CLAS-C205-01 Classical Mythology

Spring 2011

Dr. Damian Fleming


Class meeting: MTR 12:30 pm - 2:50 pm, LA 136

Office Hours:  Before and after class, and by appointment

Office: LA 149 (in English Department)

Office phone: (260) 481-0192



Course  Website:

Course Wiki:


Course Description:

An introduction to Greek and Roman myths, legends, and tales, especially those that have an important place in the Western cultural tradition.


Approved by Arts and Sciences for the Cultural Studies (Western Tradition) requirement. If you are required by placement examination to take ENG P131, ENG R150, or W130, it is recommended that you complete that requirement before enrolling in this course.


This course fulfills the Area IV General Education requirement (Humanistic Thought)



Required Texts (Available at IPFW Bookstore):

·         The Essential Homer: Selections from the Iliad and the Odyssey, trans. Stanley Lombardo (Hackett, 2000) ISBN: 0872205401

·         Ovid, Metamorphoses, trans. Stanley Lombardo (Hackett, 2010), ISBN: 1603843078

·         Anthology Of Classical Myth: Primary Sources in Translation (Hackett, 2004) ISBN: 0872207218



Always bring the appropriate text to class; it is necessary for informed discussion; failure to bring your text to class is equivalent to an absence (and you better check out the attendance policy).



Course Requirements:

1.   Daily attendance and vigorous participation in class fueled by close reading of all assignments

2.   Occasional Quizzes

3.   Discussion participation on wiki

4.   2 Research Projects, to be submitted online

5.   Midterm and Final examination


Attendance policy:

This course is based in active participation; as a result, attendance in class is essential.  


·         1 absence: participation grade = 0%

·         2 absences = course failure



·         There are NO excused absences.

·         Excessive lateness will count as an absence.

·         Leaving class early will count as an absence.

·         Sleeping in class will count as an absence.


Regardless of cause, you are responsible for all work missed during absences, including changes to the class schedule announced in class.


If you do not feel that this is a fair attendance policy or if you do not believe you will be able to fulfill it, the instructor asks you to please drop this class as soon as possible.  This class is full, and there are many other students waiting to get in.



Writing Assignments:

Engrave the following on your brain:

·         I do not accept any late work

·         Grade for late work: 0%, returned without comment


Give yourself plenty of time and leeway to get your work done and to deal with bumps in the road should they occur.  Pretend, at least for this class, that you are operating in the real world.


Failure to submit any written assignment will result in a failing grade for the course


Exams and Quizzes:

We will have a midterm and a final based on the text readings and material covered in class. 


We will also have occasional quizzes testing comprehension of the previous night’s reading. 




        Participation:                                              10%

                   Office visit 1%

          Quizzes/Wiki Discussions:                         10%

          Research Projects:                                       40%

          Midterm and Final:                                     40%


          Grade Scale:

A          94–100            Highest passing grade                                    4.0

A-         90–93                                                                          3.7

B+        87–89                                                                          3.3

B          84–86              Above-average passing grade             3.0

B-        80–83                                                                          2.7

C+        77–79                                                                          2.3

C          74–76              Average passing grade                        2.0

C-        70–73                                                                          1.7

D+        65–69                                                                          1.3

D          60–64              Lowest passing grade              1.0

F          below 60          Failure or unauthorized discontinuance of class

attendance; no credit.


Students with disabilities:

In accordance with University policy, if you have a documented disability, you may be eligible to request accommodations from the office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). Students with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations and should have equal access to learning.  If you have any questions or you believe you need accommodations, contact the SSD office, Walb Union 113, Phone/TTD: 260 - 481 - 6657


Keep in mind that accommodations are not retroactive so it is best to register as soon as possible so that timely arrangements can be made.


For all Students:

No retroactive accommodations can be made.  If you feel that you have an issue which may affect your ability to succeed in this class, you must come see me before you’ve defaulted on the class.  Hopefully, any issue can be resolved, but no issue can be resolved after the fact. 



Academic honesty:



Plagiarism will earn you an F for the course, and possible expulsion from the University.  If you borrow an idea or quote from another author, you must cite where you found the material. If you have any questions about citing sources, please **ASK** before your turn in an assignment.  I am happy to help, or visit the Writing Center.


Concerning Text-Messaging in Class

       Text-messaging during the class period will result in a failing grade for the course


If you find you have any questions about your final grade for the course, this link may prove helpful




See class wiki





Exam Type Questions: EXPLICATION



The exams and quizzes for this course will be focused on close reading of the passages of primary texts found in our book.  Primary texts are the direct quotations from ancient works of literature (rather than the summary provided through out by our text book author).  Focusing on these passages will help us appreciate the role that individual authors and their cultural context play in the creation of myth.

The assignment for each response will look like this:


Explicate ONE of the following passages.  Your essay MUST contain the following information:

Identify the work it's from, the author, the rough time period.  Explain what is it saying, how does it fit in with the immediate context (identify the speaker, other important characters if relevant), how does it contribute meaning to the work as a whole? (some essential summary can be okay here).  Finally – what importance does it have for your general study of myth? That is, why, of all the passages from the work that could have been reproduced in your book, was this one chosen?

All papers MUST answer all of these questions.  Outstanding papers will answer all of these questions in smooth, concise, polished prose, with additional quotations where necessary.

Include the passage you are explication at the top of your paper (single spaced, in smaller font if extra space is needed).