Classical Mythology Images and Insight, Third Edition

Following is an outline of the chapter along with the main learning objectives.  To help coordinate your studies, this outline and the learning objectives are organized to match your textbook.  This organization is also utilized in the chapter review section.

Part 1: Introduction to Greek Mythology 

A. Introduction to Greek Mythology (pgs. 3-6)

1.You should understand the key elements in the birth of Athene; and the symbolism that gives rise to Athene's mythical powers and the significance of Zeus usurpation of the female reproductive role.

2.You should understand the patriarchal role of Zeus; his significance in the order of the cosmos as both upholder of natural law and divine will that can disrupt the natural order.

3. You should be able to compare the birth of Dionysis to that of Athene in its essential elements, giving rise to the mythical symbolism of his role in comparison to that of Athene.

4. You should understand the significant differences in the two divine births and their role in exemplifying the contradictory nature of existence.

 B. Greek Religion and the Nature of the Divine (pgs. 6-8)

1.   You should understand how the lack of sacred tests affected Greek religion as compared to traditions with such texts.

2.   You should understand how the birth of Athena represents a climactic moment in the Greek history of the cosmos.

3.   You should recognize how Greek polytheism contrasts with the monotheism of modern Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

4.   You should understand how the Greek view of their gods as immortal but not eternal affected Greek religion.

  C. Anthropomorphism (pg. 8)

1.  You should understand how the anthropomorphic view of their gods affected Greek religion.

  D. The Divine Family (pg. 9)

1.  You should be familiar with the basic genealogy and social hierarchy of the Greek gods.

2.  You should understand how the emotional life of the gods affected Greek religion.

3.  You should recognize that Greek religion included both a reverence for their gods based on their power and ability to help or harm humans as well as a recognition of the humanlike foibles of the gods.

 E.  The Literary Character of Greek Myth (pgs. 10-12)

1.  You should understand the tradition of oral transmission of myths and how that gives rise to different or even conflicting versions of myths.

2.  You should understand how the topography of Greece influenced the spread of differentiation of myths. 

3.  You should understand how myth was associated with Greek cultural heritage and civic pride.

4. You should understand the difference between myths (including sagas) and folktales in overall comparison of themes and characters.

5. You should understand legend, as it differs from myth and/or folklore, in recording events with a nucleus of historical fact.

F.  The Panathenaea (pgs. 12-17)

1.  You should know who the rhapsodes were and their role in he Panathenaea.

2.  You should recognize the importance of the Homeric epics to all Greeks.

3.  You should understand both the panhellenic and local importance of the Homeric myths.

4.  You should recognize the importance of the Acropolis and its relation to the Homeric myths.

5.  Similarly, you should be able to identify the peplos and its importance to the goddess Athena.

6.  You should be able to recognize the characters on the east frieze of the Parthenon. 

G.  The City Dionysia (pg. 17)

1. You should understand the historical context of Greek myths; specifically the periods known as the Archaic, the Classical, and the Hellenistic.

2.  You should know what the City of Dionysia was and its importance to Greek religion.

3.  You should be familiar with the major playwrights who were important to the City of Dionysia.

4.  You should understand Aristotle's concept of literary structure.

H.  Other Literary Sources (pgs. 18-19)

1.  You should recognize the dominate sources of Greek myth; Homer, Hesiod, and the anonymous poets of the Homeric Hymns, Athenian playwrights such as Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, as well as minor sources for Greek myths such as Sappho, Xenophanes, and Pindar.

2.  You should recognize Apollonius of Rhodes as the author of the only full account of an entire -- the story of Jason and the Golden Fleece.

3.  You should be cognizant of the most comprehensive collection of Greek myths -- erroneously called the Library of Apollodorus; the Guide to Greece by Pausanias (2 a.d.); and the widely renown Parallel Lives by Plutarch, which contained many Greek myths in relation to the lives of famous Greek and Romans. 

Part 2: Distinctive Qualities of Greek Myth

 A. Humanism (pgs. 19-20)

1. You should be able to recognize the dominant themes of Greek myth and thecultural significance of violenceand human suffering in mythic format; youshould be able to discuss the cultural implications of the lackof "happyendings".

2. You should understand the term, "humanism"; its significance within the Greek mythic structure of Gods and humans.

3. You should understand the terms "anthropocentrism" and "anthropomorphism" in terms of Greek world view, and mythic structure.

4. You should be able to discuss the view of Protagoras, "that man is the measure of all things" in terms of Greek culture and myth. 

B. Individualism and Competitiveness  (pgs. 20-21)

1. You should be able to discuss the themes of individualism and competitiveness in terms of Greek myth and its relevance to their contextual Greek culture.

Part 3: History and Myth

 A. Historical Origins  (pgs. 21-23)

1. You should understand the role that Greek myth plays in connecting the Greek culture with its prehistoric past; the importance of relating a magical past removed from the mundane; the significance of the Greek gods' removal and only remaining contact with humans through such devices as oracles, auguries, and "signs".

2. You should understand the nebulous connection of myth with historical events, as embellishment or symbolic references to overall significance.

3. You should recognize Schliemann and his role in the excavation and validation (even if still debated) of such mythical sites as Mycenae and Troy.

Part 4: Major Periods in Greek History

 A. Minoan Civilization (pgs. 24-26)

1.  You should be able to place the Minoan civilization in its historical and geographical context when considering Greek history.

2.  You should understand how the Minoan civilization relates to the tale of Atlantis.

 B. Mycenaean Civilization (pgs. 26-30)

1.  You should recognize the Mycenaean as an early period of Greek culture with a highly developed civilization with an artistic and mythological heritage.

 C. The Iron Age (Dark Ages) (pg. 30)

1.  You should understand the historical context of the period know as the Dark Ages as well as the various theories which attempt to explain the collapse of the Mycenaean civilization.

 D.  The Archaic and Classical Periods (pgs. 30-32)

1.  You should be familiar with the general historical context of the periods known as the Archaic and Classical, including the major events, such as wars, which took place in them

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