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By Alexander S. Murray / Charles Scribner’s Sons / 1881
In this classic textbook, A.S. Murray, distinguished 19th century Scottish scholar and archeologist, provides a compelling summary of ancient mythologies and their key characters. Manual of Mythology gives a complete understanding of the ancient world and the stories that arose out of their cultures and beliefs. Murray describes in clear detail the major gods, goddesses, and stories of the Greek, Roman, Norse, Old German, and Eastern religions. He begins with an introduction to ancient Greek and Roman culture and how they incorporated these stories into their daily lives. Murray then narrates the history of mythology, beginning with the creation of the world and the highest deities of the Ancient Greeks. He gives great detail on the legends and characters, including accounts of the famous Trojan War, the journey of Odysseus, and the feats of Hercules.
Manual of Mythology focuses mainly on the stories and heroes of the Ancient Greeks. Murray also gives an account of the Northern and Eastern legends, summarizing the central folklore and influence of these traditions. He ends with a brief overview of ancient Egyptian mythology. This book is highly readable and perfect for students and anyone interested in learning more about ancient mythology and its continuing effect on modern culture.
A.S. Murray (1841-1904) was a Scottish archeologist and head of the Department of Greek and Roman antiquities at the British Museum beginning in 1886.