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Mythology for Dummies Paperback – 2 Jul 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (2 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764554328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764554322
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 1.8 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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From the Back Cover

Features charts comparing gods and goddesses for easy reference Get to know musclebound mortals, mighty monsters, and divine deities in no time at all! From the Iliad to the Aeneid , from Camelot to Valhalla, this highly readable book demystifies mythologies from all over the globe. Beginning with the ancient Greeks and Romans, this book explores the lesser–known stories of northern Europe, the Middle East, Egypt, India, China, Japan, and the Americas. The Dummies Way Explanations in plain English "Get in, get out" information Icons and other navigational aids Online cheat sheet Top ten lists A dash of humor and fun Get smart! @www.dummies.com Find listings of all our books Choose from many different subject categories Sign up for eTips at etips.dummies.com

About the Author

Dr. Christopher W. Blackwell is Assistant Professor of Greek, Department of Classics, Furman University. Amy Hackney Blackwell is a freelance author who has an MA in history.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 5 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
'Mythology for Dummies' is part of the widely-read 'Dummies' series, and lives up to most of the expectations one might have of a volume in that series. It has the requisite cartoons, the various side-bar items throughout the text, and the the top-ten lists at the end - in this case, the Top Ten Places (which includes Vahalla, Elysium, Atlantis, even Brigadoon) and the Top Ten Monsters (Gorgons, Unicorns, the Sphinx, dragons, etc.).
This is a volume of mythology is not just classical Greek and Roman mythology (that which most people think of when they think of mythology). It does include these in good measure, but also goes further afield to include an overview of the main characters, stories and ideas of mythological constructs in cultures all over the world. These include some that are familiar and related to the Greco-Roman traditions - Egypt, ancient Mesopotamia, Celtic and Nordic mythologies. There are also those that are quite removed from this collection of pantheons - the Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Native American traditions of mythology are also included here.
The first section gives a brief overview of what mythology is and isn't. It doesn't go too deeply into the debate over religion (after all, one person's mythology might be another person's religion). It does give some insight into the purpose of such stories for the cultures that maintained them, and how we have come to regard such tales in more modern times. Mythology is not just about gods, goddesses and monsters, after all. Often there is a very strong human component in the myths, which can serve for ethical and moral instruction as well as inspiration. These are written in the witty style typical of the series - 'How to spot a myth a mile away' is one section title.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr BD TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 21 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
For many years I have had an interesting in mythology, but a lot of the books I have come across are just too 'dry' and boring to read through. Once my concentration goes I just can't keep a track of the names and stories.
This book is very well written and is certainly ideal for myself. It has an easy-going style, with brief passages that can be read in short bursts keep my interest and enthusiasm. However it does not skimp on the detail.
At the beginning it explains why so many myths cross each other or have contradictions galore within them - and why nobody cared!

It covers Greek Mythology, Roman Mythology, Northern European and Non-European.

With only two contributors it means that it has a more coherent approach than some of the 'Dummies' books and is an example of how to make an involved subject captivating.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amy on 11 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
I liked mythology so decided to read some books on it, I brought this and read it, it's has a lot of the main stories and covers pretty much all myths, after reading this you'll probably want to buy more books on your favourite myth, I recommend this book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By shirley smith on 4 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arrived very promptly. Pitched at exactly the right level to teach primary school children in a fun way about Greek Mythology.
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By REBE on 16 May 2014
Format: Paperback
I knew bits and pieces about mythology before reading this, and while i'm still no expert, facts about who, where, and why are now much more clear. I enjoyed how this was written in a simple yet not patronising, often comedic style and would recommend to anyone wanting to know the basics on this fascinating subject.
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Format: Paperback
As a bit of a mythology novice, this book is perfect. It explains things very simply and from the very beginning. The only downside was the lack of pictures.
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Format: Paperback
Ok, I know it says 'for Dummies' but the author of the book has a somewhat condescending method of writing, and the layout of the book is not as good as it could be. The history of some of the gods is more convoluted than necessary and in the Greek section there are some basic stories neglected or added in as a very casual 'by the way'.

If you want the real thing, you would do better to go to the classic Hamilton's 'Mythology'. 0316223336
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