ATS3608 - Myth and meaning in ancient worlds - 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 Religious Studies


Dr Tamara Prosic

Not offered in 2017


Mythic narrative provides a crucial vision of reality and discusses ideas about life, death, sexuality, culture, transcendence, etc. Students will learn about myth and symbol, types and functions of myths, and different approaches to myth interpretation through reading mythic narratives from ancient sources and classical texts from ancient Mediterranean cultures. The unit also looks at re-interpretation of ancient myths within the Hebrew Bible and early Christian writings and their relevance in the modern age. The unit will be of relevance to students majoring in any branch of historical, literary and religion studies.


  1. Students will become familiar with key mythological traditions, deities, their function and sexuality from in the mythologies of ancient Greece and Near East and learn to situate them in the social and religious context in which they evolved
  2. Students will acquire critical skills in the interpretation of a range of classic literary texts dealing with mythic traditions
  3. Students will acquire and demonstrate an understanding of the nature and significance of myth and the variety of ways in which myths can function
  4. Students will be acquainted with the major types of myths
  5. Students will acquire the skill to analyse the way mythological themes from a variety of ancient cultures are reinterpreted in a contemporary context
  6. Students will consider critically various definitions of myth and mythology and the validity and the scope of the major methodological approaches used in interpretation of myths
  7. Students will form the ability to understand and interpret the symbolism of myths.
  8. Research and write an original essay on a topic chosen by the student.


Within semester assessment: 65% + Exam: 35%

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


ATS2608, RLT2190, RLT3190