CLHU 404/ ENGL 404/ HIST 404/ REL 404 - Classical Mythology/Mythology & Literature

Spring 2018
TTh 12:30-1:45
Beacom 302

Salvador Dalí, Aries, color etching ca 1980. Private collection.

Mr Lehmann
East Hall 210
Office Hours: 11:00-12:00 pm TTh; clehmann.or
In this course students will learn about the nature of myth, the origin of classical myths, their use in religion, literature, and art, and their reception in the ancient, medieval, and modern world, including in popular culture. Students will focus on primary sources in literature and art and develop tools to read/view and analyze various type of literature and art.

Catalog Description
The origin and development of classical myths, their importance in classical literature, and their influence in literature, drama, music, psychology, and art.

Requirements and Grading

The successful student will attend all class meetings, complete assigned readings, and participate actively in discussions. He or she will write frequent in-class micro-response papers, a final exam (open-note but not open-book), and two short papers (1200-1500 words in the main text).

Each of the two papers analyzes an ancient Greek myth (1) starting from its literary sources and visual representations in ancient Greece, (2) treating its use in the assigned modern work (Home Fire for the first paper, The Penelopiad for the second) and at least one other modern use of the myth (student's choice), and (3) showing familiarity with the modern scholarship on the myth's reception. Research should start with the bibliographic tools listed below, and no later than the week before each paper is due each student must have a conference with the instructor in order to present and discuss an annotated bibliography for the assignment. The bibliography may not include dictionaries, encyclopedias, or web sites; Wikipedia and the Theoi Project are good places to start and can point you to the scholarship but do not themselves constitute sources. A student will receive no credit for a paper that includes anyone else's words or ideas without proper attribution. Papers must conform to Chicago (see Turabian in the booklist or consult the History Department Style Guide) or MLA bibliographic (not reference-list or author-date) style, in particular for proper quotation and citation. Consult the instructor's description of an excellent research paper for this course.

The in-class micro-response papers count 30% of the final grade, the final exam 20%, and each of the short papers 25%.

ELECTRONIC-DEVICE-FREE CLASSROOM. Turn off and stow your electronic devices before the class begins.


Secure these books in the USD Bookstore, Discount Textbook, or from your preferred supplier. Some of these works exist in various editions and translations; in some cases you may use older editions, but we must all use the same translation! Order by the ISBN number to ensure you have the correct edition; consult the instructor if in doubt (for example, older editions of the Chicago Greek tragedies will not differ significantly from the newest). Recommended titles are not required for the class but will be of interest to those who want to read more deeply into classical mythology and of use for preparing the papers. I D Weeks library has various translations of these works, though Apollodorus's Library is on reserve because everyone will want to consult it.



Bibliographic Tools

The Perseus Digital Library contains a comprehensive collection of ancient texts and images, the Beazley Archive of images. For visual sources consult the essential Lexicon iconographicum mythologiae classicae (LIMC), 8 vols, indexes, and supplement (Zürich: Artemis, 1981-2009) in I D Weeds (N7760 .L49). The Fondation pour le LIMC offers additional information online.

For required syllabus statements click here.

Daily Schedule
Come to each class having read the weekly assignment, prepared to discuss it and submit an in-class micro-response (a quiz or a very short essay) about it. Bring the assigned reading (other than Buxton) to class. The instructor encourages questions and dicussion, but given the size of the class the lecture format will dominate.
Part 1: Definition
Week 1 (9, 11 Jan)
The Nature of Greek Myth: Buxton, 6-41
Homer, Odyssey, 8; Sappho 1 (Elizabeth Vandiver at Diotima); Pindar, Olympian 1 (William Mullen), Ovid Amores, 3.12.19-42 (A S Kline).
Recommended: Clash of Titans (films 1981, 2010), Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief (film 2010); Theseus in Chaucer, A Knight's Tale; Shakespeare, A Midsummer's Night Dream
Week 2 (16, 18 Jan)
The Study of Greek Myth
Recommended: Karl Otfried Μüller, Prolegomena to a Scientific Mythology (1825); Andrew Lange, Myth, Ritual and Religion (1887), James Frazer, The Golden Bough (1st ed 1890, 3d ed in 12 vols 1906-15); Saul Bellow, Henderson the Rain King; Jane Harrison, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion (1903); Bronislaw Malinowsky, Myth in Primitive Psychology (1926); Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), Totem and Tabo (1913); Carl Jung, with Marie-Luise von Franz, Man and His Symbols (1964); Mircea Eliade, Myth and Reality (1963); Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949); Claude Lévi-Strauss, Structural Anthropology (1958, 1973); Jean-Pierre Vernant, Myth and Tragedy in Ancient Greece (1981, 1988), Myth and Society in Ancient Greece (1978); Walter Burkert, Structure and History in Greek Mythology and Ritual (1979); Friedrich Schlegel, On the Language and Wisdom of the Indians (1808); Max Müller, Comparative Mythology (1856); Vladimir Propp, Morphology of the Tale (1928); Johann Jakob Bachofen, Das Mutterrecht (1861); Marija Gimbutas, The Living Goddesses (1999)
Part 2: Creation
Week 3 (23, 25 Jan)
Myths of Creation--Origins: Buxton, 42-53, 178-93
Hesiod, Theogony, Works and Days 1-429
Recommended: Hercules (Disney, 1997); Genesis 1-2 (from the Bible); Popol Vuh (Mayan creation myth); Enûma Eliš (Babylonian creation myth); Egyptian creation myth of Heliopolis; Prose Edda (Norse creation myth); Diné Bahaneʼ (Navajo creation myth)
Week 4 (30 Jan, 1 Feb)
Myths of Creation--Humanity: Buxton, 54-65
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound
Recommended: Genesis 1-2, 6-9, Daniel 2 (from the Bible); Tree of Life (dir Terrence Malick, 2011); Popol Vuh (Mayan creation myth); Enûma Eliš (Babylonian creation myth); Hindu scriptures (esp the Vedas) and epics (esp the Mahabharata); The Epic of Gilgamesh; Vernant, "Hesiod's Myth of the Ages," in Myth and Thought among the Greeks (1983, developing the tripartite hypothesis of Georges Dumézil); Walter Burkert, Homo Necans (1972).
Week 5 (6, 8 Feb)
The Olympians: Buxton, 66-101
Odyssey 1, Iliad 1, 14-16.683; Homeric Hymns 2-5, 7, 19 (Demeter, Apollo, Hermes, Aphrodite, Dionysus, and Pan)
Week 6 (13 Feb, no class 15 Feb--attend Student History Conference)
Heaven and Hell: Buxton, 170-73, 206-213
Odyssey 10.488-11.640; Homeric Hymn to Demeter; texts on Orpheus and Euridice cited below.
Recommended: Virgil, Aeneid, 6; The Epic of Gilgamesh; Plutarch, On the Worship of Isis and Osiris; Dante, Inferno. Mazzucchelli, Asturias Polyp, 2009.
Principle ancient sources for the myth of Orpheus and Euridice:
Apollodorus 1.3.2
(Frazer). Citation: Apollodorus. The Library. Trans James George Frazer. 2 Volumes. Cambridge: Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd, 1921.
Virgil Georgics 4.453-527 (A S Kline). Citation: Virgil. Georgics. Trans A S Kline. Last modified 17 January 2008.
Ovid Metamorphoses 10.1-85 (A S Kline). Citation: Ovid. Metamorphoses. Trans A S Kline. Last modified 1 November 2011.
By the end of this week you must have the instructor's approval for your first annotated bibliography (on Antigone in Sophocles, Shamsie, and another modern work).
Week 7 (20, 22 Feb)
Myths of the Gods--Gods and Men
Homeric Hymn to Demeter (cf above, week 5), Theocritus, Idyll 2 (early III); persecution texts
Part 3: Action
Week 8 (27 Feb, 1 Mar)
The House of Laius: Buxton, 162-69
Sophocles, Oedipus the King, Antigone; Shamsie, Home Fire
Recommended: Edipo re, dir Pasolini, 1967; Edipo Alcalde, dir Jorge Alí Triana, 1996; Bremmer, "Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex," in Interpretations of Greek Mythology, ed id, 1987; Seamus Heaney, trans, The Burial at Thebes: Sophocles' "Antigone" (London: Faber and Faber, 2004)
1 Mar: first paper with original annotated bibliography due in class (not by email) (Antigones)
Week 9 (13, 15 Mar)
The End of Oedipus and Heracles : Buxton, 114-23
Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus; The Gospel at Colonus, dir Kirk Browning, 1985 [M1500.T46G68 on reserve]
Week 10 (20, 22 Mar)
Medea (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1969). Screening Monday 19 March 7 pm; the library has a copy on reserve for those who must see it on their own (DVD PN1997.M4222 2005).
Perseus and the Argonauts: Buxton, 102 -113
Euripides, Medea
Special event: "The Odyssey in Performance" by Joe Goodkin, in class on Thur 22 March, public performance in Farber Hall Thur 22 March 7 pm.
Recommended: Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (1900); Otto Rank, The Myth of the Birth of the Hero (1914) and contributions to Freud's Interpretation of Dreams, 4th ed (1914); Carl Jung, with Marie-Luise von Franz, Man and His Symbols (1964); Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949); "Teeth in the Wrong Places" (Ponca-Otoe Coyote trikster myth), American Indian Myths and Legends, ed Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz (New York: Knopf, 2013), 283-85
Week 11 (27, 29 Mar)
The House of Atreus: Buxton, 148-53
Aeschylus, Libation Bearers; Sophocles, Electra; Euripides, Electra
Recommended: Eugene O'Neill, Mourning Becomes Electra (1931); Electra, dir Michael Cacoyannis (1962); Luis Alfaro, Electricidad (2004); Jill Scott, Electra After Freud: Myth and Culture (Ithaca: Cornell Univ Press, 2005); Kate Tempest. Brand New Ancients (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013; recordings of parts of the poem in a 2013 live performance are available on YouTube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)
By the end of this week you must have the instructor's approval for your second annotated bibliography (Penelopes).
Week 12 (3, 5 Apr)
The Trojan War: Buxton, 130-45, 200-205
Homer, Iliad, Odyssey, Atwood The Penelopiad
Recommended: Monteverdie, Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (1639); James Redfield, Nature and Culture in the Iliad: The Tragedy of Hector (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975)
Part 4: Reception
Week 13 (10, 12 Apr)
Polis and Hero: Theseus: Buxton, 124-29
TO BE ARRANGED; start reception here, add
Week 14 (17, 19 Apr)
Aristophanes Frogs, (George Theodoridis), 2008 Citation: Aristophanes. The Frogs. Translated by George Theodoridis, 2008.
Recommended: Mark Griffith, Aristophanes' Frogs, Oxford Approaches to Classical Literature (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).
19 Apr: second paper with original annotated bibliography due
in class (not by email)
Week 15 (24, 26 Apr)
Medea by Luigi Cherubini, libretto by François-Benoît Hoffmann; Opera Omaha Sun 22 April 2:00 pm
Mythology, literature, and philosophy: Buxton, 174-77, 225-45
Plato, Symposium, selections of Timaeus and Republic 2,3, 10 (on poetry; myth of Er)
[given time: Greek mythology and the Romans: Buxton, 214-25; selected readings from Virgil and Ovid]
Final Examination: 8-10 pm Tuesday 1 May