Other Storytellers You Should Know
All of the poets, dramatists, and storytellers described in this chapter contributed greatly to world literature and to our knowledge of classical mythology. Although these men take the spotlight in studies of mythology, others also composed works that have survived and added to our knowledge of mythology.
Don't forget the artists! Any exploration of this subject must include the works of the numerous sculptors, painters, and other visual artists — most of them anonymous — who depicted characters and scenes from classical mythology. Visit a museum or look at a book of classical art to become familiar with some of these fascinating works.
These Greek poets, historians, and essayists composed works that drew from mythology and contribute to our understanding of the subject:
Apollodorus: A mythologist and historian whose work The Library serves as a guide to classical mythology, covering just about everything you might want to know about the history of the gods.
Apollonius Rhodius: An epic poet who lived in the second century
Herodotus: A historian who lived during the fifth century
Musaeus: A fifth-century poet best known for his poem about the myth of Hero and Leander.
Pausanias: A second-century writer and traveler whose work Description of Greece includes mythology, religious rites, art, and history.
Pindar: A fifth-century poet often called “the greatest of the Greek lyric poets,” who wrote a collection of lyric odes celebrating the winners of the Olympic, Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian games.
Plutarch: A biographer and essayist who wrote biographies of mythological and historical Greeks and Romans.
Sappho: Born between 630 and 612
Stesichorus: A sixth-century lyric poet whose works tell the stories of Thebes and Troy.
Although much of Roman mythology was taken from the Greeks — just a few names changed here and there — the Romans had their own mythology as well. The following writers helped make that mythology known to us today.
Horace: A great lyric poet whose works Odes and Epodes deal with both Greek and Roman mythology.
Livy: A historian whose History of Rome relates Roman history and legends.
Propertius: A poet who wrote elegies and mythological poetry.
Seneca: A tragedian who dramatized Greek mythological characters.
Statius: An epic poet who is best known for Thebaid, which relates the conflict between Oedipus's sons Polynices and Eteocles as they struggle for control over Thebes.