Cover image for Images of myths in classical antiquity
Images of myths in classical antiquity
Woodford, Susan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, U.K. ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Physical Description:
xxvi, 305 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm
Electronic Access:
Publisher description

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N7760 .W66 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Stories take time to tell; Greek and Roman artists had to convey them in static images. How did they go about it? How could they ensure that their scenes would be recognized? What problems did they have? How did they solve them? This generously illustrated book explores the ways classical artists portrayed a variety of myths. It explains how formulas were devised for certain stories; how these inventions could be adapted, developed and even transferred to other myths; how one myth could be distinguished from another; what links there were with daily life and historical propaganda; the influence of changing tastes, and problems still outstanding. Examples are drawn from a wide range of media--vases, murals, mosaics, sarcophagi, sculpture--used by the ancient Greeks and Romans. The myths are mostly those that are also easily recognized in later works of art. No previous knowledge of the subject is assumed, all examples are illustrated and all names, terms and concepts are fully explained. Susan Woodford teaches Greek and Roman art at the University of London and is engaged in research for the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum. A former Fullbright Scholar and Woodrow Wilson Fellow, she and is author of The Parthenon (Cambridge, 1981), The Art of Greece (Cornell, 1993), An Introduction to Greek Art (Cornell, 1986) and The Trojan War in Ancient Art (Cornell, 1993).

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Woodford (Univ. of London) offers an excellent introduction to learning about the various ways ancient painters and sculptors portrayed myth in Greek and Roman times. The author, a recognized authority in the field of ancient art, takes the reader on a journey into the types of myths represented, the range of possible readings of images, and the various problems that confront scholars in interpreting scenes found in different works of art. She also discusses the meaning of myths to ancients. The book is very well illustrated and covers a broad range of both Greek and Roman works of art. The style of writing is lucid and the presentation of material is excellent. A must for any undergraduate course dealing with either classical mythology or Greek and Roman art, and a wonderful guide for general lay audiences interested in various areas of antiquity, especially avid museum-goers, who want to learn about Greek and Roman myths and their representation in ancient art. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through faculty. J. Pollini University of Southern California