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Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes [Mass Market Paperback]

Edith Hamilton
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jan 2001
MONSTERS, MORTALS, GODS, AND WARRIORS For over fifty years readers have chosen this book above all others to discover the thrilling, enchanting, and fascinating world of Western mythology. From Odysseus's adventure-filled journey to the Norse god Odin's effort to postpone the final day of doom, Edith Hamilton's classic collection not only retells these stories with brilliant clarity but shows us how the ancients saw their own place in the world and how their themes echo in our consciousness today. An essential part of every home library, MYTHOLOGY is the definitive volume for anyone who wants to know the key dramas, the primary characters, the triumphs, failures, fears, and hopes first narrated thousands of years ago -- and still spellbinding to this day.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; Reissue edition (1 Jan 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446607258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446607254
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 10.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 408,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Ms. Hamilton arranged her rich material with the idea of achieving the maximum sense and readability...(and) making her subject attractive for the reader of today."-- NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

Book Description

A new edition of the world-renowned classic that has enthralled and delighted millions of readers with its timeless tales of gods and heroes. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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The Greeks did not believe that the gods created the universe. 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
51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I first read this book as a ten year old- a hand me down from an uncle interested in classical literature and history. It was instantly captivating, fleshing out popular myths I already knew the basics of and introducing me to new ones.
This is definatly a long overdue re-print and comes complete with the original black and white illustrations by a certain Steele Savage. Great name and great art work! They fully capture the style and grace of Greek mythology.
Hamilton- a former teacher- is a good communicator and this comes across in the text which is neither long winded or prone to skipping on detail. All the action, adventure, monsters, gods, romance and tradgedy are here in spades. The tales of Jason and the Argonauts, Theseus and the Minotaur, versions of the Oddyssey (Ullyses) and the Illiad, Perseus and the gorgon's head and the trials of Herakles (Hercules) are all present and correct with many other minor legends given space. However, the section on Norse mythology feels superflous and rather dissapointing for anyone looking for a good catalogue of myths from that genre. This is primarally a classical mythology book and it's bulk is devoted to the stories from Ancient Greece and Rome.
Charts and an index are included to help piece the chronology and relationships in the stories together but I suspect most people will be happy reading this from cover to cover.
Basically this is a must for anyone, even younger readers, who want a highly readable and engrossing collection of myths. As an introduction it is very good indeed.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars oh my gods! 7 Mar 2005
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Edith Hamilton's Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes is a very basic, very popular and very good text for the introduction of Greek and Roman mythology. In our Western culture, the term 'mythology' is most often equated with these tales, and this book, first written before World War II, has helped to reinforce that equation with the current generations of readers.
Those looking for the mythological stories of other cultures will be disappointed -- with the exception of a brief section on Norse mythology at the end (about five percent of the entire volume), it covers nothing outside the Greek and Roman pantheons. Of course, part of the difficulty of approaching mythology of other cultures is that, in many instances, it is not mythology to them; or, in the case of mythology, one needs a firmer grounding in the culture and religious aspects of that culture before the mythology becomes accessible.
Hamilton (raised, as I was astonished to discover, in Indiana, where I currently reside) studied at Bryn Mawr, and had a distinguished teacher career in addition to writing this useful text. Hamilton's writing is not complicated and very easy to follow -- this has made this text one used in high school and undergraduate courses in Greek and Roman mythology more frequently perhaps than any other text produced in this century.
Hamilton begins the text with an essay giving an overview of what mythology is, and what the purpose of it was.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
Format:School & Library Binding
Edith Hamilton's "Mythology" tell the "Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes" of classical mythology and this volume, first written in 1942, is now a timeless classic itself. This was the first book of mythology that I ever read and it is still the best. When Hamilton retells the love story of Cupid and Psyche or the tragedy of Agamemnon and his children, she does so with a full sense of what it meant when first told by Apuleius or Aeschylus. These are not children's tales, but the heroic legends and religious beliefs of the ancient Greeks. Furthermore, the illustrations by Steele Savage have the elegance of wood block prints, which, for all I know, is exactly what they are. I appreciate Hamilton's choice to avoid relying on Ovid, for while the "Metamorphoses" is the most comprehensive ancient text dealing with the classical myths, Ovid is an unbeliever. For Hamilton the writings of Homer, Hesiod and Pindar are more abbreviated in terms of providing details for the myths, but at least they take the tales seriously.
Another strength of the book is how she organizes the myths in her seven parts: (1) Covers the complete pantheon of deities, including the lesser gods of Olympus and Earth and the later Roman additions, as well as the earliest heroes. (2) Retells the various tales of love, between mortals and the gods or each other, along with the Quest for the Golden Fleece and other early heroic adventures. (3) Focuses specifically on the greatest heroes, Perseus, Theseus and Hercules, with Atalanta thrown in the mix in a curious but understandable editorial decision by Hamilton. (4) Puts together Homer's Iliad and Virgil's Aeneid into a giant epic stretching from the Judgment of Paris to the founding of Roman, with the Odyssey and the tragedies of Euripides.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book easy to read
Well written and very accessible. I never enjoyed Greek mythology at school but this book has really taken me into that world
Published 1 month ago by PM
5.0 out of 5 stars d review
This seems a good book would like more Norse mythology in it but can't complain for the price was good
Published 1 month ago by daniel massey
5.0 out of 5 stars The classics start here - learn your gods and goddesses
Like many of the other people who have reviewed this book, I first read Hamilton's book on mythology when I was quite young. Read more
Published 9 months ago by M Poole
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're thinking of buying this for use in University, do.
This book tells many myths from lots of different myth systems very well, briefly but in great detail and the commentary isn't overbearing and rle imbues the tellings with a little... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Jacob Gould
4.0 out of 5 stars Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes
This book was very useful in my evening course at Queen's University Belfast on Greek heroes. It was also very interesting to read. Read more
Published on 28 Mar 2012 by Fenella Fay
5.0 out of 5 stars Graeco-Roman only - Norse myths not really there
I have a copy of this book which was handed down from about thirty years ago, and it's never been off my bookshelf since. Read more
Published on 7 Mar 2012 by J. D. Burnell
4.0 out of 5 stars Good summary of Greek Myths
This books is quiet easy to understand for those reading it in their own time, rather than to analyse. Read more
Published on 2 Sep 2011 by Danica
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice walk through Greek and Roman myths and a small introduction to...
Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes proposes to give the reader a walk through the most important myths drawing as possible directly from the texts and original authors... Read more
Published on 4 July 2011 by Andre Nobrega
5.0 out of 5 stars myth
I've been looking for a comprehensive book on the origins of mythology for some time - and this is the only one I've found - so far. Read more
Published on 14 Sep 2010 by crafter
5.0 out of 5 stars By Zeus!
Edith Hamilton's very popular 'Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes' is a very basic, very popular and very good text for the introduction of Greek and Roman mythology. Read more
Published on 4 May 2005 by Kurt Messick
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