Course Description: This overview of Greco-Roman mythology will examine the heroic myths using the ancient Greek writer Apollodorus as a guide, with treatments by Ovid, Virgil, and Hyginus for Roman perspectives. All readings will be in translation. We will study Creation and the Flood, the adventures of Jason and the Argonauts, Perseus, Hercules, and Theseus, the Trojan War and its aftermath, as well as some popular lesser tales, and conclude with a look at changing concepts of heroism in the later period, as seen in the tale of Cupid and Psyche told by Apuleius. Some attention will be given to medieval and modern treatments of the Classical myths, with a nod to notable motion picture adaptations.
Level: This course is open to students at all levels. No prior knowledge of mythology nor any knowledge of Latin or Greek is required.
Textbook: The Bibliotheke (“Library”) of Apollodorus (or Pseudo-Apollodorus, as some prefer to call the author), preferably in the translation by Robin Hard (Apollodorus: The Library of Greek Mythology, Oxford University Press, 1997). There are different translations of this text available online, including a good alternative by Sir James George Frazer (at the Perseus Digital Library and Theoi). Also recommended (but not required) is Ovid’s Metamorphoses, particularly in the translation by A.D. Melville (Oxford University Press). Additional materials provided by instructor.
Sections capped at: 5 students. If the course is sold-out, please fill out this waiting-list form.
Wednesdays, 7:00pm U.S. Eastern Time