Expanded course description and learning objectives
The mythical narratives of the ancient Greeks and the Romans constitute a continuous tradition that extends from before the reach of history to the present day. Myths survive in literary texts and visual art because their narratives have continued to prove compelling and fascinating in different languages, historical eras, and social contexts (the myths of Odysseus, Heracles, and Oedipus are just a few examples). Literature and art of all kinds have been inspired to retell and represent their stories, while the search for the meaning of mythic stories has informed and profoundly influenced a great range of intellectual disciplines including literary criticism, anthropology, and psychoanalysis. In these ways, myths have and continue to exercise a fundamental influence on western culture and, in consequence, even today they maintain a certain cosy familiarity. On the other hand, the historical contexts in which the Greeks and Romans told and retold these mythical narratives are to us in the twenty-first century culturally alien and unfamiliar.
The aim of the course is two-fold: insofar as Greek and Roman culture is fundamental to the development of western culture, students will achieve a deeper historical understanding of the latter; yet because the world of the Greeks and Romans is in many ways radically different to our own, students will develop the conceptual tools for comprehending another culture and so enhance their ability to understand and critique their own cultures. The course is also one of the Foundations courses and as such is intended to provide students with a solid grounding for undergraduate study by cultivating generally applicable and transferable skills; these include the development of clear and logical academic writing, critical and analytical skills for reading and understanding texts, constructive participation in group discussion and debate (in tutorials), and basic methods and techniques of research.
1) Aeschylus, Oresteia, trans. Christopher Collard (Oxford World’s Classics) 2) Hesiod, Works and Days and Theogony, trans. Stanley Lombardo (Hackett) 3) Homer, The Iliad of Homer, trans. Richmond Lattimore (University of Chicago Press) 4) Homer, The Odyssey of Homer, trans. Richmond Lattimore (HarperCollins) 5) Ovid, Metamorphoses, trans. David Raeburn (Penguin Classics) 6) Sophocles, Sophocles I Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone (University of Chicago)
Students are expected to complete the assigned reading before the lecture and to bring copies of the assigned books to lectures and tutorials. Please refer to the lecture schedule at the end of this syllabus.
Assignments and Evaluation
1. Short in-class essay on Hesiod’s Theogony to be written in tutorials the week of October 7th (500-600 words or four to five double-spaced, hand-written pages; 10%) 2. Short essay on Homer’s Iliad due in lecture on November 8th (500-600 words or two double-spaced pages to be written on a computer and printed on a printer; 10%) 3. Term test on Hesiod’s Theogony, Homer’s Iliad, and Odyssey (Books 1-12) to be written in tutorials the week of November 25th. 4. Analytical essay on Homer’s Odyssey due at the end of the lecture on Tuesday, January 21st (1000-1200 words or four double-spaced pages; 15%). 5. Essay on Greek Tragedy (Aeschylus or Sophocles) due at the end of the lecture on Tuesday, March 4th (1250-1500 words or five double-spaced pages; 15%). 6. Final comprehensive exam in the April exam period (date t.b.a.); 25%. 7. Tutorial participation 10%
Academic Integrity Tutorial
Each student must complete the academic integrity tutorial AND the academic integrity checklist, available at the urls below. You must receive a score of 100% on the academic integrity tutorial, print off your results, and submit them to your tutorial leader along with your first take-home essay, due on...
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