- Carlyon, Richard, A Guide to the Gods, Quill, William Morrow,
New York, 1981.
- Dictionary format, not always reliable. This work is divided into
regional sections, first by continent and then, usually by culture.
- Mythologies (2 volumes in hard cover, 4 or 5 in paperbound),
Bonnefoy, Yves (compiler), The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1991.
- This handful of topically focused articles provides depth in some
areas of a wide variety of ancient religions, but often lacks an overall
picture as Bonnefoy's work was designed for an encyclopedic format and
was reformatted for English translation.
- Sykes, Edgerton, Who's Who in Non-Classical Mythology, Oxford
University Press, New York, 1993.
- Dictionary format, not always reliable.
Well, I've heard others mention more modern works in the past, but you
can still find a lot of good information in the works of E.A.Wallis Budge,
the turn of the century Egyptologist. Try the two volume
The Gods of the Egyptians. Let the serious scholar be warned
that Budge's translations have fallen out of favor with modern
- Dalley, Stephanie (trans.) Myths from Mesopotamia Oxford
University Press, New York, 1991.
- This inexpensive volume contains all of the major Assyro-Babylonian
(Akkadian) myths, including the epic of Gilgamesh and the Enumma Elish
along with brief introductions, footnotes, and a glossary.
- Gardner, John & Maier, John Gilgamesh :Translated from the
Sin-Leqi-Unninni Version, Vintage Books, Random House, New York, 1984.
- A column by column translation with notes and commentary following
each column, by the late author of Grendel.
- Hooke, S. H., Babylonian and Assyrian Religion, University of
Oklahoma Press, Norman Oklahoma, 1963.
- Jacobsen, Thorkild, The Treasures of Darkness, Yale
University Press, New Haven, 1976.
- A good alternative to Kramer, Jacobsen explores Mesopotamian
religious development from early Sumerian times through the Babylonian
Enuma Elish. Most of the book winds up being on the Sumerians.
- Kinnier Wilson, J. V., The Rebel Lands : an Investigation Into
the Origins of Early Mesopotamian Mythology, Cambridge, Cambridge
University Press, 1979.
- Kramer, Samuel Noah, and Maier, John, Myths of Enki, the Crafty
God, Oxford University Press, New York, 1989.
- The most recent work that I've been able to find by Kramer. They
translate and analyze all of the availible myths which include Enki and
include a moderate Sumerian/Akkadian/English glossary. I've only seen it
availible in hardcover and I haven't seen it in a bookstore yet - I hear
it will be out of print for a couple of years.
- Kramer, Samuel Noah The Sumerians The University of Chicago
Press, Chicago, 1963.
- This is a more thorough work than
Kramer's section at the end of Inanna, but the intervening 20 or so years
of additional research and translation allow Inanna's section to be
perhaps more updated, if less comprehensive, regarding mythology.
- Kramer, Samuel Noah, Sumerian Mythology, Harper & Brothers,
New York, 1961.
- This slim volume contains much of the mythologic material that wound
up in The Sumerians but has it concentrated in one spot and without
much cultural or historical detail. It is more extensive in some
places than The Sumerians, but less up to date, as the bulk of
this was written in 1944.
- McCall, Henrietta, Mesopotamian Myths University of Texas
Press, Austin, 1990.
- A summary account of Dalley's book with nice pictures more cultural
- Wolkstein, Diane and Kramer, S. N. Inanna: Queen of Heaven and
Earth, Harper & Row, NY, 1983.
- Ms. Wolkstein's verse translations (based mostly on Kramer and
partially on Jacobsen) of the Inanna/Dumuzi cycle of myths are excellent,
and Kramer gives a 30 or so page description of Sumerian cosmology and
society at the end.
- John C.L. Gibson Canaanite Myths and Legends, T & T Clark
Ltd., Edinburgh, 1977.
- Parallel Ugaritic transliteration and
English translation of the myths found at Ugarit. Gibson also includes
thorough notes, myth summaries, some more puzzling untranslated texts,
and an Ugaritic/English glossary.
- Day, John, Molech:A God of Human Sacrifice in the Old
Testament, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1989.
- This slim volume seeks to find the origin of this deity and
examines many conflicting theories.
- Gurney, O. R. The Hittites, Penguin Books, New York, 1990.
- Gurney's work is a solid overview of Hittite history, culture,
religion, and mythology.
- Hoffner, Harry Hittite Myths, Scholars Press, Atlanta,
- Intended to be a more idiomatic translation, Hoffner's work also
includes material more recent than Goetz's work in Pritchard's ANET (See
- Hooke, S. H. Middle Eastern Mythology, Penguin Books, New
- This work covers Sumerian, Babylonian, Canaanite/Ugaritic, Hittite,
and Hebrew mythologic material in brief and with comparisons.
- Pritchard J. B., Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old
Testament, Princeton, 1955.
- There is also a 1969 supplement to this work. It seems to
be the authoritative source for all complete texts of the Sumerians,
Babylonians, Canaanites, Hittites, and perhaps other groups as well. It's
pricy but many libraries have a copy.
- Curtis, Vesta Sarkhosh Persian Myths, The Bath Press, Avon,
- One of the few inexpensive volumes on the subject that is currently
in print, this is really a brief work with lots of pictures, but it
covers the gods, demons, and heroes of this region from pre-Zoroastrian
days to the dawn of Islam.
- The core text of Zoroastrianism, its transcription is attributed to
Zarathushtra. There are a handful of translations availible, but all of
the affordible ones are abridged. A healthy library may have J.
Darmesteter's exhaustive translation.
- Firdowsi (Firdausi) Shahnameh 'The Book of Kings'
- Ferdowsi The Epic of the Kings: Shah-Nama by Ferwowsi,
Arkana, Penguin Books, New York, 1990. ISBN 0-14-019231-X
- Written in AD 1010, this book reaches to legends before Islam. A
recent check in Books in Print showed a four volume translation
availible, but at over US $40 per volume. However, I recently picked up
a paperback that had been put out by Penguin, in a used bookstore for less
than $10 US.
- O'Flaherty, Wendy Doniger, Hindu Myths, Penguin Books, New
- This work contains excerpts from and commentary on mythic aspects of
various major Hindu works including the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Puranas.
- Aston, W. G., Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest
Times to A.D. 697, Charles E. Tuttle Company, Rutland, Vermont &
Tokyo, Japan, 1972 (1998) ISBN 0-8048-0984-4 Original translation: 1896.
- The Nihongi or Nihonshoki was completed in the early
8th century C.E. and, along with the Kojiki represents the earliest
written works of Japanese myth and history. The first two books of
sixteen are titled "The Age of the Gods" and are of main interest to
mythology ienthusiasts. Aston's edition has copious footnootes, a good
introduction and a workable index.
- Philippi, Donald L. Kojiki, University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo,
1968. ISBN 4-13-9897004-1
- The Kojiki was completed in 712 C.E. and along with its
contemporary work, the Nihongi represents the earliest written
works of Japanese myth and history. The first book of the three
comprising the Kojiki will be of primary interest to those
interested in mythology. Philippi's translation also includes a sound
introduction and an extensive glossary/index of characters and
locations. A later version of Kojiki was translated into modern
Japanese by Motoori and is known as Kojiki-den.
A lot of people are fond of Kevin Crossley-Howland's The Norse
Myths. I haven't read it myself though, but can reccommend
translations of the Eddas, which will give you a good overview.
- Bulfinch, Thomas The Age of Fable
- This work is also part of Bulfinch's Mythology
which includes his books on Arthurian and Carolingian legends.
This is a nineteenth century digest form of the myths, using the
Roman names. It is fairly comprehensive and the modern
publications include additional information on Egyptian and Norse
- Powell, Barry B. Classical Myth, Prentice Hall, Englewood
Cliffs, New Jersey, 1995. ISBN 0-13-143470-5 (707 pp.)
- Powell's text is intended for an undergraduate level course on
mythology, but should be easily approachable by interested high school
students as well. While, as the title suggests, the bulk of this text is
centered on the stories of Greece and Rome, Powell sets up that study by a
survey of Near Eastern mythology, referring back to those tales when
parallels arise withing the Greek and Roman ones. Powell also discusses
the cultural context of those myths and concludes his work with a chapter
on the theories of myth interpretation - from Classical times to the 20th
century. While some myths are necessarily retold and condensed, Powell,
when possible includes long direct translations of Classical
sources. Also featured are artistic depictions, side essays, and
concluding each chapter - recommendations for further reading.
- Lattimore, Richard (trans.) Homer, The Illiad
- The middle of the Trojan war. Don't look for the horse here
- Fitzgerald, Timothy (trans.) Homer, The Odyssey
- Odysseus's journeys after the Trojan war.
- Hesiod, Theogony
- The creation of the universe and the generation of the titans and
gods. Probably the oldest written work of Greek mythology.
- Virgil, Aeneid
- Hector's travels after the Trojan war.
- Young, Jean, (trans.) Sturlason, Snorri The Prose Edda of Snorri
- The first section of this work, 'The Deluding of Gylfi' hits many of
the Norse myths. As was the case with many of the literate people of
the time, Snorri was a cleric and some feel that his faith colored his
representation of the myths.
- Terry, Patricia, (trans.) anonymous Poems of the Elder Edda.
- This work presents portions of the Poetic Edda (aka Edda
Saemundar), which, while written down after Snorri's Edda may
tap into older sources.
- Delaney, Frank Legends of the Celts, Sterling Publishing Co.
Inc., New York, 1992 (1989), ISBN 0-8069-8351-5
- Delaney presentes a nice overview of Irish and Welsh mythology and
of 'Tristan and Iseult'.
- Kinsella, Thomas (trans.) The Tain
- Widely regarded as the best translation of 'The Cooley Cattle Raid',
this work translates the Ulster cycle of Irish mythology, featuring Cu
Chulain of Muirthemne.
- Lady Augusta Gregory - Gods and Fighting Men
- This turn of the (previous) century work tells of the Tuatha de
Danaan, of Finn MacCumhal, his son Ossian, and of Diarmuid.
She also wrote Cuchulain of Muirthemne which also tells the Ulster
- The Mabinogion
- This collection of Welsh tales (usually including a handful of tales
of King Arthur's knights) has many translators. Penguin puts out an
inexpensive one by Jeffrey Gantz.