by Edith Hamilton
A collection of Greek and Roman myths from various classical sources arranged in section on the gods and early heroes, love and adventure stories, heroes before and during the Trojan War, and lesser myths. Includes a brief section on Norse mythology.
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Review Score: ★★★★☆ (20 reviews)
ISBN : 9780316223331
Publisher : Little, Brown & Company
Publication Date : 4/30/2013
Pages : 482
Reviews Write a Review
★★★★★ - Emma
This book is great if you are interested in Greek/Roman mythology, however it is not great for Norse. It gives you background that you won't find in ancient text and so it is a great starting point if you are planning to read ancient texts. I wish that the Norse portion was longer or at least told a story like in the Greco-Roman section, but it was just a very broad overview. I think in order to get more Norse, she should have just written a separate book. My rating is based on the Greek/ Roman section of the book.
★★★★☆ - nb30
The book was in ok condition considering its about seventy years old and at a rock bottom price. Thank you.
★★★★★ - Jeffrey W. Smith
The book arrived on time and in good condition. My son sayd that this is the same book as the newer version that has a different cover.
★★★★★ - T. Burrows
My battered old copy of this book has been around - it may have been required reading for my father back in high school. Anyway, I finally got around to reading it - and the odd thing is that I should have read it years ago. In fact this should have been required reading in my high school, and also in freshman English in college. Because the stories here are referred to so much in literature, the names of the gods and lovers and warriors herein ring down through the centuries with such frequency that any cultured person should do an overview of the subject.
I read "The Odyssey" one summer in college, with the idea of self-edification in mind, but I found it a bit tedious and bloody. It seems that humanity's ideas concerning what constitutes good storytelling has developed over time. This book seems to pretty much cover all the major myths in a clear and effective manner. Hamilton is a good writer, and her love of the subject is communicated as well as the occasional dry comment that effectively adds a little levity.
I was interested in the cosmology, in the story of Cronus eating his children and other aspects of it. The beginning of all life was violent and strange. The introductions to the various gods and their powers was enjoyable, as was Hamilton's commentary (which is very spare) pointing out the greater sophistication and ethics of these gods over the previous blind and brutal pagan deities. She covers the great adventures of Jason, Hercules, and others, and the major love stories. A long chapter is devoted to the interlocking tales of power and tragedy that are the mythical accounts of the Trojan War. She also covers the Houses of Thebes and Atreus which are the source of most of the plays of Euripides and Sophocles and the other classic dramatists. The book concludes with a brief chapter on old Norse mythology (Odin and and the Valkyries and all this kind of stuff), which was a hard perspective on life, and this I found fascinating because of its connections to Anglo/Northern European culture.
This is a very worthwhile item for any serious reader. I am sure others have come along and covered the same ground since 1940, but don't let that stop you from giving this a try.
★★☆☆☆ - Gio
The reasons I didn't like the book are as follows: One, the cover on the computer is not the book that came to my door. The book that came was the 1940 edition and 2, from the minute I opened the book all the pages kept falling out one after another as i turned the pages.
★★★★★ - Lisa
The book arrived in good condition in good time. Very imformative. I didn't take mythology as a kid, this helped me to catch up
★★★★★ - Amanda Harris
I bought this for my mythology-loving 10yo, and bought a copy for myself as well. Beautifully written/translated, and I've learned so much about the myths that form the basis for so much of our language and cultural references.
★★★★★ - Edward
The book is a great read. Anyone interested in brushing up on Ancient Greek Mythology, here's the only book you'll need.
★★★★☆ - El Jefe
The book was way cheaper then all other listings, ,and arrived quicker then I expexted. My only complaint is that the packaging was not firm and the spine of the book got bent, hard back books shouldn't be shipped simply wrapped in paper. But then again I paid $2 for it.
★★★★★ - Pamela Fredelake
This was required reading for my daughter's High SChool English class. I think she enjoyed it very much. **** ****
★★★☆☆ - Anonymous
I first read Edith Hamilton in 8th grade, because I needed a general overview of a lot of mythology. Though I didn't know it at the time, Hamilton's stories are rather general; they don't include a lot of important character names and events. In that sense she's a bit like Bulfinch. It's good for someone new to mythology but anyone looking for something more comprehensive should look into Robert Graves.
★★★★★ - Courtney_Books
How come everyone is giving it one star? I was in 6th grade when I bought/read this, and this told me all I wanted to know about mythologly. Sure, the names got me confused, but it was a good read.
★☆☆☆☆ - Anonymous
I had to read this book for english and it is poorly written. Edith Hamilton has no idea how to use fun or interesting grammer. This book is one the most boring books i have ever read. I actually enjoyed mythology and she has made me hate it. It is no longer interesting to me.
★☆☆☆☆ - Anonymous
For a second i thought reading was fun, except for this book. I was so bored i barely understood it. if u hav 2 read this, just go to sparknotes, it'll save u from extreme boredom, that a fact
★★★★★ - Anonymous
I'm in academic superbowl at school, our topic being Greek mythology. This book helps me to study, and I recommend it.
★★★★★ - Anonymous
I wish I could know more about Greek mythology. I have the actual book. Did you know that Zues' father, Cronos, swollowed all of his siblings whole becuase he heard that they would be a thret to the crown. The mother of Zues tricked Cronos by hiding Zues as a baby in a cave on Mount Olypus. Instead of giving Cronos Zues she gave him a large rock wrapped in a blanket. He swollowed it qhole without noticing. When Zues grew up he gave Cronos something to make him puke up his brothers and sisters. First the rock and than the rest came up. (Thats got to hurt) He loved to have sex so he married and heard that she would become a thret so he did just what his father did, swollowed her whole. Then he married his sister. She groiped with the rest of the brothers and sisters and chained Zues when he was asleep. The thousand-handers helped him, as like with the war against his father.
★★★☆☆ - Justin_Wheeler
When i picked up the book, I thought "Hmm, I like mythology and I like to read". So, a perfect choice, right? Meh...it was okay, but not great. Don't get me wrong, Edith Hamilton is a good author, but she needs to put some life into her books. Most of the things I read was banal and lifeless. To be honest, the first part of the book is nothing but banter about how she found information and what we're about to read means. This book is intended for anyone wanting to learn more about mythology, but only if you have a lot of time on your hands and nothing to do.
★★★★★ - Anonymous
I read this book just for fun, because I've always loved Greek mythology and my friend told me that this book was really good. And so far, out of all of the mythology books I've read, this was my favorite. It includes all of the most popular myths and also some little-known myths. It even has a little about Norse mythology, which I also find interesting.
★★★★★ - JamieDillon
One of my favorite books thru my whole life. Edith Hamilton was a well-versed Greek scholar, and takes everything in her book from the originals. She also gives us constant tastes of those originals. Norse legends thrown in as well. A book filled with wonders, no child should grow up without it.
★★★★★ - thirsting_for_knowledge
this book is absolutely perfect. i could not put this one down. it grabs you from the very introduction into a world that only the vast minds of the Greeks and Romans could have imagined. it goes into a lot of depth to get the gods, monsters, mortals, and warriors of all the Greek and Roman stories across to the reader. i highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a better look into the world of Greek and Roman mythology. the stories are very informative, telling why what happened, whether or not for this reason or that. this book was a completely and outstandingly well-written book.