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A few of my favourite general readership resources for exploring the ancient Greek world


Ancient Greece

Jane Ellen Harrison was a leading light in the study of ancient Greek religion. Her works are a must read.

Also recommended:

The Histories, Herodotus (various accessible modern translations)

Handbook To Life In Ancient Greece, Lesley Adkins and Roy A Adkins

Sport and Games in the Ancient World, Vera Olivova

Greek and Roman Folklore, William Halliday

Food and Drink in Antiquity: A Sourcebook, John F Donahue

The Mycenaeans

Mycenae: Agamemnon's Capital, Elizabeth French

Mycenae: A Journey into the World of Agamemnon, Alkestis Papadimitriou and Elsi Spathari

Mycenae: A Guide to Its Ruins and History, George E Mylonas

Greece in the Bronze Age, Emily Vermeule

Minoan and Mycenaean Art, Reynold Higgins (this book is lavishly illustrated)

The Mycenaean World, John Chadwick



Celebrating Homer's Landscapes: Troy and Ithaca Revisted, J V Luce

Homeric Sites Around Troy, Jonathan Brown

Troy: Myth and Reality, Alexandra Villing, J Lesley Fitton, Victoria Donnellan and Andrew Shapland

In Search of the Trojan War, Michael Wood


Novels inspired by Greek mythology are enjoying a revival, with many reinterpretations from the perspectives of long-neglected women. Leading authors include Madeline Miller, Pat Barker and Natalie Haynes.

Some earlier novels that I also love:

Jason, Electra and Oedipus, Henry Treece (trilogy of gorgeously dark novels set in Mycenaean Greece)

Ransom, David Malouf (Priam)

Cassandra and Medea, Christa Wolf 

The Songs of the Kings, Barry Unsworth (the Greek kings and Iphigenia)

The King Must Die and The Bull from the Sea, Mary Renault​ (Theseus)

The Penelopiad, Margaret Atwood (Penelope)

Weight, Jeanette Winterson (Atlas and Heracles)

Bright Air Black, David Vann (Medea)


Sophocles, Euripides and Aeschylus are sources for some of the most famous Greek myths. I particularly recommend translations by Anne Carson.

Also recommended:

The Penguin Dictionary of Classical Mythology, Pierre Grimal

The Routledge Handbook of Greek Mythology, Robin Hard

Greek Myths: A new retelling, Charlotte Higgins (centres female characters)

The Greek Myths, Robert Graves (enjoy with a large dose of salt)

Greek Mythology Link website

Theoi Greek Mythology website

Poetry in Translation (huge open-access archive of classic texts, both ancient and modern)

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