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CLA 28 — Greek Mythology: An Introduction

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: On-campus (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jan 11—Mar 15
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jan 13
Units: 2
Tuition: $520
Instructor(s): Barbara Clayton
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Closed
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Jan 11—Mar 15
10 weeks
Refund Date
Jan 13
2 Units
Barbara Clayton
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Myth is a paradoxical creature. When we call something a “myth” we usually mean a story that is false. In reality, myths are about profound truths: the beginning of the world and our place in it; the divine; and how to explain the unexplainable. This course will introduce students to some of the most important gods and heroes of the ancient Greeks. Our encounter with Greek mythology will be through translations of texts from ancient sources, including Hesiod’s Theogony, the Homeric Hymns, and four Euripidean tragedies: Hippolytus, The Bacchae, Medea, and Heracles. Throughout the course, we will ask the following questions: What are the various ways of reading myths? What is the relationship between myth and religion, or myth and ritual practice? What does Greek mythology tell us about the ancient Greeks themselves? How do Greek myths operate in our contemporary world? The answers to these questions will give students a deeper understanding of Greek mythology as well as provide insight into the reason Greek myths have been a vibrant component of Western intellectual history and continue to be a powerful tool for exploring who we are today.

Independent Scholar

Barbara Clayton has taught Classics at Oberlin College, Santa Clara University, and Stanford, where she was a lecturer in a freshman humanities program for many years. Since 2015, she has taught for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She is the author of A Penelopean Poetics: Reweaving the Feminine in Homer’s Odyssey. Clayton received a PhD in Classics from Stanford.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Stephen Trzaskoma, Scott Smith and Stephen Brunet, Anthology of Classical Myth: Primary Sources in Translation, 2nd Edition (ISBN 978-1624664977)
(Required) Euripides, Stephen Esposito (Editor, Translator), Euripides: Medea, Hippolytus, Heracles, Bacchae (ISBN 978-1585100484)