Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, 75th Anniversary Illustrated Edition

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Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, 75th Anniversary Illustrated Edition

Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, 75th Anniversary Illustrated Edition

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Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes is a book written by Edith Hamilton, published in 1942 by Little, Brown and Company. [1] It has been reissued since then by several publishers, including its 75th anniversary illustrated edition. [2] It retells stories of Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology drawn from a variety of sources. The introduction includes commentary on the major classical poets used as sources, and on how changing cultures have led to changing characterizations of the deities and their myths. It is frequently used in high schools and colleges as an introductory text to ancient mythology and belief. In 1884 Edith began two years of study at Miss Porter's Finishing School for Young Ladies (now known as Miss Porter's School) in Farmington, Connecticut, where attendance was a family tradition for the Hamilton women. [1] Three of Hamilton's aunts, three cousins, and her three sisters attended the school. [17] In 1906, Hamilton's accomplishments as an educator and administrator were recognized when she was named the first headmistress in the school's history. [27] Hamilton, who believed in providing students with a "rigorous" curriculum, successfully transitioned the girls school from its "mediocre beginnings into one of the foremost preparatory institutions in the country." [28] Her insistence on offering challenging standards to the students and different options on school policies led to confrontations with Dean Thomas. As Hamilton became increasingly frustrated with the situation at the school, her health also declined. She retired in 1922 at the age of fifty-four, after twenty-six years of service to the school. [27] [28] [29] Classicist and author [ edit ]

This is a tough review, just because this isn’t really a novel. It’s more a collection of stories within the framework of certain mythologies (but for the sake of this review, let’s call it a novel). This is an ambitious work, which Edith Hamilton brings to life Greek and Roman Mythology (mainly and Norse partly), being a keystone of Western Culture. Reading this you get to understand the culture of the Greeks, what they believed in and the values of these stories. The beginning starts with a great essay describing the impact of these mythologies and then talks about major Gods before telling us the stories. Firstly, this is more of a collection of very compact retellings of stories from these myths. Secondly, it begins with a Fortunately, Edith Hamilton is no prude. Her enthusiasm for the stories in "Mythology" is evident throughout the book. At times, she comes across as a woman on a mission - her conviction about the importance of these myths in Western culture is so passionate that she is determined to spread the message to a broader audience. She is scrupulous about identifying her source materials (on this point Bulfinch is, sadly, more dilettante than scholar). She knows how to structure a narrative. Her prose is clear and reasonably accessible - slightly dated, but largely unburdened by archaic language or academic jargon. "Mythology" even comes with a bunch of nifty illustrations, done by someone with the improbable name of Steele Savage (with a great fondness for winged horses, apparently). Though her first book wasn't published until she was in her sixties, her work achieved great popular success. Book-of-the-Month Club selection in 1957, honorary citizenship of Athens, a highly laudatory obit in the New York Times when she finally died at age 95 - what's not to love? Roman name: Minerva. Usually just called Athena, this goddess emerges from Zeus’s head fully-grown and armed. Associated with war, cleverness, and wit, it is no surprise that she favors Odysseus. Athena is the goddess of Wisdom, Reason, and Purity and is chaste, like Artemis and Hestia. Phoebus Apollo There are two reasons this lost a star from me. The first is that Hamilton’s bias towards particular poets comes through too strongly at times and she can be quite opinionated. Opinions are great, and she often accompanies them with some interesting facts, but I feel like a little more subtlety or, on occasion, impartiality would’ve made it a little less jarring. One thing became clear to me as I read these books. Although the myths remain unchanged, the way that we think about them has evolved considerably over the last 150 years. This is one reason why the bowdlerized myths presented to us by Bulfinch, in which each story is rendered moribund by being stripped of all reference to sex, violence, or any hint of unpleasantness, are so unsatisfactory to a 21st century reader.

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I believe, deep in my heart, that everyone who has attended high school in the past twenty to thirty years or so (in the United States, at least) owned a ratty, most likely used copy of this work at one time or another. This book has been on the required reading list of so many schools that nearly everyone has seen it, owned it, and opened it at least twice.

Hamilton's re-telling of those old myths is considerably interesting. I just can't remember all those hard-to-pronounce many names. However, the knowledge that I got reading each story was really overwhelming. This is really a book that needs to be read by everyone. Roman name: Pluto. The brother of Zeus and Poseidon, Hades rules the underworld, the realm of the dead, with his wife, Persephone. Pallas Athena The son of King Aegeus of Athens and a quintessential Athenian hero. Theseus is the model citizen: a kind leader, good to his friends and countrymen. Theseus does have his shortcomings, however: he abandons Ariadne, and later doubts his own son, which leads to his tragic demise. JasonThe counterpart of Zeus in Norse mythology. Odin is a quiet, brooding figure. He trades one of his eyes and suffers for nine nights to attain the insights of the Well of Wisdom, which he passes on to men along with the mystical powers of the runes and poetry. Odin rewards fallen warriors with a place in Valhalla, the Hall of the Slain. He bears the burden of delaying Ragnarok, the day of doom for both the gods and mortals, as long as possible. Hela Roman name: Ceres. Though a sister of Zeus, Demeter lives on earth. Demeter is the goddess of corn and harvest. She is kinder than Dionysus but also sadder, mostly because Hades has taken her daughter, Persephone, as his reluctant bride. Demeter thus lies in mourning for four months of the year, leaving the fields barren. Persephone There was once a king who had three daughters, all lovely maidens … Which sounds like Once upon a time there was a …. and fits the fairytale mode with how Psyche finds a perfect love with Cupid but after losing him is put through a series of trials to be reunited with Cupid, and live happily ever after.

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