The Genealogy of Greek Myth: An Illustrated Family Tree Greek Myth from the First Gods to the Founders of Rome is a handy resource. Packed with well-researched information, this book provides “at a glance” charts and surprisingly detailed information about the complex and often confusing relationships of the immortal Olympians and the mortal heroes they interact with.
The author, Vanessa James, spent eighteen years putting the Genealogy of Greek Myth together, and it shows. The data is more than complete, it is exhaustive. More, it provides a truly elegant and genuinely useful way to trace the dynasties and major events of Greek and Roman myth.
The information, which includes more than 3,000 entries for gods, goddess, heroes, monsters, and mortals and 125 biographies of key characters, is nicely indexed, complete, and easy to access and grasp quickly. The family-tree style arrangement makes it intuitive to explore. It’s also fun to read.
Nonetheless, what really sets this book apart is the fact that it is just plain beautiful. It is lavishly illustrated with photographs, a mythological star chart, classical art (reproductions of paintings, sculptures, mosaics, pottery, etc.), maps, and the previouslty mentioned charts, all in lush and vibrant color.
The uniquely designed book slides out of a slip case and unfolds to become a 17-foot long poster, making the information accessible literally at a glance. The result is an excellent reference that’s also a treasure to own.