Classics 231: Classical Mythology
Professor: Jeff Winkle
Phone: (616) 526-6813
Lattimore and Grene. Greek Tragedies: Vol. 1. U. of Chicago Press, 1992
Lattimore and Grene. Greek Tragedies: Vol. 3. U. of Chicago Press, 1992
Lombardo, Stanley. Homer: The Odyssey. Hackett, 2000.
Sandars, N. K. The Epic of Gilgamesh. Penguin Classics, 1960.
Trazkoma, Stephen. An Anthology of Classical Myth Hackett, 2004
Attendance and Participation: 10%
Eight Reading Quizzes: 20%
Research Paper: 20%
Final Exam: 25%
Over the next several weeks we will study and examine (and hopefully be enthralled by) the major myths of the ancient Greeks and to a lesser extent those of ancient Rome and the Middle East as well. The scope of the semester is perhaps best summed up in a few “large” questions which will guide our study:
- Did the Greeks actually believe their myths? Did they understand them literally or metaphorically?
- What can ancient art and architecture tell us about ancient beliefs?
- What influence did Greco-Roman myth have on early Christianity?
- Is myth simply a “pre-scientific” way of looking at the world or does it penetrate more deeply into the human psyche?
- How does Greco-Roman mythology compare to other belief systems and how does its study help us to better understand and appreciate the humanity of these ancient peoples?
- What does it mean to say that myths are “timeless”? How are ancient stories told and retold today?
Introduction to Ancient Greek History and Homer
Homer’s Odyssey, Athena, Poseidon, Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Ares
Homer’s Odyssey, Hades, the Ancient Greek afterlife, Hermes
Homer’s Odyssey, Artemis, Hephaestus, Apollo
Homer’s Odyssey, the Legacy of Homer
FILM: O Brother, Where Art Thou?; The Archaeological Search for Ancient Troy
Introduction to Greek Tragedy, Aeschylus’ Agamemnon
Aeschylus’ Eumenides, The Theban Cycle, Sophocles’ Oedipus the King
Sophocles’ Antigone, Euripides’ Alcestis and Bacchae
Ancient Mystery Cults (Demeter, Mithras, Cybele, Orpheus, Dionysus)
The Journey of the Ancient Hero, Epic of Gilgamesh
Perseus and Heracles
Theseus, Jason, and Aeneas