Handbook of Classical Mythology
by William Hansen
June 2004, 394pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-57607-226-4
$91, £70, 80€, A125
eBook Available: 978-1-85109-634-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The birth of Aphrodite, the Trojan Horse, Zeus disguised as a swan. These and other classical myths and legends are usually encountered separately, but together they make up a coherent, multigenerational saga of epic battles, bizarre metamorphoses, immortal heroes, and all-too-human gods—a fantastic world recognizably real to its audience.

An introduction to the mythological world of the Greeks and the Romans, combined with a chronology of myths and a dictionary of key characters, objects, and events.

Handbook of Classical Mythology offers newcomers and long-time enthusiasts new ways to navigate the world of Greek and Roman myths. Written by a foremost mythologist, the book begins by exploring the sources and landscapes from which the myths emerged. It then provides a richly detailed timeline of mythic episodes from the creation of the cosmos to the end of the Heroic Age—plus an illustrated mythological dictionary listing every significant character, place, event, and object.

Whether exploring the world that gave rise to ancient mythology or researching a specific piece of the whole, the handbook is the best introduction available to the extraordinary cast of these tales (gods, nymphs, satyrs, monsters, heroes) and the natural and supernatural stages upon which their fates are played out.


  • A detailed timeline serves as a convenient "episode guide" chronicling events described in classical mythology
  • A comprehensive A–Z section offers a quick way to identify the gods, mortals, events, and objects that are key to specific myths
William Hansen is professor of classical studies and folklore and codirector of mythology studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.


"Instead of creating another dry dictionary, the author succeeds in bringing these myths to life in their original mythical context and provides a tool that the student of Classics can begin with, and continue to use over time."—Bryn Mawr Classical Review, September 1, 2004

"This volume combines a traditional reference tool and a textbook. . . . it is a convenient way to package information about Greek and Roman mythology, particularly as part of a mythology series."—Booklist, October 1, 2004

"If other titles in this series are as well written as this one, they will be must-haves for the reference collection in high schools and colleges. Author William Hansen has provided readers with a complete and clear picture of classical mythology. . . . Recommended."—Library Media Connection, February 1, 2005
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