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The Greek and Roman Myths: A Guide to the Classical Stories Hardcover – November 15, 2010
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Even if you have no previous knowlege of the subject, or worse only the "knowledge" that appears in popular media, this book lays out a clear path, follows the path (with the brief side excursions clearly marked), and still leaves you wanting to know more.
The only downside is the brevity, especially in the last few chapters, where the pace appears rushed and questions go unanswered. Overall, though, a worthy purchase, well worth the price.
Dr. Philip Matyszak, who teaches Ancient Rome at Cambridge University, offers readers a guide to these myths. He describes the gods and other personalities in the myths, summarizes the tales, and answers questions like: Why did the Romans accept the Greek myths? When was the golden age of mythology? Why did the myths persevere? Is the Trojan War a myth? Who were the Hellenes? Who were the Danaids, Jason, Psyche, Cupid, and a host of others? Who had control over the many gods, if anyone? What is a semi-god? What is the relationship between gods and heroes? Who was Pandora and what was in her box? How did Achilles get his Achilles heel? What is a titan? What prompted the Greeks to invent these tales?