In this wide-ranging and ambitious study, John Mulryan contributes significantly to our knowledge of the mythological under-pinnings of John Milton's works. Perhaps our most Christian poet, Milton chose to communicate his vision of reality in the language of ancient Greek and Roman mythology. As Mulryan points out, Milton -- as no other poet before him -- mastered the texts of classical mythology in their original languages and seldom wrote a line that did not betray their influence. Here, we are reintroduced to the Renaissance milieu that was not only intimately familiar to Milton but that helped to shape his thinking about fundamental matters that he addresses in his poetry. Mulryan's study first establishes the incredible richness of the mythological tradition that was available to Milton, and it includes quotations from many sources that have either been ignored or depreciated in current scholarship. Milton's own view of classical myth is then explored, and Mulryan discusses the problem of reconciling pagan learning and Christian thought. Finally, this study demonstrates how Milton drew upon and assimilated the mythological traditions in his poetry as a reflection of his era's receptiveness to such acts of creative mythologizing'.