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Old 03-29-2013, 04:54 PM   #1
alanHd
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Non Fiction - Mythology, recomendations?

Has the title says i'm after recomendations for non fiction books on mythology.

i'm not after any specific culture, reading fantasy books which have mentioned lots of gods and mythical things has given me a thirst to learn more.

Thanks Alan
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:54 AM   #2
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Bullfinch's Mythology.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulfinch's_Mythology
The work is in the PD at Gutenberg and elsewhere. Including Mobileread.

Edith Hamilton's Mythology:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mythology_(book)

Robert Graves:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Greek_Myths

Time-Life has a very nice set of 20+ Coffee Table books on various mythologies from across the world. High-quality illustrations and all.
http://www.goodreads.com/series/49224-myth-and-mankind

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Old 03-30-2013, 09:03 AM   #3
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On the Fiction side, Robert Graves' HERCULES, MY SHIPMATE is a fabulous read. It is the story of Jason and the Argonauts as historical fiction, not myth or fantasy.
http://www.amazon.com/Hercules-My-Sh.../dp/031320991X

Similarly, in HOMER'S DAUGHTER, he reinvents the return of Odysseus from the Odyssey as historical fiction, with a twist:
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Robert Graves, poet, novelist and scholar of things Greek, here explores the possibility that The Odyssey, successor to Homer's Illiad, was written by a princess of mixed Greek and other ancestry in a Greek-Trojan settlement in ancient Sicily some time after the Trojan War. Using internal evidence which suggests female authorship and a relationship of the terrain described to areas in the western Mediterranean, Graves speculates that the true author told her own story, possibly a true one, buried within the Homeric epic which has been handed down to us via the ancient Greeks. To get it included among the Homeric canon this young, energetic and extremely intelligent woman manages to get the tale incorporated into the body of Homeric songs through the auspices of a member of the Homeric guild. But, scholarly speculation aside, this is basically a tale of adventure and intrigue as it recounts the events surrounding the siege of a king's household by rebellious nobles using a suit for his young daughter's hand as an excuse to undermine and destroy her father's rule. The princess, clever and indomitable by turns, first investigates the mystery of her elder brother's disappearance and then organizes a shrewd counterplot, reminiscent of Odysseus' triumphal and bloody return to Ithaca, to reclaim her father's holdings and the honor of his house. A bit slow and ponderous in the beginning, and somewhat too scholarly, it nevertheless comes sharply to life in the second half of the book as the plot to undo the suitors' predations hurtles toward its bloody resolution.
-- Stuart W. Mirsky author of The King of Vinland's Saga
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:38 AM   #4
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Thanks for the recomendations.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:39 PM   #5
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I read these as a child and loved them. The writing is simple, yet not unenjoyable for an adult.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...=Padraic+Colum

The Greek myths are wonderful, but I loved Colum's The Children of Odin. That is still the best compilation of Norse myths that I have ever read.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...=Padraic+Colum

All available at your friendly neighborhood Mobileread Library!

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Old 03-30-2013, 07:23 PM   #6
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Non-fiction? Joseph Campbell is the man! The Hero With a Thousand Faces is a great place to start.
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Old 03-31-2013, 02:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbertaCowboy View Post
I read these as a child and loved them. The writing is simple, yet not unenjoyable for an adult.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...=Padraic+Colum

The Greek myths are wonderful, but I loved Colum's The Children of Odin. That is still the best compilation of Norse myths that I have ever read.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...=Padraic+Colum

All available at your friendly neighborhood Mobileread Library!
Thanks for the references - I've just downloaded them both.
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:47 AM   #8
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Besides the Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, does anyone have any recommendations for books covering Slavic mythology?
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by rkomar View Post
Besides the Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, does anyone have any recommendations for books covering Slavic mythology?
This, I've read:
http://www.amazon.com/Forests-Vampir.../dp/0705436136
Not too deep but not bad.

Amazon also points these out:
http://www.amazon.com/Slavic-Folklor...5/ref=rec_dp_0

http://www.amazon.com/Russian-Folk-B..._bxgy_b_text_z

http://www.amazon.com/Russian-Fairy-...ref=pd_sim_b_1

Not sure how much they might help since many titles I've seen take slav = russian so the rest of the slav cultures may not be properly represented.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:23 AM   #10
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Nordic: Den enøyde
by Tor Age Bringsvaerd

It's been translated to german.
Don't know about english
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:15 PM   #11
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Robert Graves' particular take on classical mythology has long been discredited by classicists. Morford and Lenardon's Classical Mythology is the classic textbook (it's readable). Graves' myths are a decent compendium but his analyses are flawed.

Mary Renault's novels based on the myths surrounding Theseus are excellent (The King Must Die and The Bull From The Sea), sadly they are not available in retail ebook.
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:24 PM   #12
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i sooooo love this site, so many great recomendations.

Thanks all
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:46 AM   #13
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I liked Karolyi Kereny works: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%A1roly_Ker%C3%A9nyi

And also Roberto Calasso's "Le nozze di Cadmo e Armonia": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberto_Calasso but I don't know whether the latter has ever been translated from Italian...
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:12 AM   #14
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And also Robe.to Calasso's "Le nozze di Cadmo e Armonia": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberto_Calasso but I don't know whether the latter has ever been translated from Italian...
Yes, this has been translated into English as "The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony". I'm not aware of any e-book version.

I have a nice thick paperback book on mythology, called "World Mythology: The Illustrated Guide", edited by Roy Willis and published by Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-530752-6. It has articles on mythologies from all continents excepting Antarctica. It's not quite encyclopedic in scope but its 307 pages give fairly detailed essays on anywhere from about 5 to 30 myths per country or region, with maps and full colour illustrations.
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:17 AM   #15
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Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable is especially handy for looking up allusions to classical myth and literature and more.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewer%...rase_and_Fable

There is a copy at the internet archive:
http://archive.org/details/brewersdictionar000544mbp
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