From Abdera (an ancient city in Thrace) to Zeus (chief god of the Greeks), this authoritative handbook covers all the major aspects of Greek and Roman literature, mythology, and civilization. It features over 950 entries on ancient writers, philosophers, and historians like Homer, Vergil, and Plato; famous as well as lesser-known writings like The Iliad, The Aeneid, and The Bacchae; chief gods and characters of mythology like Aphrodite, Apollo, and Narcissus; important terms and genres like poetic meter, tragedy, and satire; and other topics necessary to understanding the often complicated literature. Major works receive pages of close attention, with detailed summaries, historical and mythological background, scholarly references, critical commentary, and useful translation recommendations. The guidebook also provides insights into the stories, characters, ideas, and terminology that pervade literary classics as well as present-day writing and culture. Written in a lively and engaging style, The Handbook of Classical Literature serves as an accessible and reliable resource for students, scholars, and general readers.