How to Use This Course
Classical Mythology is a high school class that looks at the history and development of Greek and Roman mythology and its continuing influence on our lives today in literature, movies, the arts, and more.
In the past decade, there has been a renewed interest in Greek and Roman mythology thanks to the rise of book and movie series such as Percy Jackson & The Olympians. This class will focus on the original source material for these myths, most of which date back to ancient times.
You may not realize it now, but classical mythology permeates our culture and pop culture. There is literally not a day that goes by that you are not being exposed to and/or influenced by it. So one reason you should study classical mythology is for cultural literacy.
Beyond that, though, you should study classical mythology for its universality. We are still telling, reading, and watching the same stories people told in ancient times because they speak to the things that concern us: birth, love, death, family, conflict, resolution, fear, failure, triumph, and our place in this world.
A third reason to study classical mythology is that the stories give us insight into the culture that shaped Western thinking, how the ancient Greeks and Romans thought and felt about nature, society, gender, etc., and how we have been historically influenced by those thoughts.
We’re going to look at the origins of some of these myths, what all heroic stories have in common, and how classical mythology continues to impact us today.
*Note to parents: Mythology from time to time includes references to questionable situations and relationships. Extreme care has been taken to handle such references as tactfully as possible, but you may wish to preview the material before sharing it with your students.
Day 1: Introduction: What is a myth? What is “classical”? Reasons to study; original purposes.
Day 2: Classical Beginnings: the first “immortals;” Ages of Man; Titans v. Olympians
Day 3: The Original Olympians: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, and Demeter
Day 4: The “Magnificent Seven”: Aphrodite, Athena, Artemis, Hephaestus, Ares, Apollo, and Hermes
Day 5: That Other Guy: Dionysus
Day 1: The Lesser Gods, Part 1: Helius and His Sisters
Day 2: The Lesser Gods, Part 2: Hecate and Styx
Day 3: The Lesser Gods, Part 3: Pan
Day 4: The Lesser Gods, Part 4: Asclepius
Day 5: Weeks 1 and 2 Review
Week 3: Monomyth (in Movies)
Week 4: Monomyth in the Story of Perseus
Week 5: Monomyth in Everyday Life
Week 6: The Iliad
Day 1: The Cause of the Trojan War
Day 2: Achilles
Day 3: Hector
Day 4: Odysseus and Ajax
Day 5: Aeneas
Week 7: The Iliad continued
Day 1: Roles of the gods
Day 2: Roles of the gods continued
Day 3: The End of the Trojan War
Day 4: The Trojan War in Popular Culture
Day 5: The Enduring Legacy of the Trojan War
Week 8: Movies About the Trojan War
Weeks 9 and 10: Epics; The Odyssey
Week 11: Classical Mythology in American Movies: Ulysses and/or The Odyssey
Week 12: Classical Mythology in American Movies: O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Weeks 13 and 14: The Aeneid
Week 15: Agamemnon
Week 16: Review
Week 17: Midterm Research
Week 18: Midterm Essay
Weeks 19 and 20: Hercules
Weeks 21 and 22: Jason
Week 23: Medea
Weeks 24-25: Tragic hero; Oedipus; Antigone
Week 26: Theseus
Week 27: Review
Week 28: Who Wrote This Stuff?, Part 1
Day 1: Homer and Hesiod
Days 2-5: Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides
Week 29: Who Wrote This Stuff?, Part 2
Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides cont.
Week 30: Who Wrote This Stuff?, Part 3
Week 31: Who Wrote This Stuff, Part 4
Week 32: Who Wrote This Stuff, Part 5
Week 33: Who Wrote This Stuff?, Part 6
Week 34: Essay comparing Sophocles’ and Seneca’s Oedipus stories
Week 35: Other Stories
Romulus and Remus
Damon and Pythias
Cupid and Psyche
Pygmalion and Galatea
Week 36: Collage Poster
If this course is taken in full, completing all reading and writing assignments, the course is worth a minimum of .5 credit. If the student explores this course in depth and spends approximately 180 hours completing this course (one hour per day for thirty-six weeks), the course is worth one high school credit.