly ancient when she did so, but she still put out one seriously readable book!

Hamilton took from the best sources to cobble together slick summaries of all your old time myth favorites. Before giving each mythical story's highlights, she details the different writers who created a version of it and explains the qualities of the best ones. Sometimes she berates the l
...more
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Monique
Shelves: retelling, mythology
"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
Rachel Reads Ravenously
4 stars

Basically, this gif sums up most of Greek mythology:


Not even kidding a little bit.

Anyways, mythology is always something I was interested in and loved, it's in so much of our everyday life still in the stories we tell and our history. I know most of my real life friends read this in the 10th grade, but my class read The Odyssey only and I've always meant to get to this book but didn't until now.

I listened to the audio of this book during my work commutes, and I liked it because it was a
...more
Trish
Aug 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hm. I declared August "History Month" and read, amongst various others, Bulfinch's Mythology of which I was quite disappointed. In my research of his work and how it came to be I found a reference to this book by Edith Hamilton, who superseded Mr. Bulfinch in most classrooms. Thus I read this book in an attempt to find a better written encyclopedia. Unfortunately, I did not succeed.
To clarify: this book IS better written than the one by Mr. Bulfinch. One reason is that Edith Hamilton was a scho
...more
Ted
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pindar in the early fifth century tells the tale about the feast Tantalus made the gods and protests that it is not true. The punishment of Tantalus is described often, first in the Odyssey, from which I have taken it. Amphion's story, and Niobe's, I have taken from Ovid, who alone tells them in full. For Pelops winning the chariot race I have preferred Apollodorus, of the first or second century A.D., who gives the fullest account that has come down. The story of Atreus' and Thyestes' crimes a ...more
Ashley
This is one of those books you hear about and then buy in a used bookstore and it languishes on your bookshelves for years until you finally pick it up, and then you just end up thinking to yourself, why didn't I pick this up sooner? Only, it's also one of those books that really works better as a reference than as a book you sit down and read from cover to cover. I read this book over the course of most of February, in bits and pieces, and it worked well that way.

This book is a classic for a re
...more
Christopher
Nov 04, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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
Welwyn Wilton 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
Jennifer
Sep 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jessica
Aug 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Paige  Bookdragon


You can never forget your first love.
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Audiobook #267
classic reverie
I was happy to have the recommendation of Edith Hamilton's Mythology from my Goodreads friend, Beverly about a year ago, when I was looking for a book that would help me understand this subject better. There is a lot of information which I preferred to read a little at a time which took almost a year to finish. Do I remember all in this book? You got to be kidding, I remember the basics and it has already helped in my classic reads when these figures show up and if my memory fails, I can look he ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
Edith Hamilton was probably how I discovered mythology myself. I have an old tattered paperback copy of this which helped guide me through the Odyssey and the Iliad. I haven't attempted Ovid or Hesiod, but this is where I would undoubtedly start whenever decide to do so.
Janus the Erudite Artist
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
Carol Flores
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really don’t know where to begin with this review because the 75th anniversary illustrated edition is stunning and I am overwhelmed by its beauty.

I’ve always been interested in Greek mythology but I never had a whole book that would help me understand the relationships between Titans, Olympian Gods, Demi-gods and humans. But this one served its purpose. Not only we have the family trees that help us know who is related to who, but also how they get involved with the great heroes such as Achil
...more
Sara
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
A refresher in the Greek and Roman gods, in preparation for reading some classic literature later in the year.
TS Chan
3.5 stars.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
I've been reading on this collection of myths for almost a month, and I really didn't want to come up for air. A one sentence summary: these stories are the best stories of all time. There are stories about every possible theme---death, work, struggle, sadness, love, hate, war, revenge, retribution. Because these stories are deeply embedded in our culture they reverberate through the modern stories we hear.

This is a must-read for everyone.

Cautionary note: Edith Hamilton isn't afraid to share he
...more
Amy
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a classic about the classic myths that is absolutely fantastic. I highly recommend and regret not reading it way earlier.
El
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I've had sitting on my shelves for a long time, and one I've flipped through several times to look up references from other books, titles, movies. I was finally encouraged to read the entire thing from having read Jesmyn Ward's Salvage the Bones, in which the 14-year-old protagonist reads Mythology and makes comparisons to her own life, comparisons based mainly on the story of Jason and Medea. (One of my own personal favorites, as well, because Medea is a wickedly delicious charac ...more
Mardin Uzeri
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Greek, Roman, and Norse mythologies have affected our modern cultures more than we might like to admit. Those mythologies were used as means to explain the environment in which humankind lived, the natural phenomena they witnessed and the passing of time and seasons.

Mythology has catalyzed the emergence of a rich and profound body of artistic works. In fact, this exactly peaked my interest in mythology in the first place. Here are some of my favs:



The titan Saturn eats all of his sons in fear of
...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
Melania 🍒
3,25/5

I’ve realized while reading this book that I don’t really like mythology so this was kind of boring for me, unfortunately.
❧A Bookish Berkeley Girl❧
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was awesome to read...the illustrations are fab. And, the stories have a wonderful easy flow. I love, love love this book💖
Bren
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History fans, fans of Mythology .
I was obsessed with Mythology when I was younger and still love it. But in my younger days, I read every book I could get my hands on about this subject. And I learned so much! But most of all the stories were fun which is what reading should be.

It has been to long since I read this so cannot do a long review although I hope to read it again soon. I can remember some of the stories better then others but I do not think there were any in fact that I did not enjoy reading about.

It is impossible t
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Anyone starting-with-the-Greeks? 7 78 Oct 31, 2018 11:50AM  
Goodreads Librari...: missing book editions 2 14 Jul 24, 2017 07:33AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Mythology by Edith Hamilton 5 72 Mar 09, 2015 06:54AM  
The influence of greek mythology in european graphic novels 1 10 Aug 28, 2014 09:43AM  
Horror Aficionados : Hades in classical literature 9 75 Oct 07, 2013 10:30AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Paradise Lost and Other Poems
  • The Trojan War: A New History
  • The Iliad
  • The First Philosophers: The Presocratics and Sophists
  • Hitch hiking and Foraging in New Mexico: A True Tomahawk Adventure (True Tomahawk Adventures Book 1)
  • Day Hikes in the Santa Fe Area
  • Day Hikes in the Santa Fe Area (Seventh Edition, Revised and Updated)
  • Theogony / Works and Days
  • Bulfinch's Mythology
  • The Odyssey
  • The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry
  • The Hiker's Guide to New Mexico
  • Crossing Arizona: A Solo Hike through the Sky Islands and Deserts of the Arizona Trail
  • The Oresteia: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides
  • Guide to the Hiking Areas of New Mexico
  • A No-Good Worthless Book
  • Hiking New Mexico: A Guide to the State's Greatest Hiking Adventures (State Hiking Guides Series)
  • Greek Mythology Explained: A Deeper Look at Classical Greek Lore and Myth
See similar books…
348 followers
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

News & Interviews

Luster is the breathtaking and often hilarious debut from novelist Raven Leilani. The story follows Edie, a 23-year-old trying to find her way ...
39 likes · 7 comments
“Love cannot live where there is no trust.” 366 likes
“Love, however, cannot be forbidden. The more that flame is covered up, the hotter it burns. Also love can always find a way. It was impossible that these two whose hearts were on fire should be kept apart. (Pyramus and Thisbe)” 92 likes
More quotes…