CLAS105-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018

Roman Mythologies

15 points
16 Jul 2018 - 18 Nov 2018


An introduction to Roman myths and the mythology of "Empire" and the way these are disseminated (or subverted) in literature and art. Topics include legendary figures (eg Aeneas and Romulus) as well as historical figures of legendary status (eg Spartacus, Cleopatra and Nero).

This course focuses on the generation of myths among the ancient Romans and how they were constructed and represented in their literature, architecture, rituals and art.

Themes include: the role of myth in the formation of Roman identity and culture; the use of mythical heroes and heroic women as examples of social values and models; the connection between mythical enemies and historical figures. In order to solidify our analyses of ancient materials, we will also consider Maori concepts and myths for comparative purposes and the contribution of the Hollywood movie industry to the continuation and recreation of Roman myths in modern times.

Learning Outcomes

Students who are successful in this course will:

  • Be able to read, understand, analyse and interpret ancient sources (historical texts, literature and material culture) about Roman myths.
  • Be able to assess the way in which the topics, concerns and images in Roman myths are manipulated in modern times and media.
  • Become familiar with basic reference works relevant to the discipline of Classics.

    Transferrable (workplace/professional) skills developed in this course:
  • Improved communication of knowledge and opinions verbally and in writing.
  • Confidence in expressing opinions and discussing ideas in groups.
  • Improved ability to write concisely in grammatically correct and properly punctuated English
  • Time management skills and self-discipline.

    UC Graduate Profile
  • Basic understanding of the role of myth, especially stories about Roman ancestors, in shaping and promoting Roman values
  • Basic understanding of how Māori concepts (mana, mana whenua, rangatira, utu, turangawaewae) and ideas about social structure (eg importance of whanau and whakapapa) and leadership help us understand Roman myth
  • Basic understanding of how colonization (Greek, Roman and European) extends Roman myth and its influence, and how modern interpretations (e.g. movies, creative writing) both promote and undermine Roman myth
    • 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.


CLAS102, CLAS103

Timetable 2018

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 12:00 - 13:00 E5 Lecture Theatre 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 12:00 - 13:00 A4 Lecture Theatre 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Lecture C
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 12:00 - 13:00 A3 Lecture Theatre 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 13:00 - 14:00 Jack Erskine 445 23 Jul - 29 Jul
6 Aug - 12 Aug
20 Aug - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 16 Sep
24 Sep - 30 Sep
8 Oct - 14 Oct
02 Wednesday 14:00 - 15:00 Jack Erskine 244 23 Jul - 29 Jul
6 Aug - 12 Aug
20 Aug - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 16 Sep
24 Sep - 30 Sep
8 Oct - 14 Oct
03 Thursday 14:00 - 15:00 Jack Erskine 441 23 Jul - 29 Jul
6 Aug - 12 Aug
20 Aug - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 16 Sep
24 Sep - 30 Sep
8 Oct - 14 Oct

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Alison B Griffith


Enrica Sciarrino


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Assignments 40% Two short assignments on primary sources worth 20% each
Quiz 25% Five tutorial quizzes worth 5% each, via Learn
Final Exam 35%


Required Texts

Livy's; The Early History of Rome; Penguin, 2002.

trans. F. Ahl; Virgil's Aeniad; Oxford University Press, 2008 (If you have another version that is fine).

Readings for each lecture are available on Learn (

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $746.00

International fee $3,038.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts.

All CLAS105 Occurrences

  • CLAS105-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018