Mythology through Epics
NEW Course! “I love mythology. But now I’ve mastered it all. Is there something more?”~Prof. Valerie’s students
|Instructor||Prof. Valerie Frankel|
|Content Levels||Grades 9-10 • Lower High School|
Grades 11-12 • Upper High School
|Course Length||16 weeks|
|Live Webinars Held On||Thursdays, 1:00 - 1:50 PM Pacific - 8/17/23 - 12/16/23|
Okay, we know our mythology: Zeus and Demeter, Loki and Thor, Isis and Osiris, Arabian Nights, King Arthur. It’s awesome. Now let’s level up.
Along with these ancient fireside tales, world culture has given us the great epics—closer to the Odyssey or Morte de Arthur. Building on all our knowledge of the popular myths (and yes, those Rick Riordan style novels help too), together we’ll read the big epics and discuss what they teach about cosmology, heroism, legend, and culture (We will be respectful, as some of these belong to active religions. Those who know more about some of these cultures than the teacher are encouraged to share.)
We can also discuss Jung and Campbell’s theories that everyone worldwide is telling the same basic story and see how much we agree. In many cases, these are the original versions from which the famous myths come, and thus an enlightening source for myth-lovers. It’s the world’s greatest stories, for lovers of great battles, gods, and monsters.
What to expect in the Required section in the classroom each week:
- Assignments to do weekly readings—entire short online books or selections
- Short critical writing assignments and discussions
What to expect in the Highly Suggested & Optional sections in the classroom each week:
- Supplemental readings on culture, myth, and history
- Curated resources, including websites & videos, are provided to excite learners and to add depth to the subject matter.
- Additional lessons and resources to help students get more out of the lessons and read with more depth.
What to expect during the weekly webinar:
- Weekly webinars are 50 minutes long. Webinars are recorded and are available for students with schedule conflicts.
- In-class discussion and literary analysis of the epics, including history and culture.
- Active Participation (via the microphone and chat) is encouraged in online class discussions and also during lectures.
Before taking this course, students should be able to:
- Read at a solid 8th-grade level or above.
- Type fluently.
- Write a paragraph independently.
Students should be willing to:
- Read an epic for homework each week.
- Have excitement and some general knowledge (or better) about myth (any) that they’re willing to share
- Actively participate (via the microphone) in the class discussion.
- Encourage class discussion by adding their questions/ideas in the chat window during the webinar.
- Respond with positive and encouraging comments on their classmates’ posts in the classroom forums.
Required books & materials:
- Gilgamesh (Babylonia) https://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/eog/index.htm
- Enuma Elish (Babylonia) https://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/stc/index.htm
- Descent of Inanna (Sumeria) https://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/section1/tr141.htm
- Popol Vuh (Maya) https://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/pvuheng.htm
- Diné Bahaneʼ (Navajo) (handout)
- Mahabarata (India) https://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/dutt/index.htm
- A Life of Buddha (India and China) https://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe19/index.htm
- Legends of Maui (Polynesia) https://www.sacred-texts.com/pac/maui/index.htm
- Pele and Hiiaka (Hawaii) https://www.gutenberg.org/files/60279/60279-h/60279-h.htm
- The Epic of Sundiata (Mali) (handout)
- Anansi tales (Ghana/Jamaica) https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Jamaica_Anansi_Stories
- The Book of the Dead (Egypt) https://www.sacred-texts.com/egy/ebod/
- The Volsunga Saga (Norse) https://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/vlsng/index.htm