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War in Greek Mythology (Hardback)

Ancient History Military

By Paul Chrystal
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 240
Illustrations: 50 colour & b/w illustrations
ISBN: 9781526766168
Published: 15th September 2020

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Even though war, and conflict generally, feature prominently in Greek mythology, comparatively little has been written on the subject. This is surprising because wars and battles in Greek mythology are freighted with symbolism and laden with meaning and significance – historical, political, social and cultural. The gods and goddesses of war are prominent members of the Greek pantheon: the battles fought by and between Olympians, Titans, giants and Amazons, between centaurs and lapiths, were pivotal in Greek civilization. The Trojan War itself had huge and far-reaching consequences for subsequent Greek culture.

The ubiquity of war themes in the Greek myths is a reflection of the prominence of war in everyday Greek life and society, which makes the relative obscurity of published literature all the more puzzling.

This book redresses this by showing how conflict in mythology and legend resonated loudly as essential, existentialist even, symbols in Greek culture and how they are represented in classical literature, philosophy, religion, feminism, art, statuary, ceramics, architecture, numismatics, etymology, astronomy, even vulcanology.

This book describes warfare in the heady and fantastic subject of warfare in Greek mythology. I was an avid student of Greek myth in my younger days, and of course it represents a forerunner of the fantasy we all read today. Paul Chrystal tackles a subject that seemingly has not been covered in the past, and the result is a very readable account.

Books Monthly
 Paul Chrystal

About Paul Chrystal

Paul Chrystal has classics degrees from the Universities of Hull and Southampton; he is the author of 100 or so books, a number of which are about confectionery and beverages. 


He has written features on aspects of the history of food and drink for the Daily Express and he has appeared on the BBC World Service, Radio 4’s PM programme and various BBC local radio stations talking on a wide range of subjects, but notably confectionery. Paul has also contributed to a six-part series for BBC2 ‘celebrating the history of some of Britain’s most iconic craft industries’ – in this case chocolate in York. He has been history advisor for a number of York tourist attractions relating to chocolate. He is editor of York Historian, the journal of the Yorkshire Architectural and York Archaeological Society. In 2019 he was also guest speaker for the Vassar College (New York) London Programme with Goldsmith University.

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