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Greek Mythology (Paperback)

Gods and Heroes Brought to Life

Ancient History P&S History

By Robert Garland
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 232
Illustrations: 35 integrated black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526776549
Published: 30th November 2020

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RRP £14.99

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Greek mythology isn’t the equivalent of the Bible or the Qur’an. There is no standardized version of any myth. Myths aren’t sacred. Whether you happen to be Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides or any other Greek, or even you or me, every myth is yours to tell and interpret any way you like.

Just to give one example. An oracle has decreed that Oedipus will kill his father and marry his mother. In Homer’s version, Oedipus carries on ruling in Thebes when he discovers he has fulfilled the oracle, whereas in the version that Sophocles gives us in his play Oedipus the King, Oedipus blinds himself and goes into voluntary exile. That said, certain details are unalterable. Oedipus has to be ignorant of the fact that the man whom he kills is his father and that the woman whom he marries is his mother; he has to fulfil the awful prophecy of the oracle; and he has to come to a realisation of what he has done afterwards. But everything else is pretty much up for grabs.

Greek mythology is very much alive and well in the contemporary world. There are many narrative versions of the myths currently available, but this book will do something very different: it will give the characters the chance to tell their stories in their own words. In so doing, it will give both gods and humans the opportunity to reflect upon their life stories and, in places, justify their actions. In this way they will come across as real people, just as they are, say, in the plays of the dramatists.

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About Robert Garland

Robert Garland is the Roy D. and Margaret B. Wooster Professor of the Classics at Colgate University, where he has taught for 30 years. He attended drama school before completing his PhD at University College London. In recent years he has recorded four courses for The Great Courses and written two videos for TED Animation. Robert has published 13 academic books on both Greek and Roman history, and has recently finished a comic historical novel. His interest is in how to make history come alive and his most important contribution to the discipline has been to identify categories of people who have been generally overlooked in conventional accounts of ancient history, including the disabled and refugees.

Perfect Partner

How to Survive in Ancient Greece (Paperback)

Imagine you were transported back in time to Ancient Greece and you had to start a new life there. How would you fit in? Where would you live? What would you eat? Where would you go to have your hair done? Who would you go to if you got ill, or if you were mugged in the street? All these questions, and many more, will be answered in this new how-to guide for time travellers. Part self-help guide, part survival guide, this lively and engaging book will help the reader deal with the many problems and new experiences that they will face, and also help them to thrive in this strange new environment.

By Robert Garland

Click here to buy both titles for £23.98
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