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FOR 106
Myth and Meaning



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  Examination #1: Thursday February 19, 2004

In order to prepare for the examination, keep these course objectives in mind:


To learn the myths of the Greeks and Romans: readings from primary literature.

To understand the myths of the Greeks and Romans: origins, nature, categories (myth, legend, folktale) and functions (e.g., aetiological, charter, etc).

To understand the representation of individual, cultural, social, political, and personal (including sexual) identity in myth.

To learn about Greek myth in the context of Greek culture: topography, archaeological sites, history, religious festivals (e.g., the Olympics), the importance of competition, reason, moderation, etc.

To become acquainted with some major theories of myth interpretation (e.g., myth in ritualism, structuralism, functionalism, feminist, psychoanalytic, etc.).

To recognize mythological themes in high and low modern culture, including art, architecture, literature, music, film, cartoons, humor, etc.

Also keep in mind that this examination is worth 15% of your final grade. By all means, do your best. But don't panic if you feel overwhelmed. Master what you can. Also remember that in any test, the answer to almost any question is probably evident somewhere else in the test, especially a long one. For example, if I ask you to name any one Muse, you might be able to find the name of one by scanning the "wrong" answers to other questions...get it?

Basic preparation
for each god, know:
attributes (objects associated with the god)
birth tale(s)
child(ren) and spouse(s)
cult sites (Olympia for Zeus, Athens for Athena)
jurisdiction (Athena as goddess of war, weaving, and wisdom)
tales associated with them (names of mortals, heroes, or other gods and the outcome)

You should have read through the reading assignments at least once, listened in class, and taken reasonable notes.

You should have a general understanding of these tales beyond their details. In other words, we have discussed the different purposes that myths can fulfill. I will be expecting you to write on that, but you will have some choice in that, as I mentioned in class. I will not ask you to write on a very narrow topic that if you don't remember will sink your boat. My job is not to torture you (believe it or not), but to get you to think and to get you to articulate those thoughts. So, you're up.

I will be drawing some questions from the on-line quizzes, and from the quizzes you have already taken. But as you know, the on-line quizzes are generally harder than mine. The same will be true for the test, so don't panic.

You should also have the ability to recognize tales as depicted in art - you need not go through every image we have looked at. But when you see a picture of a woman turning into a tree, I expect you to know who that is.

Above Average preparation
all of the above plus:
a good overview of the supplementary pages I have suggested (like the sites of Delphi of Athens). You will NOT be tested on information NOT mentioned in the book, but looking at the illustrated essays I have written can help you put things together. Also, I will be drawing extra credit questions from such pages.

Also, knowledge of the things I have discussed in lecture that are not in the book.


I am not going to update the study guides, since you have the above information to work with. Each chapter of the book is divided in such a way as to provide the information I list above as necessary to know. By all means, use the study guides, but understand that they are not perfectly manicured (I too wish they were!).


copyright 2001 Janice Siegel, All Rights Reserved
send comments to: Janice Siegel (jfsiege@ilstu.edu)

date this page was edited last: 08/02/2005
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