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Complete World of Greek Mythology Hardcover – Jun 29 2004

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Complete World of Greek Mythology + Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters + 100 Characters from Classical Mythology: Discover the Fascinating Stories of the Greek and Roman Deities
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson (June 29 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500251215
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500251218
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 3 x 26.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Engrossing and lavishly illustrated, this survey demonstrates once again why Greek mythology is so enduringly popular. Greek lit prof Buxton (Imaginary Greece: the Contexts of Mythology) treats the subject thematically, covering Greek origin myths, the character and functions of the Olympian gods, the exploits of heroes, the Homeric epics and the sagas of the House of Atreus and other tragic clans in which there is a "seamless connection…between heroic exploits and domestic catastrophes." Maps and family trees are provided to chart the progress of mythic quests and to help keep straight the tangled ancestry and couplings of gods and mortals, along with hundreds of superb photos of landscapes, ruins and objets d’art that steep readers in the atmospherics of ancient Greece. Buxton does not bowdlerize the elements of rape, incest, adultery, homosexuality, castration, bestiality, phallic overstimulation and Dionysian abandon in these stories, or the ubiquitous motif of parents devouring (and regurgitating) their children. But he is alive to their more profound psychological and social import. As mythic cycles of violence and retribution, hubris and nemesis play themselves out, he pegs them as explorations in extremis of the tensions people feel as they are torn between squabbling relatives, family and polis, or duty and fate. Buxton’s engagingly written blend of erudition and insight makes these primordial tales seem fresh again.
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“Engrossing and lavishly illustrated, this survey demonstrates once again why Greek mythology is so enduringly popular.... Buxton’s engagingly written blend of erudition and insight makes these primordial tales seem fresh again.” — Publishers Weekly

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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By happy on Feb. 11 2011
Format: Hardcover
Product came wrapped and brand new, for a much cheaper price than the university bookstores were selling it at. Very interesting book, love Greek mythology.
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9 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Paul Carleton on July 16 2004
Format: Hardcover
Seeing the recent movie "Troy" (twice) sparked my reading Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey" (Lombardo's translation). But Homer left gaps, assuming his audience was familiar with the mythology. Buxton's book very nicely, comprehensively and entertainingly fills in those gaps. It's fun to read or just peruse by itself or as a reference.
Even so I'm struck by the early Greeks' absolute belief in the gods, in the gods' presence, and in their power over men and events. Given those Greeks' knowledge of their world back then, I suppose such beliefs were to be expected. But we've come a long way in the intervening three millennia - still many today profess belief in God, the angels and saints. Based on what's known today about our world, in my book, "Concepts," I propose an alternative to such beliefs.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 53 reviews
207 of 224 people found the following review helpful
disappointing May 31 2008
By Bruce D. Wilner - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Somewhere amid the oodles of glossy photos of athlete-festooned kraters and oinochoes, I was hoping to discover some well narrated myths. My quest was frustrated. Not only does the book provide, at best, sketchy coverage of the thrilling heroic epics (e.g., Theseus, Perseus, Herakles), but one must hunt around for a sentence here and a paragraph there--even to reconstruct something as basic and tightly definable as the "birth of Zeus and overthrow of Kronos" story. That said, I feel strongly obliged to assign three stars merely because the volume is so overwhelmingly physically beautiful. Give this book wide berth and reach for either Schwab (a narrative cyclopedia) or D'Aulaire (a fun, richly illustrated--if purportedly juvenile--panorama). Graves isn't bad, either, but it's oriented toward the scholar of comparative evolution of mythosystems or some such, not for the seeker of glorious old tales, spicily woven; nor can you go wrong with Bulfinch, though that's clearly showing its age.
93 of 99 people found the following review helpful
Excellent. June 17 2005
By S. Hebbron - Published on
Format: Hardcover
An enormously engaging and highly explanatory work which details ancient greek religious beliefs and the works of the major playwrights and poets alike. What is of particular interest is how Gods and the stories of Myths of Gods and Godess's helped to explain the surrounding world to the people of the time. What is remarkable is these stories really were the first kind of documented evidence of humanity making sense of it's exsistance, purpose and meaning. A phenomena which has been occuring in revised and multi-cultural forms ever since.

The Myths are surprising, intelligent and familair at once, they are remarkable informative and have much contemporary resonance. A classic work on a classic subject.
75 of 80 people found the following review helpful
Well Constructed and Visually Engaging Jan. 21 2007
By Dan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I've been picking through the gamut of Greek myth texts for an introductory course, and I was fortunate to come across this beauty. It's not just a mythology text that the art historian can use, it's the ONLY classical myth "textbook" I have encountered that could legitimately appeal to art history classes. There are illustrations (usually color photos) on every page. The quality of the pages and binding itself is also really quality stuff. The narration is pretty standard. It's more of a summary text kind of thing than the various excerpts you find in other classical myth texts. I wouldn't use any of the other mythology texts, but this one makes a wonderful supplement to primary source material such as Homer, Hesiod and/or the tragedians. This thing raises the bar for the presentation of classical myth books.
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
The most beautiful book I have ever owned! Jan. 9 2007
By Thomas Browder - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Not only does The Complete World of Greek Mythology give the reader a panoramic view of the major motifs of ancient Greek mythology, but there are breath-taking illustrations on every page. It is a magnificent book! And what a bargain. The publishers could easily charge twice as much. Tom Browder
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Completely Satisfied! Aug. 3 2010
By Psychic One - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I recieved my copy of this book today and spent several hours reading and taking in its beautiful pictures. This book is absolutely marvelous!!!Granted it may not be the perfect study text to Greek Mythology but it is very informative and provided me with the history and pictorial information I was looking for. This book has family trees, maps, beautiful artwork, many artifacts and great insight to the Greek mythical world. Some of the chapters I was completely enthral with were myths origin, heroic exploits and family sagas. All in all it is well laid out and very easy to understand. I highly recommend this book.