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The Saga of the Volsungs

One of the great books of world literature — an unforgettable tale of jealousy, unrequited love, greed, and vengeance. Based on Viking Age poems and composed in thirteenth-century Iceland, The Saga of the Volsungs combines mythology, legend, and sheer human drama in telling of the heroic deeds of Sigurd the dragon slayer, who acquires runic knowledge from one of Odin’s Valkyries. Yet the saga is set in a very human world, incorporating oral memories of the fourth and fifth centuries, when Attila the Hun and other warriors fought on the northern frontiers of the Roman empire. In his illuminating Introduction Jesse L.Byock links the historical Huns, Burgundians, and Goths with the extraordinary events of this Icelandic saga. With its ill-fated Rhinegold, the sword reforged, and the magic ring of power, the saga resembles the Nibelungenlied and has been a primary source for such fantasy writers as J.R.R.Tolkien and for Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle.

Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings

The extraordinary Scandinavian myth cycle is one of the most enduring, exciting, dramatic and compelling of the world’s great stories. A series of intertwined tales which together form a strange and fantastical world teeming with gods and goddesses, heroes and monsters, battles and couplings, the Norse myths are as exciting to read as they are of vast cultural and historical importance. Taking us from the creation of the world through the building of Asgard’s Wall to the final end in Ragnarok, and featuring the exploits and adventures of such mythical figures as Odin, Thor and Loki, The Penguin Book of Norse Myths brings alive the passion, cruelty and heroism of these unforgettable stories.

Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology 2 Part Set

Originally published in three volumes between 1844 and 1849, this extensive reference work, illustrated with reproductions of ancient coins, embodies a wealth of nineteenth-century classical scholarship. Functioning as a highly readable guide to the whole of ancient Greek and Roman history and mythology, the work was edited by the eminent lexicographer and classicist Sir William Smith (1813–93). Knighted in 1892, Smith was one of the major figures responsible for the revival of classical teaching and scholarship in Britain. His Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1842) is also reissued in this series. For the present work, Smith assembled a team of contributors but still wrote many of the entries himself. Each massive volume has been subdivided into two separately published parts for this reissue. Volume 3 contains entries from Oarses (Arses, son of Artaxerxes III) to Zygia and Zygius (surnames of Hera and Zeus). Chronological tables of Greek and Roman history conclude the work.

Myths and Legends

The Penguin Book of Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt

The civilization we know as Ancient Egypt stretched over three thousand years. What was life like for ancient Egyptians? What were their beliefs — and how different were they from ours? Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt uses Egypt’s vivid narratives to create a panorama of its history, from the earliest settlers to the time of Cleopatra. Gathered from pyramid texts, archaeological finds and contemporary documents, these stories cover everything from why the Nile flooded annually to Egyptian beliefs about childbirth and what happened after death. They show us what life was really like for rich and poor, man and woman, farmer and pharaoh. Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt brings a long-dead culture back to life.


В начале ХХ века имя Александра Алексеевича Кондратьева — писателя, поэта, переводчика, критика, литературоведа и мемуариста — было известно в самых разных читательских кругах. Перед русской словесностью у него немалый список заслуг: увлекательный роман «Сатиресса», обширный историко-литературный труд «Граф А.К.Толстой», драма «Елена», перевод «Песен Билитис», сборники рассказов и стихотворений. Всего до революции вышло восемь книг автора, причем «Сатиресса» — двумя изданиями. Его стихи, рассказы и статьи постоянно появлялись в популярных журналах «Весы», «Аполлон», «Золотое руно», «Русская мысль», «Сатирикон», «Огонек», альманахах «Гриф», «Белые ночи» и многих других. Мы предлагаем вашему вниманию сборник сочинений разных лет, среди которых роман «Сатиресса» — раннее произведение автора, написанное в стиле древнегреческих мифов. Роман переносит читателей в сказочный мир загадочных нимф, могучих кентавров и грациозных сатир. В свое время книга вызвала большой интерес у читающей публики, привлекая своей оригинальностью, новизной и невероятно поэтическим изложением природных красок.

Myth and Philosophy in Plato’s  Phaedrus

Plato’s dialogues frequently criticize traditional Greek myth, yet Plato also integrates myth with his writing. Daniel S. Werner confronts this paradox through an in-depth analysis of the Phaedrus, Plato’s most mythical dialogue. Werner argues that the myths of the Phaedrus serve several complex functions: they bring nonphilosophers into the philosophical life; they offer a starting point for philosophical inquiry; they unify the dialogue as a literary and dramatic whole; they draw attention to the limits of language and the limits of knowledge; and they allow Plato to co-opt cultural authority as a way of defining and legitimating the practice of philosophy. Platonic myth, as a species of traditional tale, is thus both distinct from philosophical dialectic and similar to it. Ultimately, the most powerful effect of Platonic myth is the way in which it leads readers to participate in Plato’s dialogues and to engage in a process of self-examination.

Мифы и былины Древней Руси

Книга знакомит со славянской мифологией и былинами. Она рассказывает о древних богах Неба и Земли, Огня и Воды, домашних божествах, нечистой силе и сказочных существах. Читатель узнает, какие мифические персонажи до сих пор продолжают жить в обрядах и традициях русских народных праздников, а также в словах современного русского языка. Былинным героям-богатырям Древней Руси, их подвигам и приключениям посвящен отдельный раздел издания. Книга, написанная доступным и живым языком, хорошо иллюстрирована и адресована детям, родителям и всем тем, кто интересуется историей отечественной культуры.

Myth, Ritual and Metallurgy in Ancient Greece and Recent Africa

In this volume, first published in 2006, Sandra Blakely considers technological myths and rituals associated with ancient Greek daimones, who made metal; and African rituals in which iron plays a central role. Noting the rich semantic web of associations that has connected metallurgy to magic, birth, kingship, autochthony, and territorial possession in both Greek and African cultures, Blakely examines them together in order to cast light on the Greek demons, which are only fragmentarily preserved and which have often been equated to general types of smithing gods. Her comparison demonstrates that these demons are more sophisticated and ritually useful than has been previously acknowledged. This book provides new insights into the position of technology in Greek myth. Providing a new methodology for the study of Greek religion, which uses comparative cultural material in a thoughtful and careful way, it helps close the fifty-year gap between the social sciences and Classical philology in the theoretical understanding and study of technological systems.

The Myth of Sisyphus