The Age of Fable

by Thomas Bulfinch Author

(From Amazon): The religions of ancient Greece and Rome are extinct. The so- called divinities of Olympus have not a single worshipper among living men. They belong now not to the department of theology, but to those of literature and taste. There they still hold their place, and will continue to hold it, for they are too closely connected with the finest productions of poetry and art, both ancient and modern, to pass into oblivion. We propose to tell the stories relating to them which have come down to us from the ancients, and which are alluded to by modern poets, essayists, and orators. Our readers may thus at the same time be entertained by the most charming fictions which fancy has ever created, and put in possession of information indispensable to every one who would read with intelligence the elegant literature of his own day. In order to understand these stories, it will be necessary to acquaint ourselves with the ideas of the structure of the universe which prevailed among the Greeks—the people from whom the Romans, and other nations through them, received their science and religion. The Greeks believed the earth to be flat and circular, their own country occupying the middle of it, the central point being either Mount Olympus, the abode of the gods, or Delphi, so famous for its oracle. The circular disk of the earth was crossed from west to east and divided into two equal parts by the Sea, as they called the Mediterranean, and its continuation the Euxine, the only seas with which they were acquainted. Around the earth flowed the River Ocean, its course being from south to north on the western side of the earth, and in a contrary direction on the eastern side. It flowed in a steady, equable current, unvexed by storm or tempest. The sea, and all the rivers on earth, received their waters from it. The northern portion of the earth was supposed to be inhabited by a happy race named the Hyperboreans, dwelling in everlasting bliss and spring beyond the lofty mountains whose caverns were supposed to send forth the piercing blasts of the north wind, which chilled the people of Hellas (Greece). Their country was inaccessible by land or sea. They lived exempt from disease or old age, from toils and warfare. Moore has given us the "Song of a Hyperborean," beginning "I come from a land in the sun-bright deep, Where golden gardens glow, Where the winds of the north, becalmed in sleep, Their conch shells never blow." On the south side of the earth, close to the stream of Ocean, dwelt a people happy and virtuous as the Hyperboreans. They were named the Aethiopians. The gods favored them so highly that they were wont to leave at times their Olympian abodes and go to share their sacrifices and banquets.


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CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform


  • 1 Chapter 15 Graeae to Atlas
  • 2 Chapter 15 Sea Monster
  • 3 Chapter 16 Monsters, Sphinx
  • 4 Chapter 16 Pegasus-Gryphon
  • 5 Chapter 17 Golden Fleece
  • 6 Chapter 17 Medea and Aeson
  • 7 Chapter 18 Meleager
  • 8 Chapter 18 Atlanta
  • 9 Chapter 19 Hercules 1/2
  • 10 Chapter 19 Hercules 1/2
  • 11 Chapter 19 Hebe and Ganymede
  • 12 Chapter 19 Theseus
  • 13 Chapter 19 Olympics, Pollux
  • 14 Chapter 20 Bacchus
  • 15 Chapter 20 Ariadne
  • 16 Chapter 22 Rural Deities
  • 17 Chapter 22 Erisichthon
  • 18 Chapter 22 Rhoecus
  • 19 Chapter 23 Achelous and Hercules
  • 20 Chapter 23 Admetus and Alcestis
  • 21 Chapter 23 Antigone, Penelope
  • 22 Chapter 24 Orpheus and Eurydice
  • 23 Chapter 24 Aristaeus
  • 24 Chapter 24 Amphion, Muusaeus
  • 25 Chapter 25 Arion
  • 26 Chapter 25 Ibycus
  • 27 Chapter 25 Simonides, Sappho
  • 28 Chapter 26 Diana - Orion
  • 29 Chapter 26 Aurora, Tithonus; Acis, Galatea
  • 30 Chapter 27 Trjoan War
  • 31 Chapter 27 Iliad 1/3
  • 32 Chapter 27 Iliad 1/3
  • 33 Chapter 27 Iliad 1/3
  • 34 Chapter 28 Fall of Troy 1/2
  • 35 Chapter 28 Fall of Troy 1/2
  • 36 Chapter 28 Agamemnon - Troy

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