ISSI402 Classical Mythology and Religion
Department of Classics
Monmouth College
Spring Semester 2004

Course Description / Required Texts / Instructor / Class Format / Grading Scale / Goals and Requirements
Schedule of Readings and Assignments
  Writing Guidelines / Course Handouts
/ Current Student Websites /
Sample Student Websites (2000/ 2001/ 2002 / 2004) / Class Photo

This course fulfills the senior-level Issues and Ideas component of the Monmouth College General Education requirement for graduation. It is a liberal arts course without prerequisites, designed for all students, whatever their majors may be. The Monmouth College catalogue gives the following description of Issues and Ideas courses:

[These courses] address issues and ideas that any responsible citizen must confront. These are courses which draw upon the maturity and intellectual flexibility of students in their senior year. They engage the student with problems and ideas that directly address the conditions and well-being of life.

These courses include, but are not limited to, issues and ideas such as the continuing presence of war; what we understand a just society to be; the question of personal identity and the self; or responsible relationships with the natural world.

These courses incorporate the perspectives of various viewpoints since they deal with questions that transcend immediate professional and intellectual vantages. They elicit a recognition of and a critical response to shared and continuing human concerns.

Classical Mythology and Religion uses the myths and religions of the ancient Greeks and Romans as a framework for discussing issues of religion and spirituality in the modern world. The course challenges students to reflect upon and to develop their feelings about how spirituality and deity factor in their lives and how humanity fits into the "grand scheme of things." Classical Mythology and Religion starts from the premise that one people's religion is another people's myths and considers the relationship between religion and mythology. The issues and ideas addressed in this course include the following:

What is religion and religious truth?
What is the role of deity in human life?
What is place of a human being in the world?

Course readings, class discussions and lectures will provide background on the relationship between religion and mythology in the ancient world, especially among the Greeks and Romans. Students will be expected to use this material in order to reflect upon their own religious beliefs and world views.

A word on plagiarism:
Plagiarism is copying someone else's work without giving credit. Such copying--from a book, another classmate's paper, or any other source--is dishonest. Any student submitting plagiarized work will receive a failing grade for that assignment. If two papers with identical or nearly-identical work are submitted by different students, both papers will receive a failing grade.

This syllabus is subject to revision by the instructor, provided that written or verbal notice is given in class.

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

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