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Lecture

CLA204H1F Lecture 1

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Department
Classics
Course
CLA204H1
Professor
Jarrett Welsh
Semester
Fall

Description
CLA204H1F L1; Sept 13, 2012 Classical: really broad subject, history + culture + society + www.classicalmythology.org world of the ancient Greeks & romans; sans entire o Extra resources mediteranean region; at times Britain to india, morocco to far pt o Memorizing names not important of black sea, almost germany to almost interior of Africa; Read assigned readings sometimes outside these edges nd Lectures: 10 in person, 2 online for after tests o Bronze age (2 millennium BC) to late antiquity (last o Not right out of txtbk roman society, into middle ages) Expanding on whats in txtbk o Interested in survival of ancient culture (reception) o Do reading in advance Ex. dutch paintings, art, literature, more modern o Goal is to synthesize & understand material things Lectures are just as important as the reading o not strictly historical world Test 1: Oct 11, 25%; Test 2: Nov15, 25%; Exam 50% Mythology: o Tests: 6:30-8 (1.5hrs), multiple choice, short answer o today we say its something that must be false (ex. Not cumulative Alligators in sewers, global warming) is a lie, fiction o Review guide w sample qs 2 wks before o Exam: (3hrs) also have a couple long answer qs (2-3 paragraphs, 1-2 pgs) cumulative ex. Alligator: movie poster What is a Myth? descends from greek muthos: speech, tale, story, word, thought, conversation, rumoured narrative, fable o a story that can be told, sung, or thought o broad category o hard to study, look at too many things o modern study has tried to narrow this down more useful, more manageable grp of stories to talk about can distinguish btwn stories common antonym in antiquity is logos: spoken account, financial account, reckoning, reason, speeches, propositions, hypotheses, thesis statements, most commonly as Joachim Anthonisz Wtewael reason/argument/discussion/debate 1611 o derives from greek word meaning to speak painting Perseus Rescues Andromeda o meant dif things to dif ppl at dif times logos: persuasive speech 1.80 x 1.50 m. o persuade audience that budget not going into deficit Paris, Muse du Louvre, inv. R. F. 1982-51. muthos: entertaining speech? Perseus rescues princess Andromeda from sea monster Flying horse, hero, lovely woman, sea monster o Trying to entertain audience o Ex. Entertaining story about transit from home to work o Any kind of entertaining or hopefully entertaining speech o Myth is a much stricter term Traditional tales o Not concerned truth or fiction useless categories o Concerned more w the stories told & retold Many faceted cultural phenomenon, see txtbk defn of myth A traditional story, typically involving supernatural beings or forces, which embodies and provides an explanation, etiology, or justification for something such as the early history of society, a rglious belief or ritual, or a natural phenomenon o Oxford English dictionary, 2nded. (1989) s. v. Myth 1.a More vaguely: myth is a traditional tale w secondary, partial reference to something of collective importance o Walter burket, structure and history in greek mythology and history (Berkeley, 1979) p.23 o Raises 3 qs: o Traditional? Not owned by anyone o Collective importance? Society history, origin, religion o What distinguishes myth from other traditional tales? Viral Important to the society it belongs to, to the ppl that tell them, teach us about the society that told it o Corinthian black-figure amphora depicting (right to left) Myths are traditional, well-established stories, told for specific Andromeda, Perseus, and the ketos (sea monster). purpose (ex. Explaining natural world, social customs, religious Second quarter of 6th century BC. beliefs, why things are important to society) Found at Cerveteri (Italy), now: Berlin, Staatliche Museen, F 1652. Yet another definition of myth Proper myth A classical myth is a story that, thru its classical form, has o Concerned w gods (the divine), interaction w gods attained a kind of immortality because it inherent archetypal o Timeless, no connection w human history whether ttrue or beauty, profundity, and power have inspired rewarding renewal false and transformation by successive generations Sagas, legends o Morford and Lenardon, p. 26 o Relationship to human history, however true or false they How does this definition differ from the one earlier? are o Myth is only a myth if its beautiful or profound or o Not timeless, has a time attached to it powerful, has depth o Ex. Wars set in distant past, ex. Trojan o But who gets to decide this? bias Folktales, fairytales Definition affects interpretation o Fantastic beings that are not necessarily divine (ex. Ppl w magic powers) Explanations galore? o Concerned more w humans or humans w special power Myth is a complex body of material that spans cultural & (whereas myths concern gods divine) temporal divides Major problem: No single defn or theory can simultaneously aspire to precision These categories are artificial hard to find a pure example of
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