ANCIENT 110/110G : Classical Mythology


2022 Semester One (1223) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

A study of ancient mythology – its gods, heroes and monsters – through the works of major writers and artists from Greece and either Rome or Egypt.

Course Overview

In this course, you will learn about the myths of ancient Greece and Egypt: about gods, heroes, heroines, and monsters - through the works of major writers and artists. We will put Egyptian and Greek myths in their social and historical context, identifying the important cultural and religious roles that myths served in their histories. We will touch on the ‘afterlife’ of Egyptian and Greek myths. We will consider Egyptian and Greek mythology from a local perspective, considering similarities and differences with the traditional stories and figures of Aotearoa New Zealand, such as Ranginui and Papatuanuku, Hineahuone, and Maui. And finally, we will focus on how myths were transmitted.

We will cover major myths such as the creation of the world, the deeds of Heracles, the story of Helen of Troy and the Trojan war, and the Contendings of Horus and Seth. We will learn about important deities such as Zeus and Demeter, Re and Isis, and more. In addition we will consider the 'afterlife' of some Greek and Egyptian myths in art, literature and culture, including the Labours of Heracles and the Trojan Horse. Ancient Egyptian and Greek mythology will also be situated in a local perspective, considering similarities and differences with the traditional stories and figures of Aotearoa New Zealand such as Ranginui, Papatūānuku, Tāne Mahuta, and Māui.
Topics covered
  • Definitions of mythology
  • The roles that mythology played in ancient Greece and Egypt
  • Myth cycles, including: the creation of the world, the roles, presence and functions of gods and goddesses, the deeds of heroes and heroines, and the relationships between the divine world and mortals
  • The transmission of myths by mouth, page, artefact, and picture
  • The connection between Greek and Egyptian mythologies and mythology in Aotearoa New Zealand

Course Requirements

Restriction: CLASSICS 110, 110G

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Arts

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Explain and communicate social, cultural, and religious roles that mythology played in ancient Greece and Egypt. (Capability 1.1)
  2. Compare and contrast the transmission of myths in oral, written and pictorial form, including an appreciation of why specific versions of stories were constructed the way they were (considering e.g. genre, performance context, visual setting, and audience). (Capability 2.2)
  3. Examine and describe the key differences and similarities between specific Greek myths and specific Maori myths in collaboration with peers. (Capability 4.3, 5.2 and 6.1)
  4. Effectively communicate in class discussions and online exercises, including contributing own knowledge of myths, story-telling and the transmission and production of knowledge. (Capability 4.2 and 4.3)
  5. Research, analyse and communicate specific myths from Greece and Egypt, including evaluating their political, social, cultural, and religious meanings. (Capability 1.1 and 2.1)
  6. Critically analyse primary sources for the myths in relation to secondary scholarship. (Capability 2.1 and 4.1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Coursework 100% Group & Individual Coursework

Next offered

Semester 1, 2022

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend on average 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 2 hours of large classes, a 1 hour tutorial, and a total of 7 hours of reading and thinking about the content, and working on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience or Online

This course is offered in two delivery modes:

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including tutorials to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials will not be available as recordings.
Attendance on campus is not required for any tests or quizzes.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.


The course will not include live online events, i.e. tutorials.

Regular participation in online activities such as weekly discussion board is expected to complete components of the course.

Attendance on campus is not required for any tests or quizzes.

Where possible, study material will be available at course commencement throughout the course.
This course runs to the University semester and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

This course is available for delivery to students studying remotely outside NZ in 2022.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Coursebook of set readings, available through UBIQ on campus and online through Canvas.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Well-being always comes first
We all go through tough times during the semester, or see our friends struggling. There is lots of help out there - for more information, look at this Canvas page, which has links to various support services in the University and the wider community.

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 08/02/2022 08:16 a.m.