In CliffsNotes on Mythology, you'll review the myths from seven different cultures and gain an overview of the stories that people have lived by from ancient times to the present. The gods and their stories depict life's lessons and personal relationships and present a moral code of human conduct. These stories are also a map to understanding history.
This CliffsNotes guide covers Egyptian, Babylonian, Indian, Greek, Roman, and Norse mythologies, as well as the Arthurian legends. Features that help you figure out these important works includeAn introduction to mythologyThe main gods of various culturesReview questionsRecommended readingsGenealogical tables of major gods
Classic literature or modern-day treasure — you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
Plato's account of Socrates' trial and death (399 BC) is a significant moment in Classical literature and the life of Classical Athens. In these four dialogues, Plato develops the Socratic belief in responsibility for one's self and shows Socrates living and dying under his philosophy. In Euthyphro, Socrates debates goodness outside the courthouse; Apology sees him in court, rebutting all charges of impiety; in Crito, he refuses an entreaty to escape from prison; and in Phaedo, Socrates faces his impending death with calmness and skilful discussion of immortality.
Christopher Rowe's introduction to his powerful new translation examines the book's themes of identity and confrontation, and explores how its content is less historical fact than a promotion of Plato's Socratic philosophy.
The three plays of the Oresteia portray the bloody events that follow the victorious return of King Agamemnon from the Trojan War, at the start of which he had sacrificed his daughter Iphigeneia to secure divine favor. After Iphi-geneia’s mother, Clytemnestra, kills her husband in revenge, she in turn is murdered by their son Orestes with his sister Electra’s encouragement. Orestes is pursued by the Furies and put on trial, his fate decided by the goddess Athena. Far more than the story of murder and ven-geance in the royal house of Atreus, the Oresteia serves as a dramatic parable of the evolution of justice and civilization that is still powerful after 2,500 years.
The trilogy is presented here in George Thomson’s classic translation, renowned for its fidelity to the rhythms and richness of the original Greek.
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Collected by an unidentified Icelander, probably during the twelfth or thirteenth century, The Poetic Edda was rediscovered in Iceland in the seventeenth century by Danish scholars. Even then its value as poetry, as a source of historical information, and as a collection of entertaining stories was recognized. This meticulous translation succeeds in reproducing the verse patterns, the rhythm, the mood, and the dignity of the original in a revision that Scandinavian Studies says "may well grace anyone's bookshelf."
In CliffsNotes on The Odyssey, you follow along on Homer's grand adventure. This epic poem unfurls the story of Odysseus' triumph over Troy and arduous journey home to reclaim his kingdom. At 2,500 years old, it is one of the finest books ever written; as poetry, it sets the standard for comparison; and it serves as one of the foundations of the Western world's cultural heritage.
This study guide carries you along on Odysseus' journey by providing summaries and critical analyses of each book. You'll also explore the life and background of the epic, Homer, and gain insight into the Homeric Question. Other features that help you study includeCharacter analyses of major playersA character map that graphically illustrates the relationships among the charactersCritical essays on the literary devices and major symbols of The OdysseyA review section that tests your knowledgeA Resource Center full of books, articles, films, and Internet sites
Classic literature or modern-day treasure—you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
In Stephen Mitchell’s Iliad, the epic story resounds again across 2,700 years, as if the lifeblood of its heroes Achilles and Patroclus, Hector and Priam flows in every word. And we are there with them, amid the horror and ecstasy of war, carried along by a poetry that lifts even the most devastating human events into the realm of the beautiful.
Mitchell’s Iliad is the first translation based on the work of the preeminent Homeric scholar Martin L. West, whose edition of the original Greek identifies many passages that were added after the Iliad was first written down, to the detriment of the music and the story. Omitting these hundreds of interpolated lines restores a dramatically sharper, leaner text. In addition, Mitchell’s illuminating introduction opens the epic still further to our understanding and appreciation.
Now, thanks to Stephen Mitchell’s scholarship and the power of his language, the Iliad’s ancient story comes to moving, vivid new life.
Introducing his celebrated translations of these two poems and of the Shield, a very ancient poem of disputed authorship, Apostolos Athanassakis positions Hesiod simultaneously as a philosopher-poet, a bard with deep roots in the culture of his native Boeotia, and the heir to a long tradition of Hellenic poetry. For this eagerly anticipated revised edition, Athanassakis has provided an expanded introduction on Hesiod and his work, subtly amended his faithful translations, significantly augmented the notes and index, and updated the bibliography. Already a classic, Hesiod: Theogony, Works and Days, Shield is now more valuable than ever for students of Greek mythology and literature.-- Peter L. Smith
• Full exposure to the grammar and morphology that students will encounter in actual texts
• Self-contained instructional chapters, with challenging, carefully tailored exercises
• Progressively more complex chapters to build the student's knowledge of declensions, tenses, and constructions by alternating emphasis on morphology and syntax
• Readings based on actual texts and include unadapted passages from Xenophon, Lysias, Plato, Aristophanes, and Thucydides.
• Concise introduction to the history of the Greek language
• Composite list of verbs with principal parts, and an appendix of all paradigms
• Greek-English and English-Greek glossaries
•Robust online supplements for teaching and learning available at atticgreek.org
•Answer Key to exercises also available from UC Press (978-0-520-27574-4)
Farce has always been relegated to the lowest rung of the ladder of dramatic genres. Distinctions between farce and more literary comic forms remain clouded, even in the light of contemporary efforts to rehabilitate this type of comedy. Is farce really nothing more than slapstick-the "putting out of candles, kicking down of tables, falling over joynt-stools," as Thomas Shadwell characterized it in the seventeenth century? Or was his contemporary, Nahum Tate correct when he declared triumphantly that "there are no rules to be prescribed for that sort of wit, no patterns to copy; and 'tis altogether the creature of imagination"? Davis shows farce to be an essential component in both the comedic and tragic traditions. "Farce" sets out to explore the territory of what makes farce distinct as a comic genre. Its lowly origins date back to the classic Graeco-Roman theatre; but when formal drama was reborn by the process of elaboration of ritual within the mediaeval Church, the French term "farce" became synonymous with a recognizable style of comic performance. Taking a wide range of farces from the briefest and most basic of fair-ground mountebank performances to fully-fledged five-act structures from the late nineteenth century, the book reveals the patterns of comic plot and counter-plot that are common to all. The result is a novel classification of farce-plots, which serves to clarify the differences between farce and more literary comic forms and to show how quickly farce can shade into other styles of humor. The key is a careful balance between a revolt against order and propriety, and a kind of "Realpolitik" which ultimately restores the social conventions under attack. A complex array of devices in such things as framing, plot, characterization, timing and acting style maintain the delicate balance. Contemporary examples from the London stage bring the discussion up-to-date and reveal farce as a complex and potent comic form, with its own history, rules and traditions. "Farce" sheds light on the genre, its history, and usage in terms of dramatic critics. Davis examines the recurring themes in farcical comedies including rebellion, revenge, and coincidence. This classic work, updated with a new introduction and 50% new material, has been a staple of literary and humor studies libraries for years. It is part of the Transaction Series in Humor edited by Arthur Asa Berger. Jessica Milner Davis co-ordinates the Australasian Humour Scholars Network from the University of New South Wales in Sydney as a Visiting Fellow in its Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Since her first book she has published a wide variety of papers on comedy and humor, edited two specialist volumes of "The Australian Journal of Comedy" (in 1997 and 2001) and serves on the boards of two international humor research journals and book-series.
· Romans on urban living: The satirist Juvenal lists "fires, falling buildings, and poets reciting in August as hazards to life in Rome."
· On enhanced interrogation: "If we are obliged to take evidence from an arena-fighter or some other such person, his testimony is not to be believed unless given under torture." (Justinian)
· On dreams: Dreaming of eating books "foretells advantage to teachers, lecturers, and anyone who earns his livelihood from books, but for everyone else it means sudden death"
· On food: "When people unwittingly eat human flesh, served by unscrupulous restaurant owners and other such people, the similarity to pork is often noted." (Galen)
· On marriage: In ancient Rome a marriage could be arranged even when the parties were absent, so long as they knew of the arrangement, "or agreed to it subsequently."
· On health care: Pliny caustically described medical bills as a "down payment on death," and Martial quipped that "Diaulus used to be a doctor, now he's a mortician. He does as a mortician what he did as a doctor." For anyone seeking an inglorious glimpse at the underside of the greatest empire in history, A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities offers endless delights.
The hymns presented in this book were anonymously composed somewhere in Asia Minor, most likely in the middle of the third century AD. At this turbulent time, the Hellenic past was fighting for its survival, while the new Christian faith was spreading everywhere. The Orphic Hymns thus reflect a pious spirituality in the form of traditional literary conventions. The hymns themselves are devoted to specific divinities as well as to cosmic elements. Prefaced with offerings, strings of epithets invoke the various attributes of the divinity and prayers ask for peace and health to the initiate. Coauthors Apostolos N. Athanassakis and Benjamin M. Wolkow have produced an accurate and elegant translation accompanied by rich commentary.
Recent translations of the plays, while linguistically correct, often fail to capture the beauty of Sophocles’ original words. In combining the skills of a distinguished poet, Ruth Fainlight, and an eminent classical scholar, Robert J. Littman, this new edition of the Theban Plays is both a major work of poetry and a faithful translation of the original works.
Thoughtful introductions, extensive notes, and glossaries frame each of the plays within their historical contexts and illuminate important themes, mythological roots, and previous interpretations.
This elegant and uncommonly readable translation will make these seminal Greek tragedies accessible to a new generation of readers.
Thug Notes has been featured on BET, PBS, and NPR and has been used in hundreds of classrooms around the world. Whether you’re a student, teacher, or straight-up literary gangster like Dr. Sweets, Thug Notes has got you covered. You'll certainly never look at literature the same way again.
Don't curse Zeus yet!
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Classical Mythology has all you need for a working knowledge of the timeless world of Greek and Roman myths.