Classical Mythology
  I: Administrative Information   II: Course Details   III: Topical Outline(s)  Printable Version
Section I: Administrative Information
  Total hours: 42.0
Credit Value: 3.0
Credit Value Notes: N/A
Effective: Winter 2018
Prerequisites: N/A
Corequisites: N/A
Equivalents: N/A
Pre/Co/Equiv Notes: N/A

Program(s): General Education
Program Coordinator(s): Sarah Sinclair
Course Leader or Contact: Chrisoula Benak
Version: 20180122_00
Status: Approved (APPR)

Section I Notes: N/A

Section II: Course Details

Detailed Description
Students investigate classical mythology with an emphasis on the primary literature. They examine the origins of classical mythology and the cultural influence of the myths on the art of the western world. Specific topics include: the nature of the gods, heroes and mortals as they are celebrated in story, the variety of authors who narrated the myths, and the contexts in which the myths were created. By examining the qualities of classical myths, students develop an understanding of the timeless and universal appeal of the ancient myths to contemporary society. Through the myths, students gain insights into the human condition and the struggle to understand both environment and emotions, aspects of which are still reflected in the disciplines of art, literature, and psychology today.

Program Context

General Education Program Coordinator(s): Sarah Sinclair
This course is part of the General Education curriculum which is designed to contribute to the development of the students' consciousness of the diversity, complexity, and richness of the human experience; their ability to establish meaning through this consciousness; and, as a result, their ability to contribute thoughtfully, creatively, and positively to the society in which they live and work. General Education courses strengthen students' generic skills, such as critical analysis, problem solving, and communication, in the context of an exploration of topics with broad-based personal and/or societal importance.

Course Critical Performance and Learning Outcomes

  Critical Performance:
By the end of this course, students will have demonstrated the ability to analyze prominent themes and characteristics of, and values presented in classical myths.
Learning Outcomes:

To achieve the critical performance, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Describe the evolution of classical myths from an oral to a written tradition.
  2. Examine the cultural context in which these stories were first narrated and then recorded.
  3. Compare the diversity of styles and attitudes in the writers of classical myths.
  4. Deconstruct the elements of myth.
  5. Analyze how classical myths continue to provide insight into the human condition.
  6. Identify new myths which use traditional structure and form in a contemporary setting.
  7. Explain how aspects of classical myth transcend time and place.

Evaluation Plan
Students demonstrate their learning in the following ways:

 Evaluation Plan: IN-CLASS
 In-Class Writing Assignment10.0%
 Written Analysis #120.0%
 Written Analysis #220.0%
 In-Class Quizzes (2 @ 5%)10.0%
 Final Exam20.0%

Evaluation Notes and Academic Missed Work Procedure:
TEST AND ASSIGNMENT PROTOCOL To encourage behaviours that will help students to be successful in the workplace and to ensure that students receive credit for their individual work, the following rules apply to every course offered within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. 1. Students are responsible for staying abreast of test dates and times, as well as due dates and any special instructions for submitting assignments and projects as supplied to the class by the professor. 2. Students must write all tests at the specified times. Missed tests, in-class activities, assignments and presentations are awarded a mark of zero. If an extension or make-up opportunity is approved by the professor as outlined below, the mark of zero may be revised by subsequent performance. The penalty for late submission of written assignments is a loss of 10% per day for up to five business days (excluding weekends and statutory holidays), after which, a grade of zero is assigned. Business days include any day that the college is open for business, whether the student has scheduled classes that day or not. 3. Students, who miss a test or in-class activity or assignment or fail to submit an assignment on time due to exceptional circumstances, are required to notify their professor in advance of the class whenever possible. A make-up test may be supplied for students who provide an acceptable explanation of their absence and/or acceptable documentation explaining their absence (e.g., a medical certificate). All make-up tests are to be written at a time and place specified by the professor upon the student's return. Alternately, students may be given an opportunity to earn the associated marks by having a subsequent test count for the additional marks. Exceptional circumstances may result in a modification of due dates for assignments. 4. Unless otherwise specified, assignments and projects must be submitted at the beginning of class. 5. Students must complete every assignment as an individual effort unless, the professor specifies otherwise. 6. Since there may be instances of grade appeal or questions regarding the timely completion of assignments and/or extent of individual effort, etc., students are strongly advised to keep, and make available to their professor, if requested, a copy of all assignments and working notes until the course grade has been finalized. 7. There will be no resubmission of work unless this has been previously agreed to or suggested by the professor. 8. Students must submit all assignments in courses with practical lab and field components in order to pass the course.

Provincial Context
The course meets the following Ministry of Colleges and Universities requirements:


Essential Employability Skills
Essential Employability Skills emphasized in the course:

  • Communication Skills - Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken, visual form that fulfills the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.
  • Information Management Skills - Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.
  • Information Management - Locate, select, organize and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.
  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving Skills - Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.
  • Communication Skills - Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.
  • Personal Skills - Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

General Education
This General Education course relates to the following themes as specified by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

  • Arts In Society
  • Social and Cultural Understanding

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
PLAR Contact (if course is PLAR-eligible) - Office of the Registrar
Students may apply to receive credit by demonstrating achievement of the course learning outcomes through previous relevant work/life experience, service, self-study and training on the job. This course is eligible for challenge through the following method(s):

  • Challenge Exam
  • Interview

Section III: Topical Outline
Some details of this outline may change as a result of circumstances such as weather cancellations, College and student activities, and class timetabling.
Instruction Mode: In-Class
Professor: Multiple Professors
RequiredTextbookThe Complete World of Greek Mythology, Buxton, R, Thames & Hudson Ltd. London, 2004
OptionalOtherDay, M. (2007). 100 characters from classical myth: Discover the fascinating stories of the Greek and Roman deities. ISBN 0764160060
OptionalOtherHanson, W.F. (2004). Handbook for classical mythology. ISBN 1576072266
OptionalOtherHarris, S.L. and Platzner G. (2012). Classical mythology: Images and insights. ISBN 0073407526

Applicable student group(s): Cross-College General Education.
Course Details:
Module One: Introduction to Classical Mythology
Readings: Part One, Part Two
Unit 1: 
The Meaning of Myth
The Cultural Context of Greek Myths
Myth and Society
Unit 2:
The Development of Classical Mythology
Contexts for Myth Telling
Sources of Evidence for Classical Mythology
Module Two: The Olympians
Readings: Part Two, Part Three
Unit 3:
Greek Myth and Religion
The Ancient Greek Gods
Powers and Spheres of Influence
Introduction to Written Analysis #1
Unit 4:
Review of Part Two and Part Three Readings
In-Class Writing Assignment (10%)
Module 3:  Heroic Exploits
Readings: Part Four, Part Five
Unit 5:
Jason, the Argonauts and Medea
The Hero's Quest
Written Analysis #1 (20%) due
Unit 6:
Perseus, Theseus, Herakles
The Hero's Journey Model
Introduction to Written Analysis #2
Quiz #1 (5%)
Unit 7:
Test (20%)
Unit 8:
The Trojan War:  The Hero's Journey Continued
Myth versus History: Homer's Perspective
Unit 9: 
The Odyssey: The Hero's Journey Continued
Ancient Greek Perspective on the Meaning of Quest and Cultural Differences
Unit 10:
House of Pelops
House of Laios
Myth and Politics
Written Analysis #2 (20%) due
Module 4: Greek Myths after the Greeks
Readings: Part Six, Part Seven
Unit 11:
A Landscape of Myths
The Continuation of Greek Mythology: 
Middle Ages
Renaissance to 20th Century
Modern Greek Literature
Quiz #2 (5%)
Unit 12:
Exam Review
Unit 13:
Final Exam (20%) 
Course/student feedback

Sheridan Policies

All Sheridan policies can be viewed on the Sheridan policy website.

Academic Integrity: The principle of academic integrity requires that all work submitted for evaluation and course credit be the original, unassisted work of the student. Cheating or plagiarism including borrowing, copying, purchasing or collaborating on work, except for group projects arranged and approved by the professor, or otherwise submitting work that is not the student's own, violates this principle and will not be tolerated. Students who have any questions regarding whether or not specific circumstances involve a breach of academic integrity are advised to review the Academic Integrity Policy and procedure and/or discuss them with the professor.

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Course Outline Changes: The information contained in this Course Outline including but not limited to faculty and program information and course description is subject to change without notice. Any changes to course curriculum and/or assessment shall adhere to approved Sheridan protocol. Nothing in this Course Outline should be viewed as a representation, offer and/or warranty. Students are responsible for reading the Important Notice and Disclaimer which applies to Programs and Courses.

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