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Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources: Volume 1 Paperback – 19 Jun 1996


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Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources: Volume 1 + Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources: Volume 2 + The Library of Greek Mythology (Oxford World's Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 584 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; Reprint edition (19 Jun. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801853605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801853609
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.7 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 565,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

A compendium of narrative variants useful for anyone wanting seriously to analyze a Greek myth.

(Times Literary Supplement)

Nothing short of remarkable... This book will certainly become a staple of all classical libraries for years to come.

(Bryn Mawr Classical Review)

Its accessible format, straightforward readability, and economical price should put it where it belongs, on the shelf of anyone who teaches mythology, at whatever level.

(Classical Outlook)

There has long been a need for a comprehensive treatment―accessible in English―of the principal myths that one encounters while reading the major Greek texts. Early Greek Myth goes a long way to filling the gap.

(Mary R. Lefkowitz, Wellesley College)

About the Author

Timothy Gantz is professor of classics at the University of Georgia.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Before proceeding to the actual narratives that will make up this chapter, we might do well to review briefly those ancient literary works known or assumed to contain information on the earliest stages in the world and the Greek gods who peopled it. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Feb. 1999
Format: Paperback
Gantz guide to early Greek myth offers a comprehensive guide to the sources. It is detailed and not for the casual reader, but academically it offers an accessible compendium of literary sources as well as including some examples from visual art. A must for the those with a serious interest in the origins and early progression of Greek mythology.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T. Addey on 8 April 2009
Format: Paperback
This two volume work is an excellent survey of the earliest accessible sources of Greek myth; the approach is scholarly, but this doesn't mean that it's unreadable. Gantz works hard at presenting the narrative of mythological stories, while informing his readers of the numerous variations that have come down to us from ancient times. I like the little touches of humour, which, I feel, is very much in keeping with the life-force of the tales.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon EX-Customer on 19 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just received this book from Amazon a few minutes ago, opened it and attempted to read in. The typeface is so small I had to give up after a couple of paragraphs. The content may be very valuable, but I shall never know. I certainly will not be wasting my money on volume two.

The book is now in the dustbin.

DON'T buy if you're over thirty-five.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Indispensable Tool for Serious Students of Greek Myth 15 Nov. 2003
By Metrodorus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Anyone who seriously engages Greek myth in all its variants on a scholarly level needs to have this book. This is not a book to read through for entertainment. It's a reference work, and a very good one at that. If you need precise, reliable accurate acounts of a myth and its development over time, this book is for you. If you're looking for an entertaining read, look elsewhere. Not that the book is poorly written. It isn't. But it's really a sort of discursive catalog of evidence for scholars, not a book to curl up with in front of the fireplace.
The book comprehensively catalogs the primary sources for the major mythic traditions of Greece. It is particularly useful because it avoids making assumptions on what the myths were like in the early period. Inexperienced students of Greek myths tend to view them through the more elaborated narratives of later authors like the tragedians, Ovid, or Apollodorus. The result is that they often make erroneous assumptions about what a given mythic narrative actually contained in earlier periods. This book goes through myths element by element and indicates what is attested from the earliest sources. It is particularly valuable because it emphasizes iconographic data as well as literary evidence. If you dip into this book , you will often be surprised to find that canonical versions of myths often bear little resemblance to the earliest attestations.
Aside from the <I>Lexicon iconographicum mythologiae classicae</I>, this may be the most important work on Greek Myth in decades. Oh, and you really need to buy both volume 1 and volume 2.
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
For serious scholars only 4 May 2000
By Boris Skrbic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I picked up the book in an attempt to go beyond the Greek myths themselves and look at their origins, what sources they came from, familiarize myself with all the different versions of the individual stories. This is not a book of coherent narratives; every section (say, Tantalus) paraphrases conflicting variants of myths one after another, indicating their sources (artwork, plays, written histories) and attempting to rationalize away conflicting details. Some of the sources will offer complete stories - others contain only a small detail that somehow survived through the years, leaving the author wondering whether or not it was a part of yet another undiscovered variant of the same myth.
Because the reader is faced with so many versions of a single story, all of which are presented one after another, it is often impossible to remember ANY of the variants by the time one reads a section. This is not a work of fiction - it is a work of scholarly analysis, presenting stories as evidence and offering rationalizations. It is up to the reader to pick and choose among the variants and synthesize them into a coherent story, if that is at all possible.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
important book 2 Oct. 2013
By william tudor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
more than useful. Important, authoritative source for writers and scholars. It fills a niche in the sources I have, and then some! Bill Tudor
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Four Stars 3 Sept. 2014
By David Cohea - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent source book. I haven't read far enough into it to gauge the quality of analysis.
2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Not Exactly Edith Hamilton 30 Dec. 2010
By Sapphire Tinted - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is certainly an exhaustive, scholarly text, and it would be a very valuable resource for graduate students and professors. For someone with a more casual interest in Greek mythology, however, it's just about unreadable. Try Hamilton, Bulfinch, or Morford, instead.
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