The Book of Greek and Roman Folktales, Legends, and Myths by William Hansen

This book is a superb read for those interested in folktales, legends, and myths. It goes beyond Greek and Roman mythology which deals primarily with the gods and goddesses and their petty cruelty.

If one has an interest in anthology or ancient societies it will give you an insight into their way of everyday thinking.

This books is mostly stories of the common people and their encounters with the ethereal world, magic, spells and the spiritual world and many creatures not mentions in the well-known mythology.

Yes, you will find several repetitions in many accounts or stories because that’s how ancient story tellers told a story. They retold them in relations to another story to give their validations. The repetitions also show how mankind was connection or maybe experienced the same event in different era and location. That’s an inquiry left to one’s own imagination and belief.

It’s is an abundant collection of materials and stories translated from an ancient language.  For the greater part I found some I was not acquainted with. The degree is more extensive than demonstrated in the title, and incorporates materials from Egypt and Persia, and even Phoenicia also it doesn’t specific that but I’m familiar with the account and know it origin in additional to Greece and Rome. For me, the best thing about this book is that it does an outstanding job of showing our lives aren’t very different from those who lived millenniums ago. That these individuals who passed on these accounts, regardless of being centuries prior. They had many and all of the same yearning as we have today. They had desire, pride, ineptitude,ignorant, cruelty, intelligence, desire, grief, jealousy, and even revenge.

Putting aside the legend and lore aspect of the stories, if we read them with an open mind the lessons can be applied to our lives today.  Many of them are cautionary tales.

Like for example: You will find the original version of  Narcissus. His beauty attracted a man not a woman. That’s the later version.  Sure, because of his great beauty many women were in love with him but there was only woman he returned her love.

The man told him he was in love with him. Narcissus wasn’t attracted to men. But Narcissus informed the man he was attracted to women, not men. You have to bear in mind that a male having a beautiful male lover was very common practice in this region of the ancient world.

So the lovesick man( not woman) was heartbroken and appealed to his god who became angry about Narcissus’ rejection of his handsome  and faithful servant and cursed him to fall in love with himself.  In the original story, Narcissus had seen himself many times had not fallen in love with himself. Believe it or not, people had mirrors back then. People looked at their reflections in the water every time they took a drink.

The later version from which we deprived the word narcissistic from came about ages later. So all due respect, the definition of the word narcissistic is not the correct label to apply to this type of person.

According to the ancient, we have a lot of things wrong. Our definition of an apparition is not what we call it today. An apparition, a shade, a soul and ghost are four different things but we just call them all one and the same.

I wish language changers and those who decides what words to use and their meaning would just leave the old words alone and invent a total new word to add to the dictionary meaning what they want it to mean.

When I checked the back of the book for references. I saw they had used many of the same references as I, in creating the Unholy Pursuit Saga.  🙂

 

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About unholypursuit

A. White, a former librarian who is also long time member of Romantic Time and Publisher's Weekly. A. White has been writing for over fifteen years. She took classes in creative writing in college, specializing in ancient myths and legends. and at a local community center while living in Chicago. In college she won the national contest to verbally list every country in the world, it's capital and ingenious language. Her works are mainly horror, fantasy, extreme, and sci-fi as well as, as some may says, "the truly strange predicament and puzzling." Books that I've written are "Clash with the Immortals, and eleven others which are part of the "Unholy Pursuit saga,". She has been working on the Chronicles since 2007. She wished to complete them all before introducing them to public so the readers wouldn't have to for the continuation to be written. The ideas of the book come from classic literature such as whose work greatly influence the world world such as Homer, Sophocles, Herodotus, Euripides, Socrates, Hippocrates, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle and many more. The "Book of Enoch" influenced the usage of Azazael as a main character and love interest. I created the primary main character from the Chronicle of Saints. I wanted to show them as real flesh and blood with thoughts, desires and yearning as any human. Not as they are so often depicted. So I created one of my own to show her as a real human that everyone can relate to.
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