Women of Classical Mythology
A Biographical Dictionary
by Robert E. Bell
June 1991, 462pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-0-87436-581-8
$73, £57, 64€, A100
eBook Available: 978-0-58502-469-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.
The first and only comprehensive biographical dictionary devoted to mythological women.

Divinities, humans, female monsters and animals, hermaphrodites, and transsexuals are all here. Women of Classical Mythology offers unprecedented access to information on women largely neglected in reference works on Greek and Roman myth and gives a fresh look at the better-known figures. Each of the 2,600 entries places its subject both in the overall context of classical myth, and in the frame of reference of her better-known counterparts.

For each figure there is a description of her particular contribution to folklore, and a list of the various poems, tragedies, epics, and other types of stories in which she plays a central role. In addition, the handy special index, “The Men in Their Lives,” allows readers to locate a particular woman known primarily through her relations. The female characters in classical mythology often provide clues to genealogical, chronological, and historical puzzles. This book will be welcomed by classical scholars for the insights and relationships it reveals.


  • Over 2,500 A–Z entries detail the woman's contribution and places her in context with male associates
  • Includes a special index titled "The Men in Their Lives" which makes it simple to locate a figure through her relations such as Theseus' mother or Achilles' wife
  • Cross references and end-of-entry citations allow readers to go from most entries directly to the classical sources
Robert E. Bell was formerly coordinator of Humanities Collection Development at the Shields Library at the University of California Davis, Davis, CA.


Best Reference Book 1991, January 1, 1991

Recommended Reference Book 1992, January 1, 1992


"The various myths are retold well in nontechnical language with occasional character insights. The book is quite browsable and could easily spark deeper interest."—Library Journal, October 15, 1991

"An essential addition to any reference collection which attempts to cover classical mythology in some depth."—School Library Journal, May 1, 1992
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