Summer 2019 - HUM 102W D100

Classical Mythology (3)

Class Number: 3071

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
    AQ 5006, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:




An introduction to the central myths of the Greeks and Romans. The course will investigate the nature, function, and meaning of myths in the classical world and their considerable influence on western civilization. Writing/Breadth-Humanities. Equivalent Courses: HUM102 Writing/Breadth-Humanities.


This course introduces students to ancient Greek and Roman mythology. We will read about the Achaeans’ war on Troy and the longed for, but sometimes fateful, homecoming of Greek heroes; Aeneas’ wanderings from Troy in search of a new land; the monstrous legacy left behind by Oedipus’s ‘fateful choices’; the end of the curse on the House of Atreus through the establishment of a system of legal justice; and finally, the bodily transformations of nymphs, satyrs, and humans as they are consumed by their passions and desires. In delving in the stories of gods, goddesses, lovers, heroes, and warriors from the ancient world, we will discuss the way in which these myths functioned in the socio-cultural context of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, and engage with the nature of myth as a fundamental construct of human societies. While focusing on the classical world, the course will address the legacy of these mythologies in our times and the literary and cultural patterns that still make them resonant with contemporary readers.


At the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate their proficiency in the following activities:
1. Read and analyze Humanities texts creatively and to academic standards.  
2. Place texts in their historical and cultural context.
3. Analyze the function of classical mythology in ancient Greece and Rome with respect to political and social relations.
4. Gain an understanding of contemporary interpretations of classical mythology in the social world.
5. Write about literary texts analytically by becoming proficient in modelling interpretation, linking claims to evidence, developing a thesis, structuring a paper, and using sources effectively.


  • Attendance and participation 10%
  • First paper (5 pages) 20%
  • Second paper (6 pages) 20%
  • Exam 1 20%
  • Exam 2 30%


Use of cellphones will not be allowed in class. To receive credit for this course, students must complete all requirements.



Homer, Iliad and Odyssey; and Virgil, Aeneid. BOX SET. Tr. R. Fagles.                Penguin 2009 (translation by R. Lattimore will also be accepted)                           

Aeschylus, Oresteia. Trans. R. Fagles                                                                       Penguin, 1984

Sophocles, The Theban Plays. Tr. Fagles (only Oedipus the King)                           Penguin, 1984

Ovid, Metamorphoses. Trans. E.J. Kenney                                                                Oxford, 2008 

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.