Anyone else doing this Coursera class on Greek Mythology?


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Anyone else doing this Coursera class on Greek Mythology?

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Edited: Sep 13, 2012, 8:25 pm

Over at The Green Dragon we've been reading through Coursera's wonderful class on fantasy and science fiction. Coursera is a new experiment in education: the MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) for free, available to anyone around the world. The idea is to get a lot of people focusing on one subject and learning from one another. The mythology class, like the fantasy/sci-fi course, has lectures available from the professor and class discussion forums.

The class starts September 24 and runs for 10 weeks. I'm hoping to get other LTers involved. The_Hibernator and I are already up for it. Anyone else?

Course info:

"Myths are traditional stories that have endured over a long time. Some of them have to do with events of great importance, such as the founding of a nation. Others tell the stories of great heroes and heroines and their exploits and courage in the face of adversity. Still others are simple tales about otherwise unremarkable people who get into trouble or do some great deed. What are we to make of all these tales, and why do people seem to like to hear them? This course will focus on the myths of ancient Greece and Rome, as a way of exploring the nature of myth and the function it plays for individuals, societies, and nations. We will also pay some attention to the way the Greeks and Romans themselves understood their own myths. Are myths subtle codes that contain some universal truth? Are they a window on the deep recesses of a particular culture? Are they a set of blinders that all of us wear, though we do not realize it? Or are they just entertaining stories that people like to tell over and over? This course will investigate these questions through a variety of topics, including the creation of the universe, the relationship between gods and mortals, human nature, religion, the family, sex, love, madness, and death."

"Week 1: Homer, epic poetry, and Trojan legends
Week 2: Heroes and suffering
Week 3: This World and other ones
Week 4: Identity and signs
Week 5: Gods and humans
Week 6: Religion and ritual
Week 7: Justice
Week 8: Unstable selves
Week 9: Writing myth in history
Week 10: From myths to mythology"

Reading list:
Homer, Odyssey
Hesiod, Theogony
Homeric Hymns to Apollo and Demeter
Aeschylus, Oresteia
Sophocles, Oedipus the King
Euripides, Bacchae
Vergil, Aeneid
Ovid, Metamorphoses

Recommended translations:
Greek Tragedies, Vol. I, ed. by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991)
Greek Tragedies Vol. III, ed. by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991)
Hesiod, Theogony, M. L. West, trans. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988)
Homeric Hymns, Sarah Ruden, trans. (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2005)
Homer, The Odyssey, Robert Fagles, trans. (New York: Penguin, 1997)
Virgil, The Aeneid, Robert Fitzgerald, trans. (New York: Vintage, 1990)
Ovid, Metamorphoses, Mary Innes, trans. (New York: Penguin, 1982; orig. pub. 1955)

Link to the course page where you can sign up.

Link to the Librarything Discussion Page for the class.

May 21, 2014, 9:36 pm

If I were a rich man, not only would I be in a synagogue bullshitting away a late Sunday morning, but I'd be taking many wonderful Coursera courses.