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Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources, Vol. 1 Paperback – June 19, 1996

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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  • Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources, Vol. 1
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Editorial Reviews

Review

A compendium of narrative variants useful for anyone wanting seriously to analyze a Greek myth.

(Times Literary Supplement)

Nothing short of remarkable... This book will certainly become a staple of all classical libraries for years to come.

(Bryn Mawr Classical Review)

Its accessible format, straightforward readability, and economical price should put it where it belongs, on the shelf of anyone who teaches mythology, at whatever level.

(Classical Outlook)

There has long been a need for a comprehensive treatment―accessible in English―of the principal myths that one encounters while reading the major Greek texts. Early Greek Myth goes a long way to filling the gap.

(Mary R. Lefkowitz, Wellesley College)

About the Author

Timothy Gantz is professor of classics at the University of Georgia.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 584 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press (June 19, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801853605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801853609
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Anyone who seriously engages Greek myth in all its variants on a scholarly level needs to have this book. This is not a book to read through for entertainment. It's a reference work, and a very good one at that. If you need precise, reliable accurate acounts of a myth and its development over time, this book is for you. If you're looking for an entertaining read, look elsewhere. Not that the book is poorly written. It isn't. But it's really a sort of discursive catalog of evidence for scholars, not a book to curl up with in front of the fireplace.
The book comprehensively catalogs the primary sources for the major mythic traditions of Greece. It is particularly useful because it avoids making assumptions on what the myths were like in the early period. Inexperienced students of Greek myths tend to view them through the more elaborated narratives of later authors like the tragedians, Ovid, or Apollodorus. The result is that they often make erroneous assumptions about what a given mythic narrative actually contained in earlier periods. This book goes through myths element by element and indicates what is attested from the earliest sources. It is particularly valuable because it emphasizes iconographic data as well as literary evidence. If you dip into this book , you will often be surprised to find that canonical versions of myths often bear little resemblance to the earliest attestations.
Aside from the <I>Lexicon iconographicum mythologiae classicae</I>, this may be the most important work on Greek Myth in decades. Oh, and you really need to buy both volume 1 and volume 2.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up the book in an attempt to go beyond the Greek myths themselves and look at their origins, what sources they came from, familiarize myself with all the different versions of the individual stories. This is not a book of coherent narratives; every section (say, Tantalus) paraphrases conflicting variants of myths one after another, indicating their sources (artwork, plays, written histories) and attempting to rationalize away conflicting details. Some of the sources will offer complete stories - others contain only a small detail that somehow survived through the years, leaving the author wondering whether or not it was a part of yet another undiscovered variant of the same myth.
Because the reader is faced with so many versions of a single story, all of which are presented one after another, it is often impossible to remember ANY of the variants by the time one reads a section. This is not a work of fiction - it is a work of scholarly analysis, presenting stories as evidence and offering rationalizations. It is up to the reader to pick and choose among the variants and synthesize them into a coherent story, if that is at all possible.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
more than useful. Important, authoritative source for writers and scholars. It fills a niche in the sources I have, and then some! Bill Tudor
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