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Myths are traditional stories that have endured over a long time. Some of them have to do with events of great importance, such as the founding of a nation. Others tell the stories of great heroes and heroines and their exploits and courage in the face of adversity. Still others are simple tales about otherwise unremarkable people who get into trouble or do some great deed. What are we to make of all these tales, and why do people seem to like to hear them? This course will focus on the myths of ancient Greece and Rome, as a way of exploring the nature of myth and the function it plays for individuals, societies, and nations. We will also pay some attention to the way the Greeks and Romans themselves understood their own myths. Are myths subtle codes that contain some universal truth? Are they a window on the deep recesses of a particular culture? Are they a set of blinders that all of us wear, though we do not realize it? Or are they just entertaining stories that people like to tell over and over? This course will investigate these questions through a variety of topics, including the creation of the universe, the relationship between gods and mortals, human nature, religion, the family, sex, love, madness, and death. *********************************************************************************************************** COURSE SCHEDULE • Week 1: Introduction Welcome to Greek and Roman Mythology! This first week we’ll introduce the class, paying attention to how the course itself works. We’ll also begin to think about the topic at hand: myth! How can we begin to define "myth"? How does myth work? What have ancient and modern theorists, philosophers, and other thinkers had to say about myth? This week we’ll also begin our foray into Homer’s world, with an eye to how we can best approach epic poetry. Readings: No texts this week, but it would be a good idea to get started on next week's reading to get ahead of the game. Video Lectures: 1.1-1.7 Quiz: Complete the quiz by the end of the week. • Week 2: Becoming a Hero In week 2, we begin our intensive study of myth through Homer’s epic poem, the Odyssey. This core text not only gives us an exciting story to appreciate on its own merits but also offers us a kind of laboratory where we can investigate myth using different theoretical approaches. This week we focus on the young Telemachus’ tour as he begins to come of age; we also accompany his father Odysseus as he journeys homeward after the Trojan War. Along the way, we’ll examine questions of heroism, relationships between gods and mortals, family dynamics, and the Homeric values of hospitality and resourcefulness. Readings: Homer, Odyssey, books 1-8 Video Lectures: 2.1-2.10 Quiz: Complete the quiz by the end of the week. • Week 3: Adventures Out and Back This week we’ll follow the exciting peregrinations of Odysseus, "man of twists and turns," over sea and land. The hero’s journeys abroad and as he re-enters his homeland are fraught with perils. This portion of the Odyssey features unforgettable monsters and exotic witches; we also follow Odysseus into the Underworld, where he meets shades of comrades and relatives. Here we encounter some of the best-known stories to survive from all of ancient myth. Readings: Homer, Odyssey, books 9-16 Video Lectures: 3.1-3.10 Quiz: Complete the quiz by the end of the week. • Week 4: Identity and Signs As he makes his way closer and closer to re-taking his place on Ithaca and with his family, a disguised Odysseus must use all his resources to regain his kingdom. We’ll see many examples of reunion as Odysseus carefully begins to reveal his identity to various members of his household—his servants, his dog, his son, and finally, his wife Penelope—while also scheming against those who have usurped his place. Readings: Homer, Odyssey, books 17-24 Video Lectures: 4.1-4.8 Quiz: Complete the quiz by the end of the week. • Week 5: Gods and Humans We will take a close look at the most authoritative story on the origin of the cosmos from Greek antiquity: Hesiod’s Theogony. Hesiod was generally considered the only poet who could rival Homer. The Theogony, or "birth of the gods," tells of an older order of gods, before Zeus, who were driven by powerful passions—and strange appetites! This poem presents the beginning of the world as a time of fierce struggle and violence as the universe begins to take shape, and order, out of chaos. Readings: Hesiod, Theogony *(the Works and Days is NOT required for the course)* Video Lectures: 5.1-5.9 Quiz: Complete the quiz by the end of the week. • Week 6: Ritual and Religion This week’s readings give us a chance to look closely at Greek religion in its various guises. Myth, of course, forms one important aspect of religion, but so does ritual. How ancient myths and rituals interact teaches us a lot about both of these powerful cultural forms. We will read two of the greatest hymns to Olympian deities that tell up-close-and-personal stories about the gods while providing intricate descriptions of the rituals they like us humans to perform. Readings: Homeric Hymn to Apollo; Homeric Hymn to Demeter (there are two hymns to each that survive, only the LONGER Hymn to Apollo and the LONGER Hymn to Demeter are required for the course) Video Lectures: 6.1-6.7 Quiz: Complete the quiz by the end of the week. • Week 7: Justice What counts as a just action, and what counts as an unjust one? Who gets to decide? These are trickier questions than some will have us think. This unit looks at one of the most famously thorny issues of justice in all of the ancient world. In Aeschylus’ Oresteia—the only surviving example of tragedy in its original trilogy form—we hear the story of Agamemnon’s return home after the Trojan War. Unlike Odysseus’ eventual joyful reunion with his wife and children, this hero is betrayed by those he considered closest to him. This family's cycle of revenge, of which this story is but one episode, carries questions of justice and competing loyalties well beyond Agamemnon’s immediate family, eventually ending up on the Athenian Acropolis itself. Readings: Aeschylus, Agamemnon; Aeschylus, Eumenides Video Lectures: 7.1-7.10 Quiz: Complete the quiz by the end of the week. • Week 8: Unstable Selves This week we encounter two famous tragedies, both set at Thebes, that center on questions of guilt and identity: Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex and Eurpides’ Bacchae. Oedipus is confident that he can escape the unthinkable fate that was foretold by the Delphic oracle; we watch as he eventually realizes the horror of what he has done. With Odysseus, we saw how a great hero can re-build his identity after struggles, while Oedipus shows us how our identities can dissolve before our very eyes. The myth of Oedipus is one of transgressions—intentional and unintentional—and about the limits of human knowledge. In Euripides’ Bacchae, the identity of gods and mortals is under scrutiny. Here, Dionysus, the god of wine and of tragedy, and also madness, appears as a character on stage. Through the dissolution of Pentheus, we see the terrible consequences that can occur when a god’s divinity is not properly acknowledged. Readings: Sophocles, Oedipus Rex; Euripides, Bacchae Video Lectures: 8.1-8.9 Quiz: Complete the quiz by the end of the week. • Week 9: The Roman Hero, Remade Moving ahead several centuries, we jump into a different part of the Mediterranean to let the Romans give us their take on myth. Although many poets tried to rewrite Homer for their own times, no one succeeded quite like Vergil. His epic poem, the Aeneid, chronicles a powerful re-building of a culture that both identifies with and defines itself against previously told myths. In contrast to the scarcity of information about Homer, we know a great deal about Vergil’s life and historical context, allowing us insight into myth-making in action. Readings: Vergil, Aeneid, books 1-5 Video Lectures: 9.1-9.10 Quiz: Complete the quiz by the end of the week. • Week 10: Roman Myth and Ovid's Metamorphoses Our consideration of Vergil’s tale closes with his trip to the underworld in book 6. Next, we turn to a more playful Roman poet, Ovid, whose genius is apparent in nearly every kind of register. Profound, witty, and satiric all at once, Ovid’s powerful re-tellings of many ancient myths became the versions that are most familiar to us today. Finally, through the lens of the Romans and others who "remythologize," we wrap up the course with a retrospective look at myth. Readings: Vergil, Aeneid, book 6; Ovid, Metamorphoses, books 3, 12, and 13. Video Lectures: 10.1-10.9. Quiz: Complete the quiz by the end of the week. *********************************************************************************************************** READINGS There are no required texts for the course, however, Professor Struck will make reference to the following texts in the lecture: • Greek Tragedies, Volume 1, David Grene and Richmond Lattimore, trans. (Chicago) • Greek Tragedies, Volume 3, David Grene and Richmond Lattimore , trans. (Chicago) • Hesiod, Theogony and Works and Days, M. L. West, trans. (Oxford) • Homeric Hymns, Sarah Ruden, trans. (Hackett) • Homer, The Odyssey, Robert Fagles, trans. (Penguin) • Virgil, The Aeneid, Robert Fitzgerald, trans. (Vintage) • Ovid, Metamorphoses, David Raeburn, trans. (Penguin) These translations are a pleasure to work with, whereas many of the translations freely available on the internet are not. If you do not want to purchase them, they should also be available at many libraries. Again, these texts are not required, but they are helpful....


7. Juli 2020

Well thought out well presented. I feel I have gained a very knowledgeable and thorough understanding of both Greek and Roman mythology and their historical gods and goddesses from taking this course.

19. Aug. 2020

I loved this course. It covers material that is generally available to those who can afford an expensive private education. It was a great way to keep myself occupied during the coronavirus lockdown.

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76 - 100 von 541 Bewertungen für Greek and Roman Mythology

von José A J H

10. Sep. 2019

Beatiful course !! I have enjoyed it and I hope to continue by my own or with other courses trying to understand the meaning of myths. In any case, whatever the meaning, they are exciting and entertaining stories that help us understand that few things have really changed. Congratulations to Prof. Struck and rest of the team. The course is informative and esthetic.

von Miguel C

10. Juni 2020

This course was a gateway to the ancient cultures and allowed me to have a wider vision about myths and a bigger picture of the Greek and Roman Society. I had the chance to review all the subjects I took at School and at the University but with a deeper and sharper approach. I truly enjoyed all the lessons and I highly recommend this course for all History lovers.

von Julie S

9. Dez. 2016

The professor was an absolute joy to learn from. His humor, candor, attention to detail, review of information from previous units, and intelligence made me eager to get to my coursework every evening once the kids were in bed. This was everything I never learned in my own Greek and Roman Mythology course in college many years ago. Thank you!

von Kate R

25. Juli 2021

excellent. no other word for it. Prof. Struck is clearly passionate about the subject and that allows those engaging in the material for the first time to feel the same awe that he does. using this course to fill my enthusiasm before studying ancient history at university and couldnt think of any better way to fuel that, so thank you very much!

von Laurent G

26. Apr. 2019

Outstanding course. Pr. Struck gives a thorough overview of not just the "stories" but also the tools with which they can be understood and analyzed. I've found that after this course I was equipped to read -- and understand!-- some of the scholarly research into Greek mythology (eg. Vernant or Vidal-Naquet). This is a very illuminating course.

von Igor F T d S

24. März 2020

Maravilhoso. Uma das melhores experiencias que já tive como estudante. O conteúdo é rico e me proporcionou insights incríveis. Muito me será útil -- não só profissionalmente. Obrigado ao professor Peter Struck e à equipe da Penn University. Agradeço grandemente também ao Coursera, por ter me proporcionado magníficos aprendizados neste curso.

von Maria P P

26. Jan. 2020

Como uma apaixonada por Mitologia, tenho apenas a agradecer ao professor e a toda a equipe pois o curso é maravilhoso. Tem um linguagem simples apesar de se tratar de um tema tão complexo e tem uma ótima fluidez.

Com certeza se trata de um curso obrigatório para quem tem interesse em mitologia, historia antiga e estudo de grandes autores.

von Tetiana B

20. Mai 2020

This course has fulfilled my knowledge of Greek and Roman mythology and ancient literature. It has become a great start in my journey of learning about ancient civilizations. For a history geek like me, it is one of the best ways to spend your free time. Thank all the team and lecturers, who put this course together, for their hard work!

von Ghadeer N

19. Apr. 2020

I'm not a mythology scholar, but I really REALLY enjoyed this course. The instructor is very passionate about the content, which makes his telling much more enjoyable than usual. I learned a lot about the Greek's cultural background, and a bit more about the Roman's. It was a great choice, and I'd definitely join more courses like this.

von Marc B C

2. Apr. 2020

Nice first approach to Greek and Roman mithology, I think the way the course is covered is pretty handy and easy-going. However, I would add additional online resources related to the course, apart from the books that must be read. It would make it a little bit more interactive. Anyway, it was very very interesting overall, thank you!!!

von Yudhanjaya W

7. März 2017

This is one of the most useful courses on mythology I've ever come across. Peter Struck is an extremely thorough lecturer, and journeying through the Odyssey and the Aenied (among others) with him is a fascinating journey - not just into Greek and Roman mythology, but literature, culture, their psychologies, and their social structures.

von Christine

8. Juli 2020

I loved this course. It was both enjoyable and instructive. Professor Struck offers a unique way of teaching this course with interesting views and lively explanations. It felt like I was having coffee with a friend who had something exciting to say. Thank you Professor, I truly hope you will teach more of these courses in the future.

von Kristine A M

20. Nov. 2016

This is a very entertaining course. There is a lot of reading, but the readings are so enjoyable that it doesn't seem like too much. I was able to obtain the books at my local library. This course refreshed and added a great deal to my understanding of the greek and roman mythology I studied years ago in high school and at university.

von Madhura V U

30. Mai 2020

It is a very interesting course for beginners like me who want to know more about Greek and Roman Mythology. It was very systematic and made me read Greek and Roman Epics. I would like to thank Prof.Peter Stuck and the University of Penn for this course and last but not the least, to Coursera for making this course available.

von Kathleen M

4. Mai 2020

This course was excellent--both in content and method. Professor Struck offered a deeply satisfying presentation of content about Greek and Roman Mythology in a context of delight and wonderment. I can imagine this is a wildly popular course at Penn and Struck a very popular professor. Thank you for a great experience!

von Charlotte M

27. Juni 2020

I really enjoyed this course and it has, without a doubt, improved my knowledge vastly. I found Dr Struck's lectures interesting and engaging and the ability to learn online at my own pace over the week fitted in well with working at home. I highly recommend this course and wouldn't hesitate to embark on a further one.

von Cynthia W

6. Mai 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed this course and it will enrich my upcoming trip to Greece. It has more than whetted my appetite to further studies of mythology which is something I was not particularly interested in before. I enjoyed Professor Struck's lecture style which was scholarly and organised yet informal and often humorous.

von Neha T

6. März 2021

A really good course for anyone interested in mythology. The presentation is very clear and logical and Professor Struck keeps the flame of playful wit, humour, and curiosity burning throughout the course. One is truly blessed when one finds a teacher truly and deeply interested and passionate about what they teach.

von Corie

21. Juni 2020

This course was excellent. I enjoyed the rich detail and explanations given by Professor Struck. I also enjoyed the readings. I will definitely take any other online course he teaches.

The only problem I had with the course was the inaccuracies in the course transcripts. Those could definitely be improved upon.

von Fred S

21. Juni 2020

Excellent presentation of material that I have long wished to study. At my stage of life, I have no need of career-oriented learning, but enjoy learning for the sake of learning. In the end, it won't make a difference but, then again, neither will career-oriented learning. Intellectual development is a joy.

von Oliver G

30. Juni 2020

A great course that looks at a few myths, mainly from the Greeks but some Roman ones as well. Videos are a good length and go into great detail. Very interesting course, I recommend for anyone who likes to read myths and legends. Thank you Penn University and Peter Struck for making this very awesome course.

von Arun N M

29. Dez. 2018

10/10, Professor Struck! Thoroughly enjoyed the course from start to end. Loved the choice of texts chosen to study, in particular Homer's Odyssey and Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. As an aspiring academician in the field of Classical Studies, this course certainly gave me due impetus. You have my utmost gratitude!

von 陈意茹

19. Feb. 2017

really enjoyed it and learnt a lot.When I was a children,I grew up reading Greek and Roman myth and had a lot of interest on it.And in this class,I read Odyssey which might seems a little bit dull for common readers,but through taking this class and reading the book same time made it so much more meaningful.

von Josias C

18. Mai 2021

Perfeito, estou realmente muito agradecido pela oportunidade que tanto o Coursera me ofereceu, quanto a oportunidade de estudar um curso ofertado por uma universidade tão renomada, com um professor que criei uma afetividade absurda, suas aulas fazem com que o aluno tenha cada vez mais vontade de aprender.

von Ying X

7. März 2017

gosh learned a lot, this course is very engaging, and there is even a mooc blog and various other websites that are very helpful for the course notes that meticulously recorded what Professor said.......the website is also pretty good......reading stories to learn about Greek and Roman culture is great~