The Encyclopedia of Epic Myths and Legends, written by yours truly, will be published by Quarto on September 17, 2024. In this book, I’ve retold a whole bunch of classic myths and legends from all over the world and examined the effect these myths have had on contemporary popular culture (e.g. Star Wars, the Marvel and DC universes, Percy Jackson, Lord of the Rings, etc). And as opposed to many of the other books I’ve written, this one is for general audiences (both kids and adults).

The Encyclopedia of Epic Myths and Legends is the second book in Quarto’s Wonderpedia series. (The first book is The Encyclopedia of the Weird and Wonderful, by Milo Rossi.)

You can preorder The Encyclopedia of Epic Myths and Legends HERE.

Here’s the official publisher description of the book:

In this unique exploration of world mythology, discover how ancient tales across cultures have influenced today’s pop culture, from Beyoncé to Game of Thrones.

Fun, engaging, and gorgeously illustrated, The Encyclopedia of Epic Myths and Legends details the influences of classical stories on contemporary popular culture. Without these myths, passed down through the generations over three millennia, many of the stories we enjoy in our current media wouldn’t exist! Arie Kaplan makes unexpected connections in our everyday lives. Are you wearing Nike shoes? The company is named after the Greek goddess of victory. Big on astronomy? Most of the planets in our solar system, like Mercury, Jupiter, and Mars, are named after members of the Roman pantheon. Kaplan takes the reader on a deep dive into mythology from around the world and shows that Superman and Achilles are connected, Frankenstein and Prometheus were cut from the same cloth, and how an Egyptian sun god has inspired video games, the musical stage, and the silver screen.

The Encyclopedia of Epic Myths and Legends deftly combines history and modern pop culture to enrich your experience of both worlds. This captivating book covers:

  • Not only the Greek Pantheon but mythology from cultures from all around the world, from West African mythology to Egyptian, Roman, Incan, Celtic, Indian, Zoroastrian, Norse, Japanese, Chinese, and British myths, to name a few.  
  • Unexpected correlations between things we see in our everyday lives and mythology, like Beyoncé’s use of imagery of the Yoruba water goddess Osun, the Marvel Universe and Norse gods Loki, Thor, and Odin, and Superman’s conception through Hercules, King Arthur, and Moses. 
  • Fascinating sidebars that break down legendary lore such as unicorns, the tooth fairy, and Stonehenge, as well as examinations of mythic masters who have expertly woven these timeless tales into pop culture like Neil Gaiman and George Lucas.  
  • A deep dive into the fascinating folklore from all around the world, and how we all are connected, no matter how far apart we might be. 

With countless Easter eggs revealed throughout, Epic Myths & Legends is an exciting way to learn about ancient mythology. You may think you know what inspired The Hunger Games or Percy Jackson, but you must read The Encyclopedia of Epic Myths and Legends to truly discover the source of these modern tales.

The Wonderpedia series offers comprehensive, display-worthy illustrated references on a range of intriguing topics, including archeological discoveries, world mythology, pop culture, global superstitions, and the fascinating stories behind signs and symbols. A cross-cultural exploration of what makes humans tick, this series magnifies the connective threads between us across time and geography and demystifies the surprising, confounding sides of life.


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