This reference work is designed to provide concise summaries of the major figures of classical mythology, and, at the same time, synopses and discussions of major works of Greek and Roman literature from the eighth century b.c.e. through the second century c.e. While there are many reference works on classical mythology, the distinctive feature of this encyclopedia is the inclusion of extensive discussion of classical authors and literary works to enable the study of ancient mythology in the light of ancient literature. In addition, we have selectively documented the representation of the classical myths in visual art, ranging from ancient statues to famous paintings of the Renaissance and later eras. Myths were not narrated solely in verbal form, and the artistic representations often surprise us by emphasizing scenes or dimensions of a story less prominent or even omitted in textual versions. The underlying aim of this book is to enable the student to appreciate ancient myth in the light of ancient literature and fine art, rather than presenting myth as a fossilized set of stories abstracted from the multiple contexts of their telling.
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