Understanding Greek Myths

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
According to the author of this series entitled "Myths Understood," myths are stories that passed through many generations of a civilization by way of spoken and written language. For most ancient cultures there was a need to explain the natural world, disasters, life, death, and relationships. As a culture developed so did their stories and for those that we know better than most, such as the Roman, Greek, Chinese, and Egyptian, the stories get quite complicated. In this particular title, the myths provided information about what the Greeks believed and how their myths, religion, and legends are a blend based on the cultures of many societies that comprised the Greek Empire. The Greeks had two main types of myths—creation and morality. The creation myths describe how the world and all that is in it came to be. Morality myths explained how people should behave. One of the most common themes was the hero's quest and many readers will have heard of Hercules, Perseus, and Jason. There also are chapters that address religion and the gods, one of which is probably also quite familiar, the story of Prometheus and his gift of fire to man. As far as the natural world is concerned, the Greeks thought there was an explanation for everything around them. The story of Demeter and Persephone is one that explained the changing seasons. Daily life in Greece was not exactly easy and the varied city states took great pride in culture, arts, and government. The Greeks also brought us festivals and entertainment and some of the plays are still performed today. The Olympic Games began in Greece and have continued into modern times. The concluding pages are filled with information about modern day references to Greek influence ranging from architecture, science, medicine, and geometry as well as the whole concept of laws, trial by jury, and democracy. A time chart is provided that ends with the fall of Greece to the Roman Empire in 146 B.C.E. A glossary, references to books and websites, and an index filled the closing pages. It is an interesting package, wel-designed and really whets the appetite for those who might like to learn a little more about Greek civilization and mythology, but it does not go into any subject in any great depth. Certainly a worthwhile purchase for anyone with a budding interest in the topic. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780778745143
  • Publisher: Crabtree Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 2/28/2012
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 792,729
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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