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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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126 - 150 von 529 Bewertungen für Greek and Roman Mythology

von Alexandros T E

17. Jan. 2021

The course was so good and it's highly recommended! Professor Struck is simply amazing in bringing difficult issues on to your table and make them look like you always wanted to learn more about this stuff. I enjoyed it so much! Once again thank you very much!

von Evie R

22. Juni 2020

I have immensely enjoyed this course! It has left me with an appreciation of classical texts, and the desire to read more. I particularly enjoyed applying different critical perspectives to the myths, which I will take with me in my further studies. Thank you!

von Dimitris S

16. Jan. 2020

I enjoyed this course so much although i think it should be spit in two different courses. I guess thats because the Greek part is significantly greater than the Roman one. In any case i'm grateful and i really hope for a similar course in the near future.

von DIAS

28. Mai 2019

Hello, It' was so exciting to learn a lot of hereos stories and concepts from greek and roman mythology, thank you so much to Coursera , the University of Pennsylvania and a special thank to the professsor Perter Struck, he was so clear and interesting.

von Morgan E " P

17. Juni 2017

Phenomenal course! The most engaging instructor I've ever had, Professor Struck is truly in the moment and whole heartedly putting forth a wonderful learning environment, rich with information - this class is sure to ignite your passion for the classics.

von Suhas c

28. Mai 2021

an excellent and most enjoyable course by professor struck that covered not only many points of view of interpretation but also different views of expression of myth. It really arouses my curiosity to explore and delve into the richness of other texts.

von Darya K

29. Mai 2020

I enjoyed this course so much that I finished it in 3 weeks instead of 10 proposed! It's amazing! Explained very well and understandable, also provided with a very good sense of humour! I learned a lot and I had a lot of fun as well

Highly recommended!

von Oye O

28. Juli 2020

Thoroughly enjoyed sitting at the feet of Peter Struck who brought to life the teaching of this course. I signed up to keep my mind occupied during lockdown and don't regret a minute spent learning. The learning platform is extremely user-friendly.

von Keily L

18. Sep. 2017

I thought this might be interesting, but it surpassed my expectations. The reading assignments were great choices to introduce me to classical mythology. The lecturer was outstanding. I'm only sorry it's over. Thank you for offering this course.

von Rachel S

16. Juni 2020

Fantastic course! I chose to undertake this course out of personal interest and I'm so pleased that I did - Prof Struck is obviously incredibly passionate about this area and teaches with enthusiasm and clarity. Great coverage of the subject area.

von Ashley S

13. Juni 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed this course. It got me to read things that I've always wanted to but never "found the time" to read on my own. It greatly expanded my knowledge of mythology. It also made me want to dive in deeper and learn more on the topic.

von John F G

26. Mai 2020

Excellent course! Dr, Struck is a knowledgeable professor with many examples of how myths relate to the history of Greece and Rome. I particularly enjoyed Dr, Struck's use of "Toolboxes" to describe how myths are analyzed or can be analyzed.

von Rhea

28. Juni 2020

It was amazing! The course made me itch for more knowledge and even slightly scratching the surface of such a vast topic as ancient literature and mythology, professor Struck did a wonderful job! I can't express how happy I am to learn so much!

von Nathan B

5. Feb. 2018

Highly recommended.This is a very good introduction to the topic. You will do a lot of reading, so expect to put time aside to relax and escape to the ancient world. It was not only time consuming and challenging, it was a great deal of fun!

von Bernadette V

8. Jan. 2021

I really enjoyed this course and I thank ProfessorPeter Struck and the University of Pennsylvania for offering this interesting class. Prof Struck has amazing knowledge and I really enjoyed his fun presentations and explanations. Thank you.

von Clara G

1. Aug. 2020

This class is/was awesome. It fulfilled the goals that it set out to accomplish, most importantly, the Professor Struck sticks out for his abilities to relay the information in a very accessible manner. I highly recommend this class to all.

von Gina S

19. Juni 2020

I really enjoyed this introduction to mythology, for both the stories themselves as well as the different theories in the analytical toolbox. Professor Struck was interesting and engaging. It has motivated me to learn more about mythology.

von xuehan S

22. Mai 2018

When I was a fresh man in college I took writing course talking about Greek and Roman literatures. This course is a nice re-visit of what I read before and did give me a deeper understanding and other perspectives in regard to the stories.

von Nadine v d H

17. Apr. 2020

Thank you so much for this great and interesting course! It was my first course here on Coursera and I loved it so much! My sincere compliments for Professor Struck who brought myths and their explanation to life! Greetings from Holland!

von Luis T

8. Nov. 2020

One of the most gratifying courses I've ever studied. Professor Struck is a great teacher and he shows his passion for the subject in a caring way. Not only he loves what he does but he is also an outstanding companion for the course.

von Nicola D

3. Juni 2020

I really enjoyed this course, and the lectures by Professor Struck. It was interesting, engaging and informative and I'd thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in the classics. Many thanks for this educational opportunity!

von Leire M

7. Okt. 2020

Great course if you want to dig a bit into some big classics like The Aeneid or The Odyssey. You'll know about myths and their different ways of interpretation. If you're interested in Greek and Roman Mythology, you'll like it.

von Renata d O

13. Juni 2020

It is a very good course. Peter is a very good teacher. He tells all these stories with passion and we can feel it. I learned a lot. But is the beggining of a new world. Research, reseach, research. Thanks for the oppurtunity!

von Stephanie S

10. Apr. 2021

Great class! The instructor was very knowledgeable and his ability to engage the listener and convey thought provoking insights, interpretations and analogies not only maintained interest but peaked curiosity about mythology.

von Elizabeth B

26. Juni 2020

This was an excellent course which I highly recommend; insightful, entertaining, easy to follow but still in-depth analyses - and it teaches you an awful lot about the subject. Prof Struck is an excellent lecturer. Thank you!