The Penguin Book of Classical Myths

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Penguin UK, Jun 5, 2008 - Fiction - 624 pages
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The figures and events of classical myths underpin our culture and the constellations named after them fill the night sky. Whether it’s the raging Minotaur trapped in the Cretan labyrinth or the twelve labours of Hercules, Aphrodite’s birth from the waves or Zeus visiting Danae as a shower of gold, the mythology of Greece and Rome is full of unforgettable stories. All the stories of the Greek tragedies – Oedipus, Medea, Antigone – are there; all the events of the Trojan wars and of Odysseus and Aeneas’ epic journeys; the founding of Athens and of Rome...

These are the strangest tales of love, war, betrayal and heroism ever told and, while brilliantly retelling them, this book shows how they echo through the works of much later writers from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Camus and Ted Hughes. Full of attractive illustrations and laid out in eighteen clear chapters (the titles include ‘Dangerous Women’ and ‘Heroes’), Dr Jennifer March has written a fascinating guide to the myths of classical civilization that is as readable as a novel.


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User Review  - Opinionated - LibraryThing

Very good description of all the major Greek myths and those few Roman ones which are not directly taken from the Greek. If I had a quibble its that some of the stories are at least partially retold ... Read full review


List of Plates
List of Illustrations
The Gods
The First Humans
The Quest for the Golden Fleece
Theseus Athens and Crete
The Theban Saga
The Trojan
Odysseus and His Odyssey
The House of Pelops
Dangerous Women
Aeneas and the Destiny of Rome
The Foundation of Rome

Io and Argos
Heroes and Monsters

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About the author (2008)

Dr Jennifer March has taught at Oxford and London universities, is author of the acclaimed Cassell Dictionary of Classical Mythology and Editor of the Classical Association's journal CA News.

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