Explore mythology and art with information about the classic stories of heroes and gods...from the myths of ancient Greece and Rome, to the legends of the Celts. Mythography presents resources and reference materials about mythology - including recommended books, and lexicons that explain Greek, Roman, and Celtic terms.

Gardner's Art Through the Ages

This book is the classic reference for the study of art. It features a history of artists and their works, as well as lucid and engaging descriptions of the styles and periods of art history. Highly recommended for both students and scholars.

Aphrodite in Art
Aphrodite in Myth
Art Themes

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Arachne in Greek Mythology

The mythological story of the contest between the goddess Athena and the mortal woman Arachne was perhaps told best by the Roman poet Ovid in his Metamorphoses. A summary of Ovid's version of the tale follows.

According to Ovid (Metamorphoses, Book VI), Arachne lived in the country of Lydia (which had a legendary reputation for producing some of the most splendid textiles in the ancient world), where she matured into one of the finest weavers ever known. Arachne was in fact so adept at weaving that she became arrogant, and claimed that her ability rivaled that of the goddess Athena. Athena, as the patron deity of weavers and quite an accomplished weaver herself, immediately took notice of Arachne, and travelled to Lydia in order to confront the boastful woman. There the goddess assumed the guise of an old peasant, and gently warned Arachne not to compare her talents to those of an immortal; Arachne merely dismissed this reproach, and so Athena was compelled to accept the mortal woman's challenge.

They would each compete by creating a tapestry. Athena wove her tapestry with images that foretold the fate of humans who compared themselves with deities, while Arachne's weaving told of the loves of the gods. Such was Arachne's skill that her work equaled that of the goddess, and Athena, overwhelmed by anger, struck the hapless woman repeatedly. Terrified, Arachne hung herself, but Athena transformed the woman into a spider who quickly scurried off. Thus, this tale explains the spider's ability to weave its web.

Arachne in Art History

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Who's Who in Classical Mythology

Who's Who in Classical Mythology

This book is a great source for information about Greek and Roman mythology! Organized alphabetically, this who's who features information about over 1200 of the most intriguing characters from Classical myth and legend.

Bulfinch's Mythology

Bulfinch's Mythology

The stories of Classical myth come to life in Bulfinch's book. This edition also features legends from other cultures.

Mythography Forums

Mythography Forums

Do you have a specific question about Greek, Roman, and Celtic mythology? Then try the Mythography forum!