Provides a contextualized treatment of classical myth, combining ancient resources, comparative perspectives, theoretical approaches, and artistic interpretations

Classical Mythology in Context looks at how ancient Greeks imagined and worshipped their gods, goddesses, heroes and heroines in stories and rituals. Along the way, it offers a range of different approaches to Greek myths, comparisons with myths from the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean, and briefs studies of ancient Greek myths in contemporary arts, whether, film, poetry, painting, theater or literature.

Classical Mythology in Context

What To Expect

Classical Mythology in Context collects and organizes vase paintings, sculptural reliefs, maps of ancient Greek cities and sanctuaries, as well as poems, plays and hymns, in an appealing visual format. Each chapter has four clearly distinguished modules that can be read in a number of different sequences, thus allowing instructors to arrange their courses according to their and their students’ interests and inquisitive readers to follow their imaginations.

The modular structure of each chapter is organized by the four main components of the classical mythology course:


modules introduce Greek myths not simply as entertaining tales but as a vital religious and cultural force that informed and reflected every feature of Greek society, from politics to child-rearing.


modules present different approaches to Greek myths that can be used to explore and interpret those myths.


modules offer ways to understand Greek myths by comparing them to earlier myths from the Ancient Near East and later Roman myths.


modules showcase how ancient myths resonate in the art and popular culture of our own era.




Classical Mythology in Context is for all those interested in encountering dangerous Sirens, sulky Achilles, beautiful Helen of Troy, winged Pegasus, angry Hera, philandering Zeus, crafty Hermes and the many other figures in Greek myths. Designed for the college classroom, this textbook offers instructors, students, and all inquisitive readers a rich array of ancient sources to excite the imagination as well as supplementary material to promote insight and understanding.

  • "Classical Mythology In Context brings the nuances of mythology before the eyes of students who might only know these tales through some bland rendition that squares away all the contradictions and paradoxes in the original texts. This book insists upon critical thinking and thoughtful reflection from its readers."

    Micaela Janan Duke University
  • "The inclusion of sections on Theory, Comparison and Reception is on of my favorite features of Classical Mythology In Context. It takes the whole project to an intellectual level more ambitious than that of rival textbooks."

    John Gilbert University of Colorado
  • "I like the overall organization of this book. I find the primary source selections original, well justified, and interesting."

    Marie-Claire Beaulieu Tufts University
  • "The table of contents closely resembles how I teach classical myth. It touches on the myths themselves, but does not simply retell them. It considers religion, art, and scholarship, and merges these seamlessly into a coherent presentation that is fun to read."

    Robert Forman St. John's University
  • "Classical Mythology In Context may be the new standard for the undergraduate classical myth course."

    Joseph O'Connor The Catholic University of America
  • "The pivotal strength of Classical Mythology In Context is its inviting accessibility and ability to combine generalities with specifics. The author compels deep reflection and a desire to delve into the enduring conditions of being human."

    Edith Livermore Loyola University Chicago

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