Sing to us, O Muse, of our Timeless Myths
July 22, 2007 4:33 PM   Subscribe

Sing to us, O Muse, of our Timeless Myths. A site dedicated to Classical, Norse & Celtic mythology and Arthurian legends.
posted by Kattullus (11 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Any website that still has a counter on its page is good in my book.
posted by spiderskull at 4:43 PM on July 22, 2007

Pray, of what use be this worthless portal, which includes not Adam of Grayskull?
posted by rob511 at 5:06 PM on July 22, 2007

dude, i think we all spend enough time, whether we like it or not, reading about white people that actually do or did exist without having to resort to sites about white people who don't and didn't.
posted by wreckingball at 5:59 PM on July 22, 2007

what an odd thing to say
posted by fraxil at 6:07 PM on July 22, 2007

I've always been confused about where our knowledge of these myths comes from exactly. If you look at most lay mythology sources, it mostly just says that Hercules did that and Zeus did that, but it seems to me that there's been a lot of fudging of a lot of different gods and stories together that gives the appearance of a unified "Greek" pantheon, even though at the the time the Greeks probably wouldn't have thought so.

Is there a good recent book that gets into details about which Greek cities and tribes believed what about which gods that gets into detail and includes a lot of primary sources?
posted by empath at 6:10 PM on July 22, 2007

empath, I'm under the impression that the "cannon" Greek myths come from the plays that have been saved or recovered, rather than from regional histories, though I may be way off base.
posted by lekvar at 7:07 PM on July 22, 2007

I think Ovid's Metamorphoses is another major source of the Greek myths. ("Ovid's influence on Western art and literature cannot be exaggerated. The Metamorphoses is our best classical source of 250 myths."^) But of course he was a poet and doesn't cite his sources.
posted by stopgap at 7:44 PM on July 22, 2007

My classical mythology course used Harris and Platzner as our classical myth textbook - it contains good summaries of a lot of the myths with the most important sources given in the text. The syllabus for that class is here. Generally, the most important sources (you could argue) are Homer, Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns, the Greek tragedies, and Ovid - also important is Apollodorus, who wrote the Library, a general summary of Greek mythology. It's a complicated subject, where are the myths are from (a lot of stuff is only known from scholia, for example), and well worth delving into.
posted by dd42 at 8:04 PM on July 22, 2007

The main sources for the Norse mythology are the Codex Regius manuscript and Snorri Sturluson's Edda, called the Prose Edda or Snorri's Edda (incidentally, nobody's really sure what the heck the word "edda" means... the likeliest explanation I've heard was that it meant 'grandmother'). Snorri Sturluson, who most likely also wrote Egil's Saga, is an interesting character. Unlike almost every medieval author, there is a huge wealth of information about him, because he was not only a poet, historian and writer, but he was also a big player in the Icelandic and Norwegian political scene. His nephew, Sturla Þórðarson, wrote a long contemporary account, Íslendinga saga (The Saga of the Icelanders. The word 'saga' in Icelandic, by the way, means story or history). In it Sturla gives a lot of information on Snorri, since Snorri was one of the central players in the Icelandic Civil war of the 13th Century. Other accounts exist as well.

Snorri Sturluson also has a crater named after him on Mercury.
posted by Kattullus at 8:34 PM on July 22, 2007

I have to mention Northvegr here. They have so MANY Norse myths - primary and secondary sources!

Oh, by the way, great post! As far as I'm concerned there can't be too many mythology links.
posted by LeeJay at 9:08 PM on July 22, 2007

Thanks for the Timeless Myths link, and, LeeJay? That Northvegr link might just have to be my new homepage.
posted by jtron at 10:50 AM on July 23, 2007

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