The Library of Greek Mythology (Oxford World's Classics)
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The only work of its kind to survive from classical antiquity, the Library of Apollodorus is a unique guide to Greek mythology, from the origins of the universe to the Trojan War.
Apollodorus' Library has been used as a source book by classicists from the time of its compilation in the 1st-2nd century BC to the present, influencing writers from antiquity to Robert Graves. It provides a complete history of Greek myth, telling the story of each of the great families of heroic mythology, and the various adventures associated with the main heroes and heroines, from Jason and Perseus to Heracles and Helen of Troy. As a primary source for Greek myth, as a reference work, and as an indication of how the Greeks themselves viewed their mythical traditions, the Library is indispensable to anyone who has an interest in classical mythology.
Robin Hard's accessible and fluent translation is supplemented by comprehensive notes, a map and full genealogical tables. The introduction gives a detailed account of the Library's sources and situates it within the fascinating narrative traditions of Greek mythology.
About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
passage surely refers to the Homeric account in Od. 24. 43 ff., where the Greeks mix the bones in a golden urn for burial in a mound by the Hellespont; as Wagner observed, the phrase must have originated as a gloss on the Isles of the Blessed in the next sentence. on the Isles of the Blessed: a home at the ends of the earth for those whom the gods absolved from death, see Hes. WD 167 ff. In Homer, Achilles descends to Hades, where he complains to Odysseus of his fate as king of the shades,
Icarios in Attica, 133; grants powers to daughters of Anios, 148; father of Deianeira, 40, love for Ariadne and children by her, 140; brings mother up from Hades and ascends to heaven, 103. Hephaistos (Vulcan). Birth, 30; thrown from heaven, 31; and birth of Athene, 31; his forge on Lemnos, 32; kills a Giant, 34; nails Prometheus to Caucasos, 36; gives bronze-footed bulls to Aietes, 53, Talos to Minos, 56, a breastplate to Heracles, 72; makes castanets used by Heracles, 77, necklace for
contained the most ancient stories of the Greeks: all that time has given them to believe about the gods and heroes, and about the rivers, and lands, and peoples, and towns, and thence everything that goes back to the earliest times. And it goes down as far as the Trojan War, and covers the battles that certain of the heroes fought with one another, and their exploits, and certain of the wanderings of the heroes returning from Troy, notably those of Odysseus, with whom this history of ancient
could reasonably accept as the work of a scholar of Apollodorus’ stature and period. In truth, it is not at all what we would expect from a learned Alexandrian scholar. Rather than an original synthesis achieved through the author’s own research and reflection (as was surely the case with Apollodorus’ treatise on the gods), we have an elementary handbook which the author compiled by consulting and epitomizing standard sources. And the author made no attempt to interpret the myths and explain
for the cause of Prometheus’ punishment, see p. 36. There was an ancient tradition that crowns and garlands are symbolic of the shackles worn by Prometheus as a result of his services to the human race (Athenaeus 672e ff.); so presumably Heracles dons an olive crown as a symbolic substitute for Prometheus’ fetters. (The wild olive was especially associated with Heracles, and he is said to have brought it to Greece from the land of the Hyperboreans, P. 5. 7. 7.) The meaning of Cheiron’s exchange