Greek Gods, Human Lives: What We Can Learn from Myths

Paperback | May 10, 2005

byMary Lefkowitz

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The mythology of ancient Greece has fascinated readers for two millennia and has formed the basis of Western civilization. The Greek gods are a perennial source of delight because they seem so much like us: in their rages, their love affairs, and their obsession with honor, the gods often appear all too human.
In Greek Gods, Human Lives, preeminent classicist Mary Lefkowitz reintroduces readers to the literature of ancient Greece. Lefkowitz demonstrates that these stories, although endlessly entertaining, are never frivolous. The Greek myths—as told by Homer, Ovid, Virgil, and many others—offer crucial lessons about human experience. Greek mythology makes vivid the fact that the gods control every aspect of the lives of mortals, but not in ways that modern audiences have properly understood. We can learn much from these myths, Lefkowitz shows, if we understand that they are stories about religious experience—about the meaning of divinity, the nature of justice, and the limitations of human knowledge. These myths spoke to ancient audiences and helped them to comprehend their world. With Mary Lefkowitz as an interpreter, these myths speak to us as well.

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The mythology of ancient Greece has fascinated readers for two millennia and has formed the basis of Western civilization. The Greek gods are a perennial source of delight because they seem so much like us: in their rages, their love affairs, and their obsession with honor, the gods often appear all too human.In Greek Gods, Human Lives...

Mary Lefkowitz is Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities, Department of Classical Studies, Wellesley College. Among her books is Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.13 × 6.13 × 0.78 inPublished:May 10, 2005Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300107692

ISBN - 13:9780300107692

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“[From] a super-competent, sometimes controversial, and always engaging professional classicist, . . . [a] fascinating study.”—Tracy Lee Simmons, Washington Post