Mythology For Dummiesby Christopher W. Blackwell
Every culture and time has its myths. You might say that myths help us to understand people, since just like people they can be inspirational and beautiful, as well as cruel and violent. The main players in mythology are the original drama kings and queens — they hang themselves in shame, poke out their own eyes, rule cities, and marry their relatives —
Every culture and time has its myths. You might say that myths help us to understand people, since just like people they can be inspirational and beautiful, as well as cruel and violent. The main players in mythology are the original drama kings and queens — they hang themselves in shame, poke out their own eyes, rule cities, and marry their relatives — and the fun doesn’t stop there! If you want all the scoop on gods and goddesses, fates and furies, monsters and heroes from around the world, Mythology for Dummies is the Who’s Who of mythological figures that you can’t do without.
It’s no secret that mythology can be confusing for anyone. From cultural hero Johnny Appleseed, to manly Odysseus, to femme fatale Aphrodite, and those pesky Cyclops running amuck on that faraway island, Mythology for Dummies covers all the bases, including information on:
- Greek mythology
- Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey
- Roman mythology
- Virgil’s Aeneid
- Non-European mythology
Also, this book will get you up to speed on the heavy stuff—like how mythology intersects with our lives, and explores the meaning of existence. Organized into chapters on specific topics, it breaks down the common types of myths and mythological figures, and offers plain-English explanations of how myths have appeared in cultures throughout the ages. You’ll find what you need to know on these topics and many more:
- What makes myths different from legends and fairy tales
- Greek creation myths and those really ancient Greek Gods
- The Olympian Gods (taller, younger, and better looking than you)
- The Greek goddesses (the fairest and the meanest of them all)
- Heroes — made, born, and re-born
- Mythological places from Elysium Fields, to Atlantis, and Xanadu
- Roman religion — how it was begged, borrowed, and stolen
Meet the Author
Dr. Christopher W. Blackwell is Assistant Professor of Greek, Department of Classics, Furman University. Amy Hackney Blackwell is a freelance author who has an MA in history.
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One thing that struck me the most reading through this book is how the author describes not only the various deities of different cultures, but also the societies that "developed" them. Another thing was the similarites between cultures about certain myths, such as creation. It seems the tone of the stories and the various deities depended on the cultures themselves. Some cultures, like Greece and Rome and Egypt told stories that tended to be on the "lighter" side, whereas the Northern European countires had myths that told of "epic battles." I also enjoyed reading about and remembering the ancient Greek, Roman, and Norse mythologies I remember studying as a junior high school student long ago. The book explains the deities of numerous cultures including Greek, Roman, Norse, Chinese, Indian, North and South America. In some cases, a culture had so many different deities, it's impossible to name them all, but still the author does a wonderful job in explaining the major ones. Anyone wanting to take a quick "look back" at myths they studied in school or those with an interest in learning more about world mythology will enjoy this book.
This book is the ONLY mythology for anyone, not just dummies. it gives excellent refrences, describes each god giving their roman/greek name as well. A WONDERFUL READ!
For anyone who has read any mythology at all, this book is so general that it has little to offer. Don't bother if you're looking for anything specific. However, if you're looking for a very generalized overview of mythologies from around the world, then this is your book.