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Greek Mythology?

(23 Posts)
CarpeJugulum Mon 12-Nov-12 12:31:30

Not sure if this should be here or non-fiction!

I'm after some recommendations for books on Greek myths and legends, starting from the basics.

Preferably in a story format rather than a studious format.


Wilding Mon 12-Nov-12 12:33:45

Tales of the Greek Heroes by Roger Lancelyn Green is a classic and probably not a bad place to start - very accessible versions of the Greek myths written for young people.

dotty2 Mon 12-Nov-12 12:48:15

Song of Achilles, while not your basic retelling is wonderful, and you should give it a go after you've covered the basics.

dotty2 Mon 12-Nov-12 12:49:14

PS - I was assuming you meant for yourself. It's definitely not one for the children.

CarpeJugulum Mon 12-Nov-12 13:23:02

Will add that to my list thanks! thanks

No, more for me to read. I was fascinated as a child, and just finished reading the Percy Jackson books which inspired me to try to find stuff; but the local bookshop is also the Uni shop, so stuff in there is a bit dry.

hackmum Mon 12-Nov-12 17:29:09

Yes, the Roger Lancelyn Green book is good, as is James Baldwin's The Greek Myths and Legends for Children. I also agree that Song of Achilles is very enjoyable.

Robert Graves also published retellings of the Greek myths but I've never read them so don't know what they're like.

R2PeePoo Mon 12-Nov-12 17:30:46

Robert Graves is the classic

Lancelyn Green is good so is the Usbourne one

R2PeePoo Mon 12-Nov-12 17:39:09

Just looked at the 'Look Inside' Amazon feature on the Usbourne one. Most of the pages shown are the reference 'Whos who' pages at the back. Don't be put off. The book itself is heavily illustrated. Its the one I read the most when I was younger before I moved onto Graves (and ended up with a degree in Ancient History grin)

ClodiaMetelli Mon 12-Nov-12 17:40:20

I found this a brilliant introduction.

BirdyArms Mon 12-Nov-12 19:15:51

I have never known much about Greek Mythology but recently read Song of Achilles which I loved and now I want more! I would definitely start there Carpe. I'd also love some recommendations for more of the same, rather than more textbook type retelling. From looking at amazon it seems like Robert Graves is more like the latter - anyone know any others?

CarpeJugulum Tue 13-Nov-12 07:51:02

Thanks for all the great suggestions - my Amazon wishlist has suddenly expanded dramatically grin

Will keep my fingers that DH Santa takes the hint!

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 13-Nov-12 10:48:02

And Song of Achilles is our book of the month as it happens, so please join in the discussion with Madeline Miller if you'd like to.

Gigondas Tue 13-Nov-12 10:50:16

Mary Renault - the king must die and the bull from the sea about Theseus.
Songs on bronze - Greek myths retold by Nigel spivey

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Tue 13-Nov-12 10:51:53

How about the Ted Hughes 'Tales from Ovid' a retelling of Ovid's Metamorphoses. It's poetry but you wouldn't really notice a difference.

mimbleandlittlemy Tue 13-Nov-12 13:02:12

There's a really good modern translation of The Iliad by Robert Fagles (Penguin Classics) which is absolutely gripping - very bloody/robust but absolutely gripping. I'd definitely read that before you read Song of Achilles which I loved too. Would also second Mary Renault and Ted Hughes' Tales from Ovid.

hackmum Tue 13-Nov-12 17:39:32

GeraldineMumsnet - how exciting! Thanks for pointing that out.

mimble - and thanks for that recommendation. Have been meaning to read the Iliad for a while but wasn't sure which was the best translation.

R2PeePoo Tue 13-Nov-12 21:30:37

Richmond Lattimore's translations of the Iliad and Odyssey are also excellent, Fagles is more modern, Lattimore is closer to the original Greek and is more poetic. Both are very good (I have both, the lattimore versions also have excellent companion explanatory volumes that explain it all as you go along).

maillotjaune Wed 14-Nov-12 13:56:57

These have already been suggested but I second Tales From Ovid and the Fagles translations of Iliad and Odyssey both of which I loved. I had never read epic poetry before but didn't find them hard work (although the fighting and dying in the Iliad is visceral). Ted Hughes' poems in Tales from Ivid are beautiful.

maillotjaune Wed 14-Nov-12 13:57:13

Ovid not Ivid.

tripfiction Wed 14-Nov-12 15:49:05

Parthenon and a bit of fiction? It sets the scene for how the Elgin Marbles arrived in Britain.
Stealing Athena by Karen Essex

halfnhalf Fri 16-Nov-12 20:06:16

Robert Graves is a great introduction, and if you want a fictionalised approach I second Mary Renault's The Bull from the Sea and the King Must Die (as well as her other ones). I love them. Surely I can't be the only person who thought The Shield of Achilles was crap?

halfnhalf Fri 16-Nov-12 20:07:16

sorry Song of Achilles, not Shield

goralka Fri 16-Nov-12 20:07:46

Homer's Odyssey is fab but it does depend on the translation how readable it is.

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