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This subject will focus on mythical narratives from the ancient Greek and Roman traditions. Students will explore some of the central patterns and themes in classical mythology. These include narratives of birth and creation, war and the warrior, fire and flood, animals, gods and humans. We will explore how these symbolic themes are incorporated into a diverse range of myths, including stories of the birth of the cosmos, Zeus's rule over the world, the foundation of cities and peoples, and hero myths in which men confront monsters. We will also be concerned with the story of Troy, which is the quintessential Greco-Roman myth, and the many classical tales of metamorphosis. We will engage directly with these narratives in the surviving literary sources (especially epic and drama), and in classical art, which is a major source for the Greek and Roman myths.
This subject requires students to access reading and lecture materials online, the Winter offering also requires students to participate in regular online seminars.
Intended learning outcomes
Students who successfully complete this subject should:
- demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of ancient Greek and Roman mythical narratives and the primary sources for these narratives;
- identify and critically analyse the central patterns and themes of classical mythology;
- identify and articulate the relationships between classical myths and the social, religious, and political contexts of their production;
- identify and critically engage with scholarship on classical mythology;
- communicate interpretations of classical mythological narratives effectively, both orally and in writing;
- approach all evidence about Greek and Roman mythical narratives and the societies which produced these narratives with intellectual honesty and a respect for ethical values;
- work effectively, in groups and independently, to identify, discuss and critically analyse key issues in the interpretation of classical mythology.
Last updated: 30 July 2023