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The Greek Myths

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  5,543 ratings  ·  168 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 Books (first published 1955)
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Aidan Obviously, Graves didn't write the Greek myths. But he sourced them and retold them in one single work. The stories presented in the book have been…moreObviously, Graves didn't write the Greek myths. But he sourced them and retold them in one single work. The stories presented in the book have been presented by him, for lack of a better word. He's the author of the book, if not of the myths. (less)

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4.19  · 
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 ·  5,543 ratings  ·  168 reviews

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Ahmad Sharabiani
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 retellings is generally praised.
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Ana O
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, mythology
The lovely and lost Persephone, Icarus and his wax wings, Theseus (also known as the shithead) and the Minotaur... There's wine, extramarital affairs, and a whole lot of pettiness. Keeping up with the Kardashians Ancient Greeks.



Zeus, Hera, Demeter, Poseidon, Hestia, Hades, Persephone/Kora, Athena, Hermes, Apollo, Artemis, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Ares, Dionysus, Helios, Selene, Eos/Aurora, Gaia, Cronus, Rhea, Nyx, Hypnos, Morpheus, Hecate, Thanatos, Nemesis, Prometheus, Eros/Cupid, H
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
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
Dec 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
THE GREEK MYTHS. (1945; rev. 1960; this ed. 1996). Robert Graves. ****.
This work was first published by Penguin Books in 1955, and later revised by the author in 1960. I bought a copy of the two-volume paperback edition sometime in the late 1960s and found that it was almost unreadable – primarily because of the voluminous footnotes and interjections by the author. This edition (Folio Society; two-volumes) takes the 1960 edition and removes the distraction of the footnotes, combining all of the
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
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
Karen Witzler
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read when I was 18 or 19 and an ever-present backdrop to all of my reading thereafter. Followed naturally from the Bernard Evslin, D'Aulaire's Greek Myths, and Edith Hamilton's Mythology of childhood.
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
Opera affatto didascalica o pedante, è corredata da note preziose che uniscono la mitologia greca a quella micenea ed aria.
Pur essendo improntata a una ormai superata concezione antropologica e storico-religiosa di un primevo matriarcato, la classifico tra gli imperdibili perchè narra in toto la mitologia dell'Ellade, la quale, a sua volta, altro non è che la trasposizione, onirica e quindi immaginifica, delle paure, dei desideri e delle esigenze del nostro inconscio.

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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
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!
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
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
Jan 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una muy buena recolección, con muchas fuentes, de lo que es la mitología griega. La introducción es asombrosa, y nos hace imaginar un mundo panhelénico, una Europa antigua sin dioses de la Edad Oscura donde una gran Diosa inmortal, inmutable y omnipotente regía una sociedad matrilineal donde, por ejemplo ni siquiera existía el concepto de paternidad.
El delirio sigue, y repito, es muy lindo de imaginar, pero si bien a lo largo de todo el libro Robert Graves vive exponiendo sus fuentes, en el cas
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
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.
Victoria Price
Jan 07, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: classic
Totally boring.
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
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
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
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
Clara Mazzi
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un lavoro mastodontico. Graves ha ricercato e letto ogni testo classico sull'argomento così come diversi libri di critica a lui contemporanei. Ha tratto le sue conclusioni (che hanno travolto tutto quello che sapevo di mitologia greca) e ha lavorato isolato su di un'isola greca alla composizione di quest'opera non solo trascrivendo tutte le storie, ma dandogli un'ordine grosso modo cronologico e arricchendo e solidificando l'opera con note alla fine di ciascuna leggenda che riportano non solo i ...more
Luis Cardenas
Mar 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ensayo
La explicación de los mitos griegos es un campo en el que los inexpertos poco nos adentramos, lo usual es recrear y deleitarse con las narraciones mas o menos fidedignas de las creencias del mundo helénico. Pero es Robert Graves quien unos lleva a la explicación antropológica, sociológica e histórica del nacimiento de dichos mitos, las verdades humanas que el tiempo fue desdibujando hasta quedar todo como un cuento de ficción, y en donde concluimos que son los hombres quienes crean a los dioses.
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
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Robert 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, G ...more
“The familiar Olympian system was then agreed upon as a compromise between Hellenic and pre-Hellenic views: a divine family of six gods and six goddesses, headed by the co-sovereigns Zeus and Hera and forming a Council of Gods in Babylonian style.” 0 likes
“Pan’s sudden shout which terrified the Titans became proverbial and has given the word ‘panic’ to the English language” 0 likes
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