CLASSICS 42:  MYTHOLOGY                                          Z. Philip Ambrose

Lectures: 5:00-6:15 TTH  413 Waterman                           Tel: 656-0649 or 656-3210

Office Hours 10:00 MTWF and by appointment 

Office:  Dept. of Classics, 481 Main Street, Rm 304


Abbreviations:  SG = Slide Guide; RG = Reading Guide; LEC = Lecture Outline, all found in Ambrose,  Handbook to Classical Mythology 




Week 1:          Ovid, Metamorphoses 1; Hesiod, Theogony


1/15    T:         LEC 1: Methodology, Chronology, Geography

1/17    Th:      LEC 2: Cosmogony and Divine Succession; Reading Guide I



Week 2:          Ovid 2; Aeschylus, Oresteia (3 plays: Agamemnon, Libation Bearers),  Eumenides ) 


1/22    T:         LEC 3: Zeus and the Tantalids

1/24    Th:      SG 1: Zeus in Idea and Art; RG II; Quiz 1


Week 3:          Ovid 3; Sophocles, Electra; Euripides, Electra


1/29    T:         LEC 4: A comparative Study of the Electra Myth: Strauss/Hofmannstahl

1/31    Th:      LEC 4: continued; RG III; Quiz 2


Week 4:          Ovid 4; O'Neill, Mourning Becomes Electra


2/5      T:         Onomastics in Mourning Becomes Electra,  Handbook,  pp. 45- 49.

2/7      Th:      SG 2: Tantalids in Art and Archaeology; RG IV; Quiz 3




Week 5:          Ovid 5; Euripides, Hippolytus


2/12    T:         LEC 5: The Story-pattern of Potiphar's Wife

2/14    Th:      SG 3: Athenians in Myth and Art; RG V; Quiz 4


Week 6:          Ovid 6; Racine, Phèdre


2/19    T:         LEC 6: Racine, Rameau, Louis XIV

2/21    Th:      RG VI; Quiz 5




Week 7:          Ovid 7; Sophocles, Oedipus Rex [Required] Aeschylus,

                        Seven AgainstThebes [Optional, for extra credit]


2/26    T:         LEC 7: Thebes and the Descendants of Cadmus

2/28    Th:      RG VII; Quiz 6


Week 8:          Ovid 8; Sophocles, Antigone 


3/5                  Town Meeting Day, No Class:  Note:  Reading Week from now on

                        will begin on Thursdays.

3/7      Th:      LEC 8 and SG 4: Perseus in Art; Stravinsky/Cocteau, Oedipus Rex

3/12    T:         RG VIII; Quiz 7


Week 9:          Review Ovid 1-8 and other readings.


3/14    Th:      SG 5:Metamorphoses Viridimontanae

3/26     T:        75 Minute Hour Examination (on weeks 1-9)




Week 10:        Ovid 9; Euripides, Medea


3/28    Th:      LEC 9: The Labors of Heracles:  RG IX, part 1

4/2      T:         LEC 10: Medea; RG IX, part 2; Quiz 8


Week 11:        Ovid 10; Apollonius, The Voyage of Argo 3 [Recommended, for extra credit]; Vergil, Aeneid 4


4/4      Th:      LEC 11: Dido, The Virgin Queen, in Music         

4/9      T:         RG X; Quiz 9; Project topics due




Week 12:        Ovid 11; Euripides, Bacchae


4/11    Th:      LEC 12: Dionysus and the Musical Contest; RG XI

                        26th Annual Vermont Latin Day, Patrick Gymnasium,

                        9:00 a.m -12:30 p.m.

4/16    T:         SG 6: Quiz 10; Dionysus, Heroes, Chthonians and Satyrs in Art


Week 13:        Ovid 12 and 13; Euripides, Cyclops


4/18    Th:      SG 7;

4/23    T:         RG XII; Quiz 11; Hand in Final Version of Project


Week 14:        Ovid 14 and 15


4/25    Th:      LEC 13:  Myth and Metamorphosis

4/30    T          RG XIII-XIV; Discussion of Final


Final Exam:  Monday, May 6, 2002 at 8:00 p.m. in 413 Waterman (90 minutes)





I.  Handbook, Syllabus, Tests, Quizzes, Project, Texts, Extra Credit, WWW page:

This is a WebCT course.  To sign in use your zoo account user-ID and then for your password your user-ID again.  After that first time you can change your password as you wish.

 II.  Nature of this course.

            1.  What is myth?  Story with personal and proper names.

            2.  What is an aetiological myth?  A story that explains a cause.

            3.  Myth, Saga, Folktale:  distinctions and similarities

            4.  Mythopoeia (myth-making); mythologia (studying and collecting

                        myth), mythographia (writing down myths), mythochreia (using


            5.  Ancient mythography: Apollodorus, Hyginus, Ovid.

            6.  Organization of the course: A dual plot: A) Ovid's and B) mine:

                        Cosmogony and the Olympian Gods, Tantalids, Cecropids,

                        Labdacids, Aeolids, Chthonic and Fertility Gods.

            7.  Topics of the course: the poet and myth; history and the

            choice of myth; the creative effect of myth; music and myth; art and myth.

III.  Ancient Chronology and Geography  (all dates B.C.E. = B.C., unless indicated)

         Late Neolithic Age in the Aegean (4000-3000)

         Bronze Age:

         Mesopotamia: Sumerians (from 4000); Akkadians and Amorites (after 2700) --> Babylonians (after 2300); Assyrians (3000-1200)

Egypt: Old Kingdom (2740-2270); Empire (1600-1200) 

Asia Minor: Hittites (2000-1200); Troy falls (1184)

Aegean:(2000-1000): Minoans (Crete) and Mycenaeans (Greek Mainland):


         Iron Age (1000-)

Greek resettlement: Ionians in Asia Minor, Dorians in Peloponnesus

Hebrews and Aramaeans in Palestine

Assyrians: Nineveh falls (610)       

            Phrygians in Asia Minor

            Persian Empire: Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine, and after 550 in Asia Minor


Greek and Roman Historical periods:

   Geometric: Homer (750?); Hesiod (700?)

            Classical: Aeschylus (525-456); Sophocles (500/494- 406/5); Euripides (c.485-406)

            Roman Augustan: Vergil (70-19); Ovid (43 B.C.-17 A.D.)