Cover image for Myths of the ancient Greeks
Myths of the ancient Greeks
Martin, Richard P.
Publication Information:
New York : New American Library, [2003]

Physical Description:
ix, 11 unnumbered pages, 346 pages : illustrations, 2 maps ; 21 cm
Subject Term:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL783 .M98 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



From one of today's foremost scholars, a lively retelling of the timeless tales...

Here are the myths that have influenced so much of our cultural heritage. Such age-old stories as the tragic love of Orpheus and Eurydice or Demeter's loss of her daughter, Persephone, resonate strongly with readers even today. In this book the rousing adventures of the heroes Herakles, Theseus, and Perseus are intertwined with the tragedies of immortal Prometheus and mortal Oedipus, the amorous escapades of Zeus, the trickery of Hermes, and the ecstasy of Dionysus. In-depth introductions to each section deepen your understanding of the myths--and heighten your reading pleasure.

Presented in simple yet elegant prose, these tales emerge in brilliant new life. From the creation battle of the gods and Titans to Odysseus' return home from the Trojan War, this indispensable volume contains fifty-six legendary stories--handed down from generations past--that will continue to captivate readers for generations to come.

Author Notes

Professor Richard P. Martin teaches Greek and Latin literature at Stanford University. Martin's research focuses primarily on Homeric poetry and how it functioned as a performance art in ancient Greece. His research has involved fieldwork in modern Crete, interviewing those who still perform traditional oral epics. In addition, he has studied resemblances between ancient oral poetry and modern rap. He has worked on presenting Homer digitally, in a full-scale multimedia version of the Odyssey on CD, in connection with distance learning projects. Martin is also interested in the performance of Greek lyric as represented in myth and art, and the analysis of Greek myth. Born and raised in Boston, he studied Classics as well as medieval and modern Irish language and literature at Harvard University, where he received his BA in Classics and Celtic literature and his MA and PhD in classical philology. Prior to his position at Stanford, Professor Martin taught Classics for 18 years at Princeton University. He was the chair of the Department of Classics at Stanford from 2002 through 2008.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

In this collection of 56 classic Greek myths, Martin (Greek & Latin literature, Stanford), an authority on the subject, retells such legendary stories as those of Herakles, Perseus, Prometheus, and Oedipus for a 21st-century audience. The book is divided into nine sections, each preceded by a brief but sufficient headnote that in lay readers' terms discusses some of the scholarship surrounding the stories to follow. By using a modern fiction format, Martin attempts to make these stories accessible to those who don't already know them while keeping them "at one remove" for those who do. What results is a group of somewhat chatty tales that would be too challenging for young adult readers but could work for those new to Greek mythology or for well-versed readers looking for a new perspective. Two maps of the Ancient Greek world, 18 useful illustrations (e.g., family trees), an index (not seen), and a list of further readings round out the work. Recommended only where librarians think the fiction format might appeal.-Katherine K. Koenig, Ellis Sch., Pittsburgh (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.