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Two Sections Available to Choose From:

Course DatesLengthMeeting TimesStatusFormatInstructor(s)CRN
June 28, 2021 - July 21, 20216/28 - 7/213 WeeksOnlineWaitlistedOnlineSam Butler
July 19, 2021 - August 11, 20217/19 - 8/113 WeeksOnlineWaitlistedOnlineJessica Tomkins

Course Description

Gods. Heroes. Beasts. Creation. Annihilation. Why did so many societies create fantastical stories about the world around them? This Mythology course will closely examine these myths in order to gain a better understanding of both the past and present-day societies. Digging beyond the surface of the stories themselves, we will investigate why these stories were told, how they have influenced history, and the impact they have had -and continue to have- on modern-day social constructions of self and society.

This course will cover myths from around the world including ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, Mesoamerica, India, and more. 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, paying particular attention to the work of Freud and Jung. Throughout the course, students will make links between the ancient myths and today's social order, showing that mythology still has relevance to modern society.

Throughout the course, students 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 students with an excellent foundation for further study in any College-level course, particularly (but not exclusively!) Humanities courses, as the crux of the course is to teach students how to engage with primary sources, learn how to think critically and express their 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 cross-cultural ideas about creation, death, nature, gods, and human
•Explain how ancient myths have contributed to the modern social order
•Read primary documents critically
•Express opinions thoughtfully.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites!

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEHI0970

Program Information


Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences for students completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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