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NA201912 - FERRIE, E.: Tales from the Greek Legends (Unabridged)
Tales from the
Gods and Titans · Perseus · The Labours of Heracles
The Adventures of Theseus · Jason and the Argonauts
The great myths of Ancient Greece have inspired mankind for centuries. The heroes have to battle against impossible odds and a host of monsters to prove their valor. Perseus faces Medusa the Gorgon, an evil woman whose hair is a mass of writhing serpents, and whose very appearance turns men to stone. Heracles is forced to undergo twelve labours, including killing the Nemean Lion and the Many-Headed Hydra, cleaning the Augean Stables and capturing Cerberus, the Hound of Hades. After many noble exploits on the way to Athens, Theseus has his famous encounter with the Minotaur of Crete — then wins and loses his beloved Ariadne. Jason leads a band of heroes on the Argosy, a journey to gain the Golden Fleece, surviving many challenges and obstacles on the way.
And all the while, the gods watch, encourage and sometimes interfere and hinder. The gods of Greece are like super humans — powerful, with special talents, but capable of anger, jealousy and desires like all mankind. Zeus, Lord of all the Gods, rules with his wife Hera on Mount Olympus. One brother, Poseidon, rules the seas while another, Hades, rules the shadowland of the Underworld — peopled by the dead.
And other gods and goddesses appear, using their different special gifts and displaying their particular qualities, good and bad. Athene is goddess of wisdom and the arts — she sprang, fully-grown, from the brain of her father, Zeus. Apollo is the sun god and also the god of music and poetry. Hermes is the winged messenger — fast, light, mercurial. He lent his winged sandals to Perseus. Aphrodite is the goddess of love, said to be beautiful beyond compare. Artemis is the virgin goddess of the hunt, swift and accurate with her arrows. Ares is the god of war — huge, muscled, and indomitable. Hephaestus is the blacksmith of the gods. He built Olympus and, though lame, was married to Aphrodite. Hestia is goddess of fire, and goddess of the hearth, the heart of the home. Demeter is goddess of the earth, whose daughter, Persephone, visits for six months of the year (summer) and returns to her husband, Hades, for six months (winter). Dionysus is the god of wine, which loosens the brain of man, and then there are the monsters and the evil men and women, constantly working to cause despair, pain and death in the world.
There are a host of other characters in Greek mythology — half-men half-beasts like Chieron, the wise old centaur who plays the harp and taught Orpheus, the wonder-musician and Jason; nymphs like Thetis, who take particular care of gods and men. Immortals like Prometheus, son of a titan, who so loved Man that he stole fire from the gods.
Their lives and their stories, their hopes and ambitions and sadness are the myths of Greece and are as powerful and meaningful in our day, as they were when Homer sang of the Tales of Troy and Alexander the Great conquered the known world.
Notes by Heather Godwin
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