Module Catalogue 2022/23

CAC2063 : Approaches to Greek Mythology

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Athanassios Vergados
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module aims at introducing the students to the study of Greek mythology. The primary focus will be on myths preserved in literature, but we will also look at visual representations related to the stories we will be examining. In our discussions we will incorporate modern theoretical approaches to the study of myth, and we will also consider Greek myth in its Near Eastern and Indo-European context.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module may address topics such as the following:
(i) Cosmogony and Theogony;
(ii) the Olympian Gods;
(iii) Heroes and Monsters;
(iv) Myth interpretation in antiquity and modern times;
(v) Reception/Impact of Greek myth in Rome and beyond.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Students who complete this module should have acquired knowledge of:
1. A detailed knowledge of several important Greek myths.
2. The interpretation of Myth.
3. The importance of myth in Greek religion and society.
4. Possible parallels between Near Eastern and Greek myths.
5. The plasticity of myth, esp. as it is adapted by different authors, in different periods, or different media.
6. The impact of Greek myth in modern culture and society.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Students who complete this module should have enhanced:
1. their skills in analysing texts with regard to a) details of the text, b) overall issues
of interpretation and c) the relationship between a and b
2. their adaptability in applying these skills to issues other than those discussed in class
3. their skills in offering a clear presentation of their views and analyses in written form
4. their skills in offering a clear presentation and views in oral form
5. their capacity for independent study

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture231:0023:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion801:0080:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities461:0046:002hrs preparation/lecture
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities231:0023:00Engagement with additional readings (from module reading list)
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities181:0018:002hrs preparation/seminar
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
CAC3063Approaches to Greek Mythology
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures impart core knowledge and an outline of knowledge that students are expected to acquire and they stimulate development of listening and note-taking skills.

Specifically, a basic lecture format is the most efficient method of expounding this material, which is both quite considerable and (often) quite difficult and/or alien to modern perspectives and sensibilities. All lectures allow time for questions and (some) discussion.

Seminars provide students with an opportunity to participate in discussion and thus to improve their oral communication skills. Seminar topics will be keyed to the first assessment component (Research Project).

The drop-in session at the end of the semester will give students an additional opportunity to ask questions on the material discussed throughout the module as they prepare towards the final assessment.

All sessions will be held in-person, unless covid-related guidance prevents us from doing so. In that case, class meetings will be held as synchronous on-line sessions via zoom.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination1202A60Inspera digital exam
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M40Research Project: 2,000 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2MReflective writing on a piece of secondary literature; 250-300 words.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The exam tests:
(i) the acquisition of a clear general knowledge of the subject that can be deployed without recourse to handbooks or other printed or on-line resources;
(ii) the ability to think and analyse a problem quickly, to select from and to apply both the general knowledge and detailed knowledge of aspects of the subject to new questions;
(iii) students' problem-solving skills, adaptability, and the ability to work unaided and to write effectively and concisely.

In addition to the exam, there is one written assignment (research project) in this module. This assignment asks of students to identify and critically discuss early modern or contemporary allusions or references to Greek myth that they have encountered outside of the classroom; these can derive from different media (e.g., literary texts, films, music, visual arts, cartoons, advertisment etc.). Students are asked to find the ancient sources pertaining to the mythological reference they are examining, as well as relevant secondary literature to underpin their discussion of the ways in which the myth has been adapted and the effects generated by this adaptation.

The formative assessment is intended to hone students' skills in engaging with secondary literature and provide feedback ahead of the first component of the assessment (research project).

All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree unless they have compelling reasons not to do so. If this is the case, they are offered the alternative of writing one 3,000 word essay to be handed in by 12.00 p.m. of the Friday of the first week of the assessment period. This will replace all assessment work required of other students on the module.

In order to take up this option, students need to discuss it with the Study Abroad Co-ordinator and their module leader, having checked with their home university that the new assessment will be accepted by them. The Study Abroad Co-ordinator will have the final say on such issues.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will require the provision of an alternative assessment before the end of teaching week 12. The alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 1,500 word essays in addition to the other coursework assessment. The essays should be set so as to assure full coverage of the course content.

Study-abroad, exchange proper and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.