Comparative Epic - Greek and Roman Myths of Heroes


This course examines mythic narratives about heroes that have come down to us in the epic poetry of ancient Greece and Rome. The course uses a comparative approach that draws on other cultures both more ancient and more modern. Readings include the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, and the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh. The class will be small and discussion oriented. Students will enhance their critical thinking and analysis skills through close reading of passages and by making thematic connections between ancient works of literature. Students will learn about the historical and cultural forces that shaped the epics that have survived from antiquity and gain an understanding of the different explanations for shared themes and poetics in works that span vast time periods and geographical distances.

Welcome to Classics 3307/4370/WCL 6370!