CLAS230 Classical Mythology: Gods and Goddesses


Note: This schedule is a work in progress and is subject to frequent revision. Check this webpage for updates.

In Class For Next Class
An Introduction: What is a God?
What is Myth? What is Religion?
Jan. 17
Course Introductions
Time and Place
One Person's Religion
What is your definition of "god"?
What is a god?
Jason Silva's "What is god?"

Catholic Definition of God
Jewish God / Jewish Definition of God
God in Islam / Islamic Concept of God
Hindu God / Hindu Concept of God
Six Personality Traits of God
What Does God Need with a Starship?

Watch this 24-minute lecture by James O'Donnell and in a two page essay, compare the view of deity described by O'Donnell to your own. At the end of your paper, add a two- or three-sentence summary of this comparison to share with the class.
Jan. 19
Discussion of Concepts of Deity
Characteristics of Greek Deity
Greek Gods /
Zeus (Jupiter)
Myth vs. Religion
Zeus and Religion:  Cleanthes' Hymn to Zeus / Olympia

As you read these essays on myth and religion Andrew Neuendorf / Allen F. Alford, compare the views expressed to your own. Summarize this comparison in a 100-word paragraph.
Jan. 24
Discussion of Neuendorf and Alford essays
Ancient Theories of Myth (Zeus)
On Myths and Sisyphean Tasks and  "The Web of Myth"

Take notes while you watch the Story of Zeus (History Channel). Then use the notes you took on the film to compose five discussion questions you would like the class to address. Submit both your notes and your questions at the next class.

Jan. 26 and Jan. 31
Discussion about Zeus
Modern Theories of Myth (Zeus)

Jan. 26: In a two-page essay discuss at least two theories of myth which you think best apply to Zeus

Jan. 31: Use the chart provided to track the Multifunctionalism of Zeus
Feb. 2
Greek Pantheon  / The Pantheon  / The Major Gods / Genealogical Tables / Parthenon Frieze
The Pantheon / The Major Gods / 12 Olympian Gods
/ Genealogy of the Gods
Outline of Hesiod's Theogony
Structure of Hesiod's Theogony (focus on Uranus and Gaia, Cronos and Rhea) / Peter Struck's Notes

Powerpoint Intro to Theogony

In groups of three, prepare a visual introduction and presentation on a Classical deity. Each member of the group will prepare a Powerpoint presentation on two images of the deity found in The Olympian Gods: Images and Texts.  (You are also free to use images from other sources.)  The group will provide basic information about the deity, briefly tell the myths depicted in the images, compare the images and make some general observations about the deity based upon these comparisons. In its presentation the group should refer to at least two theories (ancient or modern) of myth, Each presentation should end with one meaty question intended to generate class discussion. This presentation will be at least ten minutes long  but no longer than fifteen minutes.

Feb. 7
A survey of  gods and goddesses
Powerpoints: Aphrodite / Apollo Ares / Artemis / Athena / Demeter / Dionysus / HeraHermes / Poseidon

Write a two-page paper comparing your deity to one of the other deities presented by another group.  As an addendum to this paper add a paragraph describinhg your group's working dynamic. (Did the group work well together? Did everyone pull their fair share?)

Feb. 9
Reports Cont.

Read Hesiod's Theogony
and answer these study questions to hand in:
Hesiod's Theogony Study Questions
Feb. 14
Reading Hesiod's Theogony. Discussion Questions

Use the discussion questions on Hesiod to write a two-page response paper to the Theogony. What do you find attractive in Hesiod's view of creation? What do you find more questionable?

Feb. 16
Video: Gods and Goddesses
Fill in the blanks on the assignment sheet provided while you watch the video.

Watch the rest of the Gods and Goddesses video. Filll in the rest of the worksheet. Then make a list of the ways that the video shows the Greek gods interacting with human beings. How would you describe this interaction?
Feb. 21
Discussion of the Gods and Goddesses video.
Discussion of Theogony questions.
Matriarchy vs. Patriarchy

Venus of Willendorf About Pandora
Principal Greek and Roman Gods and Goddesses (inc. Mother Goddess)

Read Hong. Yurie. "Playing Zeus: Reproductive Technology and Lessons from Hesiod" and write three questions you have as a result of your reading.
Feb. 23
Artifact ID: What diety is it? What it is made of? What was it used for? When was it made? Where was it made?
Reproductive Technology and Hesiod
Gods and Mortal Women

Zeus and Europa (in Ovid's Metamorphoses)
Read the myth of Apollo and Daphne in Ovid's Metamorphoses and answer these Reading Questions.
Feb. 27
Fox Classics Lecture: 7:30 P.M. in Pattee Auditorium 

Feb. 28
Apolllo and Daphne (in Ovid's Metamorphoses)
Goddesses and Mortal Men
Artemis and Actaeon (in Ovid's Metamorphoses)
Actaeon / Actaeon
Zeus and Danae / Athena and Perseus (in Ovid's Metamorphoses) Danae

Write a review of the Gods and Goddesses video for students who might take this course in the future. Include in your  review, which must be at least 750 words in length (i.e., at least three full pages in 12 point font, double-spaced), a detailed summary of the video, a critique of its content, and a statement about ways in which this video complemented (fit in with) the other material in this course.
Mar. 2
Athena in the Odyssey
Athena and Heracles

Course Evaluation

Write a five-page essay in which you compare your view of deity at the beginning of this course with your view at the end of the course. Be sure to include significant discussion of a variety of gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and their myths. Include discussion of theories of myth, the Theogony, and the interaction between gods and mortals.
Mar 3
Final Essay due by email.

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