Classics 315: Greek and Roman Mythology






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. IN GENERAL, in each one of the readings:

  • 1. Demonstrate fluency in listening, speaking, reading and writing in the target language.
  • 2. Demonstrate ability to reason and present sound arguments in both oral and written discourse.
  • 3. Demonstrate thinking in the analysis of traditions, cultures, and civilizations.
  • 4. Understand the nature of language, its function, structure, and interactional (social) purposes.
  • 5. Analyze and clearly articulate interpretations of literary texts
  CLAS 315 addresses SLO 2, SLO 3 and SLO 5.


  In general :
  • to introduce the student to the various analytical tools (Myth Tools) used in explicating myths in general, and Greek and Roman Myths in particular.

  • to introduce the student to the use of the Internet (World Wide Web) as a learning tool in the study of mythology, by way of (a) on-line (study materials ) prepared by the Instructor, which contain hyper-links, pictures and other materials; (b) exercises which require the student to search out internet materials through the use of search engines (an example)

  • to invite students to share their discoveries with each other through structured on-line 'discussions' using asynchronous communications ('Yahoo! group' message board). This partially fulfills the GE Upper Division Writing Requirement (Departmental SLO 2)

  • to provide a 'historical' narrative and analysis of Greek myth, from creation to the Trojan War, paying special attention to the organizational techniques which the Greeks themselves used to structure their mythical past into a meaningful narrative (e.g. "The Five Ages of Humanity", genealogical history) (SLO 5)

  • to introduce the student to the psychological aspects of Greek myths, as a way of getting to know Greek civilization both in its similarities to our own and in its differences (Departmental SLO 3)

  • to introduce the student to the complicated relationships between religion, myth and society in the Greek world and in our own (SLO 3)

  • to make the student aware of the complex origins of Greek myths, especially in borrowings from Mesopotamian and Egyptian sources (e.g. the ferryman of the dead, the earthly paradise, concepts of the immortal soul) (SLO 5)

More specifically, the textbook for the course, Barry B. Powell Classical Myth 6th edition, has a website, which provides various kinds of assistance for students using the text. Each chapter is treated separately, and each chapter opens by providing a detailed and well atriculated list of the goals for each chapter.


This is a general education course. It is listed in the category Arts and Humanities (old category C-4).

"Goal: Students will appreciate the rich history of human knowledge of their own or other cultures as they are expressed in the arts, literatures, religions, and philosophy."

Student Learning Outcomes Students will:
  • 1. Explain the human search for meaning, values, and expression in one or more eras/stylistic periods and cultures;
  • 2. Analyze and interpret ideas of value, meaning, and expression from a variety of perspectives from the arts and/or humanities;
  • 3. Produce work/works of art that communicates to a diverse audience through a demonstrated understanding and fluency of expressive forms;
  • 4. Demonstrate ability to engage and reflect upon their intellectual and creative development in a given discipline.
  • 5. Use appropriate critical vocabulary to describe and analyze works of artistic expression, literature, philosophy, or religion and a comprehension of the historical context within which a body of work was created;
  • 6. Describe and explain the historical and/or cultural context within which a body of work was created;
  • 7. Reflect critically upon their concepts of meaning, value, and expression.

  • CLAS 315 introduces students, in depth, to a culture and civilization other than their own (Greco-Roman Civilization) (SLO 1, SLO 6 ).
  • CLAS 315 discusses the values and ideals–political, religious and social–which those civilizations embodied and expressed, as seen in their mythology (SLO 6 ).
  • CLAS 315 discusses the myth-making literature of the Greeks and the Romans (drama, epic, lyric, history, etc.) as vehicles for the expression of their values and ideals. (SLO 2)
  • CLAS 315 uses mythology to compare attitudes and practices of the ancients and modern attitudes with regard to such topics as: the family, women in society, exploited classes (slaves, serfs, helots), sexual minorities, and foreigners (SLO 5 ).

The SLOs are assessed in this course through a final essay, which is part of the Final Examination. This essay is comprehensive and broadly based. Each term the Instructor offers three essay topics, from which the student chooses one to write about.. The topics are constructed to engage the student in demonstrating competence in the areas of the SLOs being assessed. The Final Essay is a take-home question, giving the student several days to reflect, organize, and write a response.

May 10, 2009 1:20 PM

John Paul Adams, CSUN

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