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Although I was somewhat familiar with the stories of The Iliad and The Odyssey, I knew nothing of this tale except that it had to do with Rome. I am amused by the authors of these epic tales geographic placement of sites and characters wherever they please. They are probably in the after-world spatting about who was correct, with Zeus/Jupiter egging them on. My local library has copies of both "The Penelopiad" by Margaret Atwood and "Lavinia" by Ursula Le Guin and I think I may check them out in the very near future.


I don't think I ever forgave him for doing that to Dido.


Reading The Sea,The Sea by Xenophon on the surface is a bit like what you are saying, a lot of war and bloodshed. That said it also is interesting as its underlying idea to me is leadership and creativity: how to get out of a potentially very dangerous situation and Xenophon is a clever leader. So I keep looking forward to what he comes up with next and that's probably why I am sure I won't forget his name as easily as all the others playing their part.


There is lots of blood in Greek/Roman mythology isn't there? The house of Atreus will not be giving you a break. A cursed family. It is a surprise they didn't manage to kill themselves off.


I really don't think either there is a lot of "happily ever after" in Greek mythology.
I'm not amiliar with the house of Atreus or at least I can't remember just now.

Joan Hunter Dunn

I remember enjoying this whilst studying A level Classical Civilisation. I keep thinking I should re read it. Thank you for refreshing my memory.


I knew zilch about Aeneas-I don't even think I knew of his association with Rome. I thought it was funny, too, that islands mysteriously moved about in order to make the stories work. Poetic license? :) I wouldn't mind rereading The Penelopiad. The Le Guin novel is new to me--must check that one out. There is so much other material, this is a project that could go on for quite a while. I do like the idea of reading more of the retellings. I should try and post a master list--maybe we could work on one together? I know my library has most of the Canongate series of retellings--must get that Karen Armstrong book out again!


There was a lot of this I am finding--I am only glad she snubbed him in the Underworld--no matter how badly he supposedly felt about it all.


I have that on my wishlist--which I was just looking at today and was wondering how you were getting on with the book. I like the Hamilton for the simple retellings, but I think they lack some of the nuances you are finding in the Xenophon. I really must look at this book again--but am hoping to get through the Hamilton (soon) before I pick up another mythology/Greek lit book.


Thanks for the warning! :) Why does this not surprise me? I think a story must not be complete without some bloodshed and maybe a suicide. This next chapter is a longish one so I might start on it sooner than later.


I am quickly discovering this. Even the 'happy' stories aren't really happy. The House of Atreus is all new to me, so it should be interesting to read.


I wish I had studied Greek mythology and Lit more in school, rather than the cursory reading it got in 8th grade (oh so long ago now!). Still, I do now want to read the Aeneid, which I didn't have much interest in prior to my mythology reading. Now I see references to it all over the place.


How intriguing as it seems a mash-up of The Iliad and The Odyssey. Although I am sure that is a very blunt and foolish way to see it! I wondered where Juno fit in, and so it was good to hear a bit more about her. I know what you mean, though. There are great stories in the myths - Cupid and Psyche, the labours of Hercules, Perseus, the one who flew too close to the sun whose name of course escapes me, and they all seem like such different stories. But whenever I've tried to read through mythology systematically, they all seem to blur into one with an awful lot of confusing family combinations and battles!


Yes, I am finding that it is getting harder to keep all the gods and the stories straight. I think I need to make a flow chart or family tree or something! :) I do keep seeing references to mythology all over the place now in my other reading. Now that you've said that--it does indeed seem like a mashup of the Greek stories--how interesting--and I didn't catch on when I was reading!

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