Books – Mythology

Vast numbers of books about Mythology have been published, good, bad, and indifferent. Here is a small selection of useful titles.

Mythology, by Edith Hamilton. Little, Brown and Company 1998 (1942), 497 pages, illustrated. The Gods, the Creation, and the Earliest Heroes; Stories of Love and Adventure; The Great Heroes Before the Trojan War; The Heroes of the Trojan War; The Great Families of Mythology; The Less Important Myths; The Mythology of the Norsemen. This is an old classic, with an elegant selection of art deco drawings. Hamilton’s introductory comments are prejudicial against pagan religion and against non Greek culture, but she did a good job of relating the stories. Mostly Greek material, with some Roman material, and a small section on the Norse myths. 

The Complete World of Greek Mythology, by Richard Buxton. Thames & Hudson, 2004, 256 pages, highly illustrated. Contexts, Sources, Meanings; Myths of Origin; The Olympians: Power, Honor, Sexuality; Heroic Exploits; Family Sagas; A Landscape of Myths; Greek Myths After the Greeks.

Gods and Heroes of Ancient Greece, by Gustav Schwab. Pantheon Books,  1974 (1946), 764 pages, illustrated with Greek vase paintings. A massive collection of stories, from a German book originally published in 1840. Perhaps a bit old fashioned in style at times, given the fact that it was written almost 200 years ago, but well written overall.  

Gods and Mortals in Classical Mythology, by Michael Grant and John Hazel. G & C Merriam Company, 1973, 447 pages, illustrated. A dictionary style book of gods, heroes, and stories.

The Dictionary of Classical Mythology, by Pierre Grimal. Blackwell Reference, 1986 (1951), 603 pages, illustrated. A dictionary style book of gods, heroes, and stories. 


The following three books are highly recommended as a basic introduction to their respective mythologies. All of them are very well written and include wonderful illustrations. These are fairly short books, but are an artful combination of text and illustrations.

Gods and Pharaohs from Egyptian Mythology, by Geraldine Harris. Schocken Books, 1983, 132 pages, color illustrations by David O’Connor, line drawings by John Sibbick.

Gods Men and Monsters from the Greek Myths, by Michael Gibson. Schocken Books, 1982, 156 pages, color illustrations and line drawings by Giovanni Caselli.

Heroes, Gods & Emperors, by Kerry Usher. Schocken Books, 1984, 132 pages, color illustrations and line drawings by John Sibbick.

Published on September 27, 2011 at 7:09 pm  Comments Off on Books – Mythology  
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