The birth of Aphrodite, the Trojan Horse, Zeus disguised as a swan. These and other classical myths and legends are usually encountered separately, but together they make up a coherent, multigenerational saga of epic battles, bizarre metamorphoses, immortal heroes, and all-too-human gods--a fantastic world recognizably real to its audience. Classical Mythology offers newcomers and long-time enthusiasts new ways to navigate the world of Greek and Roman myths, beginning by exploring the landscapes where the myths are set. It then provides a richly detailed timeline of mythic episodes from the origin of the cosmos to the end of the Heroic Age--plus an illustrated mythological dictionary listing significant characters, places, events, objects, and concepts.
Whether you wish to explore the world that gave rise to ancient mythology or research a specific piece of the whole, this handbook is the best introduction available to an extraordinary cast of characters (gods, nymphs, satyrs, monsters, heroes) and the natural and supernatural stages upon which their fates are played out.
· A detailed timeline serves as a convenient "episode guide" chronicling events described in classical mythology
· A comprehensive A-Z section offers a quick way to identify the gods, mortals, events, and objects that are key to specific myths and legends
William Hansen is professor of Classical Studies and Folklore as well as co-director in Mythology Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington.
"Hansen's book offers a superb example of a folkloristic approach to classical mythology. Far from novel, that approach goes back at least to Wilhelm Grimm and maybe even to Herodotus. Hansen's deployment of this approach is one of the best to date."--Robert A. Segal, Journal of American Folklore