Dixon-Kennedy Mike - Encyclopedia of Greco-Roman Mythology

Author : Dixon-Kennedy Mike
Title : Encyclopedia of Greco-Roman Mythology
Year : 1998

Link download : Dixon-Kennedy_Mike_-_Encyclopedia_of_Greco-Roman_Mythology.zip

Perhaps more words have been written, and over a longer period of time, about the classical Greek and Roman cultures than any other. The time is right, however, for a book that takes the legwork out of finding reliable information about Greek and Roman beliefs. Obviously this volume cannot cover each and every character, event, and place that may be found in the classical Greek and Roman myths and legends. To do so would involve a great many more words, and thus a great many more pages (and volumes). However, this volume does cover all the major players, places, and events and includes many of the lesser known or more obscure so as to enable you— the reader, the student, the like-minded— quick and relatively painless access to the information. Additionally, so that further independent research might be facilitated with the minimum of fuss, this book has been researched, to a great extent, from the works of the essential classical authors and Robert Graves, with the remainder of the information coming from original personal research. This approach will enable readers to find further information without having to look for obscure publications and to decide on their own course for further research. The myths and legends of ancient Greece and Rome have been close to my heart from a very early age, when my father, a classical scholar, would tell me the myths as most fathers would tell their children bedtime stories. I grew up with the stories of Heracles and his amazing adventures, of the perils of Odysseus as he spent ten years traveling home from the Trojan War, of Theseus and the Minotaur, of Perseus and Medusa, of Romulus and Remus, and many, many more. This childhood knowledge led to my starting a database of my own research in the mid-1970s, and since then that database has grown until it now contains a mass of information about each and every world culture, from the Aztecs to Zoroastrianism. The most extensive part of the database covers the classical cultures of Greece and Rome. I attribute this fact to three main factors. First, these cultures have permeated the very essence that is present-day Europe (indeed, if it had not been for the story of Europa, Europe might have had an altogether different name). Second, the teachings of the classical thinkers have, to a large extent, shaped not only Europe but the rest of the world. Third, a large number of texts from the period have survived into the modern day, along with the archaeology to support them. From all this comes a relative ease of research, and it is that ease, the simplicity with which students or researchers can lay their hands on the information, that has led to a plethora of books (good and bad) on the subject. Love of mythology and legend leads to research of people themselves, and as a result I have been drawn into those personal histories— their cultures, their wars, their laws, their very existences. This further research has, to a small degree, been incorporated within the pages of this volume so that you can, without having to look further afield, get a feeling for the people and their times—and, I hope, a feeling for the reasons why the classical Greeks and Romans revered their deities as no other civilizations have or possibly ever will. I hope that one day I will be asked to write a history of the classical peoples. I hope you will find this volume of considerable use. It has taken many painstaking years of solitary research. I have not relied on the contributions of anyone other than myself, so only I can take blame for any mistakes that may have found their way into the text. No doubt some exist; after all, it is only human to make mistakes. However, should you wish to bring these mistakes to my attention, or to make any other points or suggestions, I should only be too happy to hear from you. If you address your letters to me in care of the publisher of this book, I will be sure to receive them. Finally it remains for me to thank those who have helped to bring this volume to light. First and foremost my thanks have to go to my father, for without his storytelling I might never have developed an interest in mythology. Next I have to thank Robert Neville and everyone at ABC-CLIO, whether in Oxford, Denver, or Santa Barbara, for taking the raw text and turning it into the finished product you now hold, along with Jon Howard for his copyediting. Finally my thanks go to the five people most important to me: my wife, Gill, and our four children, Christopher, Charlotte, Thomas, and Rebecca. I thank them for their patience, love, and understanding as I have immersed myself in my passion—and for keeping the house quiet enough for me to work. One should always remember that even though writing is a solitary occupation, it is the writer’s partner who endures the true solitude. Mike Dixon-Kennedy. Lincolnshire, England. ...

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