Chabot College November 1993 28 - The Classic Myths

Chabot College
November 1993
Course Outline for Humanities 28
Catalog Description:
28 - The Classic Myths
3 units
Introduction to mythic themes recurring in literature, the visual arts, and music; gods, humans, heroes;
their origins, variations, historical development, and full expression in classical times and continued
presence in the arts. 3 hours
Expected Outcomes for Students:
Upon completion of the course, the student should:
1. be acquainted with those fundamental myth stories so necessary for the understanding and
appreciation of literature, art, and music;
2. develop an awareness of the fundamental mythological content in man's art (literary, visual, tonal);
3. recognize the signs, symbols, and representations used so persistently;
4. become acquainted with the genuinely important foundations given those forms in mythic-oral
tradition that predated our literature, art, and music by examining those most basic and
imaginative tributary streams of mythic source material used in the formation of art.
Course Content:
As nearly as possible all material to be used will be of a "primary" nature, that is, basic works of
mythology will be read, analyzed, and discussed. There is now possible a rich source for meaningful
insights into mythology because of the recent archaeological discoveries, great strides in current
classical scholarship, and the abundance of original works in paperback translation. Thus the course
content will center on broad themes underlying artistic expression—Humanity, Nature, God as seen in
early quasi-scientific accounts of:
1. Origins and beginnings: Book of Genesis, Theogony, The Babylonian Creation Story, etc.
2. Archtypical heroes: Hercules, Gilgamesh, Jason, Odysseus, Aeneas, etc.
3. Cataclysms, floods, Armageddons: Revelation of St. John, Egyptian Noah, the "Trojan War"
cycle, Book of Joshua, etc.
4. Stars and constellations: Orion, Pleiades, the Zodiac, etc.
5. Crop rituals: Dionysus-Bacchus, Cain and Abel, Adonis, etc.
6. Tales of love: Cupid-Psyche, Orpheus-Eurydice, Samson-Dalilah, etc.
Methods of Presentation:
1. Assigned readings
2. Lecture-discussion
3. Audio-visual presentations
Methods of Evaluating Student Progress:
1. Evaluation of classroom preparation-assignments
2. Short identification and recognition quizzes
3. Short analytical essays will give more scope to express insights into the broader issues and
4. A comprehensive term- project
5. Final exam/project
Chabot College
Course Outline for Humanities 28, Page 2
November 1993
Textbook(s) Typical:
The Greek Myths, Graves, Pelican
The Iliad, Homer, Chicago
Theogony, Hesiod, Bobbs-Merrill
The Voyage of Argo, Apollonius of Rhodes, Penguin
Tiger at the Gates, Giraudoux, Samuel French
The Parthenon, Ictinus, Athens
Special Student Materials:
KH:kh Hum 28
Revised: 11/8/93