Greek mythology is often part of literature classes or part of studies throughout school. Students read books like Homor’s “The Iliad” or “The Odyssey” while in middle or high school, and even college. When looking for courses in Greek mythology in colleges, the classes are usually part of the school’s Classics Division where students study classic works from Greek, Roman and Latin mythology or literature.
Greek and Roman Mythology
Most colleges offer a course in Greek and Roman mythology. The myths of the Greeks and Romans were very similar, usually providing the same stories or similar stories with different names. The gods and goddesses of both cultures were the same, but had different names. For example, Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, while Venus is her Roman name. Many times, the two groups are studied together. In these courses, students study the common myths of Greeks and Romans and is an introduction to the study of mythology.
In the case of a course in Greek mythology, without the study of Roman myths at the same time, the students not only study the myths of the ancient Greeks, but also the cultural background, the location and the creation of Greek myths. The course is an in-depth study of the myths from the roots to the creation of stories, rather than just reading the myths.
Greek Mythology and Religion
Colleges might combine Greek myths with the study of ancient Greek religion. The myths of the ancient Greeks are closely related to the religion; thus, the study gives information about both topics. The study starts with the myths, then determines how the myths fit into the religion.
Women in Greek Mythology
Some colleges might offer courses specifically studying the women in the myths. The Greeks often included women in their stories. The women range between the study of goddesses, various women in the myths, the study of maidenhood in Greek mythology and even the hero patterns of the myths applied to women.
Greek tragedy courses study the myths associated with tragic outcomes, or which have sad endings, rather than a positive and happy ending. The Greek tragedies focus on the sad outcomes, such as the story of Antigone, who was sacrificed to the gods so the Greeks could go after her aunt, Helen, when she went to Troy. Greek tragedy studies break down the tragedy into the story, the hero, the tragedy and the religion. There are usually a few courses in Greek tragedy studies in Greek courses.
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