Publication date: January 1, 2013
The Greek and Roman myths have never died out; in fact they are as relevant today as ever in their sharp observations about human nature. For thousands of years they have inspired plays, operas, and paintings; today they live on in movies and video games.
Oh My Gods is a contemporary retelling of some of the most popular myths by Philip Freeman, a noted classicist. These tales of errant gods, fantastic creatures, and human heroes are brought to life in fresh and modern versions. Powerful Zeus; his perpetually aggrieved wife, Hera; talented Apollo; beautiful Aphrodite; fierce Athena; the dauntless heroes Theseus and Hercules; and the doomed lovers Orpheus and Eurydice still inspire awe, give us courage, and break our hearts.
From the astonishing tales of the Argonauts to the immortal narrative of the Battle of Troy, these ancient tales have inspired writers from Shakespeare to J. K. Rowling. In Philip Freeman’s vibrant retelling they will doubtless inspire a new generation of readers.
“Classics professor Freeman (Alexander the Great, 2010) fell in love with ancient Greek and Roman myths as a child and as a teacher has witnessed their undiminished power. He now presents uniquely uncensored and nonacademic retellings for adults of these indelible tales of rampaging lust, hubris, and fate. In his electrifying versions, the “sublime beauty and disturbing twists” intrinsic to these essential and transfixing myths blaze forth as never before. After an illuminating account of how these tales have been preserved over the centuries, Freeman brings the contentious, devious, shape-shifting, revengeful gods and goddesses, from Zeus and Hera on down, to towering life, recounting their violent exploits with verve and clarity. In this treacherous world of monsters, doomed lovers, and heroes male (Hercules) and female (Atalanta and sisters Procne and Philomela), beauty is a liability, immortality never equals wisdom, and humans are mere playthings. Freeman also offers fresh takes on such timeless stories as those of the Argonauts and Aeneas. A resounding collection of the endlessly compelling stories of passion, blood, valor, and tragedy that define the human condition.”
St. Louis Post Dispatch:
“Philip Freeman, a classics professor at Luther College, has written a thoroughly delightful book, telling once again the myths and fables that studded children’s books in bygone years.”
Bryn Mawr Classical Review:
“Philip Freeman must be thanked for his contribution to the process of keeping the Classics alive in the modern world. His biographies of Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great, for example, not only stimulate the scholar but also entice the newcomer to matters ancient. His volume of myths, Oh My Gods is another contribution to the enlivening of antiquity and like his other works this collection is a thoughtful and essentially well-written work.”