CLAS230 Classical Mythology:
In the Modern World
Spring, 2002

NOTE:  One advantage of a web-based schedule is that it can be adjusted frequently according to class progress. Students are advised to consult this page regularly for changes.

ML = Morford and Lenardon

Part I. Introduction to Myths in the Modern World
Jan. 15 Myths Ancient and Modern
Echoes of Mythology

Jan. 17 What is a myth?
Read Sienkewicz' "On Myths and Sisyphean Tasks"; Sisyphus; Countee Cullen's "Yet Do I Marvel"; ML 490-491; 

Jan. 22 Myth theories in the modern world
Read ML 1-15;
Sienkewicz' "The Web of Myth"; Some Theories of Myth; Types of Myth; Myth and Folktale. Look for Folktale Themes in the myths of Phaethon (Ovid 13-36);  and Procris and Cephalus (Ovid 154-170); Procne and Philomela ( Ovid 134-142); Matthew Arnold's "Philomela" 

Jan. 24 Historical Background
Read ML 15-31; Ovid 175-178 (Daedalus, the labyrinth, the Minotaur, the Math Minotaur, and Icarus);
Schliemann: Heros and Mythos / Schliemann; Historical World behind the Trojan War; MC at Troy; Mycenae; Knossos / Plan of Knossos; W. H. Auden's "Musee des Beaux Arts" / Daedalus and Icarus / Virtual Streetband's "Icarus" / Icarus Rising 

Jan. 29 The Survival of Classical Mythology in the Modern World
    Read ML 542-576; Ovid 190-193 (Philemon and Baucis: Rembrandt). See also Ovid in Art. On Adapting Myths

Jan. 31 Classical Mythology in Music and Film
Read ML 577-593; Disney's "Fantasia". Myth in Music and Cinema. Ovid 318-322 (Galatea). Centaurs. Ovid 202-203 (Hercules, Nessus and Deianira). Satyrs

Part II. The Gods in the Modern World
Feb. 5 Introduction to the Greek Gods

The Pantheon
Greek Pantheon / Classical Myths: The Ancient Sources
First Unit Quiz

Feb. 7 Creation Myths
    ML 35-69; Ovid 1-14 (Myths of Creation, Zeus' Rise to Power: Ages of Humankind)
Organization of the Business of the Gods Presentation

Feb. 12 Zeus and Hera and Their Children
    ML 70-84
    Ovid 18-23 (Io); 49-50 (Europa); 229-230 (Ganymede). Zeus / Hera

Feb. 14 Cupid and Venus
    ML Chapter 7 (116-140)
    Ovid 61-66 (Narcissus and Echo); 76-82 (Pyramus and Thisbe); 232-234 (Pygmalion); 241-242 (Adonis)

Feb. 19  Anthropomorphism; Artemis
    ML Chapter 4 (85-97); ML Chapter 8 (141-162)
    Ovid 14-18 (Daphne); 36-40 (Callisto); 55-58 (Actaeon); 125-130 (Niobe); 230-232 (Hyacinthus); 370-374 (Aesculapius)

Feb. 21 Apollo 
    ML Chapter 9 (163-188)

Feb. 26  Hermes  
MLChapter 10 (189-203);  
Ovid 82-85 (Hermaphroditus)  

Feb. 28  Demeter, Hades, and Persephone  
ML Chapter 12 (233-249)
Second Unit Quiz

Mid-Course Evaluation due before Spring Break

March 12 The Underworld
ML Chapter 13 (250-272),
    Ovid  109-116 (Persephone)

March 14  Orpheus
ML Chapter 14 (273-285)
    Ovid 225-228 (Eurydice); 249-252 (Death of Orpheus)

    Website evaluations due

March 19 Dionysus 
ML Chapter 11 (204-232); Euripides' Bacchae    

58-60 (Semele)

March 21 Dionysus Cont.

March 26

    Business of the Gods Presentations

March 28
    Business of the Gods  
    Presentations Cont.
    After the presentations, we will do Narcissus in
ML Chapter 11 (204-232)

April 2 Poseidon
ML  Chapter 5

Progress Report for Individualized Project due.
Presentation on Myth in Pop/Rock Music by Marty Pickens and Prof. S

April 4  NO CLASS

April 9 Athena
    ML Chapter 6 (105-115
Ovid 121-125 (Arachne)

Part III. Gods and Greek Tragedy the Modern World
As you read the plays assigned, consider ways that they deal with modern issues.

April 11 Euripides' Trojan Women
    Modern Productions of Trojan Women

April 16  No Class. Founder's Day

April 18  Third Unit Quiz

April 23 Euripides' Trojan Women Cont.
Helen in the Modern World

April 25
The Trial of Helen 

April 30 Euripides' Hippolytus
Analysis of Euripides' Hippolytus / Euripides' Chronology / The Euripides Homepage / Summary of Hippolytus / Some Notes on Hippolytus / On Aristotle and Hippolytus / Some Background to Hippolytus / Some Themes in Euripides' Hippolytus / Modern Productions of Hippolytus / Why Modern Adaptations of Greek Tragedy? / Tantalus from the Perspective of Modern Adaptation / Modern Performance and Adaptation of Greek Tragedy

    Individualized Project Due

May 2 Fourth Unit Quiz (on Bacchae, Trojan Women, and Hippolytus)

The quiz will be on Euripides' Bacchae, Trojan Women, and Hippolytus and their modern contexts, including Helen, Casandra, etc.
The focus of the quiz will be the following:|
1.) identification of characters in the plays;
2.) the role of the gods in each play;
3.) modern aspects of the plays;
4.) your vote on Helen's guilt or innocence.

May 7 1 P.M. Final Exam Meeting
Group presentations and course evaluation

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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