Does this describe you?

I'm new to mythology (and to Mythology.SE), and I'm interested in learning about mythology. However, I’ve only read children’s versions of myths, or summaries of myths online. I would love to start reading original translations of myths, but I'm intimidated by their length and complexity.

What are some good "beginner" myths for me to read (and to eventually ask and answer questions about)?

If so, please see the list of starter myths below!

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    I'm asking this question to help new users learn more about mythology and contribute to the site: I've noticed that a lot of new users ask questions based on wikipedia articles, and I think that's because they haven't read original myths. Hopefully this resource will introduce users to mythology and raise the quality of the questions asked on the site. – user62 May 16 '15 at 17:01
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    To be clear, I believe when we're talking about beginners, we mean someone with good, adult-level reading skills, but not a lot of knowledge about mythology, or how to negotiate ancient/religious texts, right? – femtoRgon May 16 '15 at 17:13

Welcome to the site! We're excited that you're interested in mythology, and we can't wait to hear what you think of the myths you will read!

Here's a list of "beginner" myths to introduce you to the subject. These myths aren't boring (myths are some of the most interesting stories in existence), but they are relatively short and (hopefully) easier to understand. If you have questions about these myths when you read them, be sure to ask. At the end of this answer, I've included some "advanced" myths in case you want a challenge.

All of these myths are available online, but I would recommend getting a copy of them from your local library: like any story, they're easier to read on paper.


Longer, but readable


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    Where does the distinction between "Beginner" and "Advanced" lie? – HDE 226868 Mod May 16 '15 at 17:09
  • Would it make sense to have a category for long, but readable texts? "The Odyssey", for instance. – femtoRgon May 16 '15 at 17:14
  • @femtoRgon yes, please edit away. – user62 May 16 '15 at 17:33
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    @HDE226868 beginner texts should be shorter, use less obscure concepts understood only by people with detailed knowledge of that specific culture, and they should be more consistent (e.g. no tangents, etc) – user62 May 16 '15 at 17:33
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    "relatively short"?? Odyssey took 10 years! – DVK May 16 '15 at 20:17
  • For someone who wants a quick and dirty list of gods, Hesiod's Theogony should be moved to beginner, no? – cmw Oct 2 '15 at 5:20
  • @C.M.Weimer fixed. This is a community wiki, so feel free to edit/add to it whenever you want. – user62 Oct 2 '15 at 20:41
  • @Hamlet I didn't want to start moving things around until I knew a bit more of the reasons why something was placed somewhere, but I'll just exercise my judgment. – cmw Oct 2 '15 at 22:24

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