Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books | ISBN: 978-1-7824-3023-0
No, no, no – this isn't erotica. It's a glossary of common phrases that many of us use quite often, without actually knowing their origins. Sure, most of us know what Pandora's Box was, at least the basics – but do you know who Pandora was, other than an opener of boxes?
Those are the things you'll learn from reading this book. Now, I am pretty well-versed on ancient western mythology and classical literature, so there were very few surprises for me here. But for most folks? A very insightful read, without getting too bogged down in historical detail.
The book also does a great job of separating myth from history, while still recognise the importance and interconnectedness of each – in fact, near the end of the book, the author discusses how for the Greeks in particular, myth was just history that happened a bit longer ago. This helps primarily in understanding why so many phrases stuck with us for so long, even without context – even for the Ancient Greeks, some of them lacked context!
I don't know. It's so hard to review it for a wide audience when I was already pretty well across its content. I didn't learn a lot from it because I already valued and acquired this information. While I think most folks would learn a great deal from it, I imagine that if you valued this sort of information you'd already have learned it!