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Folklore & Mythology

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  1. Aeneid

    Virgil
    Translated by Stanley Lombardo
    Introduction by W. R. Johnson

    Aeneid

    "Crisp, idiomatic, and precise, this is a translation for our era. The list of further reading, grounded in the writings of W.R. Johnson (who also wrote the Introduction) and Michael C. J. Putnam, suggests the context that informs the translation: here, as the translator says in the Preface, you will find an Aeneid that works more in the shadows than in the light. . . . This translation would be excellent for classroom use: not only would it incite fascinating discussions about issues of war and empire, but it also reads well aloud. . . . Together with Johnson's Introduction, this volume offers the Aeneid in terms that will resonate strongly with the general reader of today."
         —Sarah Spence, New England Classical Journal

  2. Alcestis, Medea, Hippolytus

    Euripides
    Translated by Diane Arnson Svarlien
    Introduction and Notes by Robin Mitchell-Boyask

    Alcestis, Medea, Hippolytus

    This new volume of three of Euripides' most celebrated plays offers graceful, economical, metrical translations that convey the wide range of effects of the playwright's verse, from the idiomatic speech of its dialogue to the high formality of its choral odes.

  3. Andromache, Hecuba, Trojan Women

    Euripides
    Translated by Diane Arnson Svarlien
    Introduction and Notes by Ruth Scodel

    Andromache, Hecuba, Trojan Women

    Diane Arnson Svarlien’s translation of Euripides’ Andromache, Hecuba, and Trojan Women exhibits the same scholarly and poetic standards that have won praise for her Alcestis, Medea, Hippolytus. Ruth Scodel’s Introduction examines the cultural and political context in which Euripides wrote, and provides analysis of the themes, structure, and characters of the plays included. Her notes offer expert guidance to readers encountering these works for the first time.

  4. Anthology of Classical Myth (Second Edition)

    Edited and Translated by Stephen M. Trzaskoma, R. Scott Smith, and Stephen Brunet, with an Appendix on Linear B Sources by Thomas G. Palaima

    Anthology of Classical Myth (Second Edition)

    This new edition of Anthology of Classical Myth offers selections from key Near Eastern texts—the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Epic of Creation (Enuma Elish), and Atrahasis; the Hittite Song of Emergence; and the flood story from the book of Genesis—thereby enabling students to explore the many similarities between ancient Greek and Mesopotamian mythology and enhancing its reputation as the best and most complete collection of its kind. Click here to see the full Table of Contents (PDF) for Anthology of Classical Myth (Second Edition).

  5. Antigone (Blondell Edition)

    Sophocles
    Translated, with Introduction and Essay, by Ruby Blondell

    Antigone (Blondell Edition)

    "In her new translation of Antigone, Ruby Blondell demonstrates an unswerving sense of what the general reader needs to know in order not only to understand Sophocles, but to relish him as well… My own students have found that this edition not only makes the Antigone accessible, but also helps them understand why it continues to fascinate, to disturb, and to grip its readers century by century."
          —John T. Kirby, Comparative Literature, Purdue University

  6. Antigone (Woodruff Edition)

    Sophocles
    Translated, with Introduction and Notes, by Paul Woodruff

    Antigone (Woodruff Edition)

    “A lucid, well-paced translation, natural enough sounding in the dialogue to make a good acting version, and remarkably successful in making the choruses clear, lyrical, and yet part of the dramatic movement. Woodruff’s rendering of the choruses especially impresses me by the way he manages to render complex syntax and imagery of the original—often tangled and occasionally obscure in its allusiveness—into clear and genuinely poetic English.”
         —Joseph Russo, Haverford College

  7. Apollodorus' Library and Hyginus' Fabulae

    Apollodorus & Hyginus
    Translated, with Introduction, by Stephen M. Trzaskoma & R. Scott Smith

    Apollodorus' Library and Hyginus' Fabulae

    "To refer to this volume as just a translation is misleading, because Smith and Trzaskoma have provided much more, most notably the best short introduction to ancient mythography—and these particular authors—available in English. . . . The translations themselves are clear and accurate.  [An] admirable volume.  Smith and Trzaskoma are to be commended."
         —Kris Fletcher, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

  8. Bacchae (Woodruff Edition)

    Euripides
    Translated, with Introduction and Notes, by Paul Woodruff

    Bacchae (Woodruff Edition)

    "[Woodruff’s translation] is clear, fluent, and vigorous, well thought out, readable and forceful. The rhythms are right, ever-present but not too insistent or obvious. It can be spoken instead of read and so is viable as an acting version; and it keeps the lines of the plot well focused. The Introduction offers a good survey of critical approaches. The notes at the foot of the page are suitably brief and nonintrusive and give basic information for the non-specialist."
         —Charles Segal, Harvard University

  9. Beowulf

    Translated, with an Introduction, by Dick Ringler

    Beowulf

    "Ringler has produced a really good translation of the poem, free of Seamus Heaney's quirks and Irishisms, keeping the rhythm and alliteration, and retaining a simplicity which demonstrates how otiose film effects are when the poem is both powerful and moving. The translation is accompanied by a marvelously straightforward introduction, eschewing all modish modern criticism and thus a useful corrective for those student-readers confused by the liberties taken by [Robert Zemeckis'] Beowulf and its writers. Tolkien would have been pleased by Ringler's version."
         —Carolyne Larrington, The Times Literary Supplement

  10. Classical Mythology in Literature, Art, and Music

    Philip Mayerson

    Classical Mythology in Literature, Art, and Music

    Originally published in the 1960s, this standard illustrated work covers the gods and heroes of the Classical world, with special emphasis on the influence Classical mythology has had on literature, art and music in Western civilization.

  11. Electra

    Sophocles
    Translated, with Introduction and Notes, by Hanna M. Roisman

    Electra

    This is an English translation of Sophocles' tragedy of Electra, and the vengeance that she and her brother Orestes take on their mother and step father for the murder of their father. This edition also includes an "afterlife" essay that discusses adaptations of the play, as well as touches on other ways Electra has had influence (Jung's identification of the Electra Complex, O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra). Focus Classical Library provides close translations with notes and essays to provide access to understanding Greek culture.

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    Edited and Translated, with an Introduction, by Wilt L. Idema

    Filial Piety and Its Divine Rewards

    Of the many ballads, tales, and plays extolling filial piety (xiao)—the foundational virtue of imperial China—none was more popular in that era than the legend of Dong Yong and his heavenly helpmate, Weaving Maiden. Continually revised and embellished over a millennium, the tale's popularity remains, finding new expression in Chinese film and opera in the twentieth century. The five versions of the legend presented here, alongside a selection of related texts, illustrate changing perceptions of xiao from the tenth century through the first part of the twentieth in a variety of genres. An appendix traces the development of the related legend of Weaving Maiden and Buffalo Boy from myth to folktale.

  13. Four Tragedies

    Sophocles
    Translated, with Introduction and Notes, by Peter Meineck and Paul Woodruff

    Four Tragedies

    Meineck and Woodruff's new annotated translations of Sophocles' Ajax, Women of Trachis, Electra, and Philoctetes combine the same standards of accuracy, concision, clarity, and powerful speech that have so often made their Theban Plays a source of epiphany in the classroom and of understanding in the theatre.  Woodruff's Introduction offers a brisk and stimulating discussion of central themes in Sophoclean drama, the life of the playwright, staging issues, and each of the four featured plays.

  14. Heracles

    Euripides
    Edited by Michael Halleran

    Heracles

    Euripides' Heracles is an extraordinary play, innovative in its treatment of the myth, bold in its dramatic structure, and filled with affective human pathos. The play tells a tale of horror: Heracles, the greatest hero of the Greeks, is maddened by the gods to murder his wife and children. But this suffering and divine malevolence are leavened by the friendship between Heracles and Theseus, which allows the hero to survive this final and most painful labor. The Heracles raises profound questions about the gods and mortal values in a capricious and harsh world. 

  15. Homeric Hymns (Ruden Edition)

    Translated by Sarah Ruden
    Introduction and Notes by Sheila Murnaghan

    Homeric Hymns (Ruden Edition)

    "Sarah Ruden's translation is clear, lean, intelligent, and delightfully readable. The notes provide guidance without encumbering the text. This will be marvelous for classroom use, for reading aloud, or simply for reading for pleasure."
         —Pamela Gordon, Department of Classics, University of Kansas

  16. Iliad

    Homer
    Translated by Stanley Lombardo
    Introduction by Sheila Murnaghan

    Iliad

    "Gripping. . . . Lombardo's achievement is all the more striking when you consider the difficulties of his task. . . . [He] manages to be respectful of Homer's dire spirit while providing on nearly every page some wonderfully fresh refashioning of his Greek. The result is a vivid and disarmingly hardbitten reworking of a great classic."
         —Daniel Mendelsohn, The New York Times Book Review

  17. Le Morte D'Arthur

    Sir Thomas Malory
    Condensed and modernized, with an Introduction, by Joseph Glaser

    Le Morte D'Arthur

    "I've just finished reading Joseph Glaser's Le Morte D'Arthur. I'm very pleased with it: the introduction is helpful without becoming an extended essay, the suggested reading seems solid and diverse, and the index is VERY useful, even for someone who has read Malory before. At last, a reader can keep all the knights and ladies straight! A fine entry point to a grand text, and when I next have an occasion to teach a course involving chivalry, I'll plan to use this very affordable edition."  
          —Craig Caldwell, Department of History, Appalachian State University

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    Sir Thomas Malory
    Edited, with an Introduction and Commentary, by P. J. C. Field

    Le Morte Darthur: The Seventh & Eighth Tales

     "P. J. C. Field, the world's preeminent Malory specialist, has wisely chosen to offer here Malory's seventh and eighth tales, recounting the decline and end of Camelot.  The authoritative text is accompanied by indispensable notes and preceded by a remarkably thorough and learned—but never obscure—Introduction sufficient to prepare students and other readers to profit fully from the texts. This book is ideal for those coming to Malory for the first time and a distinct pleasure for those who already know him well."
         —Norris J. Lacy, E. E. Sparks Professor of French and Medieval Studies, Penn State University

  19. Medea (Svarlien Edition)

    Euripides
    Translated by Diane Arnson Svarlien
    Introduction and Notes by Robin Mitchell-Boyask

    Medea (Svarlien Edition)

    "This is the Medea we have been waiting for.  It offers clarity without banality, eloquence without pretension, meter without doggerel, accuracy without clumsiness.  No English Medea can ever be Euripides', but this is as close as anyone has come so far, and a good deal closer than I thought anyone would ever come.  Arnson-Svarlien has shown herself exceedingly skillful in making Euripides sound Euripidean."
         —David M. Schaps, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

  20. Metamorphoses (Lombardo Edition)

    Ovid
    Translated by Stanley Lombardo
    Introduction by W. R. Johnson

    Metamorphoses (Lombardo Edition)

    "Stanley Lombardo successfully matches Ovid’s human drama, imaginative brio, and irresistible momentum; and Ralph Johnson’s superb Introduction to Ovid's 'narratological paradise' is a bonus to this new and vigorous translation that should not be missed. Together, Introduction and text bring out the delightful unpredictability of Ovid’s 'history of the world' down to his times."
         —Elaine Fantham, Giger Professor of Latin, Emerita, Princeton University

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    Homer
    Translated by Stanley Lombardo
    Introduction by Sheila Murnaghan

    Odyssey

    "[Lombardo] has brought his laconic wit and love of the ribald. . . to his version of the Odyssey. His carefully honed syntax gives the narrative energy and a whirlwind pace. The lines, rhythmic and clipped, have the tautness and force of Odysseus' bow."
         —Chris Hedges, The New York Times Book Review

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    Sophocles
    Translated, with Introduction and Notes, by Peter Meineck and Paul Woodruff

    Oedipus Tyrannus

    "A clear, vigorous, spare, actable translation, and with it, excellent apparatus (Intro., notes, bibliography); all in a slim and affordable volume. I will use when I next teach Oedipus. Hackett is an invaluable resource!”
         —Rachel Hadas, Rutgers University

  23. Oresteia

    Aeschylus
    Translated, with Notes, by Peter Meineck
    Introduction by Helene P. Foley

    Oresteia

    “Peter Meineck’s new rendition of the Oresteia is that rare and wonderful thing: a text accessible to the Greekless audience while still preserving the vocabulary of Aeschylus. Those of us who have seen Peter Meineck's performances have long marveled at his ability to turn Greek into clear English, how he does not do ‘versions’ of the plays, how he does not rewrite the ancients into modern jargon (even his comedies maintain more Aristophanic text than is usual). Here lines that students have always needed explicated stand clear. . . . Helene Foley has provided a fine introduction for this translation. Introduction and translation together provide an exciting text, one that should be widely read, widely used.”
         —Karelisa Hartigan, University of Florida, in The Classical Outlook

  24. Philoctetes

    Sophocles
    Translated, with Introduction and Notes, by Peter Meineck and Paul Woodruff

    Philoctetes

    "Peter Meineck has given us a superbly vivid rendering of the play, informed throughout by his practical experience in the theater. His is a Philoctetes that is supremely alive, from start to finish. . . . [I]deal for classroom use. . . . accompanied by a new and thoughtful introduction from philosopher and classicist Paul Woodruff. Woodruff anchors the play in the complex web of fears and anxieties of 409 BCE, as both Sophocles' life and Athens' imperial heyday drew to a close. . . . [A]n exceptionally fine work of translation and scholarship that will go far toward demolishing dismissals of the play as inaccessible or unengaging for the modern reader. Sophocles, Meineck and Woodruff eloquently remind us, speaks to every age, not least our own."
         —Thomas R. Keith, Loyola University Chicago in CJ-Online

  25. Philoktetes

    Sophocles
    Translated, with Introduction and Notes, by Seth L. Schein

    Philoktetes

    "Seth Schein's new translation of the Philoctetes will serve as a useful text for upper-year classical literature courses in translation. As is typical of the Focus Classical Library series, Schein's translation aims to give a faithful rendering of the Greek that is at the same time readable, if not poetic. It also situates the work in its historical context and generally provides the supplementary material required for readers new to Attic tragedy. . . . Given that it provides more contextual information and interpretive detail than the average translation, and that the translation itself strives for greater fidelity to the original, Schein's work will be most welcome in upper-year translation courses, where it will encourage students to develop a more detailed and subtle understanding of the play."
          —Brad Levett, Carleton University

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    Translated, with notes, by Joseph Glaser
    Introduction by Christine Chism

    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

    “A dazzling recreation of the most memorable Middle English poem, and one that captures the original alliterative verse in all its dimensions: sense, sound, and rhythm.”
          —Ad Putter, Professor of Medieval English Literature, University of Bristol

  27. The Essential Aeneid

    Virgil
    Translated and Abridged by Stanley Lombardo
    Introduction by W. R. Johnson

    The Essential Aeneid

    Stanley Lombardo's deft abridgment of his 2005 translation of the Aeneid preserves the arc and weight of Virgil's epic by presenting major books in their entirety and abridged books in extended passages seamlessly fitted together with narrative bridges. W. R. Johnson's Introduction, a shortened version of his masterly Introduction to that translation, will be welcomed by both beginning and seasoned students of the Aeneid, and by students of Roman history, classical mythology, and Western civilization.

  28. The Essential Homer

    Homer
    Translated and Edited by Stanley Lombardo
    Introduction by Sheila Murnaghan

    The Essential Homer

    "Not only does one get an excellent translation of both Homer's Iliad and Odyssey under one cover, but the selections included are infinitely better and longer than what one normally gets in anthologies of Greek literature. For courses in which entire texts cannot be used, this is by far the best choice available today."
         —Kostas Myrsiades, Westchester University

  29. The Essential Iliad

    Homer
    Translated and Abridged by Stanley Lombardo
    Introduction by Sheila Murnaghan

    The Essential Iliad

    While preserving the basic narrative of the Iliad, this selection also highlights the epic's high poetic moments and essential mythological content, and will prove especially useful in surveys of world literature.

  30. The Essential Metamorphoses

    Ovid
    Translated and Edited by Stanley Lombardo
    Introduction by W. R. Johnson

    The Essential Metamorphoses

    The Essential Metamorphoses, Stanley Lombardo’s abridgment of his translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, preserves the epic frame of the poem as a whole while offering the best-known tales in a rendering remarkable for its clarity, wit, and vigor.  While making no pretense of offering an experience comparable to that of reading the whole of Ovid’s self-styled history “from the world’s first origins down to my own time,” this practical and judicious selection of myths at the heart of Roman mythology and literature yet manages to relate many of the most fascinating episodes in that world-historical march toward the Age of Augustus—and is accompanied by an Introduction that deftly sets them in their cosmological, theological, and Augustan contexts.

  31. The Essential Odyssey

    Homer
    Translated and Edited by Stanley Lombardo
    Introduction by Sheila Murnaghan

    The Essential Odyssey

    This generous abridgment of Stanley Lombardo’s translation of the Odyssey offers more than half of the epic, including all of its best-known episodes and finest poetry, while providing concise summaries for omitted books and passages. Sheila Murnaghan’s Introduction, a shortened version of her essay for the unabridged edition, is ideal for readers new to this remarkable tale of the homecoming of Odysseus.

  32. The Golden Age of Folk and Fairy Tales

    Edited, with Introduction and Translations, by Jack Zipes

    The Golden Age of Folk and Fairy Tales

    "Jack Zipes is back with a massive, beautifully produced volume. It is basically an anthology of mostly translated texts, but with a thirty-seven-page presentation and illuminating introductions to each of the eighteen thematic sections. At the end, we get fifteen pages of short biographies of the collectors of the tales and a twenty-eight-page bibliography of collections, reference works, and criticism. . . . A master in his field has to be congratulated on yet another achievement."
         —Hans Kuhn, Australian National University, in Journal of Folklore Research

  33. The Golden Ass

    Apuleius
    Translated, with Introduction, by Joel C. Relihan

    The Golden Ass

    "This is easily the best English translation of The Golden Ass. I find that undergraduates with little or no knowledge of classical literature or the Greco-Roman world can readily read and enjoy it—as accessible as Graves or Ruden, but much more true to Apuleius's text and sensibility. Relihan's introduction is a great distillation of scholarly commentary—superb in all aspects."
         —Robin Walz, University of Alaska Southeast

  34. Orestes_Plays_PNG

    Euripides
    Translated, with Introduction and Notes, by Cecelia Eaton Luschnig

    The Orestes Plays

    Featuring Cecelia Eaton Luschnig's annotated verse translations of Euripides' Electra, Iphigenia among the Tauri, and Orestes, this volume offers an ideal avenue for exploring the playwright's innovative treatment of both traditional and non-traditional stories concerning a central, fascinating member of the famous House of Atreus.

  35. The Poetic Edda

    Translated and Edited, with Introduction, by Jackson Crawford

    The Poetic Edda

    "The poems of the Poetic Edda have waited a long time for a Modern English translation that would do them justice. Here it is at last (Odin be praised!) and well worth the wait. These amazing texts from a 13th-century Icelandic manuscript are of huge historical, mythological and literary importance, containing the lion's share of information that survives today about the gods and heroes of pre-Christian Scandinavians, their unique vision of the beginning and end of the world, etc. Jackson Crawford's modern versions of these poems are authoritative and fluent and often very gripping.  With their individual headnotes and complementary general introduction, they supply today's readers with most of what they need to know in order to understand and appreciate the beliefs, motivations, and values of the Vikings."   
          —Dick Ringler, Professor Emeritus of English and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison

  36. The Saga of the Volsungs

    Translated and Edited, with an Introduction, by Jackson Crawford

    The Saga of the Volsungs

    Forthcoming - available for pre-order, pre-orders will ship when the book is released in September 2017.

  37. The Tale of Cupid and Psyche

    Apuleius
    Translated, with Introduction, by Joel C. Relihan

    The Tale of Cupid and Psyche

    "Joel Relihan's playful and exuberant translation of Apuleius' Golden Ass has already won admiration for its ability to give an English-reading audience some sense of what it's like to experience this often astonishing writer in the original Latin. By presenting The Tale of Cupid and Psyche with its narrative frame and by supplementing it with key passages from other writers, he here provides the reader with the materials needed for an informed and complex engagement with this text; his carefully nuanced 'Afterthoughts' enrich that process further. This volume will appeal to anyone with interests in myth, religion, and folklore, and will surely find its place in a wide range of courses."
         —James B. Rives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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    Edited and Translated, with an Introduction, by Wilt L. Idema

    The White Snake and Her Son

    "Both by introducing the legend in such artfully rendered translations and showing its evolution over time, Idema has opened an extraordinary window on traditional Chinese popular culture. In keeping with his record, Idema's scholarship is outstanding.  His ability to translate popular texts into comparably idiomatic English is an outstanding achievement. An extremely valuable text for teaching."
         —Hugh R. Clark, Ursinus College

  39. Theban Plays (Woodruff & Meineck Edition)

    Sophocles
    Translated by Paul Woodruff and Peter Meineck
    Introduction by Paul Woodruff

    Theban Plays (Woodruff & Meineck Edition)

    This volume offers the fruits of Peter Meineck and Paul Woodruff's dynamic collaboration on the plays of Sophocles' Theban cycle, presenting the translators' Oedipus Tyrannus (2000) along with Woodruff's Antigone (2001) and a muscular new Oedipus at Colonus by Meineck. Grippingly readable, all three translations combine fidelity to the Greek with concision, clarity, and powerful, hard-edged speech. Each play features foot-of-the-page notes, stage directions, and line numbers to the Greek. Woodruff's Introduction discusses the playwright, Athenian theatre and performance, the composition of the plays, and the plots and characters of each; it also offers thoughtful reflections on major critical interpretations of these plays.

  40. Theogony & Works and Days (Caldwell & Nelson Edition)

    Hesiod
    Translated, with Introductions, by Richard Caldwell and Stephanie Nelson

    Theogony & Works and Days (Caldwell & Nelson Edition)

    This edition includes an annotated translation, by Richard Caldwell, of Hesiod’s Theogony together with annotated translation, by Stephanie Nelson, of Hesiod’s Works & Days. Introductions by the translators are also included, as is an essay by Caldwell entitled “The Psychology of the Succession Myth."

     

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