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My interest was aroused by visiting museums in France where interpretations of classic myths appear throughout the artwork of many old masters. Another obvious reason is that mythology encompasses so many subjects that it gratifies my curiosity and eclecticism.

The myth of Pandora’s box - Iseult Gillespie

All the details of human nature and the human condition are enclosed in its stories, it gives artists the opportunity to explore a large field of subjects while at the same time enabling them to keep their focus on a unique body of work. This inspiration led me to read extensively about Greek mythology and antiquity, and I have the wonderful feeling that I will continue learning about it for a very long time.

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All Right Reserved. Please consider enabling JavaScript in your browser's preference settings. Telling stories is one of the most common ways that humans make sense of the world and their lives in it. For the ancient Greeks and Romans, these stories were very often in the form of tales of the adventures, triumphs and sufferings of gods and heroes — what we call classical myths. This class examines many of these myths, what they meant to Greeks and Romans, and what they still mean for us.

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Retold Classic Myths, Volume 1

We will cover major myths including myths of creation, myths of nature and the stars, the Trojan war myths, the story of the house of Oedipus, the exploits of Hercules and Theseus, the career of Aeneas, and the myths of the early Roman kings and the various media that record them including ancient literature in translation and visual representations. This serves as an excellent introduction to ancient Mediterranean culture and society: through the myths we can learn more about ancient religion, politics and art.

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We will also discuss post-ancient responses to the classical myths, from medieval revulsion to modern poetry to spectacular Hollywood renditions. No previous experience of classical studies is necessary.