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Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome

E.M. Berens

Book Overview: 

This is a comprehensive collection of all the major and minor gods of Rome and Greece, with descriptions of festivals and re-telling of major mythological stories.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Greek nation, than that of any other deity, not excepting Zeus himself.

Apollo was the son of Zeus and Leto, and was born beneath the shade of a palm tree which grew at the foot of Mount Cynthus, on the barren and rocky island of Delos. The poets tell us that the earth smiled when the young god first beheld the light of day, and that Delos became so proud and exultant at the honour thus conferred upon her, that she covered herself with golden flowers; swans surrounded the island, and the Delian nymphs celebrated his birth with songs of joy.

The unhappy Leto, driven to Delos by the relentless persecutions of Hera, was not long permitted to enjoy her haven of refuge. Being still tormented by her enemy, the young mother was once more obliged to fly; she therefore resigned the charge of her new-born babe to the goddess Themis, who carefully wrapped the helpless infant in swaddling-clothes, and fed him with nectar a. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Not the sort of book I would usually read but I figured I'd give it a try. If you like to read about ancient Greece and Rome then this is the book for you but unfortunately it really didn't impress me that much.

What an embarrassing piece of work. Berens litters most of the retellings of the myths and legends with his over-arching commentary on how each mythological tale and archetype is essentilly the work of a "savage", "crude" or "unrefined" civilization.

I understand that Greek Mythology is a pretty hefty topic, but the author presents in an easy and understandable way. It's just that, it was hard to keep track of so many characters, though, and at several points I did feel as if I was in a history lesson...and I dozed off. But if you read books...more

This is a well researched and essential book for anyone trying to learn more in real depth about the religious beliefs of the Greeks and Romans. It doesn't go into any great depth in any one area but what it does is cover all ridiculous numbers of the Gods and Godesses of both Pantheons. I honest...more

My first ever audio book. Interesting experience... realised two things:
1 A good option to finish a book quickly
2 I have been mispronoucing quite a few words till now :3

i really enjoyed reading this also listning to the audio book

Greece is the cradle of Western civilization. Even after thousands of years our culture and society continues to be heavily influenced by the beliefs, myths and legends of these ancient peoples. For that reason, once upon a time the educational system in the United States included formal instruct...more

I read this on my e-reader, which meant I didn’t have access to the much lauded footnotes (major drawback I didn’t know about when I bought it!). However, I read it to refresh my memory of ancient mythology before settling down to read The Iliad, and I am amazingly glad I did. Berens has done an...more

Not dry or well referenced enough for a textbook and not written in flowery enough prose for an amusement.

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