Software that could organise family trees in classical myth?

I am starting a course in Classical History and as part of it I need to understand some of the biggest myths. And since the Greeks and Romans placed a high emphasis on family history, I need to understand a lot of the family relationships too. In theory, this should be easy to do as a diagram in Curio or Omnigraffle or maybe by buying a genealogy app. But I have come across a flaw in this method: Zeus.

Or more accurately, all the cross-breeding and playing around that many of the immortals got up to. For example, in trying to organise a diagram of the House of Atreus, Zeus needs to be at the top, as Father of the line, but also in at least two other places where he has fathered others who appear much later in the line. Then there are the brothers who married two sisters, who had affairs…

In short, it’s too complex for me to handle as I have been trying to do. So does anyone have any experience or ideas with how best to create an overview of these relationships? I use VoodooPad to keep the stories, tales and histories so that I can see the relationships there, but I also need a more concentrated, visual summary if possible, preferably without hundreds of arrows everywhere!



Personal Brain?

Most tree-making software assumes a strictly hierarchical structure, where each node can appear at only one place in the tree. Personal Brain is the only software of its type that I’ve found that allows you to connect nodes randomly. Its interface also allows you to make any node the “center,” which I find annoying generally but which might be exactly what you need to keep track of the progeny of Zeus.

Disclaimer: Haven’t used Personal Brain in a while, so I don’t know what the current version is like.


PS Didn’t some of those deities gender-switch, too? Genealogy software can probably deal with people who appear at multiple levels and/or had multiple partners – European royalty did that sort of thing, too – but probably can’t handle gender swaps or, for that matter, children of liaisons with livestock and other non-human incarnations.


Tinderbox will do this, easily. Use aliases.