SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES
ISSI402 Classical Mythology and Religion
NOTE: This schedule will remain "in progress"
throughout the semester. It will be modified as needed. Students are advised to consult
this schedule periodically for changes, modifications, and additions.
Additional study questions will be added later.
|Part I Introduction to Myth and Religion|
|Aug. 29 Course Introductions
Discussion of Issues and Ideas Rubric. See the Monmouth College Curriculum.
Question: What should an Issues and Ideas course be like?
Assignment: Write a reflection on the Monmouth College Curriculum and this ISSI course. Due Sept. 4th.
|Sept. 5 Cleanthes' "Hymn
Question: How is the Hymn to Zeus a prayer? How is it like the Lord's Prayer?
Assignment: Compare Cleanthes' hymn to a prayer which is important to you personally. Due Sept. 7th.
|Sept. 7 Homeric Hymn 23 (Zeus)
Class discussion: What prayer did you compare to the Hymn to Zeus? Why?
Question: In what ways are the Cleanthes and Homeric hymns to Zeus myth? In what ways are they religion?
Prefaces and introductions to Athanassakis and Nagle. Also read review of A World Full of Gods by Keith Hopkins (available in Public Documents under /Classics/ISSI402).
Question: What do these introductory materials tell you about the Homeric Hymns?
Assignment: Write a personal reflection on religion. Click here for some helpful questions. Click here for Prof. Sienkewicz' personal statement. Due Sept. 12th.
|Part II Greek and Roman Religion|
|Sept. 12 Sources
of Roman Religion; Theories
on the Origin of Religion; Nagle, pp. 22-27
Questions: What do the documents dealing with the sources of Roman religion suggest to you about the Romans and their religious beliefs? Why do you think humans have developed religious beliefs? What purposes does religion serve in human life?
Class discussion of personal reflections
|Sept. 14 Apollo and Artemis
Homeric Hymns 3, 21 (Apollo) and Artemis 9, 27
Questions: What kind deities are Apollo and Artemis? Compare the story of Apollo to the life of Jesus Christ. What characteristics does Artemis have in common with Mary the Mother of Jesus? How does he compare to your beliefs about deity? How is Artemis similar to and different from her brother Apollo? How is a goddess different from a god?
|Sept. 19 Ovid's Fasti: Introduction; January. Bellini's
Feast of the Gods
Questions: How is the Fasti organized? What were Ovid's purposes in writing this poem? How is it religious? Why do the Romans sacrifice an ass to the god Priapus? Why does Ovid tell this story? What does Ovid tell you about the emperor's attitude towards religion? How does a Christian artist like Bellini use the ancient deities? To what extent is our calendar religious?
Assignment: Compare a Greek deity to your god. Be sure to deal with issues of anthropomorphism, forms of worship, and ethics. Due Tuesday, Sept. 26th.
|Sept. 21. Webpage Construction. Class will meet in the Trotter Computer Lab in the basement of Wallace Hall. Instruction will be provided by Ms. Jill Ullmann of the MC Information Systems Office. For this class you should have an MC webpage address and be familiar with the Sample Website document.|
|Sept. 26 NOON Archaeology Lecture on
"Geophysics and the Sanctuary of Apollo". Highlander Room.
|Sept. 26 Aphrodite
Homeric Hymn 5, 6, 10 (Aphrodite)
Question: What does archaeology tell us about Apollo and his oracle at Delphi?
Why do you think the Greeks had a goddess like Aphrodite? What do you think about a goddess who seduces mortal men?
|Sept. 28 Fasti: February; Homeric
Hymn 4, 18 (Hermes)
Question: What kind of god is Hermes? How does he compare to your idea of deity?
How is the Fasti religious?
|Oct. 3 Fasti: March; Homeric Hymn
1, 7, 26 (Dionysus)
What divine powers Bacchus (Dionysus) have? How does he seem less divine to you? To what extent does Dionysus fit his modern stereotype?
|Oct. 5 Fasti: April; Homeric Hymn
2, 13 (Demeter)
Question: Compare the Homeric Hymn to Demeter in Athanassakis to the version in Meyer (pp. 20-31). How are these two versions similar? How are they different? How is Demeter similar to and different from your concept of a deity? Compare her to Artemis and Aphrodite.
|Oct. 10 Fasti: May
Questions: How is the Fasti a poem? How is the Fasti like an encyclopedia?What elements of political propaganda can you find in the Fasti?
|Oct. 12 Fasti: June
Questions: How religious do you think Ovid was? Why? Where does Ovid sound religious in Fasti? Where does he sound less sincere?
|Oct. 17 Homeric Hymns 8, 11, 15-17,
19, 20, 22, 24, 25, 28-33
Questions: Which gods are honored in these hymns? How are these hymns different from the Homeric Hymns to Apollo, Dionysus, Hermes, Aphrodite, and Demeter? Why do you think these gods received different hymns? What do the Homeric Hymns as a group tell you about Greek religion and especially belief in god?
Mid-Course Evaluation Due
|Oct. 19 NO CLASS Work on Individualized Project|
|Oct. 24 FALL BREAK|
|Part III Mystery Religions|
|Oct. 26 NO CLASS Work on Individualized Project|
|Oct. 31 Read the introductions to
and consult study questions for both. (Click on authors' names.)
Questions: How are these books organized? How are they related to each other? How are they different? What is a mystery religion?
Prospectus for Individualized Project Due
Read Burkert, chapter 1
Questions: What personal needs does religion satisfy?
Read Meyer, chapter 2
Questions: What personal needs does the mystery religion of Demeter satisfy?
Heather Clark, Jeff DeVena, and Ken Williams
|Nov. 6 Fox Classics Lecture, 7:30 P.M. in Highlander Room. Attendance Required.|
|Nov. 7 Read Burkert, chapter 2
Questions: How were the ancient mystery religions organized? How does this organization compare to the organization of established churches in the modern world?
Nick Burge, Ryan Morenz, and Erica Hanlin
Short paper on Fox Lecture Due
|Nov. 9 Read Meyer, chapter 4
Questions: What personal needs does the mystery religion of Dionysus satisfy? Why do you think that ancient Greeks and Romans were afraid of this cult?
Ken Macak, James A., Mike Chilvers
|Nov. 14 Read Burkert, chapter 3
Questions What is theologia? What do myth and allegory have to do with mystery religions? Apply these concepts to the religions of Demeter and Dionysus
Jamie Hixon, Jaclyn Johnson, Beth Dahm
|Nov. 16 Read Meyer, chapter 5
Questions: Compare the Great Goddess to deities like Demeter and Aphrodite? How is she similar and different?
Melanie Vahlkamp, Tom Hewes
|Nov. 21 Venus of
Questions: How does the cult of the Great Goddess appeal to modern feminism?
Rick Johnston, Jessica Putoni, Jay Gunning
|Nov. 23 THANKSGIVING break.|
|Nov. 28 Read Burkert, chapter 4
Questions: What does Burkert mean by the "extraordinary experience"?
Stacey Valentin, Thomas VanUffelen, Sarah Whitehouse
|Nov. 30 Read Meyer, chapter 6
Questions: Compare Isis to other goddesses you have studied. Also compare her to Mary the Mother of Jesus.
Individualized Project due at 3:30 P.M.
Bonnie Trinko, Melissa Jordan, Meg Welchans
|Dec. 5 Read Meyer, Chapter 7-8
Questions: Why would this deity especially appeal to males? To what extant is your religion a mystery religion?
Matt Poeltler, Cory McIntyre
Evaluation of Individualized Projects due
|Dec. 7 EXTENDED CLASS PERIOD Group Presentations, Course Evaluations, etc.|
This material has been published on the web by Prof. Tom Sienkewicz for his students at Monmouth College. If you have any questions, you can contact him at email@example.com.
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