Scroll and Tablet Blog

Posted on April 19th, 2024 in Courses by Elizabeth W. Thill | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Have you ever wondered if mystical forces control your life in ways you can barely conceive? Have you ever wondered if those forces might be petty, violent, and prone to irrational fits of jealousy? Have you ever wondered if those forces occasionally get bored, decide to prank some humans by wandering around on earth disguised as peasants, and then reward or punish their victims based on some arbitrary standards of hospitality? If so, you are thinking like the Ancient Greeks. Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Athena—before they were characters in the Percy Jackson Extended Universe, they were the gods who ruled the world of Classical Mythology.

CLAS-B 319 serves as an introduction to how the people of Ancient Greece and Rome conceived of their most important gods. The goal of the course is to provide an easily accessible gateway to the Classical World, by way of an interesting and important area of research. By studying representative works of art, artifacts, and literature, you will explore topics including:

  • the identity, characters, and stories of the major (Olympian) gods
  • how gods were depicted and identified in visual arts
  • ancient religious beliefs and practices
  • how the ancient world affects modern myth making

Most importantly, you will also learn to think critically about important questions: How did ancient Mediterranean societies conceptualize their gods? How did such conceptions evolve and function within the specific context of the ancient Mediterranean world? What social roles did these concepts play? How did societies shape ideas of the divine forces that ruled their universe, and how did these ideas shape societies? How are issues related to the gods reflected in the literature and art of both ancient societies and our modern culture?

Fun Facts:

  • 5 week, 1 credit “appetizer” class
  • offered online asynchronous
  • can be combined with other 1 credit “appetizer” classes
  • no pre-reqs
  • can be applied to the Classical Studies Minor
  • Want to learn still more? Try the “main course” of Classical Mythology in CLAS-C 205 Classical Mythology.

Coming Next: Fall 2024 (36130)

  • 3rd 5 week session (11/4/2024–12/6/2024)
  • online asynchronous
  • Dr. Elizabeth Thill