Classics 315: Greek and Roman Mythology
It is the expectation and hope of the Instructor that the student will have read all (or at least some) of the items listed for each week before that class actually meets. This will mean that the student will have a sense of what the basic outline of the myth or mythological character is, will have read some at least of the ancient sources about that character (This is, after all, a course in a language and literature department, and the literature in itself interests your Instructor, at least), and will perhaps have problems or questions that can be addressed efficiently. The Instructor welcomes questions at any time: better to say you aren't following something and get a clarification, than to have the course move on into deepening perplexity. The readings also form part of the basis for the quizzes and exams. The quizzes basically test whether you have read and discovered the major facts in a chapter or topic or lecture; the midterm and final test whether you can organize and compare on a larger scale so that you can see the significance of sets of myths and themes.
Lectures will follow the order of items in the Course Outline, not the schedule of Suggested Readings. The Suggested Readings is designed so that all of the appropriate material will be read in reasonable-sized bites, and ahead of class discussion. Hence the frequent grumble, "We're so behind." Not so. You're staying ahead in your readings.
For various on-line assignments, click on "Assignments" button at left.
There is a new edition of the textbook: Barry B. Powell, Classical Myth (Pearson Longman 2011) SEVENTH Edition Paper The publisher has provided an extensive web site with useful chapter outlines (goals), study sheets, practice quizzes and other materials for the textbook. Click on Powell's name to access this site, or use the link listed in the Introduction of your textbook.
NOTE: Below is the reading list for the EIGHTH EDITION (August 2014). But if you have purchased the SEVENTH EDITION, that is all right, but you must use the separate "Suggested Readings" page for the seventh edition, not the list below.
INTRODUCTION. Books and Course rules.
Basic Principles: Some Ancient Ideas (etymology, aetiology, meteorology)
- Powell, Chapter 1, pp. 1-14; chapter 25, pp. 659-662 ('physical allegory' etymology).
Week 3Myth Tools (follow the Myth Tools handout. Be sure to look at the photos under Iconography)
- Powell, pp. 346-348 and "Perspective 6.2. The Loves of Zeus in European Art", between pp. 146 and 147 (Danaë); pp. 170-172; 661, 664 and 668 (Daphne); Perspective 7. Bernini's Apollo and Daphnê". pp. 621-629; 637-641 (Aeneas, Numitor & Amulius, Rhea, Romulus & Remus)
-Powell, pp. 253-256 (Isis and Osiris)
Myth Tools: Modern Theories of Mythology (follow the Myth Tools handout)
-Dumezil and the Tripartite Function Theory
-Powell, Chapter 25, pp. 678, 681-683.
- Powell, Ch. 4: pp. 98-102 (Enuma Elish).
HESIOD'S STORY. THE TITANS. THE THIRD GENERATION (Zeus and the Olympians)
- Powell, Ch. 3: pp. 66-67.
THE THIRD GENERATION (Zeus and the Olympians). THE FIVE AGES OF HUMANITY. PROMETHEUS.
- Powell, Ch. 5, pp. 108-133 (with genealogical tree). Ch. 6:, pp. 134-155 (Zeus and his children).
THE SEA: POSEIDON
- Powell, Ch. 6: pp. 150-155; and pp. 349-360 (Medusa)
APHRODITE ( Adonis )
- Powell, pp. 201-203; 207-210 (Adonis); pp. 256-259 (Cybele & Attis)
ATHENA. (Athens and the Contest with Poseidon. Arachne.)
- Powell, pp. 222-228; pp. 349-350 (the Gorgon, Athena as assistant of heroes).
Midterm essay questions will be sent out by email.
A POSEIDON STORY: (Minos and Pasiphae, Ariadne, Theseus & Hippolytus):
- Powell, Ch. 15, pp. 409-425; Ch. 16: pp. 432-444; 449-452 (Theseus, Ariadne, Phaedra, Minotaur)
APOLLO (Cassandra, Cumaean Sibyl, Coronis, Asklepios)
- Powell, Chapter 7, pp. 157-173; 567-572 (Cassandra, Murder of Agamemnon,Orestes).
THE AFTERLIFE, I: THE GEOGRAPHY OF HADES.
- Powell, Ch. 12: pp. 292-296; 304-309; 312-313 (Plato's "myth of Er" [Remember, myth is anonymous!—except when it's not]).
THE AFTERLIFE, II: THE CULT OF DEMETER AT ELEUSIS
- Powell, Chapter 10, pp. 230-252.
DIONYSOS. Death, Communion, Resurrection. (Myth)
- Powell, Chapter 11, pp. 262-289.
DEATH AND RESURRECTION. ORPHEUS and Eurydice myth. Orphic Cults and Practices (Spiritual purity)
HERAKLES: THE TWELVE LABORS
- Powell, Chapter 15 (pp. 361-387 only)
SAGA: THE TROJAN WAR. Causes: The House of Pelops. Atreus & Thyestes. Agamemnon and Menelaus. Tyndareus and his family. Achilles, Patroclus.
- Powell, chapter 20 (at least pp. 525-531; 536-540; 548-552)
LOOSE ENDS. COURSE ASSESSMENT. There is no "review session".
Course Assessment Instrument (to be done individually and emailed)
September 12, 2014 7:04 PM
John Paul Adams, CSUN