ISBN-10:
0192804766
ISBN-13:
9780192804761
Pub. Date:
11/09/2007
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction

Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction

by Helen Morales
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Overview

From Zeus and Europa, to Diana, Pan, and Prometheus, the myths of ancient Greece and Rome seem to exert a timeless power over us. But what do those myths represent, and why are they so enduringly fascinating? Why do they seem to be such a potent way of talking about our selves, our origins, and our desires? This imaginative and stimulating Very Short Introduction goes beyond a simple retelling of the stories to explore the rich history and diverse interpretations of classical mythology. It is a wide-ranging account, examining how classical myths are used and understood in both high art and popular culture, taking the reader from the temples of Crete to skyscrapers in New York, and finding classical myths in a variety of unexpected places: from Arabic poetry and Hollywood films, to psychoanalysis, the Bible, and New Age spiritualism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780192804761
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 11/09/2007
Series: Very Short Introductions Series
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 476,285
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 4.30(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Helen Morales is University Lecturer and Director of Studies in Classics at Newnham College, Cambridge.

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Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
drbubbles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Discusses the uses to which mythology was and is put, and how those uses are what turn stories into myths. I found it more useful and credible than many academic theories treating myth as though it were an organic category. The first five chapters are quite good. Scattered through them is discussion of the coalescence of what is now considered classical mythology, and the reciprocal development of scholarly interest in it. The historical consumption of myth (e.g., as allegory) receives far more attention than scholarly inquiries into the original functions of myths, many of which seem inductive rather than empirical. One chapter considers the importance of myth to psychoanalysis, and implicitly considers the possibility that Freud was just talking out of his backside (the fact that they acknowledge this as a possibility gives the entire argument that much more credibility). It left me thinking that, had he lived today, he'd be considered a quack. The last two chapters (politics of sex; hippies' use of myth) are muddled and weak. The first of them, I think, is so simply because of a paucity of VSI-appropriate research to summarize; the latter, I think, is so because pastiche is form without substance and there just isn't much to be said about it.
Manirul More than 1 year ago
Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago