Classical Mythology

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to place the discipline within the history of studies, anchoring it to the disciplines "sisters" of "History of religions of the classical world" and "Anthropology of the classical world". The discipline is placed within the more traditional hermeneutical approaches, such as philology, historical research, archaeological research, with the aim of examining the mythical pattern from a poly-perspective perspective, both in a synchronic sense: local myths, pan-Hellenic myths, contributions and influences from geographically and culturally contiguous areas, as well as in a diachronic sense, enhancing, in this case, changes and persistence of the mythical narrative over time.
It will be essential to define the concept of variant and the polymorphic nature of the sources and their usefulness in building an overall picture will also be enhanced.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge: the course will introduce students to the awareness of the different hermeneutic possibilities available to those who face the study of the classical myth and will also provide a series of investigative tools (including digital) useful to work on an ancient mythical tale.
Skills: students will acquire skills in reasoning and interpreting sources of different times, nature and complexity, also using visual language. They will also be able to understand and use the concepts of variation and variant and to appreciate the dynamic relationship between the local variant and the mythical pan-Hellenic (national) narrative.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Some lessons (if possible) will continue face-to-face (but made available online for streaming) and some lessons will be moved online. In the latter case, contents will be delivered via Microsoft Teams platform, where mostly recorded (asynchronous) lectures will be made available.

Online classes links, changes in the course schedule, in the course contents or in the reading list will be promptly published in the course site on Ariel platform.

If social distancing continue to be required in spring term, oral exams will be held online (guidelines will be published in the course site on Ariel platform).
Course syllabus
Part A The part A will develop some great chapters of hermeneutical approach to the study of classical myth and will introduce the theme of cathasterism (astral metamorphosis) and, more generally, the relationship between men and the stellar universe, as an interpretative figure of the mythical tales of Greco-Roman Antiquity.

Part B The part B takes part in the framework of an experimental and integrated teaching project, in coordination with the courses of Latin Literature LM Archaeology (Prof. Chiara Torre) and Ancient Numismatics LM (Prof. Alessandro Cavagna): through distinct approaches and heterogeneous readings - from the world of the religious and ritual to the world of figurative representation and numismatics and the Latin literary imagination - the theme of apotheosis and cathasterism will be analysed in relation to mythological figures, historical figures and the configuration of the Zodiac. The integrated multidisciplinary approach of unit B aims to highlight and analyse the complexity of ancient reflection on the theme of constellations. The timetable of the didactic of the unit B (three lessons per week, in mixed mode in presence and synchronous distance on Teams platform) will be communicated in due time on the Ariel website of the course.

Part C The part will explore the important question of the survival of pagan gods beyond Antiquity and the death, at least apparently, of Paganism. It will investigate the astral dimension as a viaticum, in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, of a new form of life of ancient myths and "faith" in their power.
Prerequisites for admission
This course has not access requirements and is not restricted to students in classics. However, a good knowledge of Greek and Latin is certainly useful to take the exam.
Teaching methods
The teaching method is lecture based. This course has no formal entry requirements. However, attendance is highly recommended and a basic knowledge of Greek and Latin is of help.
Teaching Resources
Attending students

Part A
M. Bettini, Il mito. Discorso autorevole o racconto screditato?, Il Mulino
A. Warburg, Arte e astrologia nel Palazzo Schifanoia di Ferrara, Abscondita

Part B
At the beginning of the course a dossier will be made available to the student for the preparation of the module.

Part C
J. Seznec, La sopravvivenza degli antichi dei, Bollati Boringhieri

Non attending students
Part A
M. Bettini, Il mito. Discorso autorevole o racconto screditato?, Il Mulino
Igino, Mitologia astrale, G. Chiarini e G. Guidorizzi (a cura di), Adelphi, Milano (capitolo introduttivo e capitolo II)

Part B
G. Chiarini, I cieli del mito. Letteratura e cosmo da Omero a Ovidio, Diabasis

Part C
F. Saxl, La fede negli astri, Dall'Antichità al Rinascimento, Bollati Boringhieri (capitoli I-VII)
J. Seznec, La sopravvivenza degli antichi dei, Bollati Boringhieri
Assessment methods and Criteria
The examination is exclusively oral, and the grading system is based on a 30 points scale (18 is the minimum passing grade). The oral assessment will test the knowledge both of the general topics presented in the first teaching unit and of the specific topics related to the other two units. The exam also aims at testing the ability both to discuss critically the topics studied and to use the appropriate discipline-specific vocabulary. Performance descriptors are: knowledge accuracy, ability to present critically a topic, speech organization, fluency and appropriate vocabulary.
National and international students or Erasmus incoming students are invited to contact the teacher in charge of the course in a timely manner.
The examination procedures for students with disabilities and/or with DSA must be agreed with the teacher, in agreement with the competent office.
Unita' didattica A
M-STO/06 - HISTORY OF RELIGIONS - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
M-STO/06 - HISTORY OF RELIGIONS - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
M-STO/06 - HISTORY OF RELIGIONS - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours