Nectar in a Sieve

Mythology – Introduction to Classical Mythology

Summary Hamilton begins by highlighting the common misunderstanding that mythology depicts the blissful state of man in his original harmony with nature. On the contrary, Hamilton notes, the lives of ancient people were not romantic and beautiful, but full of hardship, disease, and violence. For Hamilton, the Greek myths are remarkable in that they show …

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Mythology – Part Two, Chapters I–II

Summary: Chapter I — Cupid and Psyche Hamilton draws this story from the Latin writer Apuleius, who, like Ovid, was interested in creating beautiful, entertaining tales—a style that could not be further from Hesiod’s pious, fearsome creation stories. Appealing to the Roman aesthetic sense, Apuleius’s protagonist is Psyche, a princess so beautiful that men begin …

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Mythology – Overview

Mythology resembles one large SparkNote in itself, offering a detailed overview of the myths of ancient Greece and Rome and a brief overview of Norse mythology. Since a tradition as immense as classical mythology cannot be presented in any linear fashion, Mythology frequently contains references to characters or stories that are not explained until later. …

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Mythology – Part Four, Chapter III— The Adventures of Odysseus

Summary The following story comes entirely from Homer’s other great epic, the Odyssey. Though Athena and Poseidon helped the Greeks during the Trojan War, a Greek warrior violates Cassandra in Athena’s temple during the sack of Troy, so Athena turns against the Greeks and convinces Poseidon to do the same. The Greeks are beset by …

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