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Gods and Heroes of Ancient Greece (The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library) Paperback – October 9, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A superb volume, the keystone for any home library.”—The New Yorker

“A book to be grateful for. . . . Schwab retells the legends of ancient Greece with splendid vigor and charm.” —Commonweal

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German
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Product Details

  • Series: The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library
  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon (October 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375714464
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375714467
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By NB- on January 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
I found that while reading this that in some parts it is a little hard to understand. Overall however the tales of Troy and the epics are written woderfully in a easy to understand and interesting way. It contains some different translations of how the myths took place that make it interesting rather than the humdrum everyday examples. Its a good way to start of a collection for anyone interested in the epics of Greek heroes and the tragedies such as oedipus and the seven against thebes.

As well this book provides a grove of information on some lesser known myths as well as contains an abridged version of both the Illiad and the Oddyssey. This book provides many tales of which to entice as well as to ensnare the mind and does a proficient job of putting most of the well known myths into perspective as well as providing certain areas with more explanation and vivid translation.

A great place to begin any collection on Greek mythology, however it is somewhat limiting and I would encourage anyone truly intersted in myth to start here and then read the actual unabridged stories as they were first intended to be read. This book will provide however a great launching point for any avid begginer.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nøkkenbuer on April 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This translation of Gustav Schwab's epic anthology is without a doubt one of the best, if not THE best, books on Greek mythology. Not only does the author explain the myths, he brings them back to life and breathes fresh life back into these ancient fables. Moreover, his sources are vast and frequently conflicting in their input due to the equivocal and interpretive nature inherent in the mythology of Ancient Greece; yet, instead of simply collecting these contradicting tales into a single volume, he chose the riskier--yet more extraordinary--path of weaving his own version of these timeless tales. Utilizing his extensive knowledge of Greek mythology and culture, he brings together the countless interpretations and versions of every myth and reconciles them under a single perception. In doing so, he forged an undying legacy for himself as one of the last mythographers to have ever lived.

While it is admittedly true that some of the lesser-known or miscellaneous myths scattered throughout the Greek culture have been either neglected or omitted; however, I believe this was necessary to maintain the fluidity of his work as one myth transitions into another. This book is not simply a collection of myths; it's a chronology of Ancient Greece's more fictitious historical identity. Through this novel approach, Schwab combines historical accuracy with mythical legend and applies a writer's techniques with the heart of a poet. Needless to say, I believe that this novel is an essential and necessary piece of literary art for anyone interested in Ancient Greek history and/or mythology to own.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Coolzgurl101 on September 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This was my first book on my kindle and it was definatly worth the cost.

The tales go from the kind Titan who gave fire to mandkind, Prometheus, to the epic tales of Troy! I have not read it all, (About 46%throuh) but it has tons of info even simle for a intelegent 10 year girl old like me.

I expecily liked how it stated, for example, numerous
diferent virsions of how Dionisys became imortal. One explains how Hera tricked one of Zeus's girfriends to ask him to show her his true form, disintergrating her imediatly, but sparing the son inside her. But Zeus put him inside him and when he was born, he was imortal because he was born from Zeus. Another said Zeus favored Dionisys for creating wine, and gave him the gift of immortality.

Over all a great book so far!

From Sophia Mcphee.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was, and still am, blown away by this book. The level of detail across the different stories are absolutely phenomenal. Schwab does a remarkable job at telling the stories in a clear and lucid manner which is easy to follow along with, all the while remaining true to the mythology of the classic characters. Schwab makes every step in the story telling interesting and you'll hardly find yourself becoming lost in the narrative. You actually feel as though your right there with the characters witnessing what their going through on their journey(s). From the novice to the veteran reader of ancient Greece, G&H has something for everyone. With well over 700 pages the book also acts as a partial encyclopedia for the gods and heroes of ancient Greece. Virtually every figure in ancient Greece is listed in the back of the book with a brief description of what their mainly known for along with the pages of the book in which they appear.

After reading G&H for only a short amount of time you'll realized how complex many of the classic heroes are. While many of these figures are renowned by their great acts of bravery, heroes such as Heracles are also known for their self-less acts and compassion for their fellow man. G&H is for anyone who is interested in reading an intriguing account of the famous/infamous people and deities of ancient Greece.
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Gods and Heroes of Ancient Greece (The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)
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