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Recommendations for Books about Greece and /or mythology

We are excited about our upcoming Rick Steves tour of Greece. I need to brush up on my mythological characters and perhaps read some local type books on Greece. Anybody have any recommendations? Of course I have my travel guide! But I want more !! Thank you.

Posted by
3130 posts

The all-time Gold Standard of books for Greek Mythology is Edith Hamilton's "Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes"

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683 posts
Posted by
4171 posts

I just finished watching our recording of the second showing of the National Geographic programs on the Greeks. You can watch it online. This is one of the many links -- http://www.pbs.org/program/greeks/. I found these 3 programs excellent for the history and its relevance to today. Start with Episode 1. I think it expires on January 3. The others are each a week later in sequence. You could also buy the DVD.

Totally different book options include:

Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter

Assassins of Athens and other books in this Greek Chief Inspector Kaldis mystery series.

Posted by
427 posts

Don't miss Patrick Leigh Fermor's Mani, even if you are not going that far south.

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809 posts

Mary Renault wrote some wonderful novels about Ancient Greece - two about Theseus (The King Must Die and Bull From The Sea) and three about Alexander the Great starting with Fire From Heaven. Then there are The Praise Singer (5th century BC), The Last of the Wine (Peloponnesian Wars), and The Mask of Apollo (4th century BC). She was a wonderful writer who really captured the history while also creating believable characters and dialogue. I read them all as a teen and periodically reread them - in fact I reread Mask to prepare for our trip to Sicily a few years ago.

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8590 posts

Well, The Illiad and The Odyssey are tough, but rewarding reading - origin of hundreds of books and film plots.