A large chunk of ancient literature is Mythology, or “other people’s religion,” according to Joseph Campbell. While most of these religions are no longer practiced, some still are, and they need to be handled with the same respect you would want others to give to your religion. Given the challenge of giving proper respect to the beliefs of others, some families may wish to wait until they feel like their children have a solid foundation in their own religion (approximately age 15). That said, it is still considered necessary to study mythology as it has played a significant role in the development of modern world culture and is necessary for a college-prep education. Given all of this, it is important for you, as the parent, to consider carefully how and when you choose to expose your children to Mythology.

Tanakh/Early Ancient

Picture Books
The Storyteller by Evan Turk
Lugalbanda by Kathy Henderson
The Gilgamesh Trilogy: Gilgamesh the King; The Revenge of Ishtar; The Last Quest of Gilgamesh (3 Volume Set) by Ludmila Zeman
Egyptian Myths by Jacqueline Morley
D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths
The Pot of Wisdom: Ananse stories
The Tortoise and the Geese and Other Fables of Bidpai (Yesterday’s Classics)

Chapter Books
Gilgamesh the Hero by Geraldine McCaughrean
Tales of Ancient Egypt by Roger Green
Tales of the Greek Heroes by Roger Green
The Age of Fable by Thomas Bullfinch
Black Ships Before Troy: The Story of ‘The Iliad’ by Rosemary Sutcliff
The Wanderings of Odysseus: The Story of the Odyssey by Rosemary Sutcliff
West African Folk-Tales (Yesterday’s Classics) by W.H. Barker
Ramayana: Divine Loophole by Sanjay Patel
Treasury of Chinese Folk Tales: Beloved Myths and Legends from the Middle Kingdom by Shelly Fu

Original Sources
Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others (Oxford World’s Classics) translated by Stephanie Dalley
The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Papyrus of Ani in the British Museum by E.A. Wallis Budge
Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes by Edith Hamilton
The Iliad translated by Robert Fagles
The Odyssey translated by E.V. Rieu
Greek Tragedies 1 edited by Grene & Lattimore
Ramayana by R.K. Narayan
Note: There are no original sources available for African and Chinese Mythology as our knowledge of them is based solely on later recordings of oral tradition; therefore, there are no recommendations of these for this level.

Talmud/Late Ancient

Picture Books
Roman Mythology by Evelyn Wolfson
Tales from the Mabinogion by Gwyn Thomas
The Ballad of Mulan by Song Nan Zhang
Chapter Books
In Search of a Homeland by Penelope Lively
Shapeshifters by Adrian Mitchell*
Celtic Mythology by Philip Freeman*
The White Stag by Kate Seredy
Original Sources
The Aeneid by Virgil
Metamorphoses by Ovid*
Mulan by Shiamin Kwa and Wilt L. Idema
The Mabinogion by Sioned Davies*
Ancient Irish Tales by Tom Peete Cross*
Note: There are no original sources available for Hungarian mythology as our knowledge of them is based solely on later recordings of oral tradition; therefore, there are no recommendations for this level.
*These books are still being reviewed. Parental guidance is advised at this time.