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The Greek Myths

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  6,239 ratings  ·  212 reviews
Combines in a single volume the complete text of the definitive two-volume classic, citing all the ancient myths. For a full appreciation of literature or visual art, knowledge of the Greek myths is crucial. In this much-loved collection, poet and scholar Robert Graves retells the immortal stories of the Greek myths. Demeter mourning her daughter Persephone, Icarus flying ...more
Paperback, Combined Edition, 782 pages
Published 1992 by Penguin Group (first published 1955)
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Morgan This is very much more Robert Graves' writing than other writers. He sources the writers, but you can't give them full credit since he summarizes the …moreThis is very much more Robert Graves' writing than other writers. He sources the writers, but you can't give them full credit since he summarizes the myths and then gives his views and historical background on each myth.(less)

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Aug 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Greek Myths, Robert Graves

The Greek Myths (1955) is a mythography, a compendium of Greek mythology, with comments and analyses, by the poet and writer Robert Graves, normally published in two volumes, though there are abridged editions that present the myths only.

Each myth is presented in the voice of a narrator writing under the Antonines, such as Plutarch or Pausanias, with citations of the classical sources. The literary quality of these retelling's is generally praised.

Myth, from a phen
Lynne King
The Folio Society published this rather splendid two volume book of The Greek Myths by Robert Graves in 1996. I purchased it then but I basically only looked at it from time to time when I wanted to know about certain myths or gods, and thus there was always something that I could look up which would give me pleasure.

This is not a book for the faint-hearted as, well to me anyway, it is an excellent reference book that I will pick up from time to time and browse through it or look for further inf
Nandakishore Varma
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: myth-fairy-tales
This is one of the gems I discovered, and purchased for a pittance, during my professional college days (1980-85).

The old "Current Books" bookshop was an institution in Thrissur. It was located in a very old building, with rows and rows of shelves and books arranged in no particular order. There were rooms leading to rooms leading to rooms, dark and musty rooms filled with the wonderful smell of old books. An ideal place to spend a Saturday afternoon, digging through the piles and piles of jumbl
Emer (A Little Haze)
When this edition says it's the complete and definitive edition of the Greek Myths it truly means it!! Well worth the hefty price tag and a book I will be consulting over and over and over again.
Lee Broderick
My edition came with an introduction by Kenneth McLeish which mentioned the importance of this book in re-establishing the Greek myths as suitable reading for adults. It also went on to highlight Robert Graves's extensive reading but McLeish was forced to acknowledge some weaknesses in Graves's scholarship.

The legends themselves are very dry, descriptive accounts redolent of an essay on the story at hand rather than a retelling. It's clear that the author carried out very thorough reading on the
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars - Great book

This book is great for someone who's interested in Greek myths, as the title may imply (or scream). This book is not a commentary on or a history of the myths. It is simply the myths, wonderfully organized and beautifully told.

As someone who loves order, the organization of this book is a dream. Graves divided the book into seven sections and within those sections he titles every myth. This is all laid out in the table of contents. Only want to read about Io? Or The Vengea
Helena of Eretz ✰
This is quite honestly the BEST Greek myths compendium ever written. It's always been my favourite, and it always shall be. :)
Nov 28, 2008 rated it liked it
There are several pros and cons to this book.

Pros: It’s very comprehensive in that it covers just about all the Greek mythology.

Cons: It’s very focused towards the academic. Each myth is told a break neck speed with a bare bones of story followed by a list or sources and then a list of how the myth came to be with interpretations of historical events/persons basically and entomology. This would be an invaluable tool to an academic but as some one who only wanted to read and enjoy the stories I
Sep 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Robert Graves “The Greek Myths” is a wonderful resource for learning about the myths of ancient Greece. Originally published in 1955, it was updated for the last time in 1960. There are two volumes, but they are often available in a single book, which makes it easier for the reader to handle. Graves does a wonderful job of making the myths easy to read and understand, and discusses the variations which often occurred in the myths. His interpretation of the myths is a bit subjective, so the reade ...more
Sharon Barrow Wilfong

Robert Graves is quite thorough in writing about the myths and at the end of each story, he provides foot notes that can be as long as the story itself.

Some of the footnotes are speculative. "This god replaced an earlier pagan god etc.". It is difficult to know these things or the origins of any of these stories. But Graves gives his educated guesses and they are worth pondering.

In Graves' version the myths are not child friendly and a lot more graphic than I remember Edith Hamilton's version. I
This is a reference book more than a short story collection. If you want entertainment, look elsewhere. If you want research and philosophy on the myths this book might be up your ally. Graves writing is good, but very dry.

NOTE: This is not a comic book nor is this for kids. Yes the guy who wrote Percy Jackson did the introduction, but this is way above that reading level. This book would be perfect for a college class since he doesn't cut out the adult situations and he compares this with other
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
If you plan to read Homer's The Iliad or The Odyssey, or any of the great plays of the Greek classicists, I have a suggestion for a book that will prove to be indispensable to you on your journey through these great works of literature. Robert Graves (1895-1985), the British poet, translator and novelist, produced some 140 works. He is probably best known for his novel, I Claudius, and his historical study of poetic inspiration, The White Goddess. In the late-1950s, he also completed a two-volum ...more
If you are looking for Greek myths where a random person takes a journey to distant lands, finds monsters, travels through mystical lands, saves the girl, is elevated to hero status, has a final fight, and then lives happily ever after – this set is not for you. This two volume set does cover Greek mythology but instead of a story like Homer’s Iliad these are the stories of where the Greek gods and deities came from. Basically, an extremely detailed family tree of the deities and characters from ...more
Starting with the Pelgasian creation myth and ending with Odysseus’s homecoming, this compendium covers all the traditional ancient Greek myths and legends over the course of 171 chapters.

Each chapter consists of three parts: the first part contains a retelling of a myth (sometimes multiple version thereof) divided into paragraphs that are labelled alphabetically; the second part contains references that appeared as numbered footnotes in the first part; the third part contains Graves’s commenta
This was, by far, the most awful book I have ever tried to read. I am very much, 'I've started so I'll finish' when it comes to reading books. Sometimes books that I've struggled with initially are actually those that I enjoy the most but this was just horrible. I'd hoped that it would be a book that enabled me to access Greek Mythology but it was just far too esoteric I didn't feel I could access anything the book was saying at all. I don't think I'm stupid or ill educated, I enjoy reading and ...more
Constanza Gomez
Jul 31, 2016 rated it did not like it
If you read this is some kind of "fiction book" could be fine. But as a manual to mythology is just awful, there are many inaccuracies (like distorting myths of seduction into sexual rapes). If you want to learn about Greek Mythology this is not the book. I remember reading this some years ago, and after I kept on reading other books and studies I realized how badly taught I was by Graves book.
Read it with caution.
Alright I actually like this book a lot because unlike Bulfinch's Mythology, this book delivers what you're looking for. It actually has the Greek Myths in a style that is understandable and for entertainment purposes. You'll get the whole stories here and they are easy to read!
May 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I'm really surprised this book has such high ratings, because it is completely bonkers. This book is a weird combination of extremely thorough mythology encyclopedia and bizarre conspiracy theories concocted by the author. The myths themselves are great, although they are more like encyclopedia entries than stories. But given the vastness of the Greek mythological corpus, I think that's the only way to do it if you want to squeeze all of the myths into one book.

Each chapter is about 50% myth and
Oct 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, this took a while. And it was not an easy read, not in the least! If you decide to pick this one up arm yourself with patience, focus and lots of coffee. It is meticuloucly researched, but given in a very dry way... Very much like Frazer's Golden Bough (wich I'm still stuck at around 50% with). But if you just want to check one myth, very good source material.
Ryan Denson
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert Graves does an excellent job of retelling both the main Greek myths and the more obscure ones. He summarizes variants when applicable as well. Overall, the text of the myths is something that everyone will enjoy. It begins with the creation myths and the ascension of the Olumpians to the labors of Heracles and the Trojan War.

Graves' commentary on the myths though has rightly been denounced by scholars. In the words of the editor for this edition, "His comments on the stories, printed at
Regina Lindsey
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Graves has pulled together an exhaustive compilation of Greek myths, arranged by themes, and provides short commentary on their history as well as documentation on where and when they appear.

I have been a fan of Robert Graves since reading I, Claudius in college. I also read a range of hisotrical fiction set in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Often myths of the time period are important elements of the story line. I had a cursory knowledge base of the basic myths. What Graves did for me was c
Dec 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
See reviews to Part I and Part II. I'll probably get around to combining a full review of the whole Graves/Greek thingy, but I've got other books to hump and other stories to ride. ...more
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
Ed Smiley
Jan 01, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was exhaustive and exhausting in that it goes into tertiary incidents with enormous detail.

I admit I did have to skim a bit. It is a great reference, however. I would suggest you not read it cover to cover as I did, but grab an interesting that grabs your attention.

It is supplied with copious illustrations of Greek representations of the various mythic persons.

Greek myths seem to have total disregard for any ethical guidelines in the behavior of any of the characters, a problem remark
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
A very good reference book to all those little details that one can love and hate.

Robert Graves writes the myths in a few paragraphs which do more to "telling" then to "showing" the myths. Yet there are things I do not agree with (the mix-and-mash of myths which were once religions unrelated to the Greeks) also I do not quite like his assumptions upon myths and the ancient Greek people themselves.

It isn't so clear to me as it seems cut to him; it makes me wonder where he got a lot of those ass
Jan 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
NB: This is not the original, heavily annotated two-volume work but an illustrated edition, condensed by one John Buchanan-Brown. It is an informative dash through the major Greek myths. The condensation from two thick volumes into one sparse, illustrated book dashes any hope of narrative flow, of course, but the crucial facts are here for the reader. The epic of Heracles and the saga of the house of Atreus (Agamemnon, Orestes) are explored in detail. The myths are also refreshingly not bowdleri ...more
Timothy Urban
Sep 16, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is dryer than Agamemnon's sandals. Though thorough, it's a pretty joyless read.

Having said that, I find I just don't get along with the Greek Myths as well as I want to.

If it was all gods, there'd be that internal (lack of) god logic. Throwing a mountain into the sea and making Sicily etc. etc. It would be daft, but interesting.

If it was all mortals and no gods, it'd read like some great sprawling ancient soap opera. A lot of family sagas. And people like family sagas.

The mix of gods
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classical-world
First a quibble. If the chimaera is a goat with the head of a lion and the body of a snake, what exactly is the goaty bit - the legs? The tail? In which case why not say that it is a snake with the head of a lion and the legs of a goat? The myths themselves are chimeric and confused. Multiple sources create regular confusion as to persons, places and fates.

Graves retelling of the myths effectively consists of two books merged together. The first is a readable narration of the myths in the style
Jan 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Aaron by: professor of my Greek religion course
an excellent place to go for exploration of the Greek myths. This book has been especially helpful to me since Graves very accurately lists the ancient sources he used for each myth...then there's that little star followed by his own interpretation and comments. If you need to write a paper on the subject it's the book to have. I haven't read it cover to cover, but I think I've gotten to just about every myth via the index
Cliff Garner
Nov 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A very interesting look at the Greek myths and comparative mythology. It makes a fine reference for interpreting mythology with somewhat of a historical perspective and giving a view of influences upon Greek myth. It suffers a bit from Graves's own prejudices and 'goddess' oriented beliefs, but overall it is a small flaw. I am in process of re-reading and adding notes for my own future reference. Graves's style is easy to read and enjoyable.
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Into the Forest: The Greek Myths 63 33 Nov 01, 2019 03:52PM  
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Goodreads Librari...: change title and publisher 4 170 Sep 01, 2013 07:52AM  

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Robert von Ranke Graves, born in Wimbledon, received his early education at King's College School and Copthorne Prep School, Wimbledon & Charterhouse School and won a scholarship to St John's College, Oxford. While at Charterhouse in 1912, he fell in love with G.H. Johnstone, a boy of fourteen ("Dick" in Goodbye to All That) When challenged by the headmaster he defended himself by citing Plato, Gr ...more

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