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The Greek Myths

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 13 March 2008

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Greek myths from Achilles to Zeus.

Are you a touch narcissistic? Do you have the body of an Adonis? Are you willing to undertake Herculean tasks or Promethean ventures? Perhaps you have an Oedipus complex?

If you answer to any or perhaps all of these you owe something to the Greek myths, a collection of weird and wonderful stories that, like Penelope’s shroud or the needlework of Arachne, were constantly woven and unpicked across centuries of Greek and Roman civilisation.

The myths have a cast of thousands including mighty Zeus, Jason and the Argonauts, wily Odysseus, beautiful Aphrodite and Cerberus, the three-headed dog. They are funny, shocking, quirky and epic and have retained their power and their wisdom from the ancient world to the modern.

With Nick Lowe, Senior Lecturer in Classics at Royal Holloway, University of London; Richard Buxton, Professor of Greek Language and Literature at the University of Bristol; Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at Cambridge University

  • Further Reading

    The Complete World of Greek Mythology by Richard Buxton (Thames and Hudson, 2004)

    Imaginary Greece: The Contexts of Mythology by Richard Buxton (Cambridge Univ Press, 1994)

    The Cambridge Companion to Greek Mythology, ed. Roger Woodard (Cambridge Univ Press, 2007)

    Interpretations of Greek Mythology by Jan Bremmer (Croom Helm, 1987)

    Apollodorus, The Library of Greek Mythology (translated by Robin Hard, Oxford World's Classics)

    Ovid, Metamorphoses (translated by David Raeburn, Penguin)

    Early Greek Myth by Timothy Gantz (Johns Hopkins University Press)

    Theories of Mythology by Eric Csapo (Blackwell)

    Dictionary of Classical Mythology by Jenny March (Cassell)

    A Very Short Introduction to Classical Mythology by Helen Morales (OUP, 2007)

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