Course Description

Course Name

Gods and Heroes of Classical Mythology

Session: VLNU3622

Hours & Credits

10 UK Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


1. Module rationale and learning outcomes
Module Rationale
The topics to be studied on this course include the enduringly intriguing Athena/Minerva, Aphrodite/Venus and Herakles/Hercules. We will explore the role of these and other personages in some of the most important works of literature and art from Greece and Rome, including Ovid?s Metamorphoses. We will also consider their rich ?afterlife? in the postclassical world down to the present day. Students will not just study at Roehampton, but will actually study features of its historic campus. In particular, we will explore the representation of a key story from the myth of Hercules in the Adam Room of Grove House. This ?hands on? approach to the study of mythology will be continued in offsite sessions at world-class galleries and museums in easy reach of the campus, such as the British Museum and the National Gallery.

Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students will:
? Have acquired a thorough knowledge and understanding of key personages from classical mythology
? Have acquired a thorough knowledge and understanding of the postclassical reception of mythological characters.
? Have gained an understanding of the application of theory to the study of myth.
? Have gained an enriched understanding of the place of myth in Western culture
? Be able to use the knowledge acquired in class and through independent study to construct coherent and critical arguments on relevant subjects
? Have had the opportunity to develop their skills in written and oral communication.
? Have had the opportunity to use a portfolio to construct their own knowledge base.

2. Syllabus and teaching and learning methods
Topics may include:
? Entering the mythological world
? Gods and goddesses
? Heroes and heroines
? Defining myth
? ?Doing? myth
? Myth in literature
? Myth in art
? Myth in therapy
? ?Myth is all around us?: Greek and Roman myth in Western culture
? Myth in the neoclassical country villa: the case of Grove House
? ?Owning? mythology
? The internationality of myth

Teaching and Learning Methods
The module will be taught through a combination of lectures and group discussion. Collaboration will be encouraged through group assignments. Session outlines, reading materials, and other materials will be placed on the module?s Moodle site. In addition to the Roehampton campus, the course will use offsite locations, e.g. National Gallery and British Museum, as resources for student learning.

. 3. Syllabus and teaching and learning methods
Team project (50%), eportfolio (50%)


Core texts
Morales, H. Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction (2007, Oxford)

Essential texts
Ovid: Feeney, D. (Intro) and Raeburn, D (tr.), Metamorphoses. A New Verse Translation (2004, London).

Online Reading
Schrempp, G. and Hansen, W. (ed), Myth: A New Symposium (2002, Bloomington, IN)

Further Reading
Bremmer, J. (ed), Interpretations of Greek Mythology (1988, London)
Brown, S. A., Ovid: Myth and Metamorphosis (2005, Bristol)
Bull, M., The Mirror of the Gods: Classical Mythology in Renaissance Art (2005, Oxford)
Buxton, R., The Complete World of Greek Mythology (2004, London)
Buxton, R. (ed.), From Myth to Reason? Studies in the Development of Greek Thought, (1999, Oxford)
Caldwell, R., The Origin of the Gods: A Psychoanalytic Study of Greek Theogonic Myth (1989, Oxford)
Csapo, E., Theories of Mythology (2004, Oxford)
Doherty, L. E. Gender and the Interpretation of Classical Myth (2001, London)

Dowden, K. And Livingstone, N. (ed.), A Companion to Greek Mythology (2011, London)

Harris, S. and Platzner, G. Classical Mythology: Images and Insights (2003, New York)

Stafford, E. J., Life, Myth and Art in Ancient Greece (2004, Malibu)
Wiseman, T. P., The Myths of Rome (2004, Exeter)
Woodard, R.D. (ed), The Cambridge Companion to Greek Mythology (2007, Cambridge)
Woodford, S., Images of Myths in Classical Antiquity (2003, Cambridge)
Woodford, S., The Trojan War in Ancient Art (1993, Ithaca)

*Course content subject to change