CL 24 - 'Mycenae Rich in Gold' : myth, murder, and mayhem

Professor: Kim Shelton
Office: 7209 Dwinelle Hall
Place: 210 Dwinelle Hall
Office Hours: TTh 11:15-12 and by appointment Day/Time: W 3-4

Syllabus and Readings                   

Course Description:

The epic poet Homer used the epithet ‘Rich in Gold’ in The Iliad and The Odyssey to describe Mycenae, the wealthiest, most powerful, and most infamous of all the palatial citadels in Bronze Age Greece. Mycenae was the home or haunt for many of the greatest heroes of mythology: Perseus, Herakles, and Agamemnon, not to mention some of the most illustrious characters: murderous and incestuous Atreus, husband-slaying Clytemnestra, and matricidal Orestes. It is the setting for tragedy, epic, and intrigue.

Despite the fantastic tales associated with it, Mycenae is a real place with a real history. The archaeological excavation of the site has spanned more than a century and produced amazing treasures and unbelievable modern legends, including characters, like Heinrich Schliemann, almost as mythical as the ancient heroes he investigated. Mycenae was indeed ‘Rich in Gold’ as it was also rich in mythology, history, and modern adventure.

Mycenae will be the setting for our seminar, with the mythological heroes and villains as its main characters, and the excavated artifacts as its props.

Grading and attendance policy:
The coursework will consist primarily of class discussion based on readings.  Information necessary for the completion of the writing assignments will be presented in class and especially through class discussion, so attendance and participation are vital.
Grades of P/NP will be based on attendance and participation in class once a week together with several short written assignments on questions and/or topics of discussion.

Required Text:
 French, Mycenae, Agamemnon's Capital (2002) = Myc
Carson, An Oresteia: Agamemnon by Aiskhylos; Elektra by Sophokles; Orestes by Euripides (2010) = Ore
Articles posted on B-Courses website = BC

Syllabus and Readings 9/1/15