Ancient Heroes: Story and Tradition
0.5 Credit

Hours per week:
  • Lecture/Discussion: 3

Traces how the concept of the hero was developed and redefined in the changing media and modes of storytelling in a selection of ancient societies that could include those of the Mediterranean Basin (e.g. the Bronze Age Near East, Archaic and Classical Greece and Rome), ancient Asian societies, and the traditions of Indigenous cultures of the Americas. In addition to examining different types of story patterns (e.g., descents to the Underworld), and heroic characters (e.g., trickster-heroes such as Odysseus), students explore how methods of transmission affected heroic narrative, and how storytelling traditions reflect some of the historical and political changes of the societies that created, transmitted and used them.