Classical Mythology : The Great Courses: Western Literature

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Elizabeth Vandiver
  • Series: The Great Courses: Western Literature
  • 12 hrs and 28 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

These 24 lectures are a vibrant introduction to the primary characters and most important stories of classical Greek and Roman mythology. Among those you'll investigate are the accounts of the creation of the world in Hesiod's Theogony and Ovid's Metamorphoses; the gods Zeus, Apollo, Demeter, Persephone, Hermes, Dionysos, and Aphrodite; the Greek heroes, Theseus and Heracles (Hercules in the Roman version); and the most famous of all classical myths, the Trojan War.
Professor Vandiver anchors her presentation in some basics. What is a myth? Which societies use myths? What are some of the problems inherent in studying classical mythology? She also discusses the most influential 19th- and 20th-century thinking about myth's nature and function, including the psychological theories of Freud and Jung and the metaphysical approach of Joseph Campbell. You'll also consider the relationship between mythology and culture (such as the implications of the myth of Demeter, Persephone, and Hades for the Greek view of life, death, and marriage), the origins of classical mythology (including the similarities between the Theogony and Mesopotamian creation myths), and the dangers of probing for distant origins (for example, there's little evidence that a prehistoric "mother goddess" lies at the heart of mythology).
Taking you from the surprising "truths" about the Minotaur to Ovid's impact on the works of William Shakespeare, these lectures make classical mythology fresh, absorbing, and often surprising.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Educational

Any additional comments?

This book gives an over view of classical mythology, particularly the Greeks. I bought it as I can never answer the mythology clues in crosswords. I still can't, and would need to listen again (and again) and take notes to get anywhere but that is my inadequacies not the book.I enjoyed listening and liked the style of delivery and will relisten. The Greek Gods were definitely not nice and true mysogonists.

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- P. D. Nelson

really interesting listen

I thoroughly enjoyed this. I found it entertaining and interesting.
it is NOT a read through of myth. it's an analysis of how culture and myth were intertwined
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- Nick

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses