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Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  39,318 ratings  ·  1,964 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)
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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…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)
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Warning: this review is dark not really and full of terrors nerdiness.

Some of my favorite features include:

Titans and Olympians

Having children is never a good idea. Just ask the Titans.

OCEAN, the river that was supposed to encircle the earth; his wife TETHYS; HYPERION, the father of the sun, the moon, and the dawn; MNEMOSYNE, which means Memory; THEMIS, usually translated by Justice; and IAPETUS, important because of his sons, ATLAS, who bore the world on his shoulders, and PROMETHEUS, wh
Helena ✰ FC
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





P.S. These beautiful photos aren't mine! ;)
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
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
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
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
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
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
Paige  Bookdragon

You can never forget your first love.
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
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
سرانجام! پس از دوسال! به لطف امتحان های آبدوغ خیاری ارشد و فرجه ی طولانی، این کتاب خوشمزه را یک جا سر کشیدم
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Audiobook #267
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
My battered old copy of this book has been around - it may have been required reading for my father back in high school. Anyway, I finally got around to reading it - and the odd thing is that I should have read it years ago. In fact this should have been required reading in my high school, and also in freshman English in college. Because the stories here are referred to so much in literature, the names of the gods and lovers and warriors herein ring down through the centuries with such frequency ...more
¸. • * ° *❧Gwendolyn❧°**★°**★
5 Timeless Stars!


This book was awesome to read...the illustrations are fab. And, the stories have a wonderful easy flow. I love, love love this book💖
Luke Taylor
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dense but comprehensive.
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history buffs and mythology fanatics.

I started this book over ten years ago. I had three short stories to read to finish it and I completely forgot about it. Today, I completed these short stories, and as a result, I have conquered the book I loved as a child.

This is the perfect introductory book for anyone who wants to know more about Roman, Greek or Norse mythology. Hamilton shares various stories in a very simple, and yet, entertaining way. For me, there's a lot of nostalgia connected with this book. I was gifted it
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
Grace the Book Queen
This was an excellent book over Greek mythology as well as some Roman and a little bit of Norse mythology as well. It was a great review of the stuff I already knew and I learned many new things too! Even if you have never picked up anything about Greek mythology or don't know much about it, you can still understand this book. I think it's a good book for those just starting to learn about the myths. Definitely recommended to the myth lovers! 😄❤ ...more
Sep 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Greek mythology lovers
Read this for English class. For greek-mythology lovers like me, it gave quite a good explanation of numerous myths and clarifies the big pictures of Norse, Roman, and Greek mythology. A bit too heavy to read in one sitting, but an excellent reference for fans of the genre. I wouldn't say this is a must-read, but definitely beneficial for a devoted reader.
Paula W
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me an awful long time to finish this one up, but it is a reference book rather than a novel. Still, I feel like I have accomplished something and hope to do a little better on the mythology questions during trivia nights. This is definitely a book that I will refer back to again and again.
May 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this classic collection of Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology. It has many negatives, but I still have an affection for it because I read it during a formative period in my life. I find it relatively readable -- not true of most mythology guides written for adults.

Hamilton does a certain amount of commenting on the major sources from which she draws the myths. Therefore it's a great way to follow threads back through the actual sources; many other mythological guides don't reference their
Krista Baetiong Tungol
This book I own of Edith Hamilton has seen better days—its cover is worn and has little pleats, the pages rusty and slightly frayed at the ends, the binding loose and several pages detached from it, and scribbles and stains mark some of the pages. It was a hand-me-down by my elder sister when I studied classical mythology for our English high school class, passed on to my two younger siblings for the same purpose, and perhaps, would also be used by my daughter when she starts to study Greek and/ ...more
Dany Burns
An interesting book about (mostly Greek and Roman) mythology. I would have rated this higher but I had a big mythology phase in elementary school so I actually knew many of the stories, though they were very well written. I think this is a great miniature course in mythology for anyone who is interested and doesn't already know a lot about mythology.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
This is a scholarly, but very readable presentation on Greek mythology. In fact, this story really added to my love of the Greek myths. It doesn't spare the reader the darker aspects, so be warned. I would give this book to a good reader of 8 or more years of age, if they were unfamiliar with the Greek myths. Probably would leave Bulfinch for an older reader.
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  • Bulfinch's Mythology
  • Classical Mythology
  • The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology: An A-Z Guide to the Myths and Legends of the Ancient World
  • D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths
  • The Greek Myths: Vol. 1
  • The Masks of God, Volume 1: Primitive Mythology
  • The Norse Myths
  • Mythology
  • The Gods of the Greeks
  • Parallel Myths
  • Don't Know Much About Mythology: Everything You Need to Know About the Greatest Stories in Human History but Never Learned
  • Celtic Myths and Legends
  • Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths
  • The Complete World of Greek Mythology
  • World Mythology: An Anthology of Great Myths and Epics
  • Classical Myth
  • The Dictionary of Classical Mythology
  • Οι γάμοι του Κάδμου και της Αρμονίας
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
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