Classical Mythology is a compilation (a corpus) of stories (myths) recounted by poets and story-tellers since pre-historic times to help their communities map and understand the world around them. Myths offer pre-scientific responses to questions concerning the meaning of our struggle to survive. These myths recount the creation of the universe, the powers of nature and the gods, the evolution of human civilizations, and they lay the groundwork for religion, ethos and government in both public and private domains. These myths, told in a complex poetic language, rich in literary and visual images, were later used as primary materials for the Arts and we can find them in poetry, plastic arts, music and drama (as well as in film and other media) in Ancient Greece, Rome and in Western culture until today.
During this introductory course we will read examples of myths from Classical Mythology and discuss their artistic character, their cultural function and their presence in Western culture and art.