The legends of ancient Greece are full of compelling characters and plots: heroes who defy the gods, warriors who battle odd and powerful creatures, sorceresses who can turn a man into stone with just a glance. Horrible giants and ogres populate the earth, while omnipotent gods and goddesses walk the heavens and struggle with jealousy and rage, even as they try to be wise and courageous. The Evslins and Hoopes introduce readers to the almighty king of the gods, Zeus, who cannot resist feminine beauty; to Daedalus, who loses his son Icarus when he flies too close to the sun; to Perseus, the fearless warrior who tries to slay the snake-haired monster Medusa; and to the Minotaur, the half-man and half-bull, who destroys the victims sacrificed to his power.
Collected here are also four stories of demigods: Perseus, Daedalus, Theseus, and Atalanta; and two fables: Midas and Pygmalion. The afterword gives readers background about the structure of Greek mythology, and the authors include a chart of Roman names for Greek gods. There is also a fascinating section on how the characters and events of Greek myths have contributed to the English language, including the origins of such words as "volcano," "Saturday," and "labyrinth." A bibliography for supplementary reading completes this concise and informative collection. As exciting now as they have been for thousands of years, these classic myths invite readers to explore the struggle between the powers of good and the powers of evil in a unique and thoroughly unforgettable way.