Course Listings

Classical Studies

CLAS 231W Myth and Cult in the Ancient East Mediterranean (4)

Delves into the Near Eastern background of ancient Greek myth and cult, looking at parallels among deities, myths, and cult performances; also how, when, and why shared cultural features moved across linguistic and geographic barriers in the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age. Works with both oral-derived written texts and material culture, including iconography, pottery, and architectural remains, reading them in conjunction to achieve a holistic understanding of how texts and artifacts created or were embedded in performance contexts and spaces where ritual and cult were enacted. Covers the Near Easter background of specific Greek gods and heroes: goddess of sexuality, storm-god, sun deities, sea deities, "young man" deities, healing deities, agricultural deities, mountain deities, underworld deities, disappearing or dying of deities, Achilles, Hector, Heracles; cosmogonies; Chaoskampf and snake-slaying myths; ancestor veneration and its connection to epic and hero worship; curses and black magic; invocations; purification rituals; prayers and other performances in temple and sanctuary settings; festivals and processions; animal sacrifice; ritual drama; "sacred marriage" and other gendered and sexual metaphors for the relations between humans and the divine; genealogies; legitimization of kingship; wisdom literature.

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-Centered; Arts & Humanities; World Engagement: CV
  • Prerequisite: No seniors
  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Instructor: Bachvarova

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