Sarah Iles Johnston (Photo: Kate Sweeney)
Gripping tales that abound with fantastic characters and astonishing twists and turns, Greek myths confront what it means to be mortal in a world of powerful forces beyond human control. Some of the mortals in these stories are cursed by the gods, while luckier ones are blessed with resourcefulness and resilience.
Gods transform themselves into animals, humans, and shimmering gold to visit the earth in disguise—where they sometimes transform offending mortals into new forms, too: a wolf, a spider, a craggy rock.
Other mortals—both women and men—use their wits and strength to conquer the monsters created by the gods: gorgons, dragons, harpies, fire-breathing bulls. Little wonder that these tales continue to fascinate thousands of years after they were first told.
Join Sarah Iles Johnston, distinguished professor of religion and professor of classics at The Ohio State University, for an engaging and entertaining new take on the Greek myths. In a journey from the origin of the cosmos to the aftermath of the Trojan War, Johnston looks at some of the best-known tales—as well as others that are seldom told—and highlights the rich connections among the different characters and stories, draws attention to the often-overlooked perspectives of female characters, and stays true both to the tales and to the world in which ancient people lived.
Johnston’s book, Gods and Mortals: Ancient Greek Myths for Modern Readers (Princeton University Press), is available for purchase.
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