From Zeus and Europa, to Diana, Pan, and Prometheus, the myths of ancient Greece and Rome seem to exert a timeless power over us. But what do those myths represent, and why are they so enduringly fascinating? Why do they seem to be such a potent way of talking about our selves, our origins, and our desires? This imaginative and stimulating Very Short Introduction goes beyond a simple retelling of the stories to explore the rich history and diverse interpretations of classical myths. It is a wide-ranging account, examining how classical myths are used and understood in both high art and popular culture, taking the reader from the temples of Crete to skyscrapers in New York, and finding classical myths in a variety of unexpected places: from arabic poetry and Hollywood films, to psychoanalysis, the bible, and New Age spiritualism. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Helen Morales is University Lecturer and Director of Studies in Classics at Newnham College, Cambridge. She researches and teaches in Greek and Latin literature and culture, with special interests in classical mythology, the ancient novel, feminist approaches to literature, and the relationship between images and texts. She is the author of Vision and Narrative in Achilles Tatius' Leucippe and Clitophon' (Cambridge, 2004) and co-editor of Intratextuality: Greek and Roman Textual Relations (Oxford, 2000).