Welcome to Greek and Roman Mythology! This course will introduce you to the principal myths of ancient Greece in Greek and Roman sources, to the main places and characters involved, to some of the ways in which myth functioned in real life in Ancient Greece, and ways it functions in human societies in general. You will get a sense of how Greek myth fitted together into a system, and we will look for connections and patterns that made that system work and for developments, events and influences that made it change. You will read some excellent literature and, of course, encounter some fantastic stories—which are more than simply stories. We will approach myth as stories that people tell to create the (virtual) worlds in which they live, and our goal in this course will be to reconstruct some of these worlds on the basis of stories that survive from Antiquity.
None. Though this is listed as a 400-level course, anyone from freshman to senior is welcome and no previous knowledge of the myths or texts will be assumed. Please note, however, that the course will nevertheless make demands on your memory, concentration, and analytical abilities.
The course is conducted by lecture but questions and discussion will be welcomed whenever possible. Please be brave and raise your hand you if have a question or a comment! Texts and images shown in class will be available on this website.
Trzaskoma, S., et al. Anthology of Classical Myth. Primary Sources in Translation, 2nd edition. Hackett Publishing Company. Indianapolis/Cambridge 2016.
Additional readings and images will be posted on course website.
Four quizzes in weeks 4, 6, 8, and 10, 25% each.
Attendance at lectures is up to the student, but please note that simply reading the textbooks without coming to lectures will inevitably put you at a considerable disadvantage. THE TESTS WILL BE BASED PRIMARILY ON LECTURE, NOT READINGS. If you miss a lecture, it's your responsibility to get notes from another student. Powerpoint presentations that you will be able to download from the website will give you some idea of the lectures, but they are not designed to substitute for them. Often, these presentations will tell you only which topics were discussed, not what was actually said about them. The course schedule may be updated as need arises and the latest version will be posted on the website.