A full, authoritative, and wholly engaging account of these endlessly fascinating tales and of the ancient society in which they were created.
It would seem that enough books have been written about Greek mythology to fill an entire library. Still, it would be unfortunate to miss this work by Buxton (Greek language and literature, Univ. of Bristol, U.K.), which focuses on the context of the myths rather than the stories themselves. Buxton discusses the origins of Greek mythology, even examining the Greek countryside and its significance in the development of the narratives. The book comes full circle with a concluding chapter on Greek myths after the Greeks, from Roman adaptations to modern transformations. The text is both accessible and scholarly, while 330 illustrations (139 in color) ensure that exquisite photographs of art and of geographical sites grace nearly every page. Interspersed throughout are maps, genealogies, charts, lists, and sidebars, all helpful and intriguing in their own right. Highly recommended, even for libraries whose collections on Greek mythology are already adequate.-Katherine K. Koenig, Ellis Sch., Pittsburgh Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.