Complete World of Greek Mythology Hardcover – Jun 29 2004
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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
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 dart 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. Buxtons engagingly written blend of erudition and insight makes these primordial tales seem fresh again.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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