CLAS122-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023

Myth, Power and Identity in the Graeco-Roman World

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2023
End Date: Sunday, 12 November 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 30 July 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 1 October 2023


In this course students will consider how the Greeks and the Romans thought of themselves and others in their mythology and social power structures. Students will gain an understanding of ancient cosmic world-views, gender issues, colonisation and identity in Archaic and Classical Greece and Augustan Rome, and the relevance of such ideas now. Students will read, analyse and interpret ancient literary texts (selections from epic, tragedy, etc.) and material culture (art and architecture) that depict Greek and Roman myths as well as expressing ancient political and social views.

'Myths are central to how societies make sense of the world and construct identities for themselves and others; and the myths of the Greeks and Romans are among the greatest and most influential of all time, resonating now more than 2,000 years since they were first told. In this course students will consider how the Greeks and the Romans thought of themselves and others in their mythology and social power structures, and will also consider the global relevance of such ideas now, including in Aotearoa/New Zealand and Pacific contexts. Students will read, analyse and interpret ancient literary texts (Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Greek tragedies, Vergil’s Aeneid, etc.) and material culture (art and architecture) depicting many of the most potent myths of the Greek and the Romans, that still speak to us powerfully today.

Learning Outcomes

Become familiar with a number of ancient cultural and political phenomena from a variety of perspectives both ancient and modern

Be able to read, understand, analyse and interpret ancient sources (historical texts, literature and material culture) about Greek and Roman myth, culture and politics

Be introduced to ways in which the topics, concerns and images in Greek and Roman culture are depicted and manipulated in modern times and media

Be able to reflect on how one’s own society and community tell stories and how they influence the perception of other peoples, places, and events

Become familiar with basic reference works relevant to the discipline of Classics

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

Biculturally competent and confident

Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

Globally aware

Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Course Coordinator

Alison Griffith


Enrica Sciarrino


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Quizzes 20% 4 short answer quizzes designed to reinforce the importance of key myths and contextual factors (5% each).
Tutorial participation 10% In-class discussion (or discussion via Zoom for Distance and STAR Students) based on analysis of primary sources.
Assignments 40% 2 Written assignments (1000-1500 words each) The key emphasis is on ancient source material and/or modern reinterpretations and/or scholarship.
Examination 30% Exam (in person).This will be based on primary materials and questions about the impact of the source for our understanding of myth and power in the Graeco-Roman world.

Please check the course LEARN page for further details and updates.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $821.00

International fee $3,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All CLAS122 Occurrences

  • CLAS122-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023
  • CLAS122-23S2 (D) Semester Two 2023 (Distance)