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 A&H 105 - Classical Mythology


Are the Greek gods just? Do they have to be? Can murder be justified under certain circumstances? In ancient myth, characters like Prometheus, Achilles, Agamemnon and Hector, Oedipus and Antigone, Orestes, Electra, Jason and Medea wondered about these questions, and the why of their fates. Their questions echo in the great works of art and literature produced in antiquity and after.

This course examines the origins and concept of myth and its manifold interpretations, ancient and modern. Prominent themes in classical mythology are explored by means of ancient literary and artistic sources: from the creation of the cosmos, through the rise of the Olympians, till the heroic exploits and family sagas which touch upon historical reality. Are these stories or histories? Can they be traced in the archaeology of the Aegean prehistory? How are Greek mythology and Near Eastern counterparts of various periods linked?

Myth and religion pervaded ancient Greek and Roman civilisation, and this prominent position will be discussed in topics like: cult and myth; the histories of myth; myth, society and politics; myth in Roman culture; and the artistic manifestations of myth. Classical mythology’s formative role in culture and thought after antiquity is another important topic which will be discussed in this course.  







Required for

​This course is required in order to take the following courses:

  • 200 level courses in Antiquity 

This course is an alternative requirement for the following courses:  

  • 200 level courses in History
  • 200 level courses in Philosophy
  • 200 level courses in Literature