From the Introduction:
Good heavens! Or rather, not-so-good heavens. Or at the veriest limit, indifferent heavens in the case of the Greeks (and the Romans!). Good golly, they had a go of it.
Greek (and Roman!) mythology is at the very heart of literature in the West, and sometimes also in the East, though North and South aren’t quite sure what to make of it.
Myths have always been used as a way of explaining why things are the way they are, and not they way they aren’t or could be if they weren’t the way they are, which, in fact, they are. Or were, in this case.
The biggest challenge, it turns out, is in keeping everybody straight: the Greek (and Roman!) pantheon is like a family tree that’s been split down the middle my lightning, knocked over, transplanted, re-grown, and taken inside for Christmas.
What has long been needed is a book that can help straighten everything out, once and for all, clear as crystal. This is not that book.
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