Unless you went to Boston Latin or -- like Opera Chic -- you went to some other unfashionable nerdy school where they made a point of drilling six years of Latin and Greek into your reluctant teenage cranium, if you're a red-white-blue blooded American you might have very well been led to believe that the Greeks were a bunch of pagan child molesters who invented the Olympics, and the Romans, well, they used to get their butts kicked by Russell Crowe at the Coliseum and chase Charlton Heston around on chariots as they waited to be finally converted to Christianity, eventually to jumpstart the glorious Middle Ages. (Which, interestingly, is almost all quite true but the whole picture might even be more stimulating).
The Internet, in its wisdom, comes to the rescue even if, like Opera Chic, back in school you were paying more attention to your bootlegged copy of Vogue Italia than to those weird-looking letters in your Iliad, like tracks left by a strange bird who dunked its legs in an inkwell then stepped all over your textbook for some reason.
Two scholars/bloggers of extraordinary talent -- Mary Beard of A Don's Life from The Times (of London) and Charlotte Higgins of the eponymous Charlotte Higgins On Culture from The Guardian -- neither, strangely, an American -- can help explain to you everything you ever wanted to know about the Greeks and Romans and forgot to ask your teachers: Beard's "Classics: A Very Short Introduction" (US link here) is the (really) very short manual you might want to keep in your Hermes (the French luxury brand not the Greek god) bag whenever going out to a dinner party where people are probably smarter than you are (a frighteningly frequent occurrence if, like Opera Chic, you tend to bluff -- and nod -- a lot). Opera Chic is also reading just now a slightly more challenging text by Professor Beard, a satisfying, bricklike tome -- "Religions of Rome, Volume 1: A History" (US link here) that among other things explains how -- and why -- such an intellectually advanced civilization could believe in such kooky, horny deities (Opera Chic's synthesis, not Prof. Beard's obvs -- better yet, Opera Chic's σύνθεσις).
Charlotte Higgins wrote -- among other books -- "It's All Greek To Me" (US link here) that beautifully explains the Greek mind with wit and grace -- unlike those awful late-19th century Germans Opera Chic remembers from school who took 39 heavily footnoted pages to make the same point that Higgins makes in a paragraph -- in a much more lively manner. She also has a lot of anecdotes that you can recycle with people who haven't read her and pretend they all come from your high school reminiscences.