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Greek Myth: Narratives, Sources, Approaches

Course module leader and teacher: Dr Emmanuela Bakola


15 CATS (co-taught for 2nd and 3rd years) - Term 1

 This module examines ancient Greek mythical narratives, symbols, and ideas in their historical, cultural and religious contexts. It studies original texts (in translation) and looks at artworks from antiquity to today, using appropriate theoretical frameworks to explore some of these fascinating stories and reflect on their enduring power. It also evaluates critically the various ways in which scholars, authors, artists, political thinkers and the public have made sense of these stories from antiquity to today, and encourages students to think how the myths might be interpreted in the present.

The module is available as a Greek text option for students with advanced Greek (post A-level equivalent)

The module is available in 2023-2024.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students:

  • will have gained a knowledge of some on the most important mythical tales to come down from antiquity.
  • will have the ability to analyse the different contexts and media in which Greek myths are narrated.
  • will have studied and engaged critically with the different ways in which these tales have been interpreted from antiquity onwards, and how they might be interpreted now

In addition, students will be able to show the following intellectual skills:

  • Critical awareness of the advantages and limitations of textual and visual material in the study of the ancient myth.
  • The ability to evaluate the merits of different methodological and theoretical approaches to the material
  • The ability to select and present material clearly and with a coherent argument both verbally and in writing

In addition, students with original Greek will develop

  • In-depth and nuanced understanding of the language and style of original Greek texts related to each week’s theme

In addition, finalists will develop

  • The ability to set their findings into a wider comparative context, drawing in other aspects of the study of the ancient world
  • The ability to seek out appropriate secondary literature and show discernment in the types of primary evidence addressed.