- Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Bantam (July 1, 1983)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553257765
- ISBN-13: 978-0553257762
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #607,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Dictionary of Classical Mythology: The Indispensable Guide for All Students and Readers of Ancient and Modern Literature and Art
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From the Publisher
"A knowledge of classical mythology is indispensable in understanding and appreciating much of the great literature, sculpture, and painting of both the ancients and the moderns. Unless we know the marvelous stories of the deities and heroes of the ancients, their great literature and art as much later work down to the present day will remain unintelligible. Through the centuries from Chaucer, Spencer, Shakespeare, and Milton on, not only the major writers but also hundreds of lesser writers have retold the old tales or used them as a point of departure for new interpretations in terms of contemporary problems and psychology."--From author's Introduction
From the Inside Flap
ledge of classical mythology is indispensable in understanding and appreciating much of the great literature, sculpture, and painting of both the ancients and the moderns. Unless we know the marvelous stories of the deities and heroes of the ancients, their great literature and art as much later work down to the present day will remain unintelligible. Through the centuries from Chaucer, Spencer, Shakespeare, and Milton on, not only the major writers but also hundreds of lesser writers have retold the old tales or used them as a point of departure for new interpretations in terms of contemporary problems and psychology."--From author's Introduction
Top customer reviews
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"Dictionary of Classical Mythology" by J. E. Zimmerman gives a foundational background of the early ancient Gods & Goddesses; breaking it down into modern terms, and suggesting potential contemporary influences. There are just under 2,100 entries that are given pronunciation and definition. Although abridged, one handy feature kept consistent throughout is when one is mentioned that belongs in a group, the others are mentioned (such as the nine muses); as well as other cross-reference within this book. Usage key, suggestions for further reading, mythological entries, historical entries, biographical entries, variant names and spelling, and other features make this book the one to have; not just the affordability or portability.
Vulcan (vul' can) The Roman name for the god of fire and metalworking. He established a great forge in the heart of Mount Aetna, in partnership with the great Cyclopes. See Hephaestus.
(Hephaestus is listed in this same book and takes half a page when you cross-reference to that other page by the alternate name; which cross references ad infinitum with related people, places, or things.)
Along with the nearly 2 dozen books listed in the back of this book, seriously interested research into ancient mythology can also take advantage of how Amazon dot com offers DVD documentaries such as by A&E "Ancient Mysteries - Myths & Legends" by John Swanson; The History Channel "Gods and Goddesses"; and In Search Of History "The Greek Gods (History Channel)." If you are looking for something geared more toward your preteen age children, consider "Oh My Gods!: A Look-it-Up Guide to the Gods of Mythology" an encyclopedia by Megan E. Bryant.
This book is worth having, and I rate it at 4 stars only because IMHO it cannot rise above encyclopedia merit, and although it has 300 pages of material, there are no illustrations of any kind which by default means nearly all who might purchase this book will want a book that DOES have illustrations and this book then becomes a secondary companion to the other. The paradox of that becomes profound because had the author of this book included illustrations (as mythology students prefer), it wouldn't have stayed as affordable or as portable. For what it is, as it is, I rate this book 4 stars.
UPDATE: rec'd an "A" and now answers jeopardy questions on mythology.