ATS2084 - Ancient mythologies - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Centre for Ancient Cultures


Katherine McLardy

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)
  • First semester 2017 (Flexible)


The unit examines mythic patterns and their relation to ritual enactments in ancient times and across a variety of cultures ranging from Aboriginal Australia to the ancient Near East including Egypt, Greece and Rome. The myths we explore focus on creation stories, tales associated with birth, marriage, and death rites but we also examine the mediums/genres of ancient story-telling such as oral traditions, epic, and drama. In addition, students will be introduced to the theoretical tools associated with the study of ancient mythology and religion including structuralism, post-structuralism, functionalism and phenomenology. The content of the unit will be frequently updated to give the opportunity to all the members of the teaching team to draw on their areas of expertise.


  1. Become familiar with the myths of a wide range of ancient cultures ranging from Aboriginal Australia to the ancient Mediterranean.
  2. Study the literary genres in which myths were written and their conventions.
  3. Study the theoretical approaches to mythology starting with Ritual theory and their application to the study of antiquity.
  4. Examine the reception of ancient myths and their literary traditions within antiquity
  5. Examine the reception of myths within the academic disciplines that attempt to interpret them (Aboriginal archaeology, Egyptology, Classical Studies)

  6. Study the socio-political aspects of using myths
  7. Develop critical thinking and particular research skills to investigate the primary and secondary sources with regard to the above.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.