Item description for Zeus: A Journey Through Greece in the Footsteps of a God by Tom Stone...
Overview Traces the four-thousand-year history of the charismatic father of the Greek gods, from his origins in the Russian steppes and reign on Mount Olympus to his approaching end in Christian Constantinople, in an account that follows the author's journeys to relevant sites in Greek mythology.
Publishers Description In the tradition of "Walking the Bible," an irresistible tour through some of the most powerful stories ever told.
Lusty, lightning-tempered, polyamorous Zeus was the most powerful and charismatic of the Greek gods, and the progenitor of some of the most enduring stories of world mythology. In "Zeus," author Tom Stone takes readers on a 4,000-year journey through the god's tumultuous life, from his origins as a sky god in the Russian steppes and his scandalous reign on Mt. Olympus to his approaching end in a palace storeroom in Christian Constantinople. Crossing the length and breadth of Greece, Stone and his Iranian wife explore the most significant sites in Greek myth, from mountaintops to subterranean caves, Olympus to Crete, and Mycenae to Macedonia. Along the way, he reveals how Zeus's story grew from the soil of Greece and changed along with the country's history, all with a brilliant mix of erudition and bravura storytelling. Combining mythology, history, and travel, this is an indispensable book for anyone who loves Greece or its great stories of myth and legend.
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Studio: Bloomsbury USA
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.58" Width: 6" Height: 1.19" Weight: 1.07 lbs.
Release Date Feb 5, 2008
Publisher Bloomsbury USA
ISBN 158234518X ISBN13 9781582345185
Availability 0 units.
More About Tom Stone
A philhellene who lived in Greece for twenty-two years, Tom Stone is the author of six previous books about Greece and its culture and language, including "The Summer of My Greek Taverna." He has written extensively on Greece and its history for various magazines and guide books. He lives in Los Angeles.
Tom Stone currently resides in Los Angeles, in the state of California.
Reviews - What do customers think about Zeus: A Journey Through Greece in the Footsteps of a God?
Zeus: The Skeleton Key to Understanding a People and Their Mythology Oct 7, 2008
This book is a genuine gem! In its unabashed enthusiasm, it reminds me of David Hendon's Guide to Biblical Coins and its great to see an author so happily entrenched in a topic and so able to spread his infectious excitement for it.
Yes, on one level this is the story of the birth, life and ultimate death of a God. But along the way, we learn something about the people who worshiped him and why.
In the beginning Zeus wasn't even worhshiped in Greece. He was only brought there when invaders imposed him on the local people as a deified object of their superiority. In this respect, the story was kind of reminiscent of what happened in India when the idea of reincarnation was given to the locals as a salve for their resulting serfdom.
Over time, Zeus' trysts reflected the various ways in which other Greek peoples were knitted into the story. In this respect the Zeus myth was reminiscent of the Old Testament stories of Abraham and Sarah and their various relatives were related to each other (with a strong emphasis on the children of Jacob who came to be known as Israel).
And in time Zeus came to be snuffed out by new God and another religion.
Along the way, certain parts of the story are infused with such native flavor that I could almost taste the spinach cheese pie.
Bringing it all together, an Olympian task! Oct 5, 2008
This unique book examines the human and psychic history of the Greeks by following the trail of its ever-evolving chief deity through the dark passages of history. It shows how a wide range of factors, - political, geographical, etc. - influenced the Greeks and their twisting mythical narratives. Not only does the book make sense of the sprawling but compelling cosmos of the Olympians, it also provides an insight into human consciousness, struggling to make sense out of a cruel yet wonderful world. What exactly these gods meant to the Greeks is still hidden in ancient ruins, but reading this book is like walking through those ruins and having everything come to life. Simultaneously scholarly and fun, clear, and full of mystery - Great book.
Couldn't put it down... Jul 25, 2008
I expected it to be a bit dry, but after the first chapter, I found I could not put it down, and read it cover to cover in one night.
Fairy Tales for Grown-ups Jul 5, 2008
Everybody loves a good fairy tale, but as you get older you may feel silly reading "Cinderella" or "Hansel and Gretel". Thank goodness for the Ancient Greeks; their mythology stories are the perfect fairy tales for adults. There's plenty of double-crossing, emotional outbursts, sex, violence and jealousy, and you get the added benefit of learning about classical civilization while you read these soap-opera stories. In "Zeus: a journey through Greece in the footsteps of a god", author Tom Stone manages to blend these wonderful mythological tales with a travelogue of Greece. Since the stories that comprise Greek mythology are so numerous, with so many characters, Stone focuses his book on the tales involving Zeus, the most powerful of the gods. He also does a wonderful job of presenting the stories in a somewhat chronological order (time being a fuzzy thing when talking about mythological events), beginning with Zeus's early years and his struggles against his own father Kronos. Stone also weaves in the various ups and downs of Greece, conflicts with her Aegean neighbors, changes in Grecian society and the growing influence of monotheistic religions. A timeline, a map and a ton of endnotes helps round out this really engaging look at Ancient Greece. It's a wonderful read for anyone who likes Edith Hamilton (mythology), Simon Schama (history) or Peter Mayle (amusing anecdotes of interactions with colorful locals).
Zeus, Journey Through Greece in the Footsteps of a God May 6, 2008
A wonderful scholarly, but immensely readable odyssey through Greece. Stone visits ancient sanctuaries and shrines throughout the mainland and islands, and discusses the myth and the reality of this glorious civilization.