Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources: Volume 1 Paperback – 19 Jun 1996
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is now in the dustbin.
DON'T buy if you're over thirty-five.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
This is vol. 1 of 2, so make sure to get vol. 2, too.
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