The Pimlico Dictionary of Classical Mythologies is a unique work of reference which breaks new ground by treating for the first time the classical mythologies of the Old World as a whole. Never before have the mythologies of Greece, Rome, Persia, India and China been encompassed in a single volume, despite the fact that the first four have much in common through their Indo-European ancestry.
Arthur Cotterell shows how much more can be understood about 'classical mythology' by comparison and contrast of its five major traditions. Another key aspect of The Pimlico Dictionary of Classical Mythologies is that the myths are not simply recounted; their least accessible features are helpfully interpreted by reference to the culture in which they arose. Thus, for example, the profound influence of the Iranian prophet Zoroaster's thinking on Persian mythology is made clear, along with the far-reaching consequences its adoption would later have for Christian thought.
The Pimlico Dictionary of Classical Mythologies also includes over two hundred original illustrations, which have been specially commissioned in order to reveal how gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines, sages, villains and demons were actually envisaged during the classical period. Taken together with the well-devised entries and the informative introduction, these unusual illustrations make The Pimlico Dictionary of Classical Mythologies an indispensable handbook for both students and the general reader.