I’ve meaning to read this book ever since I once snuck into a classical mythology class whilst I was in college. I love mythology and folklore and fables. And I always wanted to take a class on it but my schedule never allowed for it. So when I saw Edith Hamilton’s Mythology chilling on a bookshelf. I had to buy it and begin reading immediately.
I was familiar with most of the stories thus reading Mythology was more of a refresher than an introduction if you are unfamiliar with Greek/Roman mythology and would like to know about it, Hamilton’s book is one you should pick up. Hamilton relates these stories by summarising various plays and epic poems by great dramatists and poets.
Hamilton’s retelling is in story form and is engaging. She also includes small excerpts from the original sources to give readers examples of how the god, godesses, and other notable people were described.
“Golden-throned Hera, among immortals the queen,
Chief among them in beauty, the glorious lady
All the blessed in High Olympus revere,
Honour even Zeus, the lord of the thunder.”
She begins by introducing the poets known for relating many of the stories and informing us of their styles and how the period during which they lived affected how they presented their work. She then introduces the gods and other mythical creatures such as the muses and satyrs. Then she relates the wonderful tales, which will keep you in rapture.
The stories are just as appealing today as they were many years ago. Although, told long ago, they still apply to situations today since they are based on simple human nature. It’s hard not to get caught up in the drama of them.
As you can see, Greek/Roman mythology is very entertaining and there’s much to be learnt from it. It documents human nature therefore it documents history. Sometimes there are more that one version of the stories, and Hamilton does allude to this. If you would like to know more about Greek/Roman mythology, I suggest that you read other books (Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus) on the topic as well but Hamilton’s Mythology is a great start.
By the way, a snippet on Norse mythology was also included. I was so elated to find this. It’s pretty brief but the chapter discusses the basis of Norse mythology and the texts they’re learned from and the major gods.