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The Book of Greek and Roman Folktales, Legends, and Myths
Edited, translated, and introduced by William Hansen
With illustrations by Glynnis Fawkes

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"William Hansen . . . has extracted from a lifetime of reading seemingly all of ancient literature’s most wonderful anecdotes, eerie stories, Aesopian fables, trickster tales and philosophical parables. The resulting anthology is an extraordinarily entertaining bedside book. . . . [T]hese anecdotes aren’t just classical, they’re classic, as much a part of our culture as Grimm fairy tales or stories from the Bible."--Michael Dirda, Washington Post

"William Hansen’s enchanting collection of Greek and Roman folktales, legends and myths will prove indispensable . . . The collection is as appealing to the advanced scholar as to a teenager first falling in love with the classics or to an aspiring author . . . Hansen has succeeded in conveying to the reader his own love of and fascination with ancient storytelling, and his enthusiasm is infectious. The book is perfect reading for a summer holiday under Mediterranean skies. I cannot recommend it highly enough."--Edith Hall, Literary Review

"Hansen is arguably the most eminent folklorist currently active in the realm of classical scholarship. This long-awaited, astonishingly comprehensive volume represents the culmination of his scholarly explorations over a period of more than 50 years. It is a work of remarkable depth and scope, the consummate achievement of decades of research and collecting, analyzing, and classifying the literary memorializations of Greek and Roman oral narrative fiction."--Choice


"This is an extraordinary collection of tales that are remarkable for their diversity and how contemporary they seem. Indeed, these ancient Greek and Roman stories, ably translated by William Hansen, forged most of the modern European genres such as the fable, legend, novella, fairy tale, anecdote, joke, and children's story. Hansen's work is an invaluable source not only for scholars but also for readers of contemporary fantasy and fairy tales."--Jack Zipes, translator and editor of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm

"William Hansen's marvelous treasury lets us experience for ourselves the timeless tales that made the ancient Greeks and Romans think, shudder, and laugh."--Adrienne Mayor, author of The Amazons

"A wonderful book. William Hansen has produced a hugely entertaining and informative anthology of ancient Greek and Roman folktales, legends, myths, fables, jokes, and much more. Nothing seems to have escaped his probing gaze. When it comes to the study of Greek and Roman verbal arts, there is absolutely nothing else like this. It is a pure delight and impossible to put down."--Richard P. Martin, Stanford University

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File created: 9/19/2017

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