A preliminary apology is in order: I realize that most of my contributions to this site are in the form of reference requests. I understand that this makes it seem as though I do nothing more than sit around most of the time, soaking in as much advanced mathematics as possible, despite my position as a lowly undergraduate. In all actuality, this couldn't be more accurate; I really do just sit around reading maths most of the time.

Alright, now that I put that out there, I am curious as to where I might find a coherent treatment of the theory of motives; one which is below the level of a professional mathematician and roughly suited for readers of Hartshorne or Eisenbud/Harris's wonderful scheme theory text. That is, I want to understand the discipline which I hear extolled as beautiful and complex by researchers in the field, but which is notoriously abstruse and difficult to learn/understand. I wonder if expositions of the theory of motives are necessarily highly technical, or if it is approachable to the ambitious advanced undergraduate.

Thank you again, MO community, for imparting your wisdom regarding good references. It is very much appreciated =)

relations among them. Then you'll be in position to appreciate the point (and why it doesn't necessarily matter to even have a definition of "motive" for the idea to be useful). – Boyarsky Jun 20 '10 at 4:59