A sophisticated presentation of the most familiar Greek myths, emphasizing their sources and meanings. Most stories are introduced by a paragraph clearly labeled as ""Sources."" Zeus is portrayed as a lusty, insatiable lover; the other royals delight in cruelty and one-upman-ship. Switzer's style is closer to reporting than to storytelling, and she gives events and characters a modern touch: she describes the Augean Stables as an ""environmental hazard,"" and Hercules as not fond of academic subjects. Longer tales--the Trojan War and Odysseus' travels--suffer from this lack of dramatic tone. However, the author does convey a good sense of why the myths were created, how they were used, and how they've influenced language and the arts. She includes profiles of Homer, Hesiod, and major Greek playwrights. While not replacing Edith Hamilton's classic work, this does offer supplementary material for report-writers and teachers. Bibliography, index.