Each and every episode of Find Your Gods is the culmination of a lot of reading and research. I also pace around and talk to myself and listen to music late at night. (Aren’t you glad to know you’re not the only one?)
If you want to dig in deeper to the world of myth, here are a few places where you can start. Check back often, as this list will get longer as time goes on.
Things to read…
Olympians by George O’Connor is a must-read for anyone interested in Greek Mythology. George makes the gods accessible to modern readers, giving them context and clarity like never before. And yeah . . . they’re comic books. Deal with it.
The Meridian Handbook of Mythology was an odd impulse buy that I made thirty years ago. And I’ve kept it close at hand ever since. It’s where I start, every time.
I find that preferred versions of Ovid’s Metamorphoses comes down to personal taste. Some people prefer the poetic, flowery translations. While others are content to rely on the grounded, literal ones. Either way you lean, make sure Ovid is on your shelf.
I’ve got a book by Robert Graves on my shelf called The Gods of the Greeks but I can’t seem to find a link for quite the same edition online. But there are plenty of choices out there. You’re not likely to go wrong with the guy who wrote The White Goddess as well as I, Claudius.
Alan Moore will help you peel back the layers of this world to see what’s really going on in works like Promethea, Unearthing, Voice of the Fire, and From Hell. These can be life-changing works, if you’re the right sort of person.
If you find that you are starting to explore past the line separating the literary and historical from the literal interpretation of these myths, consider picking up a copy of Hellenic Polytheism – Household Worship.
Things to watch…
The Clash of the Gods series gives a very nice overview of some of the major players in the pantheon. I can’t say I agree with every characterization but it is a good place to start.
As is the first season of Jim Henson’s The Storyteller. Again, not always quite spot on with how I view the character of some of these gods, but well worth your time. But be careful, these aren’t necessarily stories for children.
There are hundreds of other TV shows and movies that deal with the world of myth. I can’t say I’ve seen them all but, in all honesty, much of what I have seen doesn’t have a clear, compelling perspective on the gods.
Things to listen to…
The musician Michael Levy does amazing work, reconstructing the songs and sounds of the past using authentic instruments and techniques. Putting one of his albums on is like having your own personal time machine.
I can’t recommend his music enough for people interested in recapturing the spirit of the ancient world.
If you’re looking for something a bit more contemporary, Daemonia Nymphe is worth checking out. They’ve got deep roots in the classical texts and their music is intriguing and evocative.
The Petros Tabouris Ensemble is another group worth checking out if you’re looking for an authentic sound to guide you into the ancient world.
I already mentioned it above, but Alan Moore’s Unearthing is well worth listening to. Moore constructs a haunting and beautiful portrait of his longtime friend Steve Moore (no relation) and his relationship with the goddess Selene.
Things to bookmark…
It gets a bad rap, but the editors of Wikipedia have done an exceptional job curating knowledge and history from antiquity. I tend to start here before branching out into the side channels and backwaters of the Internet.
Although much reviled by authors, the Google Books project has a fair amount for someone who needs a quick quote or resource. I’m sometimes amazed at what I find there.
The grandaddy of them all, of course, is Project Gutenberg.
And, I have to confess, the Online Etymology Dictionary is a well-worn bookmark in my browser. Hey, we all have our crutches.
Obviously, this is not a complete list. If you’ve got something you think might be worth adding to the list, drop me a line and let me know.