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Lecture

First Class

1 Page
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Department
Classics
Course Code
CLA204H1
Professor
Claesson Welsh

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Sep 13 2010
Intro to Classical Mythology
-Classical world = history, culture of ancient Greeks and Romans: entire Mediterranean region
oHistorical stories
- Myth: deals w/ things fantastical; ie Ethiopia; just off the map
-Bronze age to late Antiquity
-Reception: survival of Greek and Roman heritage in later cultures
- Myth: stories widely accepted but ultimately false?
- Myth actually comes from muthos = speech, tale, story, word, though, narrative, fable,
myth > aim to entertain
- Muthos can refer to true narratives as well
- Muthos vs logos > spoken account, to speak, account, argument, debate, thesis, hypothesis > aims
to persuade
- Myth: broad term about stories connected w/ gods, and how humans interact w/ them: gods include
semi-gods, ie nymphs
-Saga/legend: relationship with human history
-Folktale/fairytale: involves fantastic beings, ie ppl w/ magical powers, deals more w/ people
- Myth not really have to deal w/ truth/fiction
oThe ancients never really stopped to think whether myth were true/false
oCreates reality fragmented from the world: to put order on the world
oTo explain world in a lively and entertaining way, aetiology, justification (Oxford Eng
Dictionary, 2nd ed.)
- “myth traditional tale w/ secondary, impartial reference to something of collective importance
Walter Burkert
oTraditional? Collective importance?
-Relationship b/w myth and religion
oMircea Eliade
oThe Sacred and the Profane: two realms; myth bridges the gap of the two
oMyth exists b/c humans want orientation in sacred timelessness
Can only be satisfied w/ stories of beginning and origin
oMyth is for providing release from historical time
Relate present exp w/ timeless and holy existence
oAetiology, from aitia
Causes, reasons
Idea that myth should be interpreted narrowly as explanation of custom, fact, event
But some things cant be explained
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Description
Sep 13 2010 Intro to Classical Mythology - Classical world = history, culture of ancient Greeks and Romans: entire Mediterranean region o Historical stories - Myth: deals w things fantastical; ie Ethiopia; just off the map - Bronze age to late Antiquity - Reception: survival of Greek and Roman heritage in later cultures - Myth: stories widely accepted but ultimately false? - Myth actually comes from muthos = speech, tale, story, word, though, narrative, fable, myth > aim to entertain - Muthos can refer to true narratives as well - Muthos vs logos > spoken account, to speak, account, argument, debate, thesis, hypothesis > aims to persuade - Myth: broad term about stories connected w gods, and how humans interact w them: gods include semi-gods, ie nymphs - Sagalegend: relationship with human history - Folktalefairytale: involves fantastic beings, ie ppl w magical powers, deals more w people - Myth not really have to deal w truthfiction o The ancients never really s
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