Myth and Meaning
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
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?
for each god, know:
attributes (objects associated with the god)
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
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
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
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