The Lincoln Library of Greek & Roman Mythology

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9780912168210: The Lincoln Library of Greek & Roman Mythology

In five volumes the Greek & Roman mythology presents 500 separate entries on the Greek and Roman gods, goddesses, heroes, places and other aspects of the Greek and Roman mythology.

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Five briskly written volumes cover everything that the classical mythology homework assignment is likely to require and more. The Greek and Roman variations of gods and heroes are covered well. Nearly 500 alphabetically arranged articles range from a short paragraph to several pages in length. A major article, such as the one on Demeter, has a pronunciation guide for the name; a quick summary of the character (gender, attributes, etc.); the subject's story; ways the character appears in art and literature (often with excerpts); how the name has become part of English usage; references to source material; and a "True or False?" quiz. A separate entry covers Ceres, Demeter's Roman equivalent. There are also entries for places ( Delphi, Hades) and other topics ( Golden apple, Golden fleece) related to the myths. Six entries, among them Ariadne and Pandora, are accompanied by short plays adapted for classroom use. The volumes are liberally illustrated with reproductions of paintings; photographs of sculptures, architecture, and plants; line drawings; and maps.

The frank sexuality of the deities and heroes is glossed over to some extent but not completely evaded. Although readers are referred to the names of many classical works, there is no bibliography, so it is difficult to discover which sources the editorial team used. Annotations of sources with notes on their suitability to different reading levels would have been useful. In each volume, entries are preceded by a page containing a list of gods and heroes with their Greek and Roman names, the Greek alphabet, and a small map showing the extent of the ancient Greek and Roman world. Volume 5 includes a "Table of Associations" linking gods and heroes to particular character traits, a "Table of Word Origins," and a subject index.

Around half of the more than 300 entries in Marshall Cavendish's 11-volume Gods, Goddesses, and Mythology (2004) cover Greek and Roman deities. Facts On File's one-volume Greek and Roman Mythology A to Z (2003) has 500 entries but does not provide as much detail as the Lincoln Library set, which is recommended for public, elementary-, and middle-school libraries. It should be very helpful for children grades 4-12 doing classical mythology assignments. Kathleen Stipek
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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