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
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Circe in Greek Mythology
Circe was a legendary enchantress in Greek mythology. Indeed, her powers of enchantment were notorious in both myth and literature. One of her most memorable appearances is in the Odyssey of Homer, where she detains the hero Odysseus on her island. And it is in the Odyssey that we find one of the best sources for information about this legendary mythical character.

According to our ancient sources, Circe was descended from divine parents. The Greek poet Hesiod claims that her parents were Helios, the god of the Sun, and the Oceanid Perseis. This means that Circe was the sister not only to King Aeetes, but also another legendary figure - Pasiphae.

In the Odyssey, Homer calls Circe a goddess. Perhaps the suggestion that she is an immortal explains her ability to cast the bewitching spells that have the power to change men into animals. And like many goddesses, the beautiful Circe had charms that few men could resist. The Odyssey includes a delightful scene in which the crew of Odysseus first encounter the goddess on her island:

"In the entrance way they stayed
to listen there: inside her quiet house
they heard the goddess Circe.
Low she sang
in her beguiling voice, while on her loom
she wove ambrosial fabric sheer and bright,
by that craft known to the goddesses of heaven."

The lovely female who sings while she weaves seems quite innocent to the companions of Odysseus. However, this innocence is an illusion. For as soon as Circe lures the men into her lair, she transforms them into swine. It is the hero Odysseus who comes to the rescue. With the assistance of the god Hermes (and the herb called moly), Odysseus resists Circe's enchantments - well, almost. In the end, Odysseus spends a year with the goddess, and his time with Circe is undoubtedly one of the hero's more pleasurable encounters.

Circe in Art
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The Odyssey

We recommend Robert Fitzgerald's translation of this compelling epic.

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.