Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Canvas Info
ClSt 100/ ComL 108: Mythology
Peter Struck
I. Course Description
  Myths are traditional stories that have endured many years. 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 entertaining stories that people like to tell over and over? Are they a set of cultural blinders that all of us wear, though we do not realize it? We will investigate these questions through a variety of topics including: the creation of the universe and the structure of the cosmos, relations between gods and mortals, religion and divination, justice, society, family, sex, love, madness, and death.
II. Academic Integrity
  Cheating will not be tolerated. You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with and following the University of Pennsylvania's Code of Academic Integrity.
Collaboration with your fellow mythologists during exams counts as cheating. Specific things that count as cheating include but are not limited to:
  • having someone else take the exam for you
  • copying an essay or any part of an essay from any one else's work -- including friends, aquaintances, any writing online or on paper -- and claiming it as your own.
Collaboration with your fellow mythologists in the course's weekly worksheets assignments is allowed and encouraged in every way EXCEPT:
  • having someone else fill in your weekly worksheet
Writing assignments
When you're writing, any time you're hitting command + C (copy) and the command + V (paste) you should stop and hit command + Z (undo!). And, no matter what the situation, run away from any one of the commercial sites that will sell you junk papers for $14.95 / page. These people are the lowest of the low and they don't care if you get kicked out of college for using their site, they just want your money and they prey on your anxiety. (They make the Cyclops look humane by comparison!) They also may well sell you something that's been used elsewhere. Using these people puts you in serious jeopardy.
Cheating is not only a breach of University's the Code of Acdemic Conduct, it also hurts your chances to do well in the class .
Putting time into the online worksheets, and your writing is your best preparation for performing well on the exams.
III. Grading
25% Midterm:
Format will be discussed in class.
30% Final:
Format will be discussed in class.
10% Weekly worksheets on web units:
We'll count your best 10 out of 12 worksheets. You can take a worksheet as many times as you like. You should keep taking a worksheet until you get 10/10.
5% Participation:
Based on cumulative performance in discussions, occasional recitation assignments, and attendance in recitations and lectures.
30% Writing Assignments:
You will write one paper before the midterm and one after, and give weekly short posts in reaction to other people's papers. You will submit these to the discussion board (for discussion of your ideas in recitation) AND to the assignments link on Canvas (for your TA to grade). See your TA for details.
IV. Required Texts

Greek Tragedies, Vol. I, ed. by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: University of Chicago Pr.)

Greek Tragedies Vol. III, ed. by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: University of Chicago Pr.)

Hesiod, Theogony (Oxford World's Classics), M. L. West, trans. (New York: Oxford University Press)

Homeric Hymns, Sarah Ruden, trans. (Hackett); or Homeric Hymns, Diane Rayor, trans. (Univ. of California), which is available online through the Penn library

Homer, The Odyssey, Emily Wilson, trans. (Norton)

Virgil, The Aeneid, Robert Fitzgerald, trans. (New York: Vintage Books)

Roland Barthes, Mythologies (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

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