Classical Myth, Global Edition (8e) : 9781292066141

Classical Myth, Global Edition (8e)

Published by
Pearson Higher Ed USA
In stock
Title type
Title type

For courses in Classical Mythology in Classics, English, or other departments.


Comprehensive and scholarly, this well-designed and class-tested text presents Greek and Roman myths in a lively and easy-to-read manner. It features fresh translations, numerous illustrations (ancient and modern) of classical myths and legends, and commentary that emphasises the anthropological, historical, religious, sociological, and economic contexts in which the myths were told.  It also provides a cultural context so that students can see how mythology has influenced the world and how it continues to influence society today.

Table of contents
  • 1. The Nature of Myth
  • 2. The Cultural Context of Classical Myth
  • 3. The Development of Classical Myth
  • 4. Myths of Creation I: The Rise of Zeus
  • 5. Myths of Creation II: The Origins of Mortals
  • 6. Myths of Zeus, His Wife Hera, and His Brothers Poseidon  and Hades
  • 7. Myths of the Great God Apollo
  • 8. Myths of Hermes, Pan, Hephaestus, and Ares
  • 9. Myths of the Female Deities Aphrodite, Artemis, and Athena
  • 10. Myths of Fertility I: Demeter and Related Myths
  • 11. Myths of Fertility II: Dionysus
  • 12. Myths of Death: Encounters with the Underworld
  • 13. Introduction to Heroic Myth: The Mesopotamian Legend of Gilgamesh
  • 14. Perseus and Myths of the Argive Plain
  • 15. Heracles
  • 16. Theseus and the Myths of Athens
  • 17. The Myths of Crete
  • 18. Oedipus and the Myths of Thebes
  • 19. Jason and the Myths of Iolcus and Calydon
  • 20. The Trojan War
  • 21. The Fall of Troy and Its Aftermath
  • 22. The Return of Odysseus
  • 23. Legends of Aeneas
  • 24. Legends of Early Rome
  • 25. Theories of Myth Interpretation
  • Reference Charts
  • Credits
  • Index and Pronunciation Glossary
New to this edition

New and improved translations and reorganized myths 
  • Refined and simplified explanatory text
  • Improved index and updated bibliography
  • Numerous pictures replaced with superior or different ones, giving the book a different look.
  • In response to reviews, two new maps, one of the procession to Eleusis and one of Athens. 
  • Reduction of the Mesopotamian myth
  • List of Figures added to the Table of Contents
  • Addition of the myth of Callisto and inclusion of text both on Panathenaea and on Adonia and Delos, in response to reviewer suggestions
  • Features & benefits
    • “Perspective” boxes—Highlight the postclassical influence of classical myth and provide students with a cultural context for mythology. Emphasises the continuing influence of classical myth in Western culture. Helps students see how stories and figures from classical myth were appropriated and interpreted at later stages of history. 
    • Ancient illustrations—Featured along with over 200 black and white pictures and over a dozen colour modern representations. Shows students how artists have visualised mythological issues and events.
    • A section at the end of each chapter—Gives specific ancient sources for classical myth, in addition to those that appear earlier in the chapter. Enables students to discover unfamiliar versions of classic myths and do original research on classic myths.
    • Lucid introductory material—Explains the historical, sociological, archaeological, and interpretive background in which the myths were told. Gives students the complete picture of why myths were created and passed on.
    • "Observation" section on the Trojan War discusses the new excavations at Troy and provides some background on Heinrich Schliemann's alleged discovery of Priam's citadel at Hisarlik, bridging the gap between Homeric epic and archaeological discovery and commenting on the historicity of the Trojan War.
    • A Perspective on Seamus Heaney, citing his poem on the suicide of Ajax, appears in Chapter 21, "The Fall of Troy and Its Aftermath.
    • Two Chapters on Roman myth. The first chapter focuses on the Aeneid to make the presentation of this epic more consistent with Powell's earlier treatment of the Iliad and the Odyssey. The second chapter explains Roman myth and legend in light of earlier information about the Greeks and the Near East. Both chapters include discussion of divine myth, legend, and folktale to fully embrace Rome within the book's hallmark approach to myth. Greater integration of Greek and Roman myth is also achieved by the new back-to-back treatment of nostoi ("homecomings") of the Greek hero Odysseus and the Roman hero Aeneas. Each chapter includes illustrations.
    • More concise and easier-to-use table of contents.
    • Completely revised and expanded bibliographies of modern works and end of chapter resources.  Gives students the latest bibliographical information so that they may do additional research on the topics that interest them.
    • A guide to Spelling and Pronunciation at the end of Chapter 1.
    Author biography

    Barry B. Powell, after graduation from Berkeley and Harvard, taught at Northern Arizona University, then took a job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he taught for 34 years. He is a master of many languages, both ancient and modern, and for many years taught Egyptian philology and culture at Wisconsin, in addition to courses in Classics. His book Homer and the Origin of the Greek Alphabet, which advanced the thesis that one man invented the Greek alphabet in order to record the poet Homer, has become a classic and changed the way we think about the origins of Western Culture. He has written many other books, including two novels and a book of poetry. His book Classical Myth, is the best-selling book on the topic, and is now in its eighth edition. His book Homer is the best-selling study of this author. The Greeks: History, Culture, and Society (second edition, with Ian Morris) is widely used in college classrooms. He is currently preparing a translation of the Iliad and the Odyssey. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he and his wife Patricia enjoy the company of their children and grandchildren.