Faculty of Arts


Classical Mythology


A study of ancient Greek and Roman mythology - its gods, heroes and monsters - through the works of major writers and artists from the Greco-Roman world. We will cover major myths including the creation of the world, the deeds of Heracles, the story of Helen of Troy and the Trojan war and the founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus. In addition we will consider the "afterlife" of some Greek and Roman myths in art, literature and culture, including the Labours of Heracles, the Trojan Horse and the birth of Venus from the sea. Greco-Roman 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 Rome
  • 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 and picture
  • The connection between Greek and Roman mythology and mythology in Aotearoa New Zealand


Coursework + exam

Availability 2020

Semester 1


Coordinator(s) Dr Maxine Lewis


Coursework 40%
Final examination 60%


CLASSICS 110: 15.0 points

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