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CLAS 430 B: Greek And Roman Mythology

Meeting Time: 
MWF 9:30am - 10:20am
SMI 120
Matthew M Gorey

Syllabus Description:

Classics 430 (3 credits)        Greek and Roman Mythology         Spring 2017

MWF 9:30-10:20, Smith 120    [SLN 12264; fulfills VLPA]

INSTRUCTOR: Matthew Gorey, Department of Classics:  email



The ancient Greeks and Romans used storytelling to organize their thoughts, express their values, and understand their place on earth and in the universe. Material discussed in this course will include Greek and Roman myths of the creation of the world, the birth of the gods and their individual areas of expertise, and the crises, journeys and challenges faced by heroes and heroines. You will learn these challenging, thought-provoking, dangerous and beautiful stories and how generations of people have thought about and been inspired by them. 


My Office: Denny Hall 400K, in the TA Loft.

My Mailbox:  Denny Hall 262, Box 353110, in Classics Department office area

My Office Hours:  Monday 10:30-11:30 AM, and most days by appointment. Email is preferred for logistical matters and in person is preferred for course content questions.

Classics Department Telephone/Message:  206 543 2266

 If you have questions about adding coursework in Classics, Latin or Greek to your UW program of study, please email us at or stop by Denny 262 E to speak with our Departmental Advisor Mr. Machle and we will be happy to help you. 

ONE REQUIRED TEXT (used for every class meeting), available from U Bookstore:

Barry B. POWELL, Classical Myth.  Eighth Edition.  Pearson 2015. 

LECTURES will explore the full richness of Greek and Roman myth and storytelling, in the ancient world itself and since.  The two course examinations will focus upon the core information that will enable you to understand and to appreciate this material now and in the future.

ASSIGNED READINGS.  Regular attendance at lectures is strongly urged, and is essential to the study and interpretation of assigned readings (and accompanying visual images).  Students are strongly recommended to study the assigned reading both before and after each lecture.  Keeping a detailed notebook to aid in organizing information for review has been very useful for many students.

MIDTERM EXAMINATION (50% of grade):  Mon, May 1, in the regular classroom at the regular class time computer-scanned exam, featuring 40 multiple choice questions on material covered in first half of course.  Bring a mark sense/bubble form and No. 2 pencil, for your own use in the exam.

FINAL EXAMINATION (50% of grade):  Wed, June 7, 2017, 8:30-10:20 AM, Smith 120


computer-scanned exam, featuring 40 multiple choice questions on material covered in second half of course.  Bring a mark sense/bubble form and No. 2 pencil, for your own use in the exam.

PLEASE NOTE: Exams will be given ONLY at the stated times.  If you arrive significantly late for an exam (less than 30 minutes before the end) or are absent in case of proven need (with advance notice unless the problem is unforeseeable), a make-up examination may be permitted, probably in a different format.  REMEMBER TO EQUIP YOURSELF WITH A MARK SENSE/BUBBLE FORM (as sold at various UW retail outlets) AND NO.2 PENCIL FOR COMPUTER-SCANNED MIDTERM AND FINAL EXAMS.    

Lecture outlines including key terms for review, along with other support materials, will be added regularly to the canvas site for this class

(use your UW NetID for access)

Files labeled in the form 'Lecture outline 2017-03-27 When and Where' (for example) contain information that you are required to know for the exams.


Schedule of lectures and required readings

** remember to do your first read of the assigned reading before each lecture **

Mon Mar 27Introduction: Greek & Roman Mythology—When and Where Note the discussion of pronunciation and spelling of classical names (p. 14-16) and the timeline on p. 689-90 as well as the maps on the front and back cover.
Wed Mar 29Sources & Contexts The cultural context of classical myth: Ch. 2, pp. 17-22; The development of classical myth: Ch. 3, pp. 64-74
Fri Mar 31: Approaches to myth divine myth; Greek anthropomorphism; Greek theories of myth Ch.1, pp.1-6, 12-16; Ch.6, pp.153-5; Ch.25, pp.659-67 (but skip Perspective 25: pp.664-6)

Mon Apr 3:  The Creation of the World: From Chaos to Cosmos Powell Ch 4 pp. 77-88: children of Chaos, children of Gaea; Cronus vs. Uranus
Wed Apr 5The Rise of Zeus and establishment of the ordered world Ch. 4, pp. 88-107
Fri Apr 7The structure of mortal experience: work, reproduction and relating to gods
Chapter 5 pp. 108-33: Prometheus, Pandora, the Five Races, the Flood

Mon Apr 10: Introducing the Olympian gods: Zeus/Jupiter and Hera/Juno Ch.6 pp.134-50
Wed Apr 12Hades, Poseidon/Neptune Ch. 6 pp. 150-56; digression on philosophical allegories
Fri Apr 14:  Apollo Ch. 7, pp. 157-176

Mon Apr 17:  Hermes/Mercury, Pan, Hephaestus/Vulcan, Ares/Mars Ch. 8, pp. 177-199
Wed Apr 19: Aphrodite/Venus Ch. 9, pp. 201-16.
Fri Apr 21:  Artemis/Diana; Athena/Minerva Ch. 9, pp. 216-229

Mon Apr 24:  Demeter/Ceres and Persephone; Isis & Osiris; Cybele & Attis Ch. 10, 230-261
Wed Apr 26:  Dionysus/Bacchus Ch. 11, 262-291
Fri Apr 28:  Death and the Underworld Ch. 12, pp.292-323

Mon May 1:  MIDTERM EXAM, Smith 120
          bring mark sense/bubble form (as sold at various UW retail outlets) and No. 2 pencil
Wed May 3:
 Introduction to the Greek Hero and Heroine Ch. 1, pp. 6-12, Ch. 13, pp. 324-338
Fri May 5Perseus and his travels   Ch.14, pp. 339-360

Mon May 8Heracles/Hercules and the Greek world   Ch. 15, pp. 361-397
Wed May 10:  Theseus and Athens   Ch. 16, pp. 398-428
Fri May 12Crete and its monsters   Ch. 17, pp. 429-453

Mon May 15: Oedipus and Thebes Ch 18, pp. 454-481
Wed May 17Jason and his travels Ch 19, pp. 482-516
Fri May 19The War at Troy Ch. 20, pp. 517-553

Mon May 22The Fall of Troy Ch 21, pp. 554-577
Wed May 24Odysseus and his homecoming Ch. 22, pp. 578-607
Fri May 26Reception of Classical Myth guest lecturer; no assigned reading

Mon May 29: No Class: Memorial Day
Wed May 31Aeneas and his foundation of Rome Ch. 23, pp. 608-634; Legends of Early Rome Ch. 24, pp. 635-58
Fri June 2:  Review, consolidation, and discussion of final exam

Wed, Jun 7, 8:30-10:20 AM, Smith 120:  FINAL EXAM. Please bring mark sense/bubble form, No. 2 pencil


Catalog Description: 
Principal myths found in classical and later literature. Offered: AWSp.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
January 10, 2018 - 9:14pm