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The Mythology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained

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Eighty of the world's greatest myths and characters, from the gods of Greek mythology to the Norse heroes, retold and explained with engaging text and bold graphics. From early creation stories to classical hero narratives and the recurring theme of the afterlife, experience each myth and unravel the meanings behind the stories, getting to the heart of the importance of myt Eighty of the world's greatest myths and characters, from the gods of Greek mythology to the Norse heroes, retold and explained with engaging text and bold graphics. From early creation stories to classical hero narratives and the recurring theme of the afterlife, experience each myth and unravel the meanings behind the stories, getting to the heart of the importance of mythology to different cultures worldwide. More than just stories, myths are a testament to the amazing creativity of humans striving to explain and make sense of the world around them. Here you will discover Zeus, god of the sky and ruler of the Olympian gods, and Loki, the cunning trickster with a knack for causing havoc, aided by his ability to change shape and gender. Beyond the gods and goddesses of Ancient Greek, Roman, and Norse myths, this book delves into the stories of the Australian aborigines, the Cherokee, and the Aztecs, each brimming with amazing characters and insights into human existence. This newest title in the bestselling Big Ideas series pairs engaging visual style with global coverage of world myths--profiling everything from the well-known tales of the Greeks, Norsemen, and Egyptians to the legends of the Caribbean, the Americas, Oceania, and East Asia--bringing the wisdom of the ages to life.


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Eighty of the world's greatest myths and characters, from the gods of Greek mythology to the Norse heroes, retold and explained with engaging text and bold graphics. From early creation stories to classical hero narratives and the recurring theme of the afterlife, experience each myth and unravel the meanings behind the stories, getting to the heart of the importance of myt Eighty of the world's greatest myths and characters, from the gods of Greek mythology to the Norse heroes, retold and explained with engaging text and bold graphics. From early creation stories to classical hero narratives and the recurring theme of the afterlife, experience each myth and unravel the meanings behind the stories, getting to the heart of the importance of mythology to different cultures worldwide. More than just stories, myths are a testament to the amazing creativity of humans striving to explain and make sense of the world around them. Here you will discover Zeus, god of the sky and ruler of the Olympian gods, and Loki, the cunning trickster with a knack for causing havoc, aided by his ability to change shape and gender. Beyond the gods and goddesses of Ancient Greek, Roman, and Norse myths, this book delves into the stories of the Australian aborigines, the Cherokee, and the Aztecs, each brimming with amazing characters and insights into human existence. This newest title in the bestselling Big Ideas series pairs engaging visual style with global coverage of world myths--profiling everything from the well-known tales of the Greeks, Norsemen, and Egyptians to the legends of the Caribbean, the Americas, Oceania, and East Asia--bringing the wisdom of the ages to life.

30 review for The Mythology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carla

    I am a HUGE history buff - from books to movies to television series, I love it all. In my undergraduate degree all of my elective courses were in the study of Ancient Greeks, Romans, Aztecs and Mayans, to be even more honest, those are the only textbooks I still have from my University days. There is just something so incredible about diving into the past, learning about beliefs, religions, myths and culture. These civilizations shaped so much of what we know today and some of our own beliefs a I am a HUGE history buff - from books to movies to television series, I love it all. In my undergraduate degree all of my elective courses were in the study of Ancient Greeks, Romans, Aztecs and Mayans, to be even more honest, those are the only textbooks I still have from my University days. There is just something so incredible about diving into the past, learning about beliefs, religions, myths and culture. These civilizations shaped so much of what we know today and some of our own beliefs and religions, how can you not want to learn more about them? This beautiful hard cover book is just slightly smaller than letter sized. The book covers everything from Ancient Greece and Rome to Northern Europe to Asia to The Americas to Ancient Egypt and Africa and Oceania. In logical order, we follow the path of the stories and myths for each culture as they grew and evolved (for example in Ancient Greece, how Gaia gave birth to Ouranos, her children were born and how they destroyed their Father and how the cycle went on). Each myth begins with a brief overview of the theme of that subject, the setting and the key figures. Throughout each section, there are two page spreads that contain the main themes coming up with designs appropriate to that culture and gives you a great hint of what is to come. Each story spans roughly two to four pages and contains highlighted quotes and inserts that contain information on key figures, stories, legends and more. I love love love all of the images that were included in this book. They have included paintings and artifacts that help depict the story while giving us additional context into the story. This is an amazing book that you will want to read time and time again. With its easy flow, you can come back to it, re-start at a different culture, fast forward to a specific story or figure that you want to learn more about and so on. It is a great read for both young adults and adults alike to help gain a better understanding of the important cultures that made us who we are today.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Pardis Ahmadi

    I am absolutely in love with "big ideas simply explained" series now! Look if you want to know almost everything about a subject this book isn't for you. Each of these books talk about a subject as you know, and gives you a really tiny brief information on that subject. so for example after reading The Mythology Book you can tell myths from which culture are your favorites and THEN you can research and find out more stuff about that. these series only gives you a general idea about each subject, I am absolutely in love with "big ideas simply explained" series now! Look if you want to know almost everything about a subject this book isn't for you. Each of these books talk about a subject as you know, and gives you a really tiny brief information on that subject. so for example after reading The Mythology Book you can tell myths from which culture are your favorites and THEN you can research and find out more stuff about that. these series only gives you a general idea about each subject, and of course they can't talk about everything in detail. so i would call them "big ideas briefly explained" :D

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nadina

    Okay, I'm getting really frustrated with goodreads and their constant deleting of my well thought out reviews after claiming it has been published (and no it's not goodreads admins deleting it, the app is just glitching). So, let's see if I can summarize the review I spend 10 minutes on. So, I feel they spent too much time on Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology given how well known and written about they are. I would have much rather had more on the myths of other regions of the world. I also f Okay, I'm getting really frustrated with goodreads and their constant deleting of my well thought out reviews after claiming it has been published (and no it's not goodreads admins deleting it, the app is just glitching). So, let's see if I can summarize the review I spend 10 minutes on. So, I feel they spent too much time on Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology given how well known and written about they are. I would have much rather had more on the myths of other regions of the world. I also felt they spent too many pages on certain myths (it should have been maximum 2 pages for each myth in my opinion). The "see also" suggestions also confused me as they did not explain why we should also see these other pages. Finally for criticisms, the myths in the directory would have been better placed at the end of each chapter, rather than collectively at the end. I did like the concept of the book, I liked that they had the timeline and the various background boxes interspersed through each story. My favorite tales were: the monkey king (the basis for the kdrama Hwayugi), the foundation of Korea, and "Mapusia and the Work of the Gods" which was from Tikopia. I found the history of the Tikopian people to be tragic and honestly, reading the background information box I almost cried reading the fate of their beliefs. Overall, it is an interesting read, if taken selectively and used as a starting point for further research.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mert

    Ciltli ve kuşe kağıtta bir sürü resim basılmış olduğu için her zaman dikkatimi çeken ve sonunda aldığım bir kitap oldu. Seri olarak 24 kitaptan birisi. Benim en çok ilgimi çeken mitoloji olduğu için onunla başlamak istedim. Öncelikle kitabın çevirisini gerçekten çok başarılı buldum. Resimlerin ve çeşitli sembollerin yerleştirilmesi zaten çok güzel bir detay ve kitabı rahat bir şekilde okumanızı sağlıyor. İçerik olarak da beklediğimden daha ayrıntılıydı. Bütün dünya mitlerinden ne var ne yoksa her Ciltli ve kuşe kağıtta bir sürü resim basılmış olduğu için her zaman dikkatimi çeken ve sonunda aldığım bir kitap oldu. Seri olarak 24 kitaptan birisi. Benim en çok ilgimi çeken mitoloji olduğu için onunla başlamak istedim. Öncelikle kitabın çevirisini gerçekten çok başarılı buldum. Resimlerin ve çeşitli sembollerin yerleştirilmesi zaten çok güzel bir detay ve kitabı rahat bir şekilde okumanızı sağlıyor. İçerik olarak da beklediğimden daha ayrıntılıydı. Bütün dünya mitlerinden ne var ne yoksa her şey içine koyulmuş. Çok fazla bilinmeyen fakat benim bilinmesini düşündüğüm şeyler de koyulmuş. Biraz kitabın içeriğinden bahsetmek istiyorum. Kitap 7 ana bölüme ayrılmış, bunlar; 1-Antik Yunan Adından da anlaşılacağı gibi Antik Yunanistan'da yaratılıştan başlayıp, Olymposlular, tanrılar, yarı tanrılar ve kahramanlar ile ilgili işinize yarayacak her şey var diyebilirim. Hikayeler oldukça sade ve anlaşılır dille anlatılmış. 2-Antik Roma Yunan mitolojisindeki birçok tanrı ve tanrıçanın bulunduğu fakat ek olarak Roma'lı kahramanların ve önemli kişilerin hikayelerinin anlatıldığı bölüm. 3-Kuzey Avrupa İskandinav mitolojisindeki yaratılıştan başlayıp, önemli hikayelerden ve karakterlerden bahsediliyor. Dünyanın sonu olan Ragnaroktan da bahsedilmiş. Ek olarak ünlü Fin destanı Kalavela, İrlanda mitleri ve son olarak Kral Arthur'dan da bahsediliyor. Bu kısımda Arthur ve onunla ilgili destanlardan daha fazla bahsedilebilir diye düşünüyorum. 4-Asya Sümer ve Babil destanlarından başlıyor. Gılgamış Destanı'ndan da detaylı bir şekilde bahsedilmiş. Hint mitolojisindeki önemli kişilerden ve ünlü Hint destanı Ramayana'dan da bahsedilmiş. Japon mitolojisi ve son bölümlerde de Çin ve Kore ile ilgili şeyler de var. Bu kısımda da Çin ve Kore bir hayli kenara atılmış gibi geldi bana. 5-Amerika Kıtaları Amerikan yerlileri ve onların mitolojik karakterlerinden bahsediliyor. Inka gibi toplulukların inançlarından da bahsedilmiş. Genel olarak başarılı bulduğum bir kısım. 6-Antik Mısır ve Afrika Mısır ve Afrika mitlerine güzel bir giriş fakat pek yeterli değil. Benim favorim olan Anansi'den bahsedilmesi hoş. 7-Okyanusya Avustralya başta olmak üzere çevresindeki adaların mitleri ve inançlarından bahsedilmiş. Ben özellikle Maui (Loki, Anansi ve İktomi gibi düzenbaz bir karakter) ile ilgili olan hikayelerin anlatıldığı kısmı sevdim. 6.bölüm gibi bu mitlere güzel bir giriş. Genel olarak ben gayet başarılı buldum kitabı. Bazı şeyleri hatırlamam gerektiğinden hemen elimin altında böyle bir kaynak olması güzel olacak. Yine de bazı mitler sadece giriş seviyesinde kalıyor özellikle Asya, Antik Mısır ve Afrika ve Okyanusya için. Okunması gerekiyor.

  5. 5 out of 5

    James S. Go

    I've been reading the Big Ideas Simply Explained series for awhile, as a method of expanding my general knowledge. Sometimes entries in the brand miss (I'm looking at you, The Psychology Book), and sometimes they hit, but overall I'd deem The Mythology Book a success. I've taken a great interest in mythological and religious traditions and how they act with culture and history for the longest time, and while The Mythology Book doesn't delve in as deep as an academic survey, it presents useful an I've been reading the Big Ideas Simply Explained series for awhile, as a method of expanding my general knowledge. Sometimes entries in the brand miss (I'm looking at you, The Psychology Book), and sometimes they hit, but overall I'd deem The Mythology Book a success. I've taken a great interest in mythological and religious traditions and how they act with culture and history for the longest time, and while The Mythology Book doesn't delve in as deep as an academic survey, it presents useful and engaging retellings of myth from a variety of tribes and civilizations. Featuring myths and legends from all across the world, this relatively new entry in DK's hit reference series will more likely than not act as a proper educational resources from people of all ages and backgrounds to get into the study of mythology.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Julia Martins

    Ótimo livro, obviamente não entra em muitos detalhes sobre os mitos, mas o suficiente para você entender e buscar mais informações em outras fontes. Porém eles passam muito tempo focando em mitos gregos e romanos, que sinceramente já são bem conhecidos e de fácil acesso enquanto por outro lado eles correm para contar mitos super complexos em 2 paginas. Gostaria que eles dessem mais foco a outras civilizações

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jaqueline

    Pretty good book, but, for obvious reasons, a bit superficial. Works really well as a complement to other books though!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gio kikabidze

    Well, It was ok. There was no mention of Medea of Kolkhis in Greek mythology and with Jason. It was little bit too simple, but it was light and ok. I was hugely surprised when I read about KNIGHT IN THE PANTHER'S SKIN but there was no mention about author or anything else.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Indah Threez Lestari

    622 - 2019

  10. 5 out of 5

    Hera (_herablackthorn)

    If I am going to compare this to the other Mythology books I have ( Mythology by Edith Hamilton, Rick Riordan's Greek Gods, Encyclopedia from A-Z and Iliad and Oddeyssey and Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman) I think this is a more preferable book If you want to know about the Greek, Roman, Norse and other Myths very fast and for reference I think this is a good book which comprised of different kind of Myths. Although I also recomment the Encylopedia From A-Z which contains of a lot more topics no If I am going to compare this to the other Mythology books I have ( Mythology by Edith Hamilton, Rick Riordan's Greek Gods, Encyclopedia from A-Z and Iliad and Oddeyssey and Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman) I think this is a more preferable book If you want to know about the Greek, Roman, Norse and other Myths very fast and for reference I think this is a good book which comprised of different kind of Myths. Although I also recomment the Encylopedia From A-Z which contains of a lot more topics not just Myths although the only Myth in the book was Greek Mythology, I think the book did really well in summarizing them all like a reference book 80% of it. But if you are more into deeper discussion of Greek Mythology with their stories and thoroughly discussed tales then go for Edith Hamilton's Mythology the new edition. I think there's nothing more I could say about the book since I did enjoy it and find it informative at most but I think that it was cut off or seemed like it was shortened for how it was supposed to be written and thought that it would be much better if it was a little bit longer in my opinion. Also the formatting, it kind off confused some time as I was reading but it became bearable as I go on. In summary: Thins I like: 1. It was very informative, it was easy to read and comprehend also the pictures that was presented in each pages made it even more pleasing and fun to read. 2. The pictures. I just love books with illustrations and pictures. 3. The newly information/ versions I never heard of it was fun to learn new things. 4. The many kinds of Myths. I didn't just get to learn new things from Greek but many more Myth around the world. Things I don't like: 1. The formatting of how it should be read, if you've read manga comics I think you would know what I mean although I wasn't sure why it confused me . 2. The thought of the book being cut off. In my opinion, it feels like the book was cut off towards the end although I already kind of felt that it was shortened in the middle but I was kind of certain about it as it goes on, I really don't know how to explain it like they just put random reference or text and just leave it there although it was understandable it kind of felt that there's something that comes after the word. This was a good read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chiara

    È un libro molto interessante e lo sarebbe stato ancora di più per la me più giovane che era ossessionata con la mitologia greca. Metto 4 e non 5 stelle perché ovviamente per poter mettere più cose possibili i capitoli sono corti e spezzettati ma delle volte mi sono sembrati eccessivamente corti.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eugene Van

    So I picked up this book up at the library on a whim. My son and I read each page. It started so many interesting conversations. Thanks for the great read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Fleming

    It's a great overview of many of the myths from different cultures. However, it's more of a summary of the myths, with interspersed commentary on the cultures that they originated from, than a true prose version of the myths. I didn't mind the brevity, but it could be a hate/love thing for other people. The format of the book was interesting. It's one of the few I've read that tried to take advantage of the ebook format. However, I can see why it's not a more common thing- it's incredibly irritat It's a great overview of many of the myths from different cultures. However, it's more of a summary of the myths, with interspersed commentary on the cultures that they originated from, than a true prose version of the myths. I didn't mind the brevity, but it could be a hate/love thing for other people. The format of the book was interesting. It's one of the few I've read that tried to take advantage of the ebook format. However, I can see why it's not a more common thing- it's incredibly irritating if you're reading the book on your phone. In its defence, the authors do recommend the ways to read it (mainly by turning it on its side,), but I honestly found that more irritating on my phone than just ignoring the illegible sections. It may also function differently if you read it through Kindle, etc.- I borrowed this from the library and the app may have blocked some of the functionality. I did like that they link the common archetypes between the myths in tags that let you switch between the various stories.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    I'm always a sucker for a DK book! This was another great read from them. I have always been interested in world mythology and religion, so this book was such a treat. It was broken into sections (ex: The Americas, Asia, etc...) which I really enjoyed. I loved how so many of the same themes and stories pop up in all the different mythologies, really globally connecting everyone, I think. I knew quite a bit about several of the mythologies already, but learning so much about the ones I was unfami I'm always a sucker for a DK book! This was another great read from them. I have always been interested in world mythology and religion, so this book was such a treat. It was broken into sections (ex: The Americas, Asia, etc...) which I really enjoyed. I loved how so many of the same themes and stories pop up in all the different mythologies, really globally connecting everyone, I think. I knew quite a bit about several of the mythologies already, but learning so much about the ones I was unfamiliar with was wonderful. I cannot recommend this book enough!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Aleksandar Todorovski

    For some time i wanted to read "Maps of Meaning" by Jordan Peterson. Since the book is elaborating quite a number of Jungian concepts deeply rooted in Mythological narratives, I wanted to immerse myself into the Archetype themes of different mythologies. This book does an amazing job at combining precise presentation of the most important information as well as pictures and explanatory schemes and timetables.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Db

    There was no coherent structure to it. It read more like they just picked random portions of the mythology from a culture and discussed it for a couple of pages. I kept wondering why they chose the tales they did and left out others. It wasn't like reading stories, either. Just a couple of pages with a very brief, dry recitation, then on to the next random story. I tried to keep reading it, but I was so, so bored.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lionkhan-sama

    Super fun to listen to it on audio. Just lots of good historical reference about a multitude of cultures for you to get more of an idea of how some of these different people thought, and how they viewed the world through their myths.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Beverly J.

    Excellent book. I'm rather jaded when it comes to books of mythology. I have read 100's. When I actually learn something from one it's a rare occasion. I would consider owning this and that is a high honor from me. Thank you to my local library for this random pick off the shelves. Huzzah!

  19. 4 out of 5

    John Ny

    Tis' an excellent book for those who want a simple overview of mythology across the world. It is my first time reading a Book published by DK and in my point of view they did a good job of simplifying the Mythologies like Greek Mythology.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    Really great at summarizing all the stuff you probably already know (Greek, Rome, Norse, Egypt) and then glosses over pretty much everything else. The first half fooled me into thinking this was an excellent book and the last half really let me down.

  21. 5 out of 5

    RUSA CODES

    2019 Outstanding References Sources List for Adults Winners Announced by Reference Experts 2019 Outstanding References Sources List for Adults Winners Announced by Reference Experts

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shennae

    Essential reading for fans of shows like RWBY or The New Adventures of Monkey. I like that it’s organised by region rather than era or age.

  23. 5 out of 5

    فدوى

    could've used more diversity

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    The cover explains exactly what you are in for. Huge collection of most of the cultures myths, explained very simply with a general outline and the main theme + sources for your piqued curiousity.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Magda Cpt

    Very poorly written. I found it difficult to follow the myths, even if I already knew them. Probably the worst book I’ve read on the topic.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rafael

    Esse livro, da série “As Grandes Ideias de Todos os Tempos”, traz ao leitor pouco mais de 100 mitos de diversas mitologias diferentes, de todos os cantos do planeta, mas o primeiro ponto que acho interessante discutir está na introdução; logo no primeiro parágrafo, uma definição para Mitologia é apresentada, e terminando de lê-la, tive de me perguntar “onde está o cristianismo?”; de acordo com a descrição, qualquer religião poderia ser considerada mitologia, assim como qualquer mitologia poderi Esse livro, da série “As Grandes Ideias de Todos os Tempos”, traz ao leitor pouco mais de 100 mitos de diversas mitologias diferentes, de todos os cantos do planeta, mas o primeiro ponto que acho interessante discutir está na introdução; logo no primeiro parágrafo, uma definição para Mitologia é apresentada, e terminando de lê-la, tive de me perguntar “onde está o cristianismo?”; de acordo com a descrição, qualquer religião poderia ser considerada mitologia, assim como qualquer mitologia poderia ser considerada religião. Sei que, nessa série de livros, há um “Livro das Religiões”, mas acho essa separação injustificável. Não acho justo declarar que religiões antigas são mitologia e religiões atuais não, até porque um dia essas religiões atuais, usando essa lógica, também virarão mitologia. Enfim, esse não é um ponto tão relevante, mas me incomodou ligeiramente. Seguindo em frente, o livro foi muito instrutivo e muito interessante, aumentado significativamente meu repertório de mitos. Embora a capa sugira algo diferente, pois é composta principalmente por trechos das mitologias mais conhecidas, a pesquisa para esse livro foi muito longe e trouxe, além dos mitos gregos, romanos e nórdicos, mitos de nativos americanos e de países africanos, por exemplo; culturas que não são tão conhecidas mundo afora. Maravilhei-me, então, com todas as diferentes histórias criadas por todas aquelas sociedades, mas a leitura não foi tão fluida, porque os mitos foram contados de forma estritamente informativa. Sendo sobre mitos, esperava uma narrativa mais parecida com a de Neil Gaiman, instigando o leitor para saber o final, e não um texto que pode ser encontrado em um jornal, referindo-se à narrativa, mas, por um lado bom, o livro é bem didático, com ilustrações e esquemas bem interessantes. A concisão na escrita de cada mito é boa para ler rápido e, às vezes, para entender com mais facilidade o mito, mas ao mesmo tempo ajuda tirar essa “magia” da narrativa, comentada anteriormente. Com tudo isso dito, a viagem feita ao longo da leitura desse livro foi fantástica e me deixou realmente animado com todas as diferentes culturas apresentadas. Com certeza será um livro de referência para quando estiver procurando uma história legal para contar para alguém ou alguma história para me inspirar.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Horváth

  28. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

  29. 4 out of 5

    Delanea Davis

  30. 4 out of 5

    Judy

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