Now, before I say anything I want it to be clear that I like Greek Mythology. I have enjoyed it on numerous occasions. I have even read the famous D'Aulaires book. (Once when I was young and
But sometimes I think Greek Myths are Way Too Popular. I've been reading this Ancient, Ancient, school book called Myths and Their Meanings, by Max J. Herzberg which was published in 1928 and is So Old I cannot find and ISBN #for it. It's an interesting enough book, but what bothers me is that the first 353 pages is all about Greek Myths. Nordic Myth is lumped in with the Celts for the rest of the book which is under 100 pages long! And there is no mention of Egyptian Mythology at all, and by this time in history people were aware of the Rosetta Stone and there were Egyptologists running about. Suffice it to say, I found it just a little bit disturbing.
Fortunately, it's been a good amount of time since 1928. There have been re-tellings of the Swan Maiden folktale, which is thought to be North-Eurasian as far as I can find. RL LaFevers has used Egyptian Mythology, and so did Rick Riordan in his newer book series the Kane Chronicles. The Nordic Myths seem to be not quite as popular, though I believe a certain blogger is trying to rectify that. (Ohmygoodness. I know she exists. I feel terrible. I have looked for her on twitter, on Google Reader, I have Googled her. I even looked on CafePress and I cannot remember what her blog is and I'm not sure of her name and I don't want to say the wrong thing. I feel so Terrible. But she does exist. I know she does.) D'Aulaires even put out a Norse Myth book as well, which is Very Exciting.
Still, there are certain Mythologies that still tend to be skipped over. Like Sumerian. There is a vast amount of myths in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean culture that is not seen as often. I'm sure there are others that I'm completely forgetting about, but you get the point.
And I do understand that Greek Mythology was adopted by the Romans who ruled the so-called World. I do know that it was considered a normal part of a high education to learn Greek so people could read Homer and the like. Even know you can go to many colleges and be able to take Greek. Not so much Ancient Egyptian. I was blessed to go to a college where I could take a semester of Akkadian, but that doesn't happen very often. Greek Myths are still more widely accessible than most other stories. (I am excluding European folk tales for now, because there is a certain distinction between Myth and Folk tale, according to some.)
I'm hoping this changes, and continues to change. I think it would be fantastic if more colleges offered special classes in Akkadian, or Egyptian, or whatever. I do think that even with the Paranormal shift in YA literature, looked over myths will start to be tapped into. Maybe even because of the shift in YA. (Can Greek and paranormal inter-mix? That would be interesting. Or even a Greek steampunk? Ahem. Anyway. Moving on.)
How about you? Any thoughts on the subject? I'd love to hear what you think. :)