The Book of Greek and Roman Folktales, Legends, and Myths

Author(s): William Hansen

Myth

Captured centaurs and satyrs, talking animals, people who suddenly change sex, men who give birth, the temporarily insane and the permanently thick-witted, delicate sensualists, incompetent seers, a woman who remembers too much, a man who cannot laugh--these are just some of the colorful characters who feature in the unforgettable stories that ancient Greeks and Romans told in their daily lives. Together they created an incredibly rich body of popular oral stories that include, but range well beyond, mythology--from heroic legends, fairy tales, and fables to ghost stories, urban legends, and jokes. This unique anthology presents the largest collection of these tales ever assembled. Featuring nearly four hundred stories in authoritative and highly readable translations, this is the first book to offer a representative selection of the entire range of traditional classical storytelling. Set mostly in the world of humans, not gods, these stories focus on figures such as lovers, tricksters, philosophers, merchants, rulers, athletes, artists, and soldiers. The narratives range from the well-known--for example, Cupid and Psyche, Diogenes and his lantern, and the tortoise and the hare--to lesser-known tales that deserve wider attention. Entertaining and fascinating, they offer a unique window into the fantasies, anxieties, humor, and passions of the people who told them. Complete with beautiful illustrations by Glynnis Fawkes, a comprehensive introduction, notes, and more, this one-of-a-kind anthology will delight general readers as well as students of classics, fairy tales, and folklore.

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William Hansen, professor emeritus of classical studies and folklore at Indiana University, Bloomington, is one of the world's leading authorities on classical folklore. His books include Classical Mythology: A Guide to the Mythical World of the Greeks and Romans, Ariadne's Thread: A Guide to International Tales Found in Classical Literature, and Anthology of Ancient Greek Popular Literature. He lives in Bloomington.

List of Illustrations and Tables xxiii Preface xxv Abbreviations xxvii Introduction 1 The Kinds of Ancient Story 7 The Present Book 37 Chapter 1 Kings and Princesses 47 1 Cupid and Psyche47 2 The Treasury of Rhampsinitos 83 3 The Pharaoh and the Courtesan 86 Chapter 2 Gods and Ghosts 88 Divine Epiphanies 88 4 The Muses Appear to Hesiod 88 5 The Muses Appear to Archilochos 89 6 Thamyris Competes against the Muses 90 7 Stesichoros's Palinode 91 8 Asklepios Heals Pandaros 92 9 Asklepios Reveals Secrets of the Gods 93 10 Athena Saves the Lindians 97 11 The Altar of the Vulture God 98 12 A Fortune in Water 99 13 The Rescue of Simonides 100 Lower Mythology 101 14 Narcissus 101 15 Rhoikos and the Nymph103 16 "The Great God Pan Is Dead!"104 17 Bogies 105 Shape-Changers 108 18 The Werewolf 108 19 The Empousa 110 Ghosts 112 20 Philinnion 113 21 The Last Princess at Troy 117 22 The Grateful Dead Man 118 23 Murder at the Inn 119 24 Letter from the Middle of the Earth 120 25 The Haunted House 121 26 The Haunted Baths 123 27 The Haunted Battlefield 124 28 The Hero of Temesa 125 29 Periander's Wife 127 Early Wonder-Workers 128 30 Abaris the Hyperborean128 31 Aristeas of Prokonnesos 129 32 Hermotimos of Klazomenai 131 33 Epimenides of Crete 132 34 Pherekydes of Syros 133 35 Pythagoras 134 Transmigration of Souls 135 36 Pythagoras Remembers an Earlier Life 135 37 Pythagoras Discerns a Friend's Soul in a Dog 136 38 Empedokles Recalls His Earlier Lives 137 39 The Woman Who Remembers Too Much 137 Magicians and Witches 138 40 Pases the Magician 138 41 Attack by Star-Stroke 139 42 A Woman Dies from Spells 140 43 The Soul-Drawing Wand 140 44 Apollonios Cures a Plague 141 45 The Magician's Apprentice 143 46 Evil Landladies 144 Divination and Seers 145 47 The Language of Birds 145 48 The Acquisition of the Sibylline Oracles 146 49 What the Sibyl Wants 148 50 Bacchus Forsakes Antony 148 51 Cato Explains a Portent 149 52 Cato on Soothsayers 150 Fate 150 53 Polykrates's Ring 150 54 "Zeus, Why Me?" 152 55 The Last Days of Mykerinos 152 56 Kleonymos's Near-Death Experience 153 57 Eurynoos's Near-Death Experience 155 58 Curma's Near-Death Experience 155 Jews, Christians, and Pagans 156 59 The Origin of the Septuagint 156 60 Miracles of Jesus 157 61 Paul and Barnabas Mistaken for Pagan Gods159 62 The Discovery of the True Cross 160 63 The Last Delphic Oracle 162 64 "You Have Won, Galilean!" 163 65 The Murder of Hypatia 165 Chapter 3 Legends on Various Themes 167 The Bizarre 167 66 Capture of a Satyr 167 67 Capture of a Centaur 168 68 Sightings of Mermen and Mermaids 169 69 The Self-Sustaining Beast 170 70 In Love with a Statue 171 71 Animal Offspring 175 72 The Ugly Man 175 73 Male Parturition 176 74 Sudden Change of Sex 176 75 Periodic Ecstasy 180 76 The Laughing Tirynthians 180 77 The Man Who Loses His Laugh 181 78 A Strange Tomb 182 79 The Lame Man and the Blind Man 183 Irony 184 80 Intaphrenes's Wife 184 81 A Parent's Request 185 82 Plato's Characters 185 83 The Unbreakable Glass Bowl 186 Animals 186 84 The Dolphin Rider 186 85 The Grateful Dolphin 189 86 Androkles and the Lion 189 87 How Ophiteia Gets Its Name 191 88 Xanthippos's Dog 192 89 The Accidental Killing of a Cat 193 Children 194 90 The Children Play King 194 91 The Children Play Priest 195 92 The Children Play War 197 93 A Child Steals from the Goddess 197 Friends 198 94 Damon and Phintias 198 95 Friends Unknown 200 96 Abauchas's Choice 201 Rulers and Tyrants 202 97 Plato Teaches a Tyrant about Democracy 202 98 The City of Forbidden Expression 202 99 Ismenias's Subterfuge 203 100 Queen for a Day 204 101 The Absentminded Emperor 205 Justice 205 102 Zeus's Ledger 205 103 The Golden Ax 206 104 The Judge of the Ants 207 105 Tarpeia's Reward 208 106 The Cranes of Ibykos 209 107 The Murder of Mitys of Argos 209 108 An Eye for an Eye 210 109 The Trial of the Courtesan Phryne 211 110 The Problem of Dreamt Sex 212 111 The Disputed Child 214 112 Abusive Son of an Abusive Father 215 Chapter 4 Tricksters and Lovers 216 Trickery and Cleverness 216 113 Trophonios and Agamedes 216 114 The Dishonest Banker 217 115 The Joint Depositors 218 116 The Two Thieves 218 117 Aesop and the Figs 219 118 Never Heard Before 221 119 The Slaves Take Over 222 120 The Milesians Hold a Party 223 121 Saving Lampsakos 225 122 The Suckling Daughter 225 123 A Donkey's Shadow 226 124 The Hoax 227 Lovers and Seducers 228 125 Zeus and Hera Wrangle over Sexuality 228 126 The Affair of Ares and Aphrodite 229 127 Iphimedeia Desires Poseidon 233 128 Hippolytos and Phaidra 234 129 The Husband's Untimely Return: 1 235 130 The Husband's Untimely Return: 2 236 131 The Signal 237 132 The Widow of Ephesos 238 133 Sleeping with a God 240 134 The Pergamene Boy 243 135 Aesop and the Master's Wife 245 136 The King's Trusted Friend 247 137 Dream-Lovers 251 138 The Astute Physician 253 139 Hero and Leander 254 140 Xanthos, Who Longs for His Wife 256 141 Ariston and His Friend's Wife 257 142 Olympians in the Bedroom 259 Chapter 5 Artists and Athletes 260 Artists and the Arts 260 143 Herakles Fooled 260 144 Nature Fooled 260 145 Painter Fooled 261 146 The Sculptor Polykleitos 262 147 Models for Helen of Troy 262 148 Helen's Chalice 263 149 Archilochos: Lethal Iambics 264 150 Hipponax: More Lethal Iambics 265 151 The Cicada 265 152 A Singer's Compensation 266 153 Pindar's Sacrifice 266 154 Pindar's House 267 155 Phrynichos Fined 267 156 The Chorus of Aeschylus's Eumenides 268 157 Sophocles on Himself and Euripides 268 158 "I See a Weasel" 269 159 "Mother, I Call to You" 269 160 Saved by Euripides 270 161 How Menander Composes His Plays 272 162 The First Line of Plato's Republic 272 163 Ovid's Worst Lines 273 Athletes 274 164 The Origin of the Stadium 274 165 The First Marathon 275 166 The Origin of Nude Athletes 276 167 The Origin of Nude Trainers 278 168 Polymestor the Sprinter 278 169 Ageus the Long-Distance Runner 279 170 Milon the Wrestler 280 171 Eumastas the Strongman 281 172 Theagenes's Statue 282 173 Poulydamas the Pancratiast 283 174 Kleomedes Runs Amok 284 175 Astylos Angers His Hometown 286 176 Exainetos Pleases His Hometown 286 177 Glaukos the Boxer 286 178 The Reluctant Dueler 287 Chapter 6 Memorable Words, Notable Actions 290 Portents 290 179 The Infant Pindar on Mt Helikon 290 180 The Infant Plato on Mt Hymettos 291 181 Young Demosthenes in Court 291 Characterizations 292 182 A Statue of Homer 292 183 Themistokles and the Man from Seriphos 292 184 Aristeides the Just 292 185 Timon the Misanthrope 293 186 The Arrest of Theramenes 295 187 Socrates's Hardihood 296 188 Socrates Ponders a Problem 297 189 Demosthenes's Handicaps 297 190 "Delivery!" 299 191 Only Human 299 192 What Alexander Sleeps Upon 300 193 Cleopatra's Wager 300 194 The Lamprey Pools 302 195 A Principled Man 303 196 Nero Fiddles 304 197 "Where Would He Be Now?" 306 198 A Slave's Eye 306 199 The People of Akragas 307 Laconic Spartans 307 200 Too Many Words 307 201 A Spartan Mother 308 202 Discussion at Thermopylae 308 203 Alexander the Great Becomes a God 309 204 On Spartan Adultery 309 Delusion 310 205 Menekrates, Who Calls Himself Zeus 310 206 Menekrates-Zeus Writes to King Philip 311 207 Philip Hosts Menekrates 312 208 Hannon's Birds 313 209 The Woman Who Holds Up the World with Her Finger 313 210 The House Called Trireme 314 211 The Happy Shipowner 315 212 The Happy Playgoer 315 Memorable Words 316 213 Ars Longa, Vita Brevis 316 214 Which Came First? 316 215 Alter Ego 317 216 "Give Me a Place to Stand, and I'll Move the World!" 317 217 Life Is Like the Olympic Games 319 218 "The Die Is Cast" 320 219 "Et tu, Brute?" 322 220 In Hoc Signo Vinces 323 Memorable Experiences 325 221 Toxic Honey 325 222 A Narrow Escape 326 223 The Great Fish 327 224 The Discovery of Archimedes's Tomb 328 Summing Up and Last Words 329 225 Counting One's Blessings 329 226 Socrates 330 227 Theophrastos's Lament 331 228 Vespasian's Last Words 332 Deaths 333 229 Pythagoras 333 230 Aeschylus 334 231 Euripides 335 232 Philemon 336 233 Diogenes the Cynic 337 234 Zenon 338 235 Cleopatra 338 236 Petronius Arbiter 340 237 Archimedes 342 Chapter 7 Sages and Philosophers 344 Truth and Wisdom 344 238 The Seven Sages and the Prize of Wisdom 344 239 Thales on Life and Death 346 240 A Question of Responsibility 346 241 A Problem of Identity 346 242 Secundus the Silent Philosopher 347 Converting to Philosophy 348 243 Plato 348 244 Axiothea 349 245 Epicurus 349 Benefits and Perils of Philosophy 350 246 Aristippos on the Philosopher's Advantage 350 247 Aristippos on the Benefits of Philosophy 350 248 Antisthenes on the Benefits of Philosophy 350 249 Diogenes on the Benefits of Philosophy 351 250 Krates on the Benefits of Philosophy 351 251 The Most Useful Man in Ephesos 351 252 Protagoras's Books Burned 352 253 Sinning against Philosophy 352 The Philosophic Life 353 254 Thales in the Well 353 255 Thales and the Olive Presses 354 Wealth vs Wisdom 354 256 Simonides's View 354 257 Aristippos's View 355 The Cynics 355 258 Diogenes on Being Laughed At 355 259 Diogenes and the Lantern 356 260 The Meeting of Diogenes and Alexander 356 261 Alexander's Offer 357 262 Diogenes on Personal Attire 357 263 Diogenes on Temple Theft 358 264 Diogenes on a Public Reading 358 265 Diogenes Visits a Brothel 358 266 Diogenes on the City of Myndos 358 267 "Watch Out!" 359 268 Krates and Hipparchia 359 269 Monimos on Wealth 360 Philosophers Criticize One Another 360 270 Diogenes Criticizes Plato 360 271 Plato Criticizes Diogenes 361 272 Plato Characterizes Diogenes 361 273 Diogenes on Plato's Theory of Ideas 361 274 Diogenes on a Definition of Plato's 361 275 Diogenes on the Impossibility of Motion 362 Education and Learning 362 276 A Song before Dying 362 277 The Entrance to Plato's Classroom 363 278 The Delian Problem 363 279 The Worst Punishment 364 Discoveries and Inventions 364 280 The Invention of Hunting 364 281 The Invention of Board Games 365 282 The Original Language 366 283 Thales Inscribes a Triangle in a Circle 367 284 Thales Measures the Height of the Pyramids 367 285 Thales Predicts an Eclipse 368 286 The Pythagorean Theorem 368 287 "Eureka!" 369 Happiness and Contentment 371 288 The Origin of Human Miseries 371 289 The Rock of Tantalos 373 290 The Sword of Damocles 374 291 King Midas 375 292 Wealth and Happiness 376 293 Water and a Loaf of Bread 378 294 Gold vs Figs 378 295 Untouched by Grief 378 296 The Happy Mute 380 297 Pyrrhos and Kineas 380 On Drinking 382 298 The Third Cup of Wine 382 On Behaving Like Animals 383 299 The Different Stages of Life 383 300 The Different Kinds of People384 301 The Different Kinds of Women 384 Aesopic Fables 385 302 The Fox and the Crane 385 303 The Dog with a Piece of Meat 386 304 The Raven with a Piece of Meat 387 305 The King of the Apes 387 306 The Ape with Important Ancestors 388 307 The Sour Grapes 388 308 The Ant and the Cicada 389 309 The Lion's Share 390 310 The Race of the Tortoise and the Hare 390 311 The Lion and the Mouse 391 312 The Plump Dog 391 313 The Transformed Weasel 392 314 The Goose That Lays Golden Eggs 392 315 The Tortoise That Wishes to Fly 393 316 The King of the Frogs 393 317 The Astronomer 394 318 The Shepherd Who Cries "Wolf !" 394 319 "Here Is Rhodes!" 395 320 The Belly and the Feet 395 321 The Oak and the Reed 396 Short Fables 397 322 The Mountain in Labor 397 323 The Attentive Donkey 397 Chapter 8 Numskulls and Sybarites 398 Traditional Numskulls 398 324 Margites 398 325 Meletides 399 326 Koroibos 399 327 Morychos 399 328 Akko 399 329 The Foolish Kymaians 400 330 The Foolish Abderites 401 Other Numskulls 402 331 Carrying the Load 402 332 Acquiring Sense 403 333 Seeing the Doctor 404 334 The Trained Donkey 404 335 The Books 405 336 The Slave 405 337 A Call of Nature 405 338 The Twins 405 339 The Funeral 406 340 The Ball in the Well 406 341 The Educated Son 406 342 The Travelers 406 343 The Grateful Father 407 344 A Pair of Twins 407 345 The Fugitives 407 346 The Pillow 408 Wits 408 347 Too Healthy 408 348 What Does It Taste Like? 409 349 All in the Family 409 350 The Strongest Thing 409 351 Caesar's Soldiers Sing 410 Miscellaneous 410 352 Not at Home 410 353 The Portent 411 354 The Deaf Judge 412 355 The Scythian 413 356 The Cold Reading 413 357 The Covetous Man and the Envious Man 413 The Delicate Sybarites 414 358 Uncomfortable Sleep 415 359 The Suitor 415 360 Noise Policy 416 361 The Affliction of Work 416 362 Excursions to the Country 416 363 Chamber Pots 417 364 Piped Wine 417 365 Policy on Parties 417 366 Dancing Horses 417 Tall Tales 418 367 Topsy-Turvy Land 418 368 Frozen Speech 418 369 Thin Men 418 Appendix Across the Genres: Ancient Terms, Belief, and Relative Numbers 421 Notes on the Tales 433 Glossary 479 Bibliography 483 Ancient Sources 515 List of International Stories 521 Index 527

General Fields

  • : 9780691170152
  • : Princeton University Press
  • : Princeton University Press
  • : March 2017
  • : 203mm X 152mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 584
  • : 1
  • : Hardback