“Greece! Rome! Monsters!” by John Harris and Calef Brown (2002)

Attention! Children’s book full of mythical monsters!  

“Greece! Rome! Monsters!”, written by John Harris and illustrated by a Southern California illustrator – Calef Brown, was published in 2002 by The J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles). The official age range of the target audience is between 9-12 years old.

“Greece! Rome! Monsters!” book cover [source]

In the book we find twenty different monsters from mythology (described in an alphabetical order), such as Basilisk, Centaur, Cerberus, Medusa, Minotaur, Pegasus, Sirens, etc. The authors often refer to the famous myths and well known works of literature and art in which the creatures were presented.

See more:

  • Another publication by John Harris, titled “Strong Stuff: Herakles and His Labors”link
  • The official website of Calef Brownwww.calefbrown.com
  • “Greece! Rome! Monsters!” in Barbara Weinlich’s article “The Metanarrative of Picture Books: ‘Reading’ Greek Myth for (and to) Children” (in: The Reception of Ancient Greece and Rome in Children’s Literature: Heroes and Eagles”, ed. by Lisa Maurice) – link
  • “Greece! Rome! Monsters!” in Myth Collections for Children” – a chapter written by Sheila Murnaghan and Deborah H. Roberts for the book A Handbook to the Reception of Classical Mythology” link

Post prepared by Dorota Rejter

Source of the illustrations – link


The Image of the Goddess of Hunting Artemis at the conference “Cynegetica over the Centuries”

Dorota Rejter is a PhD student at the Faculty of “Artes Liberales” and a team member of the Our Mythical Childhood project. 

On the 1st February 2020 I had the pleasure to give a speech about the “Image of the Goddess of Hunting – Artemis (Diana) in Contemporary Children’s and Young Adults’ Literature Inspired by Antiquity” at a scientific conference Cynegetica Over the Centuries” that took place in Hunting Palace in Promnice (Poland).

The conference speakers were presenting numerous texts, thanks to which we could get to know the hunting practice in ancient times and later, through the centuries. We were also focusing on the changing nature of hunting expeditions, that today are mostly interpreted and described in works of literature through the prism of ethics and issues related to ecology and the protection of animal rights.

Conference booklet and in the background – beautiful palace interiors

The conference was organized by the research team which implements the project Cynegetica in the Ancient World” (part of the Institute of Literature. Faculty of Humanities at the University of Silesia), as well as the Castle Museum in Pszczyna and the Polish Philological Society (Katowice branch). The conference was attended by guests from all over Poland.

Hunting Palace in Promnice
Hunting Palace in Promnice
Conference room/Restaurant in Hunting Palace in Promnice

Based on the study of the transformation of the image of mythological female characters in contemporary children’s and young adults’ literature (conducted for the needs of my doctoral dissertation), I chose some interesting examples of the reception of Artemis (Diana) and presented them to the audience. I focused mainly on the new contexts in which the authors decide to place the character of Artemis, on the metamorphoses of her image (including her modern attributes), as well as all the new abilities linked to her character.

In my presentation I analyzed the character of Sidney “Sid” Madison (modern incarnation of Artemis) from the fantasy series “Girls of Olympus” (2008) written by Italian author Elena Kedros, and the character of Artemis from the comic book “Artemis. Wild Goddess of the Hunt” (2017) by George O’Connor. Presenting this two characters I was trying to prove that Artemis in contemporary children’s literature is often presented as a modern character, detached from the ancient sources, and that her creations concentrate mainly on her strong personality, independence, her respect to animals, and her will to protect the nature and innocent people.


I would like to thank the conference organisers for the invitation, especially Dr. Edyta Gryksa and Dr. Patrycja Matusiak from the University of Silesia.

Read more:

  • The official website of the Hunting Lodge in Promnicelink
  • The official website of the Institute of Literature. Faculty of Humanities at the University of Silesia – link
  • The official website of the Castle Museum in Pszczyna – link
  • The official website of the Polish Philological Society (Katowice branch) link 

Post prepared by Dorota Rejter

All the photos were taken by the author of this post.