Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction

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OUP Oxford, Aug 23, 2007 - History - 144 pages
From Zeus and Europa, to Diana, Pan, and Prometheus, the myths of ancient Greece and Rome seem to exert a timeless power over us. But what do those myths represent, and why are they so enduringly fascinating? Why do they seem to be such a potent way of talking about our selves, our origins, and our desires? This imaginative and stimulating Very Short Introduction goes beyond a simple retelling of the stories to explore the rich history and diverse interpretations of classical myths. It is a wide-ranging account, examining how classical myths are used and understood in both high art and popular culture, taking the reader from the temples of Crete to skyscrapers in New York, and finding classical myths in a variety of unexpected places: from arabic poetry and Hollywood films, to psychoanalysis, the bible, and New Age spiritualism. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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User Review  - Steve38 - LibraryThing

Interesting but not what it says on the tin. A guide to the concept of mythology rather than a guide to classical mythology. If you are looking for a short introduction to the stories of classical mythology this is not the book. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - drbubbles - LibraryThing

Discusses the uses to which mythology was and is put, and how those uses are what turn stories into myths. I found it more useful and credible than many academic theories treating myth as though it ... Read full review


1 Without bulls there would be no Europe
2 Contexts then and now
3 Gods and heroes
4 Metamorphoses of mythology
5 On the analysts couch
6 The sexual politics of myth
7 Mythology spirituality and the New Age
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About the author (2007)

Helen Morales is University Lecturer and Director of Studies in Classics at Newnham College, Cambridge. She researches and teaches in Greek and Latin literature and culture, with special interests in classical mythology, the ancient novel, feminist approaches to literature, and the relationship between images and texts. She is the author of Vision and Narrative in Achilles Tatius' Leucippe and Clitophon' (Cambridge, 2004) and co-editor ofIntratextuality: Greek and Roman Textual Relations (Oxford, 2000).

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