Classical Mythology, Day 1

The first lecture focuses on two main themes, ways of teaching myth and different approaches to myth. In addition, it supplies basic definitions and functions for myth as a type of storytelling. Along the way, we will also discuss how why we think learning about myth is important shapes how we teach it and the idea of myth as social discourse which shapes and reinforces culture and helps to frame and restrict individual actions with it. 

This lecture provides brief introductions to etiological and cognitive approaches to myth, which will be revisited in more detail as we approach individual narratives.

Ancient Authors Discussed

Plato, 4th Century BCE

Strabo, 1st Century CE


Some Modern Theorists Mentioned In Lecture

Louis Althusser

Roland Barthes

(David) Émile Durkheim

Mircea Eliade

Michel Foucault

Mark Turner


Links to Blogposts

Strabo and Plato on the Use of Narrative

Proverbs and Human Cognition


Some Suggested Course Texts

Roland Barthes, Mythologies


Other Articles

Kwame Anthony Appiah, “There’s No Such Thing as Western Civilization.”

Rebecca Futo Kennedy, “Identity Politics and Classics: The Universal vs. the Particular.”

Sarah Bond, “Why We Need to Start Seeing the Classical World in Color”

Tim Whitmarsh, “Black Achilles”


Student Suggested Links


Image result for harry potter movies all characters
This image should make sense after class

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