Classical Mythology
Department of Classics
Monmouth College

SCHEDULE OF Topics and Activities
Fall Semester 2011

Classical Mythology in Art



Weekly Writing
Assignments Due



Normal Quiz Day


Aug. 23
Course Introductions

Aug. 25
The Gods in Art: Anthropomorphism
Greek Pantheon  / The Pantheon  / The Major Gods /  12 Olympian Gods Genealogical Tables
Apollodorus 1.1.1-1.4.1 (the gods)
Gods in Art Powerpoint

  Writing Assignment for Monday, August 25th:
Write a 600 word  paper describing the depiction of a Greek god in art. Use this site to choose a god and an image: 12 Olympian Gods. Carefully describe this image to someone who cannot see it. Discuss how the god is represented and how this image affects your understanding of the deity. Be sure to identify your image in your paper. Tell your reader about the image. Is it a painting, a sculpture, etc.? Where can it be found today?
2 Aug. 29
Gods in Art Cont.
Pantheons and Assemblies of Gods
Greek Myths in Art Across Time and Place
Francois Vase

Francois Vase Powerpoint

Aug. 31
Gods in Art Cont.
Pantheons and Assemblies of Gods
Greek Myths in Art Across Time and Place
Siphnian Treasury at Delphi
Greek Pantheon Powerpoint

Sept. 2
Gods in Art Cont.
Pantheons and Assemblies of Gods
Greek Myths in Art Across Time and Place
Parthenon Frieze
Priapus (Warning: not for the sexually sensitive; potentially offensive images; read passage from Ovid's Fasti on this page.)

Bellini's "Feast of the Gods"

Writing Assignment for Monday, Sept. 5th:
Compare and contrast two artistic representations of Assemblies of the Gods. How are they similar? How are they different?

Sept. 5
Metamorphoses 1:  Creation and Ages of Humankind


Sept. 7
Deucalion and the Flood

Silver Age Writing Assignment
Sample Quiz Question

Don't miss the Prime Beef Parade this afternoon, on Broadway, beginning at 5 P.M.

Sept. 9
Metamorphoses 1-2:
Apollo and Daphne

QUIZ on the Gods

  Writing Assignment for Monday, Sept. 12th:
Compare an artistic representation of one of the following myths (Deucalion or Daphne) to Ovid's version of the story in Metamorphoses
1. What part of the story does the artist emphasize? What part is left out? Why? Be sure to make direct reference (quotation) from Ovid's Metamorphoses
4 Sept. 12
Metamorphoses 2:

Sept. 14
Folktale Themes in Myth and Art
Pan and Syrinx

Sept. 16
Metamorphoses 2: Phaethon

  Writing Assignment for Monday, Sept. 19th:
Discuss the use of folktale themes in one myth from Ovid's Metamorphoses and discuss ways that these folktale themes are or are not developed in a piece of art which depicts the same myth. You cannot use Io/Argus for this assignment. Be sure to make direct reference (quotation) from Ovid's Metamorphoses.
5 Sept. 19
Introduction to the Individualized Project
Metamorphoses 2: Callisto and Jupiter

Sept. 21
Metamorphoses 2: Europa

Sept. 23
Metamorphoses 2: Europa Cont.

Read this article:

Rembrandt: THE ABDUCTION OF EUROPA (1632, Getty Museum, 61 x 78 cm)

  Writing Assignment for Monday, Sept. 26th:
Use the article assigned to discuss the artistic tradition for Europa and the bull from antiquity to modern times with special focus on the artwork from your group. Be sure to discuss Europa on the Tarquinia pot, the painting by Rembrandt, the artwork from your group, and at least one other artistic representation of Europa.
6 Sept. 26
Metamorphoses 2:  Coronis and Apollo, Herse and  Mercury


Sept. 28
Diana and Actaeon

(myths from Ovid's Metamorphoses 1-2 through Callisto)

About the
Mid-course evaluation

Sept. 30
No class.
Work on your Individualized Project

  Writing Assignments:
1. Project Prospectus (due on Oct. 3rd)
2. Mid-Course Evaluation due on Oct. 7th
7 Oct. 3
Read Ovid on Actaeon.
Also read:
Carl C. Schlam
Classical Antiquity
Vol. 3, No. 1 (Apr., 1984), pp. 82-110

Oct. 5
Diana and Actaeon

Oct. 7
Mid-Course Evaluation due


  No Writing Assignment over Fall Break!
8 Oct. 11

Oct. 12
No class.
Work on Individualized Project

Oct. 14
No class.
Work on Individualized Project

  Writing Assignment due on Monday Oct. 17:
Write an ecphrasis of Titian's "Diana and Actaeon" (
9 Oct. 17
Class WILL meet today.
Group Presentation Prep

Oct. 19

Oct. 21
Group Presentation

10 Oct. 24
Group Presentations

Oct. 26
Group Presentations

Oct. 28
Work on Individualized Project.

  Writing Assignment due Monday, Oct. 31
Progress Report on Individualized Project (optional)
11 Oct. 31
Classical Mythology in 20th-Century Art. Read article in JStore by Bernstock

Nov. 2
Classical Mythology in 20th-Century Art Cont.
Bernstock Part I

Bernstock Part II

Nov. 4
QUIZ on Group Presentation Material
Part I ID matching
Two samples:
He thought his lover had been consumed by a lion. Answer: Pyramis
He was turned into stone by Medusa's gaze Answer: Polydeuctes  

Part II Image ID's (5 out of 6)
Identify the myth represented in the image.

  Writing Assignment due Monday November 7, 2011
Choose one of the 20th century art images in the Bernstock Powerpoints. Write an ecphrasis of this image. Then, below the ecphrasis, discuss the icongraphic ways to recognize how the myth is represented in this image and how you think the artist is interpreting this myth. Be sure to explain why you think this.
12 Nov. 7
Classical Mythology in 20th-Century Art Cont.

Nov. 9
Classical Mythology in 20th-Century Art Cont.

Greek Myths and Financial Crisis
The Greek Gods Solve the Modern Greek Financial Crisis on Saturday Night Live

Nov. 11
Classical Mythology in 20th-Century Art Cont.

  Writing Assignment due Monday November 14, 2011
Discuss ways in which 20th-century artists have used Greek mythology in their work. Be sure to use specific pieces of artwork to support your statements.
13 Nov. 14
Classical Myths in Florence


Nov. 16
Classical Myths in Florence Cont.

Read "Hercules in Florence" by Thomas J. Sienkewicz

Cellini on Bandinelli

Classical Mythology in Florence Handouts (pdf)

Nov. 18
Classical Myths in Florence Cont.


  Optional Writing Assignment due Monday November 21, 2011
Choose one piece of art in Florence. Describe the myth as it is depicted in this object and discuss ways in which the object can be interpreted.
14 Nov. 21
Classical Myths in Florence Cont.

Nov. 23
Thanksgiving Break

Nov. 25
Thanksgiving Break

  No paper assigned for this week. Work on Individualized Project
15 Nov. 28
Ancient Theories of Myth (Hercules)
 "The Web of Myth" / 
Some Theories of Myth / Ways of Interpreting Myths
Kill_a_ Can_on_ Hercules


Nov. 30
Ancient Theories of Myth Cont.
Powerpoint on Ancient Theories of Myth and Hercules

Prodicus' Allegory on Virtue and Vice

Dec. 2
Modern Theories of Myth (Hercules)
Powerpoint on Modern Theories of Myth and Hercules

  No paper assigned for this week. 
Individualized Project due on Friday, Dec. 2nd.
16 Dec. 5
Modern Theories of Myth  Cont.

Dec. 7
For this quiz you will be asked to identify and discuss one of the following images (no choice): Hercules on the Porta della Mandorla
Fortitude on Pisano's door to the Baptistery
Fortitude on the Campanile
Hercules and Cacus on the Campanile
Bandinelli's Hercules and Cacus
Giambologna's Hercules and Nessus
Romanelli's Hercules and the Nemean Lion  
In your discussion you should consider the piece of art in its context. How does it fit into the larger plan of the building and of its surroundings? How does it illustrate the role of Hercules in the history and art of Florence? Finally, use this piece of art to discuss four different theories of myth (two ancient and two modern).

17   Dec. 13
8 A.M.
Finals Meeting: Final Oral Presentations and course evaluation
At this meeting you will each give five-minute presentations to the class on your individualized project (see below). In addition I will hand back any outstanding papers and distribute grade sheets. You will also have an opportunity to evaluate the course.
Some Hints about Preparation, Presentation and Grading of Oral Reports

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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