Books : reviews

Grant L. Voth.
The History of World Literature.
Great Courses. 2007

Grant L. Voth.
Myth in Human History.
Great Courses. 2010

rating : 4 : passes the time
review : 23 January 2020

This is the course guidebook that accompanies the 36 lecture “Great Course” of the same name. It is essentially an abbreviated transcript of each 30 minute lecture, a few pictures, some suggested reading, and a few questions to think about. (I watched the lectures, which is what I am reviewing here, and am using the book simply as an aide-memoire.)

Voth covers a wide range of creation myths, gods, goddesses, mythic heroes, tricksters, and mythic places. What is clear is how similar many of these myths are to each other, in theme when their origins are distant, in substance when their origins are nearby places. In particular, several of the myths of Egypt, the Middle East, and Ancient Greece are clearly the same story changed only a little over time.

It’s called a religion when you are in it, but a myth when looking from outside.