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I read philosophy, and so often is Homer referenced as giving extraordinary accounts of Greek Mythology, and it seems that he might as well be the standard for the gospel. Do his books delve deep into the lore of the gods? If one were to learn about Greek Mythology, would reading Homer alone be sufficient?

I must admit that I read his Odyssey as a teenager, but remember almost nothing of it except the central plot.

  • The first account of Greek myths we have, in fact. Consider Homer more as one of the 3 greatest tragedists Earth ever bore with Shakespeare and Racine. Hesiod is much more complete than Homer in that regard, and certainly not a writer to ignore. – Gibet Feb 27 '18 at 5:26
  • Possible duplicate of What are good sources to introduce people to mythology? – Ouroboros Mar 1 '18 at 14:18
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    While it's true some (myself included) consider the last line of the Iliad the saddest passage all of human verse (roughly, "And thus was was the funeral of Hector, the breaker of horses."), but when we're talking Tragedians, we usually restrict this to the dramatists, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. – DukeZhou Mar 1 '18 at 18:51
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Great question. Homer is definitely the place to start, but fuller understanding requires the Greek dramatists, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, who were commenting on, and extending, Homer. (Euripides, in particular, was quite incisive in his deconstriction of the events surrounding the Trojan War. The Trojan Women is still generally considered the greatest anti-war play of all time, without any notable successor until Brecht's Mother Courage and her Children.)

  • In terms of general survey, you probably want to start with:

The Theogony of Hesiod

The Bibliotheca of Apollodorus (aka pseudo-Apollodorus)

The Metamorphosis of Ovid (aka P. Ovidius Naso)

Ovid is especially important in a literary sense per his influence, most notably of Shakespeare.

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