We love stories. We always have. Expressing our thoughts and desires could be said to be one of the things that makes us uniquely human. From pre-historic cave paintings to YouTube, human beings cannot help but to tell stories.
Many of the stories which we love today are taken from older civilizations, adaptations of the tales told ‘round the campfires of our ancestors. The tale of Pygmalion has gone through numerous adaptations, including the immensely popular My Fair Lady, not to mention modern versions, done in Hollywood blockbuster style, of the entire Greek Pantheon. Where do we go for the source, though? We are unable to quiz the ancient Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians, Egyptians and countless other civilizations to whom we owe so much of our entertainment. So we go…where? To Edith Hamilton.
Mythology reads like a cross between a collection of fascinating short stories and a cliff notes version of some of the greatest epics ever told. The book isn’t a classic page turner, there is no over-arching plot, but on any given day you can pick it up and read about ferocious battles, torrid romances, treacherous deceits…and that may all be in one story. Outlining the greatest hits of Greece and Rome, even touching on the Norse Pantheon of gods and heroes, Hamilton manages to condense a great deal of historic storytelling into one book. Anyone with an interest in mythology or storytelling, or that has a research paper to do, should find this one a fascinating read.