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Classical Myth



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This is the 7th edition with a publication date of 6/27/2011.
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Comprehensive and scholarly, this well-designed text presents Greek and Roman myths in a lively and easy-to-read manner. The material has been rearranged to make it easier to find and the new edition has been streamlined. It features fresh translations, numerous illustrations (ancient and modern) of classical myths and legends, and commentary that emphasizes the anthropological, historical, religious, sociological, and economic contexts in which the myths were told. It also provides a cultural context so that readers can see how mythology has influenced the world and how it continues to influence society today.

Author Biography

Barry B. Powell , after graduation from Berkeley and Harvard, taught at Northern Arizona University, then took a job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he taught for 34 years. He is a master of many languages, both ancient and modern, and for many years taught Egyptian philology and culture at Wisconsin, in addition to courses in Classics. His book Homer and the Origin of the Greek Alphabet, which advanced the thesis that one man invented the Greek alphabet in order to record the poet Homer, has become a classic and changed the way we think about the origins of Western Culture. He has written many other books, including two novels and a book of poetry. His book Classical Myth, is the best-selling book on the topic, and is now in its seventh edition. His book Homer is the best-selling study of this author. The Greeks: History, Culture, and Society (second edition, with Ian Morris) is widely used in college classrooms. He is currently preparing a translation of the Iliad and the Odyssey. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he and his wife Patricia enjoy the company of their children and grandchildren.  


Table of Contents

Prefacep. viii
Definitions and Background
The Nature of Mythp. 1
The Cultural Context of Classical Mythp. 19
The Development of Classical Mythp. 54
Divine Myth
Myths of Creation: The Rise of Zeusp. 82
Myths of Creation: The Origins of Mortalsp. 115
Myths of Zeus, His Wife Hera, and His Brothers Poseidon and Hadesp. 144
Myths of the Great God Apollop. 167
Myths of Hermes, Pan, Hephaestus, and Aresp. 187
Myths of the Female Deities Aphrodite Artemis and Athenap. 211
Myths of Fertility: Demeter and Related Mythsp. 236
Myths of Fertility: Dionysusp. 271
Myths of Death: Encounters with the Underworldp. 303
Gilgamesh: Introduction to Heroic Mythp. 336
Perseus and Myths of the Argive Plainp. 351
Heraclesp. 375
Theseus and the Myths of Athensp. 414
The Myths of Cretep. 449
Oedipus and the Myths of Thebesp. 475
Jason and the Myths of Iolcus and Calydonp. 502
The Trojan Warp. 539
The Fall of Troy and its Aftermathp. 576
The Return of Odysseusp. 601
Roman Myth
Legends of Aeneasp. 631
Legends of Early Romep. 659
Theories of Myth Interpretationp. 684
Reference Chartsp. 713
Creditsp. 717
Indexp. 719
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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