Spring 2021 - HUM 102W D200

Classical Mythology (3)

Class Number: 7096

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 12:30 PM – 3:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 17, 2021
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM



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. Students with credit for HUM 102 may not take this course for further credit. 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 maddening jealousy of Medea and her revenge on husband and children; 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.

TEACHING MODE: Synchronous lecture – recorded ©.

Weekly lectures, normally 2 hours long followed by a one-hour tutorial during in-class teaching (pre-Covid), will now be spread over 3 hours to lessen the impact of ‘Zoom fatigue’. We will have several breaks for coffee or just to rest eyes and ears. We will also have in-class exercises based on the lecture material. This is a writing-intensive course (W), but the larger amount of writing required by this module has been adapted to the new learning environment.

We will all work to build a vibrant online community to make the best of the current circumstances. Classes will start with the reading of Homer’s Iliad.



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.


  • Participation 5%
  • Six short writing assignments 35%
  • Discussion questions on Canvas (6 units) 30%
  • Exam 1, Midterm (class time) 10%
  • Exam 2, Take-home 20%


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. (Alternative translations: R. Lattimore for Iliad and Odyssey in print; Peter Green for Iliad and Odyssey, also available online at SFU library; Fagles’s Aeneid also available as e-book)
ISBN: 978-0147505606

Sophocles, Oedipus the King. In The Theban Plays. Tr. R. Fagles. Penguin, 1984. (no suitable online version)
ISBN: 978-0140444254

Euripides, Medea. In Medea and Other Plays. Tr. Philip Vellacott. Penguin, 1963. (Alternative translation: J. Davie) (e-book also available)
ISBN: 978-0140441291

Ovid, Metamorphoses. Trans. E.J. Kenney. Oxford, 2008. (e-book also available)
ISBN: 978-0199537372

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html 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. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).