Sail through these fifty 30-second legends to discover what Hercules did to deserve his twelve labours, why Odysseus took ten years to travel 500 miles, and how Narcissus found the love of his life. Full of gods and goddesses, heroes and monsters, story locations and the great storytellers, this book is the fastest way to get up to speed with the world of Greek and Roman mythology. So much modern culture traces its origins back to Greek and Roman mythology (witness 2010’s Clash of the Titans and Percy Jackson and the Olympians). The stories provide wonderful references to make your conversation more heroic and lift your imagination closer to the gods. Each idea, no matter how complex, is explained in just two pages, 300 words, and one picture, making this the quickest way to understand the tragic tales and their modern legacies: from the Oedipus Complex to the Narcissus Syndrome. The bestselling 30-Second series offers a new approach to learning about those subjects you feel you should really understand. Every title takes a popular topic and dissects it into the 50 most significant ideas at its heart, explained in just two pages that are easily digested in only half a minute.
Robert A. Segal is Sixth Century Chair in Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He is a leading authority on approaches to myth and is the author of Myth: A Very Short Introduction (2004) and Theorizing about Myth (1999). He also helps to moderate an online myth discussion list.