Mythology Sources

Mythology Sources



Carlyon, Richard, A Guide to the Gods, Quill, William Morrow, New York, 1981.
Dictionary format, not always reliable. This work is divided into regional sections, first by continent and then, usually by culture.

Mythologies (2 volumes in hard cover, 4 or 5 in paperbound), Bonnefoy, Yves (compiler), The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1991.
This handful of topically focused articles provides depth in some areas of a wide variety of ancient religions, but often lacks an overall picture as Bonnefoy's work was designed for an encyclopedic format and was reformatted for English translation.

Sykes, Edgerton, Who's Who in Non-Classical Mythology, Oxford University Press, New York, 1993.
Dictionary format, not always reliable.

Near East


East Asian

Greek & Roman Mythology:

Bulfinch, Thomas The Age of Fable
This work is also part of Bulfinch's Mythology which includes his books on Arthurian and Carolingian legends. This is a nineteenth century digest form of the myths, using the Roman names. It is fairly comprehensive and the modern publications include additional information on Egyptian and Norse mythology.

Powell, Barry B. Classical Myth, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1995. ISBN 0-13-143470-5 (707 pp.)
Powell's text is intended for an undergraduate level course on mythology, but should be easily approachable by interested high school students as well. While, as the title suggests, the bulk of this text is centered on the stories of Greece and Rome, Powell sets up that study by a survey of Near Eastern mythology, referring back to those tales when parallels arise withing the Greek and Roman ones. Powell also discusses the cultural context of those myths and concludes his work with a chapter on the theories of myth interpretation - from Classical times to the 20th century. While some myths are necessarily retold and condensed, Powell, when possible includes long direct translations of Classical sources. Also featured are artistic depictions, side essays, and concluding each chapter - recommendations for further reading.

Lattimore, Richard (trans.) Homer, The Illiad
The middle of the Trojan war. Don't look for the horse here though.

Fitzgerald, Timothy (trans.) Homer, The Odyssey
Odysseus's journeys after the Trojan war.

Hesiod, Theogony
The creation of the universe and the generation of the titans and gods. Probably the oldest written work of Greek mythology.



Virgil, Aeneid
Hector's travels after the Trojan war.

Norse Mythology

A lot of people are fond of Kevin Crossley-Howland's The Norse Myths. I haven't read it myself though, but can reccommend translations of the Eddas, which will give you a good overview.

Young, Jean, (trans.) Sturlason, Snorri The Prose Edda of Snorri Sturlason
The first section of this work, 'The Deluding of Gylfi' hits many of the Norse myths. As was the case with many of the literate people of the time, Snorri was a cleric and some feel that his faith colored his representation of the myths.

Terry, Patricia, (trans.) anonymous Poems of the Elder Edda.
This work presents portions of the Poetic Edda (aka Edda Saemundar), which, while written down after Snorri's Edda may tap into older sources.

Celtic Mythology:

Delaney, Frank Legends of the Celts, Sterling Publishing Co. Inc., New York, 1992 (1989), ISBN 0-8069-8351-5
Delaney presentes a nice overview of Irish and Welsh mythology and of 'Tristan and Iseult'.

Kinsella, Thomas (trans.) The Tain
Widely regarded as the best translation of 'The Cooley Cattle Raid', this work translates the Ulster cycle of Irish mythology, featuring Cu Chulain of Muirthemne.

Lady Augusta Gregory - Gods and Fighting Men
This turn of the (previous) century work tells of the Tuatha de Danaan, of Finn MacCumhal, his son Ossian, and of Diarmuid.
She also wrote Cuchulain of Muirthemne which also tells the Ulster cycle.

The Mabinogion
This collection of Welsh tales (usually including a handful of tales of King Arthur's knights) has many translators. Penguin puts out an inexpensive one by Jeffrey Gantz.

Myths and
Legends Chris' home page