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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "CL 260"
COURSE NAME: "Classical Mythology"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2021
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Sharon Salvadori
EMAIL: ssalvadori@johncabot.edu
HOURS: MW 1:30-2:45 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES:
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
The course examines the principal myths of Classical Greece and Rome, with some reference to their evolution from earlier local and Mediterranean legends, deities and religions. The importance of these myths in the literature and art of the Western World will be discussed.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

This course is an upper level survey of the written and visual traditions of Classical mythology during the Greco-Roman period (c. 8th cent B.C.- 4th cent A.D.), the first, the most important, and the most brilliant phase of its long history. Classical mythology was a storehouse of fantastic stories that shaped ancient perceptions of the divine, that explained the origins and workings of natural phenomena, that elucidated the meanings of past and present human experiences, desires, expectations, anxieties and fears. Throughout Antiquity Classical myths were at the center of religious cult and ritual, exploited in political and military propaganda, part of the core curriculum in school and a fixture in any form of public or private entertainment, celebration or commemoration. They were heard and seen in sanctuaries, theaters, sport venues, public squares, markets, shops, banqueting halls, palaces, villas, town houses and cemeteries. They were recited, acted, sung and danced, modeled in clay, carved in wood, bone, marble and limestone, worked in bronze, silver and gold, painted on walls and on vases of every shape and form. They were, simply put, ubiquitous.

     By the time of Homer (mid-8th century BC), the main lines of many of the narratives that make up what we now call Classical mythology were familiar to many Greeks. Yet from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD, new myths were not only added to the canon, but the pre-existing stories and characters were re-adapted, re-presented and even re-invented to meet the specific and always evolving religious, political and social realities of the Greeks, Romans and the other civilizations that inhabited the Ancient Mediterranean. This kind of flexibility and versatility across space and time is a key feature of Classical mythology and is its greatest strength. The ability to explain, teach, criticize, inspire and console in almost any circumstance in Antiquity also provides a critical insight into classical mythology’s enduring power and popularity from the Middle Ages to this day. With the help of modern scholarship, Greek and Latin texts in translation, and investigations in Greek and Roman art, we will explore this extraordinarily rich and varied tradition.

The primary aim of the course is to provide an in-depth familiarity of the content and context of Classical mythology in Antiquity. To achieve this goal, the focus of the course is two-fold:

1. To learn about the most important Greco-Roman divinities, heroes and heroines and the content of the myths in which they were protagonists.

2. To learn how and under what specific circumstances in Antiquity some of the most popular Classical myths were not only told and depicted, but re-told and re-presented in new version

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

1. Knowledge of the form and purpose of myth in general and of Classical mythology specifically

2. Knowledge of important Classical myths as these are re-told by ancient Greek and Latin authors

3. Knowledge of important Classical myths as these 're-presented' in Ancient Greek and Roman art

4. A critical understanding of the meanings and functions of Classical mythology in the written and visual traditions of Ancient Greece and Rome 

5. Skills for critical analyses of written and visual sources

TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
The Complete World of Greek MythologyBuxton, RichardThames and Hudson0-500-25121  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Homeric Hymns Homeric Hymns ( Athanassakis, A.N. trans.)xxxxxxxxxxxx PA4025.H8 A8 
The Illiad of HomerHomer (trans. Lattimore, Richmond)University of Chicago Pressxxxxxx  
MetamorphosesOvid (trans. D.A. Melville)Oxford University Press978-0-19-953737-2  

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
ParticipationIn addition to attendance, active class participation is expected of all students. Participating effectively entails completing and taking notes on all "Required Reading" before class so that during class you can effectively engage: prepared to ask and answer questions and to share any pertinent observations. Remember too that the more you engage, the more fun the class will be not only for you but also for everyone else (prof. included!). Moreover, although participation is only 5% of the course grade it could ensure an A rather than an A- as your final grade.5
QuizzesYour preparation during the semester will also be evaluated through 8 quizzes on assigned readings of Ancient authors and Ancient images. The content of each quiz will vary from questions on basic information (main characters, plot, etc.) to critical analysis and interpretation. Depending on the nature of the questions, you will be given anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes to answer. The quiz dates are inserted in the course schedule. The 2 quizzes with the lowest scores will be excluded from the final tally. Each of the remaining 6 quizzes is therefore worth 5% of your final grade. Please be aware that if you miss a quiz for any reason- including illness- you will not be able to make it up. 30
2 Analytical EssaysStudents are responsible for two analytical essays; each must be 1500 words (c. 4-5 double-spaced pp) and is worth 15% of your final grade. Two abstracts (100 words), one for each essay, must also be turned prior to the final essays (they are not graded, but failing to turn them in will affect your paper grade = you lose a ¼ of a grade; e.g. from a B+ to a B). One of the two essays must focus on a classical myth as narrated by one or more of the Ancient Greek and Roman texts assigned for the course. The other must focus on a classical myth as re-presented in an Ancient Greek or Roman period artwork (an artwork not discussed in class is acceptable). It is up to you which to write first. Both essays should be in depth, focused readings of Classical Myths as these are re-interpreted by individual authors and image-makers. They should demonstrate the analytical and critical skills you will acquire or hone during the semester. They are not research papers, but analytical essays, your own discursive critique of classical myths in Ancient texts and visual representations. The key words are describe, interpret and evaluate. This does not mean that you may not use secondary sources (appropriately cited, of course!) to help you historically contextualize and refine your arguments. But the analyses should be primarily based on your (informed) reading of the texts and images you have chosen. ***Additional guidelines for the Abstracts and the Essays will be posted on Moodle in the first few weeks of term. If you have questions on topics, content, structure, bibliography, etc. set up an appointment at least two weeks prior the due dates. 15 each
ExamsBoth exams are structured to assess your knowledge of the content of the most important myths and their significance in general terms and as they were adapted to particular historical circumstances in both text and image. They are based on lectures and required reading assignments. A review sheet will be provided the week before each exam; a review session will take place during the last scheduled class before each exam. The mid-term exam takes place during regular class time on class 14; it will cover material studied up to Class 13. It consists in 3 short answer questions (10 minutes for each question; 60% of the exam grade- or 20% for each question) and 1 short essay (30 minutes; 40% of the exam grade; you will be given a choice of 2). The final exam takes place during exam week (exact date and time TBA) and lasts 2 hours and 30 minutes. It is cumulative and consists in 6 short answer questions (10 minutes for each question; 60% of the exam grade- or 10% for each question) and 2 short essays (30 minutes each; 40% of the exam grade -or 20% each; you will be given a choice of 3). mid-term 15; Final 20

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
The course examines the principal myths of Classical Greece and Rome, with some reference to their evolution from earlier local and Mediterranean legends, deities and religions. The importance of these myths in the literature and art of the Western World will be discussed.
ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

CLASS 1: Introduction to course

Ø  content, thematic and methodological overview

Ø  learning aims

Ø  intro to syllabus and course schedule: course texts, assignments, etc.

Ø  definitions of myth and Classical mythology

 

CLASS 2: Definitions of myth and Classical mythology, cont. /

Nature of the evidence in Greco-Roman Antiquity: chronological overview, written and visual sources

Required Reading:

• Buxton "Introduction" and Ch. 1 (Context, Sources Meanings)

Suggested Reading:

• Buxton Ch. 7 (Greek Myths After the Greeks)

• Carpenter Ch. 1 (Introduction) and Ch. 2 (A Demonstration of Method)

Morford and Lenardon, Ch. 1 and Ch. 2

 

CLASS 3:  Myths of Origins and Creation: cosmogony and theogony

Required Reading:

• Buxton pp. 42-48 (myths of origin) and pp. 180-193 (landscape of myths)

• Morford and Lenardon Ch. 3

• Study Images: A. Cosmogony and Theogony

 

CLASS 4: Myths of Origins and Creation: cosmogony and theogony, cont.

Required Reading:

• Buxton, pp. 42-48 (myths of origin) and pp. 180-193 (landscape of myths)

• Morford and Lenardon Ch. 3

• Study Images: A. Cosmogony and Theogony

 

CLASS 5: Olympian supremacy

Required Reading:

• Buxton pp. 48-49 (Zeus), p. 53 (Giants), and pp. 66-87 (Olympians and other divinities)

• Morford and Lenardon, Ch. 3, pp. 66-68 (focus on Ancient images of Giants and Typhon) and Ch. 4: pp. 76-80 (Titans, Typhon, Giants)

• Study Images: B. Battles for Olympian Supremacy

Suggested Reading:

• Carpenter pp. 69-75 (up to Giants)

• Morford and Lenardon Ch. 5 ("The Twelve Olympians: Zeus, Hera and their Children") and Ch. 6 ("The Nature of the Gods")

• Smith, Hellenistic Sculpture: Ch. 9 ("Pergamon and the Great Altar")

 

CLASS 6: Mortals: creation, re-creation, nature, status and gender

Required Reading:

• Buxton, Ch. 2, pp. 54-65

• Ovid, Metamorphoses: BK I: The Creation, The Ages of Mankind, The Flood, Deucalion and Pyrra;

• Morford and Lenardon Ch. 4, pp. 80-88 (Prometheus and Pandora)

• Study Images: C. Prometheus and Pandora

Suggested Reading:

• Carpenter Ch. 4, pp. 75-76 (Prometheus and Pandora)

• Morford and Lenardon pp. 93-97 (Flood)

 

 **Quiz 1: Ancient Greek Images of Gods vs Giants

 

CLASS 7: Mortals: creation, re-creation, nature, status,  gender and place, cont.

Required Reading:

• Buxton, Ch. 2, pp. 58-65

• Ovid, MetamorphosesBK III: Cadmus; BK IV: The transformation of Cadmus

Suggested Reading:

• Morford and Lenardon, pp. 375-79 (founding of Thebes/Cadmus)

 

*********Review of Paper Guidelines*********

 

CLASS 8: Zeus

 

Required Reading:

Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound

• Morford and Lenardon pp. 88-93 (background to Aeschylus and P.B.) and pp. 115-117 (section on Ganymede)

Ovid, Metamorphoses: BK I: Io, BK II: Callisto and Jupiter and Europa

•Buxton pp. 94-100 ("Divine Sexualities": focus on Zeus) and pp. 174-177 ("Same Sex Eroticism": focus on Zeus)

• Study Images: D. Zeus

Suggested Reading:

Carpenter, Ch. 3 and Ch. 4 (focus on images featuring Zeus)

• Morford and Lenardon pp. 110-117 (Zeus)

 

**Quiz 2: Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound

 

CLASS 9: Hades, Demeter and Persephone

Required Reading:

• Buxton pp. 72-73 ("Demeter") and pp. 206-213 ("The Underworld")

• Carpenter Ch. 3 and Ch. 4 (focus on images featuring Demeter, Persephone and Hades)

Homeric Hymn II: To Demeter

• Ovid, Metamorphoses: BK V: Rape of Proserpine

• Study Images: E. Rape of Persephone

Suggested Reading:

• Morford and Lenardon, Ch. 14 ("Demeter and the Eleusinian Mysteries") and Ch. 15 ("Views of the Afterlife: the realm of Hades")

 

CLASS 10: Aphrodite

Required Reading:

• Buxton p. 78 ("Aphrodite") and pp. 94-96 ("Divine sexuality": focus on goddesses)

Homeric Hymn V: To Aphrodite

• Ovid, Metamorphoses: BK X: Venus and Adonis and Atalanta

• Study Images: F. Venus and Adonis

Suggested Reading:

Carpenter, Ch. 3 and Ch. 4 (focus on images featuring Aphrodite)

• Ovid, Metamorphoses: Bk X: Myrrha

• Morford and Lenardon, Ch. 9 ("Aphrodite and Eros")

  Koortbojian, M. (1995), Chs. 1-3 (Mythological Sarcophagi /Venus and Adonis)

 

CLASS 11: Meleager / Artemis

Required Reading:

•Buxton pp. 106-107 ("Meleager, Atlanta and the Kalydonian Boar"; see also cross-reference on p. 86) and pp. 75-77 ("Artemis")

• Carpenter pp. 186-87 (Meleager); Chs. 3 and 4 (focus on images featuring Artemis)

• Ovid, Metamorphoses: Bk II: Callisto; Bk III: Diana and Acteon

 Study Images: G. Meleager and H. Artemis

Suggested Reading:

Ovid, Metamorphoses:  Bk VIII: Meleager and the Calydonian Boar and Althea and Meleager

 • Morford and Lenardon, pp. 608-612 ("Meleager") and Ch. 10 (Artemis)

 

**Quiz 3: Ancient Roman sarcophagi reliefs: Venus and Adonis

 

CLASS 12: Aphrodite, Artemis, Phaedra and Hippolytos

 

Required Reading:

• Euripides, Hippolytos

• Buxton pp. 88 ("Hippolytos"; see also cross-references on p. 72 and p. 129)

• Study images: I. Hippolytos and Phaedra

 

 **Quiz 4: Euripides' Hippolytos***

 

 

CLASS 13: Apollo and Hermes

Required Reading:

• Buxton pp. 49-50 (birth of Apollo), pp. 50-53 (childhood of Hermes), pp. 73-75 (Apollo), pp. 77-78 (Hermes), pp. 90-91 ("Competing with the Gods") and pp. 94-101 ("Divine Sexualities"), and pp. 174-177 ("Same Sex Eroticism")

• Lib. reserve/ MY JCU:  Ovid, Metamorphoses: Bk I: Apollo and Daphne; Bk II: Mercury and Battus; Bk VI: Niobe and Marsyas; Book X: Hyacinth

• MY JCU: Study images: J. Apollo and Hermes

Suggested Reading:

Homeric Hymn III: To Delian Apollo and Homeric Hymn IV: To Hermes

  • Morford and Lenardon, Ch. 11 (Apollo) and  Ch. 13 ("Hermes")

• Carpenter, Ch. 3 and Ch. 4 (focus on images featuring Apollo and Hermes)

 

CLASS 14: Dionysos

Required Reading:

• Buxton p. 53 ("Dionysos") and pp. 81-82 ("Dionysos and His Followers")

• Ovid Metamorphoses: BK III: Semele and the Birth of Bacchus

• Study Images: K. Dionysos, Satyrs & Maenads

Suggested Reading:

• Morford and Lenardon, Ch. 13 ("Dionysus, Pan, Echo and Narcissus)

• Carpenter Ch. 3 and Ch. 4 (focus on images featuring Dionysos)

 

*********Paper Abstract due*********

 

CLASS 15: Dionysos, cont.

Required Reading:

• Euripides, Bacchae

Suggested Reading:

• Lib. reserve/ MY JCU:  Morford and Lenardon, Ch. 13 ("Dionysus, Pan, Echo and Narcissus)

 

**Quiz 5: Euripdes' Bacchae

 

CLASS 16: Athena

Required Reading:

• Buxton p. 79 ("Athene")

• Ovid, Metamorphoses: Bk VI: Arachne

Study images: L. Athena

Suggested Reading:

• Lib. reserve/ MY JCU: Morford and Lenardon, Ch. 8 (Athena)

• Carpenter, Chs. 3 and 4 (focus on images featuring Athena)

 

CLASS 17: Heroic Exploits: Perseus

Required Reading:

• Buxton pp. 102-105 ("Extraordinary Mortals" and "Perseus")

• Carpenter Ch. 5 ("Perseus")

• Study images: M. Perseus and Gorgons

Suggested Reading:

Morford and Lenardon, Ch. 21 ("Perseus and the Legends of Argos")

• Ovid, Metamorphoses: BK IV: Perseus and Andromeda; BK V Perseus Flight into the Palace of Celephus

 

*Quiz 6: Ancient Greek Images of Medusa

 

CLASS 18: Heroic Exploits: Herakles

Required Reading:

• Buxton pp. 114-122 (Herakles)

• MY JCU: Study images: N. Herakles and Centaurs

Suggested Reading:

Euripides, The Madness of Herakles (aka Herakles)

•  Morford and Lenardon, Ch. 22 ("Herakles")

•  Ovid, Metamorphoses: BK IX: Acheolus and Hercules, Hercules, Nessus and Deianara, The Death and Apotheosis of Hercules, The Birth of Hercule

•  Carpenter Ch. 6 (Herakles)

 

*********PAPER DUE*******

 

CLASS 19: Tragic Exploits: Herakles, Nessos and Deianeira

Required Reading:

• Sophocles, Trachiniae (aka Women of Trachis)

• Study images: N. Herakles and Centaurs

Suggested Reading:

  Euripides, The Madness of Herakles (aka Herakles)

•  Morford and Lenardon, Ch. 22 ("Herakles")

• Ovid, Metamorphoses: BK IX: Acheolus and Hercules, Hercules, Nessus and Deianara, The Death and Apotheosis of Hercules, The Birth of Hercules

 

CLASS 20: Heroic Exploits: Theseus

Required Reading:

• Buxton pp. 124-129 (Theseus) and pp. 194-199 (Crete)

• Study Images: O. Theseus and Amazons

Suggested Reading:

•  Morford and Lenardon, Ch. 23 ("Theseus")
 Carpenter, Ch. 7 (Theseus)

• Ovid, Metamorphoses: BK VII Theseus, Minos, Aeceus, the Plague at Aeigina, the Myrmidions

 

 

CLASS 21: Tragic Exploits: Oedipus

Required Reading:

• Buxton p. 148 (intro. to Ch. 5) and pp. 162-69 (House of Laios, to which Oedipus belongs)

• Sophocles, Oedipus Rex (aka Oedipus Tyrannos )

 

Suggested Reading:

Morford and Lenardon, Ch. 17 (Oedipus/Theban Saga)

• Carpenter, Ch. 7: pp. 166-168 (Oedipus)

  

*********Paper Abstract due*********

 

CLASS 22: Tragic Exploits: Medea

****Quiz 7: Ancient Roman Sarcophagus Reliefs: Medea ****

Required Reading:

• Buxton pp. 108-113 ("Jason, the Argonauts and Medea)

• Euripides, Medea 

• Study Images: P. Medea

Suggested Reading:

Apollonios, Argonautica

• Morford and Lenardon, Ch. 24 ("Jason, Medea and the Argonauts")

 • Carpenter pp. 183-186 (sections on Jason, Argonauts and Medea)

• Ovid, Metamorphoses: BK VII. Medea and Jason, Medea and Aeson, Medea and Pelias: her Flight:

 

CLASS 23: Heroic Exploits: The Trojan War

Required Reading:

• Buxton pp. 131-139 (Trojan War) and pp. 200-205 (Troy)

• Study Images: Q. Trojan War I

Suggested Reading:

Carpenter, Ch. 9 and pp. 17-21 (Trojan War)

 • Euripides, Helen

 • Morford and Lenardon, Ch. 19 (Trojan Saga and the Illiad)

 

CLASS 24: Heroic Exploits: The Trojan War, cont.

**PLEASE USE STUDY GUIDE**

**PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR COPY OF THE ILLIAD TO CLASS**

Required Reading:

• Homer, Illiad Bks. I-IV

Suggested Reading:

• Morford and Lenardon, Ch. 19 (Trojan Saga and the Illiad

 

CLASS 25: Heroic Exploits: The Trojan War, cont.

 

**PLEASE USE ILLIAD STUDY GUIDE**

**PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR COPY OF THE ILLIAD TO CLASS**

Required Reading:

• Homer, Illiad Bks. VI, IX, XIV, and XVI

Suggested Reading:

• Lib. reserve/ MY JCU: Morford and Lenardon, Ch. 19 (Trojan Saga and the Illiad)

 

**Quiz 8: The Illiad (Books I-IV, VI, IX, XIV, and XVI)

 

CLASS 26: Heroic Exploits: The Trojan War, cont.

**PLEASE USE ILLIAD STUDY GUIDE**

**PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR COPY OF THE ILLIAD TO CLASS**

Required Reading:

• Homer, Illiad Bks. XVIII, IXX, XXII and XXIV

Suggested Reading:

• Morford and Lenardon, Ch. 19 (Trojan Saga and the Illiad)

 

CLASS 27: Heroic Exploits: The Trojan War, cont./ The Aftermath of the War (overview)

Required Reading:

• Buxton, pp. 136-139 (Fall of Troy/ Trojan Horse)

 Study images: R. Trojan War II

Suggested Reading:

• Buxton, pp. 139-145 (Odysseus/ Odyssey), pp. 151-53 (Agamemnon & Menelaos)

 Carpenter Ch. 9 and pp. 17-21 (Trojan War) and Ch. 10 (The Aftermath of the War)

 

************************PAPER DUE**********************

 

CLASS 28: Loose ends/ Review for Final Exam

*************PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING REVIEW SHEET*************

 

 

***********************FINAL EXAM***********************

day, time and classroom TBA