CL 28 Classical Mythology

Paper Assignment, Final Draft Due Thursday, April 30th
(Annotated Bibliography due Mar 1
6-20; First draft due Apr 6-10)


Choose one of the suggested general topics below, or develop one of your own, for a term research paper dealing with Myth or Mythology. The specific topics/subjects MUST BE SUBMITTED IN WRITING AND APPROVED (SIGNED) by your Section Leader (GSI) in advance. No papers on unapproved topics will be accepted.

 Keep in mind the following guidelines:

1. Your paper should be 6-8 pages of text, typed, double-spaced (regular font and type). Include a title page that includes your name, SID and section information. The second page of the paper will be the original signed topic proposal from your GSI.

2. Reading in ancient literature and modern scholarship beyond what is assigned for class is required. You will need to use several sources for your research (minimum of three beyond textbook references). These must be clearly cited in the text using the Harvard system (Shelton 2000: 27-30) and in full bibliographic entries at the end of the paper. (Again, please let me or your GSI know if you need help locating sources). For bibliography: Shelton, K. 2000. "Chamber Tombs from Mycenae," Arch Ephemeris. 22-50.

Information from the WEB is notoriously bad, but can be a good source for references to follow up - so only ONE source may be used (and cited) in the paper - preferably from a better site like Perseus (
Websites should be cited by an abbreviation in the text (Perseus "Olympia") and fully including web address and date of accession in the bibliography.

3. Proofread carefully. With today's computer spell and grammar checks, there is no excuse for sloppy errors.

4. Illustrations are welcomed, but do not count towards the page total.

5. Be very conscious of structure: provide a clear introduction and conclusion, and arrange your arguments logically and succinctly. You will want to show good knowledge of the primary sources and demonstrate independent critical thinking.

6. A preliminary annotated bibliography is due in section the week of March 16-20.

7. A first draft of your paper is to be turned in to your GSI in section during the week of April 6-10.

8. Be sure to hand in your paper on time (by class on Thursday, April 30th). Papers will lose major points for each day they are late.

Possible General Topics:

1. Research a figure from Greek, Roman, Egyptian or Near Eastern mythology. Survey the ancient evidence for the figure, analyze the role it plays in the myth and/or religion of the ancient society and how it shows up in later or modern literature or imagery.

2. Research the mythological tales connected with one of the major Sanctuaries of the ancient Greek and/or Roman world. Examine the expression of the stories in physical (locations and forms of buildings, decoration and imagery used on the site and elsewhere in association) and conceptual (religious ritual, tradition, superstition) terms in the sanctuary and in terms of the patron deity.

3. Research the occurrences and primary sources in ancient literature and art for a mythological story or episode that interests you. How do the versions differ, especially at different times and in different media? What elements are emphasized in the different media - are they the same or different? Are there any difficulties of recounting elements verbally that are more easily understood visually? What characteristics are impossible to show or are confusing to a viewer? Does the portrayal change over time? You may also want to look at post-classical use of these stories and compare to the ancient sources.

4. A topic that interests you discovered through your reading for this class or elsewhere.

Please come to see me or your section leader at any time if we can provide advice or assistance.


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