Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Canvas Info
ClSt 100/ ComL 108: Mythology
Peter Struck
I. Course Description
  Myths are traditional stories that have endured many years. Some of them have to do with events of great importance, such as the founding of a nation. Others tell the stories of great heroes and heroines and their exploits and courage in the face of adversity. Still others are simple tales about otherwise unremarkable people who get into trouble or do some great deed. What are we to make of all these tales, and why do people seem to like to hear them? This course will focus on the myths of ancient Greece and Rome as a way of exploring the nature of myth and the function it plays for individuals, societies, and nations. We will also pay some attention to the way the Greeks and Romans themselves understood their own myths. Are myths subtle codes that contain some universal truth? Are they a window on the deep recesses of a particular culture? Are they entertaining stories that people like to tell over and over? Are they a set of cultural blinders that all of us wear, though we do not realize it? We will investigate these questions through a variety of topics including: the creation of the universe and the structure of the cosmos, relations between gods and mortals, religion and divination, justice, society, family, sex, love, madness, and death.
II. Academic Integrity
  Cheating will not be tolerated. You are responsible for familiarizing yourself with and following the University of Pennsylvania's Code of Academic Integrity.
Collaboration with your fellow mythologists during exams counts as cheating. Specific things that count as cheating include but are not limited to:
  • having someone else take the exam for you
  • copying an essay or any part of an essay from any one else's work -- including friends, aquaintances, any writing online or on paper -- and claiming it as your own.
Online assignments
Collaboration with your fellow mythologists in the course's weekly online assignments is allowed and encouraged in every way EXCEPT:
  • having someone else fill in your weekly worksheet
  • having someone else write your writing assignments on your section's bulletin board
  • downloading an essay from any one of the commercial sites that will sell you junk for $14.95 / page and using it, or any part of it, as any part of your writing. (These people are the lowest of the low and they don't care if you get kicked out of college for using their site, they just want your money and they prey on your anxiety. They make the Cyclops look humane by comparison.)
This kind of cheating is not only a breach of University's the Code of Acdemic Conduct, it is also stupid.
Putting time into the online worksheets is a great preparation for performing well on the short answer sections of the midterm and final. Questions in these sections will surely include, though they are not limited to, material drawn from the worksheets. Putting time into your weekly web post is your best preparation for performing well on the essay sections of the exams.
III. Grading
30% Midterm:
Mixture of short answer and essay questions.
40% Final:
Mixture of short answer and essay questions.
10% Weekly worksheets on web units:
10 out of 12 worksheets completed on time = full 10%, less than 10 completed on time = you will earn percentage points toward your final grade equal to the number of worksheets completed on time.
5% Recitation participation:
Based on cumulative performance in discussions, exercises, quizzes, and (not least!) attendance.
15% Writing Assignments:
You will be responsible for writing assignments throughout the quarter, usually every week, sometimes a paragraph, sometimes slightly longer. You will submit these electronically on the bulletin board area of the Blackboard site. See your TA for details.
IV. Required Texts

Books are available at the Penn Bookstore.

Greek Tragedies, Vol. I, ed. by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: University of Chicago Pr.)

Greek Tragedies Vol. III, ed. by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: University of Chicago Pr.)

Hesiod, Theogony (Oxford World's Classics), M. L. West, trans. (New York: Oxford University Press)

Homeric Hymns, Sarah Ruden, trans. (Hackett)

Homer, The Odyssey, Emily Wilson, trans. (Norton)

Virgil, The Aeneid, Robert Fitzgerald, trans. (New York: Vintage Books)

Roland Barthes, Mythologies (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

V. Teaching Staff
Peter Struck
Office: Logan 291
Office hours: Th, 2-4
Phone: 898-5137

Teaching Assistants, office hours:
R. J. Barnes
Amelia Bensch-Schaus
Brian Credo, Friday, 10-11, and Monday, 2-3
Bryn Ford
Wes Hanson, Thursday 1-2
Collin Hilton, Wednesday 1:30-3:30
gutter splint
gutter splint
gutter splint