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GK4125   The Gods of Greek Literature

Academic year(s): 2019-2020

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF Level 10

Semester: 1

Availability restrictions: Available to General Degree students with the permission of the Honours Adviser

Planned timetable: TBC

Greek literature frequently depicts the gods speaking and acting, but the focus of attention is usually on the fate of the human characters. This module focuses on the portrayal of the gods themselves. We will ask what factors of genre, historical context, and so on, influence how the gods are depicted in literature, and what the relationship is between the gods of literature and the gods of day-to-day religious life. We begin with Homer's and Hesiod's genealogies of the gods and descriptions of their appearance. Turning to the Homeric Hymns, we will explore the relationship between myths about the gods and cult worship. Athenian drama, which was performed at festivals of Dionysus, raises important questions about the relationship between the gods of drama and those of civic religion. Finally, Callimachus' hymns to the gods and Lucian's dialogues involving divine speakers allow us to explore continuities and differences in the portrayal of gods in Hellenistic and Imperial literature.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): 40 credits from GK2001, GK2002, GK2003, GK2004, including one pass at 11 or better, or a pass in GK3022, or evidence of equivalent linguistic achievement.

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 2 hours of lectures and seminars

Scheduled learning hours: 20

Guided independent study hours: 280

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 2-hour Written Examination = 40%, Unseen test = 15%, Coursework = 45%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 55%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 45%

Re-assessment: 3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator: Dr M J Carroll
Module teaching staff: Dr M Carroll
Module coordinator email