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Myths/Legends > Greek and Roman Myths

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message 1: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 1367 comments Mod
For the Greeks and Romans.


message 2: by Elley (new)

Elley Murray (elleyotter) I read Goddess of Yesterday the other day and now I am HUNGRY for fiction based on Greek/Roman myth. Any suggestions? Added to my reading list already are:
The Bull From The Sea Mary Renault
The King Must Die Mary Renault
The Ten Thousand Michael Curtis Ford
The Gates of Rome Conn Iggulden
Gates of Fire Stephen Pressfield
The Isle of Stone Nicholas Nicastro

I haven't read any of these yet - has anyone else read any of these? Have any other recommendations??


message 3: by Christine (last edited Apr 14, 2010 02:50PM) (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 1367 comments Mod
Le Guin wrote Lavinia. If you haven't read Edith Hamilton or Robert Graves you should as well as Bulfinch's Mythology.

There is Last of the Amazons.

And Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold


message 4: by Elley (new)

Elley Murray (elleyotter) Thanks for the great suggestions, Chris! Added Lavinia, Last of the Amazons, and Till We Have Faces to my To-Read List (along with more by Pressfield!) Thanks for the great suggestions!


message 5: by Elley (new)

Elley Murray (elleyotter) I want to read Homer's The Odyssey - which is the best translation to read? I want something readable but that still hold true to the original...


message 6: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 1367 comments Mod
I have read that the most recent translation (which silly me, I have forgot the editor of) is one of the best. I know that The Odyssey this edition has a version read by Mckellan or Jacobi.

The question you also need to consider is do you want to read a true translation in poetry or a prose translation?


message 7: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I used to love Caroline B. Cooney books! I think I'll have to give Goddess of Yesterday a try.

I know what you mean. I just finished reading Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold, and it was really good. Before that, and the Percy Jackson series, I had never really had an interest in Greek/Roman mythology or retellings. Now I want to keep reading!


message 8: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 1367 comments Mod
Just started Faces.


message 9: by Mindy (new)

Mindy (minuet33) | 43 comments The Percy Jackson series and its sequel series The Heros of Olympus. The next book is coming out on October 4th.


message 10: by Mary (new)

Mary I second (or third?) Goddess of Yesterday. It's just excellent, stunning details that make it all so real. I hope everyone enjoys it.


message 11: by Aimee (new)

Aimee Laine (aimee_laine) | 5 comments Goddess of Yesterday
That is one freaky cover, but it sounds really interesting! :) I'm adding it to my TBR! :)


message 12: by Bree (new)

Bree Mclaren (breenleyz) | 3 comments My first semester at the University of Arizona I took a course on classical mythology. Classical Mythologyis the book we used for text. It has tons of good information and I really enjoyed reading it. I would suggest this book for anyone interested in learning the historical stories of greek and roman myths. I still use it as a reference when I don't understand some details of the modern retellings lol.


message 13: by JamieNichole003 (new)

JamieNichole003 (pandoraspeaks) Would the Percy Jackson and the Olympians, or Heroes of Olympus fall under this catorgory?


message 14: by Aimee (new)

Aimee Laine (aimee_laine) | 5 comments Percy Jackson absolutely! I don't know about the other. :) But since it says 'Olympus' it would seem so! :)


message 15: by JamieNichole003 (new)

JamieNichole003 (pandoraspeaks) Heroes of Olympus is the Percy Jackson follow up series which is also really awesome


message 16: by Aimee (new)

Aimee Laine (aimee_laine) | 5 comments Jamie wrote: "Heroes of Olympus is the Percy Jackson follow up series which is also really awesome"

Ooooh. I did not know that! :)


message 17: by Rose (new)

Rose (plainsrose) | 5 comments I really recommend the Niobe trilogy by Grossack and Underwood. I have only read Children of Tantalus but I've seen great reviews of the next two books, The Road to Thebes: Niobe and Amphion and Arrows of Artemis: Niobe and Chloris. Here's a link:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 18: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 1367 comments Mod
Thanks Rose. That does look intersting.


message 19: by Marisette (new)

Marisette Burgess | 1 comments Men of the Cave by Marisette Burgess

Imagine the Greek gods condemned to a life on
Earth, young lovers fighting against their fated love,
and an ancient secret so great it changes the life of
one teenage girl forever.

Raised by unorthodox parents, Kasey Reese, 18, has always struggled to be invisible, to not be noticed, to avoid conflict. Running from a recently broken relationship, Kasey flees to
Spain on a scholarship, to restore the comfort she finds in anonymity. Destiny, however, has other plans for her – a life threatening, life altering journey into the supernatural when she meets the men of the cave.

Kasey is introduced to Dion Kleon, a twenty-year-old actor who woos her with his alluring charm. Reluctant to start any kind of romantic fling on her trip, she takes it slow. After witnessing an unexplainable event Dion is obligated to reveal the hidden truths of Earth and the forbidden secrets of his family to Kasey. As she struggles to accept these new revelations, Kasey does what she does best, evades Dion.

Her curiosity into his secretive world is too great. When they discover that she is a direct descendant of Pandora, she is bound to his world in ways they cannot imagine. Destiny now places Kasey in a more bizarre world than she ever fathomed, with an uncertain future. Kasey has no idea that her odyssey is about to begin.


message 20: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 4129 comments Mod
I am bumping up this thread because of our 2014 Challenge:
"4. Read a Greek Myth with which you are not familiar (or have forgotten most of)
5. Then read a modern retelling of that Myth (published 2000 and later)"

If anyone has any favourites that have not already been mentioned please list them here.

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakamiis loosely based on the Oedipus Myth.


message 21: by Melanti (last edited Jan 16, 2014 10:27AM) (new)

Melanti | 2128 comments Mod
I've been thinking of books for this myself! Unfortunately, most of the ones I can think of are Roman, not Greek. Boo... And to make things more complicated, I just read Ovid's Metamorphoses last year and have read most of the Greek epics and quite a few of the plays. Finding a story I'm not already familiar with is going to be a challenge.

Till We Have Faces - Roman - Cupid and Psyche
Lavinia - Also Roman... - The story of a minor character from The Aeneid (founding of Rome)

So for Greek, I've come up with
The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood which is the story of Odysseus's wife and on my TBR but I really can't claim I don't remember her story well, so I guess that one is out. (Plus, even if I didn't remember it, I really don't want to reread The Odyssey this year.)
I'm not sure I'd say Cold Mountain is a re-telling of The Odyssey but it uses some of the imagery and symbolism and there are some parallels in the plot as well. I thought it was alright, but not great.

Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles - by Jeanette Winterson - I quite liked this one.

Then there's the Gaiman endorsed The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break. Not exactly a retelling either but it uses The Minotaur in modern society to look at "The Other". I liked this one as well.

White as Snow by Tanith Lee incorporates some of Persephone and Demeter. It was strange and dark, but good.

A few more from the Canongate Myths series:
Girl Meets Boy: The Myth of Iphis
The Helmet of Horror: The Myth of Theseus and the Minotaur
Where Three Roads Meet: The Myth of Oedipus


message 22: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) | 1367 comments Mod
Troy is actually a really good retelling of the story - and the author uses some little known variations on the story.

I agree, Weight was really good.


message 23: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 4129 comments Mod
Melanti wrote: "I've been thinking of books for this myself! Unfortunately, most of the ones I can think of are Roman, not Greek. Boo... And to make things more complicated, I just read Ovid's [book:Metamorphose..."

Since there is so much cross-over between Greek and Roman Myths why don't I change it to Greek/Roman Myth? It would give everyone more choices.


message 24: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 2128 comments Mod
Jalilah wrote: "Since there is so much cross-over between Greek and Roman Myths why don't I change it to Greek/Roman Myth? It would give everyone more choices. ..."

Sounds good to me! Might make it a bit easier to find something... I definitely don't remember Lavinia's story very well. Apparently she's only mentioned in a few paragraphs of The Aeneid so that's understandable. (Though I'm not sure I'd want to read the whole The Aeneid so I might go with something else anyway.)



My co-worker's daughter wants me to read The Percy Jackson series. I'm a little amused... I've never met or talked to said daughter but she's already giving me book suggestions!

(Apparently, she wants me to read it, so I can talk about it with her mother and convince her to read it too!)

It does sound a bit young for my tastes. Has anyone else read this series yet?


message 25: by Jalilah (last edited Jan 17, 2014 01:19PM) (new)

Jalilah | 4129 comments Mod
Melanti wrote: "Jalilah wrote: "Since there is so much cross-over between Greek and Roman Myths why don't I change it to Greek/Roman Myth? It would give everyone more choices. ..."

Sounds good to me! Might make ..."


I read the Percy Jackson series with my son when he was younger. They are a lot of fun. . Rick Riordan manages to pack in a lot of Greek mythology while keeping the story action packed. However to be honest, now that my son is older and reads his own books, I don't think I would read them.


message 26: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3260 comments Mod
I was planning on reading Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles for the challenge, and also Metamorphoses. Though I studied Greek/Roman myths in undergrad, I find a lot of the stories are hazy to me, Atlas being one of them.

I've read a couple of the canongate myths series, and they're excellent. The Penelopiad is really good, but, like you Melanti, I remember The Odyssey. I also want to read Lavinia, but, though I remember very little of The Aenied, I remember I did not enjoy it! Maybe I would have a different take on it now though.

I'e been meaning to read Riordan, so maybe when I finish with Weight and Metamorphosis, I'll read The Lighting Thief for fun. It will probably be a few months before I start on the Greek myth part of the challenge though.

As a reference I often use The Myths of Greece and Rome, which might have tales in it someone hasn't heard of if they read it, and then they could try to look up a retelling of it.


message 27: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3260 comments Mod
There's also xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths, which is a collection of short stories based on myths. I haven't read this collection, though I did read Bernheimer's My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales, and it had some wonderful stories, some weird stories, and some bad ones! But was worth the read. Looking at the table of contents for xo Orpheus, I see several retellings of which I can't remember how the original tale goes.


message 28: by Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ (last edited Jan 17, 2014 08:22AM) (new)

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ My kids are huge fans of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series (and his other YA), so much they sneer at the movies for not being true enough to the books. Since I'm a firm believer in reading what my kids are reading and still enjoy YA fiction anyway, I read most of the Percy Jackson series. I did lose interest after a few books, but unless you dislike YA fiction, The Lightning Thief really is worth reading. Riordan's twist on Greek mythology is interesting and he definitely writes with tongue firmly in cheek. It's a fun book and a quick read.

If you don't mind a science fiction twist on your Greek mythology, I highly recommend Ilium. It's definitely not a quick read, but I found it fascinating.


message 29: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3260 comments Mod
Tadiana wrote: "My kids are huge fans of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series (and his other YA), so much they sneer at the movies for not being true enough to the books. Since I'm a firm believer in reading what m..."

Thanks for recommending Ilium! I had never heard of it, but it looks intriguing.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ I really enjoyed Ilium (as a former English major, I found the AI robots who spent centuries analyzing Shakespeare's sonnets a cool bonus). It has a sequel, Olympos, but I can't recommend that one so highly. It got pretty weird--yeah, even weirder than Ilium--and I quit reading about halfway through and jumped to the ending. It does tie up some loose ends from Ilium but I thought that Ilium stood well enough on its own.


message 31: by Leah (last edited Jan 18, 2014 07:43AM) (new)

Leah (flying_monkeys) | 1009 comments Melanti wrote: "My co-worker's daughter wants me to read The Percy Jackson series...It does sound a bit young for my tastes. Has anyone else read this series yet?"

They're definitely geared toward young readers, but I found them entertaining nonetheless. And for fast readers (I know you're one) they're super easy reads.


message 32: by Melanti (last edited Jan 18, 2014 09:51AM) (new)

Melanti | 2128 comments Mod
Thanks for all the thoughts on Percey Jackson everyone! It looks like my library does have them (in ebook form, no less) so it won't cost me anything to give at least the first one a try, so I might do that sometime.

Margaret wrote: "I was planning on reading Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles for the challenge, and also Metamorphoses..."
In case you haven't bought a copy yet, I used the Mandelbaum translation for The Metamorphoses of Ovid and really liked it. He strikes a good balance between accuracy and readability in his translations.

Margaret wrote: "I also want to read Lavinia, but, though I remember very little of The Aenied, I remember I did not enjoy it! Maybe I would have a different take on it now though.
..."

I was assigned The Oddysey three or four times for reading in school, multiple translations, so I do remember it rather well. The Aeneid though, I don't remember nearly as well since I only read it once. I really should try to re-read it first but I'll probably end up refreshing my memory with some Cliff Notes or even just the Wikipedia entry. I've been told knowing the general gist of The Aeneid is important to understanding the book.


message 33: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 285 comments I just remembered Euryale which is from the perspective of Medusa's sister, Euryale. It's a really wonderful novel.


message 34: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 3260 comments Mod
I have the Charles MArtin translation of Metamorphoses. But I'm not planning on reading it soon, so if I happen upon a Mandelbaum translation I'll pick it up.


message 35: by Lee Anne (new)

Lee Anne (ladyofrohan2995) Here's a list of some books that I found when creating a YA Mythology List for a library a few years ago:

Nobody's PrincessNobody's Princess by Esther M. Friesner
Nobody's Prize by Esther M. Friesner
The ArkadiansThe Arkadians Lloyd Alexander
Oh. My. Gods.Oh. My. Gods. Childs, Tera Lynn.
Psyche in a DressPsyche In A Dress Block, Francesca Lia.
Singer to the Sea GodSinger To The Sea God Alcock, Vivien
Sirena Napoli, Donna Jo
SnakeheadSnakehead by Ann Halam

And here are a few from my to-read list:
Abandon
Sweet Venom
Medusa, A Love Story
Starcrossed


message 36: by Lee Anne (last edited Jan 18, 2014 06:03PM) (new)

Lee Anne (ladyofrohan2995) Also, The Hunger Games can actually be considered a retelling of the Theseus and the Minotaur myth.

I'm teaching a lot of the classics (Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid) this year, so if anyone needs background info I might be able to help. (I don't know the original languages, though.)

On, and The Thief! Not sure if it classifies as a straight retelling, but it's definitely drawn from Greek mythology. You could also argue that the second book is a myth/fairy tale retelling of a sort. (Also, they are just hands-down some of the best books I have ever read.)


message 37: by Molly (new)

Molly Ringle (molly_ringle) | 27 comments Lee Anne: Agreed on the Queen's Thief series! (The Thief being the first book thereof.) I just finished the existing books of those and am fairly deeply in love. Delighted to hear she's writing more. There was a myth retold in the third one that had definite Persephone/Hades overtones, which pleased me in particular.


message 38: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 4129 comments Mod
Molly I was considering your Persephone's Orchard for the 2014 Challenge, a re-telling of a Greek Myth! I am familiar with the Hades-Persephone story ( for the challenge it's supposed to be a Myth you are not familiar with), but it has been a very long time since I've read it.


message 39: by Jalilah (new)

Jalilah | 4129 comments Mod
Lee Anne wrote: "Also, The Hunger Games can actually be considered a retelling of the Theseus and the Minotaur myth.

I'm teaching a lot of the classics (Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid) this year, so if anyo..."


Lee Anne, I am looking forward to your input! It's been years since I read all the Myths and there are still many I am not familiar with.


message 40: by Molly (new)

Molly Ringle (molly_ringle) | 27 comments Ha, thanks, Jalilah! I joke that I sometimes go far enough off from the original myths that it's more like "Greek god fanfic" than a retelling. But maybe that's just a matter of semantics. ;)


message 41: by Lee Anne (new)

Lee Anne (ladyofrohan2995) Molly wrote: "Lee Anne: Agreed on the Queen's Thief series! (The Thief being the first book thereof.) I just finished the existing books of those and am fairly deeply in love. Delighted to hear she..."

I think it's the second one (The Queen of Attolia) that uses that myth, but they all weave in mythology in really cool ways, sometimes with meanings that you don't get until books later in the series.

I'm right there with you about being in love with those books. I try not to oversell them, and I know people who don't like them, but I just don't get that.


message 42: by Lee Anne (new)

Lee Anne (ladyofrohan2995) Speaking of Hades and Persephone, The Princess Curse weaves together that story with the fairy tale "Twelve Dancing Princesses" and is much better than the silly cover implies.


message 43: by Molly (new)

Molly Ringle (molly_ringle) | 27 comments Oh yeah, you're right--second book! And cool, I will add The Princess Curse to my shelves. Looks lovely!


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ The Thief series is one of my favorites. Several people I know really liked the first book but not the second (it does get pretty grim). You have to press on and get to the third book, The King of Attolia, which is amazingly good. So good I started re-reading it as soon as I finished it, just for the sheer pleasure of it.


message 45: by Molly (new)

Molly Ringle (molly_ringle) | 27 comments I liked the second and third best in the Queen's Thief series, precisely because it got darker and made the stakes higher--and the developing relationship so very much more interesting. :)


message 46: by Lee Anne (new)

Lee Anne (ladyofrohan2995) At the beginning of the second book I hated Megan Whalen Turner about as much as I've ever hated any author, but the series is so freaking brilliant! I think the 2nd may actually be my favorite overall.


message 47: by Portia (new)

Portia | 36 comments Jaliyah, thank you for the recommendation of Persephone's Orchard. Her story has always fascinated me and so thank you for adding to "Persy's Pile".

Best from
Portia


message 48: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 2128 comments Mod
Lee Anne wrote: "Speaking of Hades and Persephone, The Princess Curse weaves together that story with the fairy tale "Twelve Dancing Princesses" and is much better than the silly cover implies."

I'll second this. Not as Disney-ish and childish as the cover indicates.


message 49: by Molly (new)

Molly Ringle (molly_ringle) | 27 comments Indeed Lee Anne, I was thinking around there, "This is NOT going to be easy to forgive," but kudos to her for making it evolve and work!

And thank you for adding it to the list, Portia! There are more of us Hades/Persephone fans (or shippers) :) than I dared hope.


message 50: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 2128 comments Mod
Here you go. I"m not sure either.
Eris


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