Fulfills the L & S breadth requirement in Arts & Literature and Philosophy & Values.
Why do stories that are millennia old -- those of the wily Odysseus, the hero Hercules, the bold Antigone, the treacherous Medea, the pantheon of Olympian deities -- fascinate us just as they did the ancient Greeks and Romans? Myth permeated every aspect of life in the ancient world; the study of classical mythology sheds light on the ancient Greeks’ and Romans’ world views and can also offer us insight about our own. We still explore the Greeks’ and Romans’ myths about the origins of the world, humans’ relationship with nature, good and evil, sex and gender, interactions among family members, marriage, death, love and what it means to be human by reading their own versions of these myths in their literature (in English translation) and by studying ancient art and archaeological sites. We will also examine some of the chief theories of myth that have arisen in the past century as well as retellings of myth in contemporary culture and movies. No previous experience in classical studies is necessary.