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CLAS 430 C: Greek And Roman Mythology

Meeting Time: 
MWF 9:30am - 10:20am
GUG 220
Catherine M. Connors

Syllabus Description:

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

MWF 9:30-10:20, Guggenheim 220    [SLN 12607; fulfills VLPA]

INSTRUCTOR: Professor Catherine Connors, 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: 262 Denny Hall, within the Classics Department main office

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

My Office Hours:  Thursdays 3:00-4:00 PM, and most days by appointment. Email is preferred for logistical matters and in person is preferred for course content questions. I teach a class at 10:30 in Denny Hall and am happy to speak with you while walking there, if that works for you.

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 sepak 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, as being 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 Feb 6, 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 15 March, 8:30-10:20 AM GUGG 220

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 labelled in the form 'Lecture outline 2017-01-04 Time Place Memory Muses' contain information that you are required to know for the exams.

On the canvas site I also occasionally post images or links to creative works of art and music: these are for your enrichment, enjoyment and inspiration; you are not required to know them for the exams.

Schedule of lectures and required readings

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

Wed Jan 4: Introduction: Time, Place and Memory in the caves of the Muses(this lecture draws selectively on some materials set out in Powell's Chapters 2 and 3). Note too 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.
Fri Jan 6No Class (I am attending the national meeting of the Society for Classical Studies)
start reading POWELL Chapter 4, pp.77-107

Mon Jan 9The Creation of the World: From Chaos to Cosmos  Powell Ch 4 pp. 77-88: children of Chaos, children of Gaea; Cronus vs. Uranus
Wed Jan 11: The Rise of Zeus and establishment of the ordered world Ch. 4, pp. 88-107
Fri Jan 13: The structure of mortal experience: work, reproduction and relating to gods
Chapter 5 pp. 108-33: Prometheus, Pandora, the Five Races, the Flood

Mon Jan 16: No Class: Martin Luther King Day Observed
Wed Jan 18Introducing the Olympian gods: Zeus/Jupiter and Hera/Juno, Hades, Poseidon/Neptune Ch.6 pp.134-56
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)
Fri Jan 20Apollo  Ch. 7, pp. 157-176

Mon Jan 23Hermes/Mercury, Pan, Hephaestus/Vulcan, Ares/Mars Ch. 8, pp. 177-199
Wed Jan 25No Class (I am giving the Judd D. Kimball Lecture at Whitman College) 
Fri Jan 27Aprodite/Venus; Artemis/Diana; Athena/Minerva Ch. 9, pp. 200-229

Mon Jan 30Demeter/Ceres and Persephone; Isis & Osiris; Cybele & Attis  Ch. 10, 230-261
Wed Feb 1Dionysus/Bacchus Ch. 11, 262-291
Fri Feb 3Death and the Underworld  Ch. 12, pp.292-323

Mon Feb 6  in class:  MIDTERM EXAM, Gugg 220
          bring mark sense/bubble form (as sold at various UW retail outlets) and No. 2 pencil
Wed Feb 8 Introduction to the Greek Hero and Heroine Ch. 1, pp. 6-12, Ch. 13, pp. 324-338
Fri Feb 10: Perseus and his travels   Ch.14, pp. 339-360

Mon Feb 13: Heracles/Hercules and the Greek world   Ch. 15, pp. 361-397
Wed Feb 15Theseus and Athens   Ch. 16, pp. 398-428
Fri Feb 16: Crete and its monsters   Ch. 17, pp. 429-453

Mon Feb 20:  No Class: Presidents' Day observed
Wed Feb 22: Oedipus and Thebes, Ch 18, pp. 454-481
Fri Feb 24Jason and his travels Ch 19, pp. 482-516

Mon Feb 27: The War at Troy Ch. 20, pp. 517-553
Wed Mar 1The Fall of Troy Ch 21, pp. 554-577
Fri Mar 3Odysseus and his homecoming Ch. 22, pp. 578-607 

Mon Mar 6: Aeneas and his foundation of Rome Ch. 23, pp. 608-634;
Legends of Early Rome Ch. 24, pp. 635-58
Wed Mar 8Theories of Myth Interpretation Ch. 25, pp. 659-688
Fri Mar 10:  Review, consolidation and what comes next

Wed 15 Mar, 8:30-10:20 AM:  FINAL EXAM, Gugg 220:  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: 
August 4, 2017 - 9:13pm