This course places the principle Classical myths and legends in their cultural and historical context, with some attention to discussion of subsequent influence. The course focuses on the rich array of theme, genre, imagery, and message of Classical myths and their reception in the classical world. The readings are drawn from the elements of the key myths that inform nearly a millennium of literature, philosophy, and art. The lectures and the topics in this course by nature are grander in scope than is possible to cover fully in a single course. In this course, we will contextualize the myths, point to how they were understood in Classical antiquity, and how they were depicted in Classical art. Most importantly, where possible, connections will be made to later, Germanic myths and legends to illustrate both continuity and influence.
This course includes two live 90-minute lectures per week with one 60-minute discussion session as assigned.
- Approaching Myth
- Hesiod’s “Theogony” and other selections
- Homeric Hymns
- The Iliad 1-16
- The Iliad 17-24
- The Odyssey 1-8
- The Odyssey 9-24
- The Aeneid 1-12
- The Oresteia
- Electra Plays
- Theban Cycle 1
- Theban Cycle 2
- Janus and Fire Deities
- Romulus and the Rape of the Sabine Woman
- History and Myth
- Myth in the Roman Empire
The Amazon links are provided for convenience only, and we encourage students to purchase texts wherever they wish.
- The Iliad, The Odyssey, and The Aeneid translated by Robert Fagles (this specific box-set not required)
- The Oresteia (tr. Robert Fagles, Introduction and Notes by W. B. Stanford)
This course has been offered in the following semesters.
|Summer 2021||Dr. Gabriel Schenk & Dr. Larry Swain|
|Spring 2020||Dr. Larry Swain & Dr. Maggie Parke|