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The Book of Greek and Roman Folktales, Legends, and Myths

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The first anthology ever to present the entire range of ancient Greek and Roman stories--from myths and fairy tales to jokes Captured centaurs and satyrs, talking animals, people who suddenly change sex, men who give birth, the temporarily insane and the permanently thick-witted, delicate sensualists, incompetent seers, a woman who remembers too much, a man who cannot laugh The first anthology ever to present the entire range of ancient Greek and Roman stories--from myths and fairy tales to jokes Captured centaurs and satyrs, talking animals, people who suddenly change sex, men who give birth, the temporarily insane and the permanently thick-witted, delicate sensualists, incompetent seers, a woman who remembers too much, a man who cannot laugh--these are just some of the colorful characters who feature in the unforgettable stories that ancient Greeks and Romans told in their daily lives. Together they created an incredibly rich body of popular oral stories that include, but range well beyond, mythology--from heroic legends, fairy tales, and fables to ghost stories, urban legends, and jokes. This unique anthology presents the largest collection of these tales ever assembled. Featuring nearly four hundred stories in authoritative and highly readable translations, this is the first book to offer a representative selection of the entire range of traditional classical storytelling. Set mostly in the world of humans, not gods, these stories focus on figures such as lovers, tricksters, philosophers, merchants, rulers, athletes, artists, and soldiers. The narratives range from the well-known--for example, Cupid and Psyche, Diogenes and his lantern, and the tortoise and the hare--to lesser-known tales that deserve wider attention. Entertaining and fascinating, they offer a unique window into the fantasies, anxieties, humor, and passions of the people who told them. Complete with beautiful illustrations by Glynnis Fawkes, a comprehensive introduction, notes, and more, this one-of-a-kind anthology will delight general readers as well as students of classics, fairy tales, and folklore.


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The first anthology ever to present the entire range of ancient Greek and Roman stories--from myths and fairy tales to jokes Captured centaurs and satyrs, talking animals, people who suddenly change sex, men who give birth, the temporarily insane and the permanently thick-witted, delicate sensualists, incompetent seers, a woman who remembers too much, a man who cannot laugh The first anthology ever to present the entire range of ancient Greek and Roman stories--from myths and fairy tales to jokes Captured centaurs and satyrs, talking animals, people who suddenly change sex, men who give birth, the temporarily insane and the permanently thick-witted, delicate sensualists, incompetent seers, a woman who remembers too much, a man who cannot laugh--these are just some of the colorful characters who feature in the unforgettable stories that ancient Greeks and Romans told in their daily lives. Together they created an incredibly rich body of popular oral stories that include, but range well beyond, mythology--from heroic legends, fairy tales, and fables to ghost stories, urban legends, and jokes. This unique anthology presents the largest collection of these tales ever assembled. Featuring nearly four hundred stories in authoritative and highly readable translations, this is the first book to offer a representative selection of the entire range of traditional classical storytelling. Set mostly in the world of humans, not gods, these stories focus on figures such as lovers, tricksters, philosophers, merchants, rulers, athletes, artists, and soldiers. The narratives range from the well-known--for example, Cupid and Psyche, Diogenes and his lantern, and the tortoise and the hare--to lesser-known tales that deserve wider attention. Entertaining and fascinating, they offer a unique window into the fantasies, anxieties, humor, and passions of the people who told them. Complete with beautiful illustrations by Glynnis Fawkes, a comprehensive introduction, notes, and more, this one-of-a-kind anthology will delight general readers as well as students of classics, fairy tales, and folklore.

30 review for The Book of Greek and Roman Folktales, Legends, and Myths

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tessa

    I loved this. It is not really a book of Greek myths, though it does include some of them. It's really more an encyclopedia of urban legends, famous quotations, and jokes. It made me laugh a lot and I can't wait to read it again. Note: This is not the sanitized Disney-esque version of these stories and it is not appropriate for children. I loved this. It is not really a book of Greek myths, though it does include some of them. It's really more an encyclopedia of urban legends, famous quotations, and jokes. It made me laugh a lot and I can't wait to read it again. Note: This is not the sanitized Disney-esque version of these stories and it is not appropriate for children.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy Hermary

    This book provides a great overview of types of stories from myths and legends to folktales and personal narratives. Although the stories are provided from a Greek and Roman perspective, Hansen has linked some of them to the Bible as well as to modern times. He includes some great advice from the ancients. Here's a tidbit from Dionysos, the god of wine, as written by Euboulos: Three bowls of wine only do I mix For the temperate - one for health, Which they empty first; the second For sexual passion This book provides a great overview of types of stories from myths and legends to folktales and personal narratives. Although the stories are provided from a Greek and Roman perspective, Hansen has linked some of them to the Bible as well as to modern times. He includes some great advice from the ancients. Here's a tidbit from Dionysos, the god of wine, as written by Euboulos: Three bowls of wine only do I mix For the temperate - one for health, Which they empty first; the second For sexual passion and pleasure; and the third for sleep, Which wise men drink up And go home. The fourth is no longer Mine; it's for abusive words. The fifth is for shouting; The sixth, for roving bands of revelers; the seventh, for black eyes; The eighth, for a court summons; the ninth, for a dark mood; and The tenth, for madness and throwing stones. (p. 383)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shanna

    I honestly LOVED reading these stories. Some of them were familiar tales - the tortoise and the hare, for example - that aren’t necessarily connected to these ancient peoples, which I liked discovering. The stories kept me entertained, and I was laughing through most of them. I definitely need to get my hands on my own personal copy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John Isles

    The title might lead you to expect a retelling of Greek Mythology, but there's little of that here. Instead we find a collection of stories, anecdotes, and jokes culled from many ancient writers, most of them Greek and few of them well known. I enjoyed reading them very much and as a result was induced to add the works of Aelian and Lucian to my reading list. The Introduction and Appendix, in which Hansen discusses the classification of the various tales, were duller fare; unfortunately the Intr The title might lead you to expect a retelling of Greek Mythology, but there's little of that here. Instead we find a collection of stories, anecdotes, and jokes culled from many ancient writers, most of them Greek and few of them well known. I enjoyed reading them very much and as a result was induced to add the works of Aelian and Lucian to my reading list. The Introduction and Appendix, in which Hansen discusses the classification of the various tales, were duller fare; unfortunately the Introduction is all you get in the Kindle sample.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dylan Jones

    Really solid compendium of Greek myths, legends, folktales and personal narratives (and it also explained the difference between those which is helpful)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Esme

    What I like best about this is the note which each piece of text that frames the story within the cultural context.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Willy Marz Thiessam

    A remarkable composition of Greek, Roman and Early Christian writing. I cannot think of another book so richly compact as a gateway to the classical literary world. Definitely a book worth reading often.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nadine Kaelber

    Informative, but a terribly boring read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lucinda

    Nice to read something different to the traditional myths and legends. Also interesting to see how modern stories have been shaped.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sara Potter

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jayme Fradenburgh

  12. 4 out of 5

    Adrian Freja

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jen

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eser Saygın

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gina

  16. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Romero

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Gray

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rob

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mary Magoulick

  20. 4 out of 5

    Patriciafoltz

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jean-Pierre

  22. 5 out of 5

    Charlene

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jbiasatti

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lyra

  25. 4 out of 5

    Emily Will

  26. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin Alexander

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kati Roth

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ascendant

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Haag

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