Mythos: The Greek Mythos Retold is a book about Greek Mythology, written by Stephen Fry. The book centralises around the Gods of Ancient Greece, their relationship with both their parents, The Titans, and with humans, of which they created. I absolutely love learning about Mythology, so as soon as I saw this book on Amazon, I bought it immediately and it was an absolute pleasure to read through.
In today’s blog, we are going to be taking a look at some of my thoughts about Mythos and its connection to Greek Cosmology.
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For people who know me, it will come as no surprise that I have always loved learning more about the different mythologies which exist throughout the world. Be it Greek Mythology, which later evolved into Roman Mythology, Celtic Myth, Norse, Egyptian, even the Aztecs and Mayans, mythology explores the creation of the universe, and of course of life itself, and answers a lot of questions for many who seek them.
Greek Mythology, or as some would refer to it as Greek Cosmology, has had a rather large and prominent feature in the media. Hercules, or Heracles to the Greeks, has had 2 very successful films, an animated one created in 1997 by Disney, and then the 2014 film “Hercules” starring Dwayne the Rock Johnson. Greek Mythology also takes centre stage in the Clash of the Titans and Wrath of the Titans films too.
Perhaps my favourite interpretation of Greek Mythology, before reading Mythos, has to be in the Percy Jackson series, by Rick Riordan. The books explore Percy, a demigod son of Poseidon as he lives through all of his challenges and journeys. There are five books in the original Percy Jackson series, then there is the sequel series called “Heroes of Olympus”, which brings in some of the Roman side, and then currently the third series is called “The Trials of Apollo”.
Back to the topic at hand, Mythos explores Greek Mythology from the very beginning, where there was only Chaos, through the creation of Gaia, Tartarus, Nyx, Erebus and more, through the lives of their children, The Titans, and then consequently through the Titan’s children, the Olympians. The main portion of the book does focus on the Olympians and their relationship with us, the humans, after they were successful in winning the war against their parents, called The Titanomachy.
One of my favourite things about Mythos and how Stephen writes the book is that he shows the full side of the gods, he shows their strengths, their weakness, their pride & jealousy, their devotion as well as their hatred, their victories and their failures. The gods, despite being diving deities, are far from perfect. They too suffer from failures, they can be spiteful, but they can also be kind and considerate.
The book explores a vast plethora of characters, ranging from the sewing competition between Athena (above) and Arachne, the latter got turned into the first ever spider (hence “arachnid”), King Midas and his Golden Touch, the union of Semele and Zeus, which gave birth to the God Dionysus, Sisyphus who cheated death (quite literally in one case) not just the once, but twice and so many more.
Throughout the chapters, we learn about stories involving Rhea, Leto and her children Artemis and Apollo, Hermes, Hades, Persephone and so many other deities and characters. We see the stories such as the tragic tale of Phaeton, son of Apollo, who to try and prove himself persuaded his father to let him drive The Sun Chariot, however, due to his lack of control over the horses, he crashed and burned, resulting in the creation of deserts and the artic, also unfortunately for Phaeton these actions took his life too.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, the tales and stories of the gods and their interactions with humans, of which they created, are simply astonishing. The similarities that you can take from the stories to the real world are incredible, with some being quite literal, in the case of Melissa, who was a nymph who went on to create Ambrosia, the food of the gods. I won’t go into Melissa’s story today, but if you’re interested, it’s an interesting read.
Mythos, to me at least, perfectly encapsulates the personalities of both the gods and of the people that they interact with. It can be very confusing to create a coherent timeline when it comes to things such as Greek Mythology as many of the earlier writers disagreed on the timings, some of the parents of the gods are different and so much more, but Stephen Fry does an incredible job in bringing them all together.
If you are interested in learning more about, or about buying Mythos, I can highly recommend it. It was a sheer delight to read and I am now enjoying reading the second book on Greek Mythology by Stephen Fry called “Heroes”. I am not sure of every place that the book is sold in, but I got it off of Amazon, no problem.
That’s all I want to talk about in today’s blog, thank you all for reading! I know this is very different from the usual kind of blog that I write on here, but I absolutely loved reading Mythos and thought it would be good to do a blog and share my thoughts with all of you!
What do you think of today’s blog? Do you like learning about topics like mythology? Are you going to buy Mythos? What sort of myths do you like? What kind of books do you enjoy reading? Let me know your thoughts and answers in the comments below!
Thank you all for reading and I hope you have a great day!
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