This course will cover myths from around the world with a focus on ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome, among others. We will explore a range of topics, often cross-culturally, including myths about creation, the afterlife, gods and goddesses, heroes, kings, foreigners, and women. This course pays particular attention to the similarities and differences between the myths that were told by societies separated by time and space, questioning what it is about the human condition that has pushed civilizations to create such myths, especially those that often have overlapping themes and ideas.
We will also question the fundamental nature of what a myth is and study the different academic lenses through which myths can be understood, for instance, paying particular attention to the work of Freud and Jung. Throughout the course, you will make links between the ancient myths and today's social order, showing that mythology still has relevance to modern society.
Throughout the course, you will be reading the original myths (in translation) as primary documents and complete a variety of assignments, including quizzes, short response papers and writing assignments, and online group discussions. This course provides you with an excellent foundation for further study in any College-level course, particularly (but not exclusively!) Humanities courses, as the crux of the course, are to teach you how to engage with primary sources, learn how to think critically and express your educated opinions in a persuasive manner. These are the fundamental, transferable skills that will be used in every College-level course going forward.
As a result of completing this course, students will have learned or be able to:
• Explain what a myth is
• Describe and analyze cross-cultural ideas about creation, death, nature, gods, and humans
• Hypothesize how and why ancient myths have contributed to the modern social order
• Read primary documents critically
• Express opinions thoughtfully.
No prerequisites required.
Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.