|Part I Introduction to Myth and Religion
|Jan. 13 Course Introductions
Discussion of Issues and Ideas Rubric. See the Monmouth
College Curriculum / The
Questions: How does an ISSI course fit into
the MC Curriculum? What should an Issues and Ideas course be like? What
happens to the ISSI class in the new curriculum?
Assignment: Apply for a personal website from the MC Information
Systems Office by clicking on "Computer Assistant" on the
Desktop. Then click on the "Help" tab. Then select "Apply
for a Personal Webpage" and follow the instructions. When the IS
office sends you the address of your webpage, please e-mail it to the
instructor. This web address must be received by the instructor by Jan.
|Jan. 15 Issues and Ideas, Myth and
Use these study
questions to prepare for class discussion of ISSI courses. Assignment: Write a reflection on the Monmouth College Curriculum
and this ISSI course. Due Jan. 22nd.
What are "myth" and "religion"? Look especially
at the discussion of the meaning of the word "myth" in The
Web of Myth Theory. Also Myth
and Religion: Some Definitions
|Jan. 20 Cleanthes' "Hymn
to Zeus", images of Zeus;
Compare images of Christian God.
Anthropomorphism and Xenophanes
of Colophon. Look here especially at the fragments called satires: Xenophanes'
Fragments. Prayer / Lord's
Question: How is the Hymn to Zeus a prayer? How is it like the
Lord's Prayer? How is the prayer "myth"? How is it
"religion"? To what extant does your god have anthropomorphic
Assignment: Compare Cleanthes' hymn to a prayer which is important to you personally.
Due Jan. 27th.
|Jan. 22 Homeric Hymns and
Preface and introduction to Athanassakis. See Homeric
Survey of Christian Polytheism, and
and Polytheism. The
Pantheon / Greek
Pantheon / Classical
Myths: The Ancient Sources. Also read review of A World Full of Gods by Keith
Hopkins (available in Public Documents under All Public
Folders/Departments/Academic/Classics/ISSI402). Here is a quote from
Hopkins: "But I wanted to recover the passion of that time.
Re-create the confusion of voices. Think of it: Religion absolutely
everywhere. Gods and goddesses and demons and nightmares, and sex mixed up
into all of it. Christianity must have seemed so strange, so absurd to
good, decent pagans."
Question: What do these introductory materials tell you about the
Homeric Hymns? What are the advantages and disadvantages of polytheism vs.
|Jan. 27 Homeric Hymn 23 (Zeus)
and the Sacrifice of Prometheus
(and Hesiod's Theogony, 508-544
Bound. Also Catalogue of Greek
Animal Sacrifice and Summary
/ Augustan Altar of
Peace / Altar
of Peace / Animal Sacrifice /
Santeria and Animal
Sacrifice / The Latter
Day Saints and Animal Sacrifice / Animal
Sacrifice in Christian Churches
Questions: How is the Homeric Hymn to Zeus similar
to Cleanthes' Hymn? How is it different? In what ways are the Cleanthes and Homeric hymns to Zeus myth? In
what ways are they religion? How is Prometheus' sacrifice a form of worship?
How is it a trick? Compare Greek animal sacrifice to modern forms of
Class discussion: What prayer did you compare to the Hymn to Zeus?
Assignment: Write a personal reflection on religion. Due Feb.
for some helpful questions. Click here
for Prof. Sienkewicz' personal statement.
|Jan. 29 Website Development Period in Trotter
Ms. Marcie Beintema of the MC Information Systems Office will conduct a
session about getting started with your personal
website. Use this website template
as a model. Webpage
Design / Introduction to
FrontPage (pdf file)
|Feb. 3 Human Sacrifice
Read the story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 12-22 and the Sacrifice
of Iphigenia. Also Sacrifice
of Iphigenia in Art / Review
of Human Sacrifice in Ancient Greece. Minoan
Religion (focus on Anemospilia). Anemospilia
Minoan Snake Goddess / Scapegoating
16 / Stoning
in the Pharmakos Ritual / Rene
Girard / Living
Sacrifice’s “Why Christianity” / Human
Sacrifice in Judaism, Chriastianity and Israel: A Summary and Critique of
Hyam Maccoby’s The Sacred Executioner / Hyam
Religion / Eucharist
as Sacrifice and Sacrament / Sacrificial
Anti-Arbortion / Ritual
Sacrifice in America: The Execution of Timothy McVey
|Feb. 5 Class discussion of personal reflections
California Critical Thinking Test
|Part II Roman Religion
|Feb. 17 Introduction to
Theories on the Origin of Religion;
Also read pp. 22-27 of Nagle. Additional materials:
Some Definitions /
Beginnings of Religion /
Roman Divinities in Archaic Period / Religio
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?
Look for characteristics of Roman Religion described in
Some Notes on Roman Religion in the documents
found in the
Sources of Roman Religion.
Assignment: Write a reflection on these characteristics and compare them
to modern religious views. Due Feb. 24
|Feb. 19 Ovid's Fasti: Introduction; January Bellini's
Feast of the Gods
Read preface and introduction to Nagle. See
Ovid's Fasti Overview / Fasti
January / The Roman
Calendar / Christian
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?
TOGAMAN 7:30 P.M. in the
Highlander Room For more information, see
|Feb. 24 Apollo and
Homeric Hymns 3, 21 (Apollo) and Artemis 9, 27 Outline
of Hymn / Study
and Discussion Questions
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? What makes Delphi and Delos sacred places?
Assignment: Compare Apollo to your god. Be sure to deal with
issues of anthropomorphism, forms of worship, and ethics. Due Feb. 24.
|Mar. 1 FOX
CLASSICS LECTURE. 7:30 P.M. in the Highlander Room
|Mar. 2 Aphrodite
Read Homeric Hymn 5, 6, 10,
Prayer to Aphrodite (Other
Outline of Homeric Hymn to
Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite
Study Questions /
Focus on the encounters between Aphrodite and the
mortals Anchises and Sappho. Compare these encounters
with that of Apollo and
the sailors. What do these episodes suggest about the Greek attitude
toward deity in general? Human interaction with deity? Human free will?
What ethical issues are suggested in these episodes? What do you think
about all of these issues?
Question: Why do you think the Greeks had a goddess like
Aphrodite? What do you think about a goddess who seduces mortal men?
|Mar. 4 Read Fasti:
February and March; See Fasti
II: February , Lupercalia;
March / Fasti
III: Study Questions
Characteristics of the Fasti
Antoninus and Faustina /
the temple / Apotheosis
of an Emperor /
Column base of the emperor Antoninus Pius /
Lincoln Memorial /
The Apotheosis of
George Washington /
Questions: Whose apotheosis
does Ovid describe in February? How does such an event compare to modern
religious beliefs? How many stories does Ovid tell to explain why the Luperci run naked? Why does Ovid
tell the story of the Sabine Women in March? What is the feast of the toga
virilis and what might be some modern equivalents? How
is the Fasti religious?
|Mar. 4 Juno Sospita: Coin
/ Church of San Nicola in Carcere in Rome: 1
(and scroll to Juno Sospita)
Laurenti Siciliano: The Triumph of Christianity over Paganism (1585) /
For more on this painting, see the Raphael
Rooms of the Vatican /
Babri Mosque / Babri
Masjid (mosque) at Ayodhya / The
Babri History /
Babri Mosque / Dome
of the Rock
Questions: Why does the
Temple of Juno Sospita become the Church of San Nicola in Carcere? What
other examples of such religious building/site conversions can you think
of? Why do such things occur?
|March 16 Fasti:
and June See Fasti
/ Study Questions for
IV / Fasti
/ Claudia Quinta
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? How religious do you think Ovid was? Why? Where does Ovid
sound religious in Fasti? Where does he sound less sincere? What myth does Ovid tell
for the Feast of Cerealia in April? What does this myth have to do with the
powers of the goddess Ceres?
For March 23rd, write a reflection on
characteristics of Roman religion in the Fasti compared to modern
Hymn 4, 18 (Hermes).
Questions for the Homeric Hymn to Hermes.
Hermes Images /
Also read hymns #8, 11, 15-17,
19, 20, 22, 24, 25, 28-33
Questions: What kind of god is Hermes? How does he compare to your
idea of deity? 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?
|Part III Mystery Religions
|March 23 Read the
introduction to Meyer
and consult study questions. (Click on author's names.) See Some
Definitions of Terms, Some
Notes on Mysteria, Brief
History of Greco-Roman Religion.
Questions: How are these books organized? How are they related to
each other? How are they different? What is a mystery religion? What personal needs does religion satisfy?
|March 30 Introduction to Burkert
. Christianity and Mystery Religions
|April 1 Homeric Hymn
2, 13 (Demeter)
Read Meyer, chapter 2.
Sacred Places: Eleusis
Mysteries: Some Documents / Demeter
Questions: What personal needs does the mystery religion of
Demeter satisfy? 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.
|April 6 Read Meyer, chapter 4
and Homeric Hymns
1, 7, 26 (Dionysus) .
Outline of Homeric Hymn to
Dionysus / Dionysian
Mysteries: Some Documents / Some
Dionysian Terms / Senatus Consultum de Bacchanalibus (the Inscription
text / English
Questions: What divine powers Bacchus (Dionysus) have? How does he seem less divine to you? To what
extent does Dionysus fit his modern stereotype? What personal needs does the mystery religion of Dionysus
satisfy? Why do you think that ancient Greeks and Romans were afraid of this cult?
Statement due on Modern Equivalent of a Mystery
|April 13 Villa
of the Mysteries / Villa
of Mysteries 2 / Take a
Virtual Tour of the Villa / Another
Questions: How were the ancient mystery religions organized? How
does this organization compare to the organization of established churches in the modern
world? What is theologia? What do myth and allegory have
to do with mystery religions? Apply these concepts to the religions of Demeter and
|April 15 No Class. Work on your
|April 22 Read Read Burkert, chapter
Questions; Meyer, chapter 5.
"Attis" / Study
Questions about Cybele
Questions: Compare the Great Goddess to deities like
Demeter and Aphrodite? How is she similar and different?
Write a statement in which you use
some of the documents on Cybele in Meyer in order to reflect on what was
attractive in her worship to the ancients and what is attractive and not
attractive in her worship today.
|April 27 Read
Willendorf Website / Dove"s
"Venus of Willendorf"
Question: How does the cult of the Great Goddess appeal to
|April 29 "The
Extraordinary Experience" (Burkert, chapter 4) Study
Isis. Read Meyer, chapter 6.
Questions: Compare Isis to other goddesses you have studied. Also
compare her to Mary the Mother of Jesus.
Question: What does Burkert mean by the
"extraordinary experience"? How did the ancients talk about this experience? Do we
talk about it today?
Issues and Ideas Raised in ISSI402
Webpages due today by 4 P.M.
At this meeting there will be poster Presentations, Course