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Greek Myth: Narratives, Sources, Approaches: Syllabus

Syllabus autumn 2023

Week 1: INTRODUCTION; Theoretical approaches to myth; Introduction to the sources for Greek myth

Week 2: CREATION: Divine Order: Near Eastern & Greek Myths of Creation[1]

Week 3: GODS: Male and Female in Myths of Creation and Near eastern parallels: Inanna & Dumuzi, Ishtar & Tammuz, Aphrodite & Adonis, Isis & Osiris

Week 4: GODS: Dionysus II: God of Communality[2]

Week 5: HEROES: Heracles (+ how to prepare the video presentations)

Reading week

Week 7: HEROES: Athenian and Theban Myths

Week 8: HEROES: Jason & Medea

Week 9: HEROES: Achilles

Week 10: HEROES: Fall of Troy and the Returns


  1. A 10-minute video-presentation on a modern appropriation of a set myth and its context (from a selection): 40% of the mark, to be submitted at the end of term 1
  2. A 2500-word essay: 60% of the mark; to be submitted on first day of term 2.

Teaching format

9 two-hour interactive lectures

2 one-hour seminars in week 3 and week 7

9 one-hour sessions working with original Greek texts (for students taking the module as a Greek text option)

Additional syllabus 2023 for students taking the module as Greek text option

Week 1: Hesiod Theogony 521-616

Week 2: Hesiod Theogony 807-894

Week 3: Homeric Hymn to Demeter 1-100

Week 4: Euripides Bacchae 1-98

Week 5: Pindar Olympian Ode 3.1-45 and 10.15-63

Week 6 is Reading week

Week 7: Euripides’ Hippolytus 1-106

Week 8: Euripides’ Medea 1-105

Week 9: Homer Iliad 19.1-100

Week 10: Homer Odyssey 23.181-287

[1] Cross reference to ‘Prometheus and Pandora’, which would have been taught at GCS. Its recording will be given to the students registering for 'Greek myth' as 'summer preparation.

[2] Cross-reference to ‘Dionysus I: God of possession’ as taught at GCS, to be given to the students of this module in a recording as 'summer preparation'.