By Lucilla Burn, published by the British Museum Press at £8.99. 80pp. ISBN: 0-7141-2061-8
This volume is from the same series as Persian Myths above and follows much the same format. It has the advantage, of course, of being much more familiar to most western readers, and there can be few pagans who have not at some time or other read the Greek myths, whether as a child or later on coming to paganism. Burn has chosen to focus on a handful of well-known myths and to explore and retell these in some depth rather than to attempt a superficial survey of the whole of the subject. The Labours of Herakles, the stories of Odysseus and of the Trojan War, of Theseus and of Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece and his relationship with Medea, all merit their discrete chapters. The stories are told by a mixture of detailed and summarised accounts and with quotes from the original Greek source texts.
Burn also explores and explains the context of myth in the Greek consciousness, including the role of the hero and the importance of the idea of heroic values and behaviour and the way that the myths and their players were depicted in Greek art (and indeed this book too is generously and relevantly illustrated). For most readers there will be little here that is new or unfamiliar, but the book does provide an excellent introduction to the most important aspects of the subject and as such will appeal in particular to new pagans who need to "brush up" their knowledge of this important body of western myths.