Pierre Grimal ; translated by A.R. Maxwell-Hyslop
The Dictionary of Classical Mythology is a unique companion to the ancient Greek and Roman myths and legends. The story of every character, whether human or divine, major or minor, is retold in this book, detailing every version and variation. Naiads, dryads, hamadryads, nymphs, fauns, satyrs and centaurs - the different types of mythological figures are distinguished and fitted into the overall pattern of legendary events and the places where these happened such as Olympus, Arcadia, Troy, Crete and Parnassus are identified and described.Forty genealogical tables explain the complex and often bizarre relationships between interlocking families of gods and people. Wherever appropriate the entries are illustrated with antique paintings, ceramics, coins, sculpture and mosaics. Maps of the Greek and Roman world and photographs of ancient sites provide a guide to the topography of classical mythology. An exhaustive reference section lists every mention of each character in classical literature: this alone makes the book an essential source of reference for scholars.The Dictionary will be an essential companion to the study of Western literature and art, a significant part of which has always been concerned with the ancient myths and legends as a source of both subject matter and allusion.
But above all this book is a fascinating and readable guide to the rich and diverse legends and mythologies of the classical world.