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Showing Revision 2 created 01/22/2019 by Chase Rigby.

  1. Ikke synkroniseret
    Welcome back, now, in this orientation
    module, we're going to do a few more

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    little videos and exercises, just to get
    started, so we can all feel like we're
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    figuring out what's going on in this
    class.
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    This is of course an online class. So
    we'll be doing just about all of our
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    work here on Canvas, and so there
    are a few things we want to just
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    get through first of all.
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    But we wanted to talk a little bit
    about what we're doing in this
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    class as well.
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    This is an introduction to
    classical mythology.
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    And so we probably want to make sure
    we're on the same page of what
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    classical mythology is.
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    It after all can mean a few different
    things to different people and so
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    there are things we can lay out
    definitionally.
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    Now, in particular, the idea of
    classical mythology tends to land
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    in the area of Greek and Roman
    antiquity.
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    So some students come into the class
    thinking that this is a broad eccletic
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    class that's going to touch on things
    like say Norse Mythology, or Hindu
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    mythology, or various other mythological
    traditions that are of course very
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    important and exciting, but this really
    squares on Greco-Roman Mythology
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    of the period of classical antiquity.
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    Now, just as a helpful visualization, when
    we talk about Greece and Rome,
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    you might think of say the modern state
    of Greece or Rome, the city, the capitol
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    city of Italy.
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    When we use those terms, we're talking
    about much larger cultures that cover
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    enormous expanses.
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    Here's a map of the Roman Empire
    at it's largest extent.
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    In 117 A.D. or C.E. that's 117 years
    after the date ascribed to the birth
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    of Jesus.
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    And this was the largest extent of
    conquests that the Romans achieved
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    during that period.
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    So you can see that the Romans
    pushed the boundaries of empire
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    all the way to northern Britain,
    where I'm from.
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    Actually, I'm from southern Britain,
    but that's my accent,
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    all the way down to the middle east
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    to Egypt in the south and over
    to what we would say is Morocco in the
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    west.
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    So a huge amount of area, and this
    is roughly speaking, the parts of the
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    world where these cultures have
    their greatest influence and exerted
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    various kinds of power.
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    And there are lots of different ways that
    historians and archaeologists and
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    literary critics have studied these
    cultures.
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    For example, Lizzie I know that you --
    which - first of all,
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    which side do you, we usually split
    into two sides, you know, Roman
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    and Greek or Latin and Greek.
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    Do you have a particular one or the other?
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    >> I do, I do, I have a particular
    fondness for Latin, so--
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    >> Oh hey, me too!
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    >> Yeah, I tend to study Latin poetry
    in particular.
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    I'm really interested in how language
    reflects ideas of gender and of sexuality.
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    So really how language brings the cultural
    context into the forefront
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    of what people are saying.
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    >> And we've talked about this before,
    that you have a particular interest in
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    sort of Roman comedy. In Claudius and
    stuff like that?
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    >> I do, I do. I'm growing fonder of
    Claudius as I work more on Claudius,
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    um, I - right now I'm doing research
    on Roman wordplay generally.
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    So Claudius is involved because
    he has lots of puns and insults
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    and uh, yeah.
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    >> Cool. I wonder if there will
    be any puns or wordplay in this class?
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    Moving on. I've studied, as an
    intellectual historian, I've looked -I've
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    also looked at language, I've looked at
    the ways that philosophies about
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    language can express various kinds of
    political or ideological commitments,
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    particularly as Rome was becoming
    a bigger and bigger empire.
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    But these are really sort of social
    linguistics, or say politics, or um,
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    you know cultural questions. Uh,
    lot's of different kinds of ideas.
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    We can also study the ancient
    Greek and Romans for their
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    mythological legacy.
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    And that's what we're really doing
    in this class.
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    So we're going to be looking at
    figures, many of which you've
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    probably already heard of.
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    You've probably already
    heard of the king of the gods
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    in Greek and Roman mythology,
    that's Zeus for the Greeks,
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    or Jupiter for the Romans.
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    And here is a picture of that figure
    wielding his mighty thunderbolt.
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    That's one of his iconic weapons
    that often see him depicted with.
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    You might also have heard of
    one of Jupiter or Zeus's
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    many hero sons.
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    The hero Hercules, that's his Latin name.
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    In fact, he's probably more commonly known
    by his Greek name, Heracles.
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    And here he is in the Disney movie
    that is actually more than 20 years old.
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    (laughter) Would you believe?
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    There are, of course,
    sagas that these heroes belong to,
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    that they participate in,
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    and Hercules wasn't at the Trojan War,
    he was slightly before that,
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    but it was descendants
    or people coming after Hercules
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    that fought at Troy
    and used the Trojan Horse
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    to deviously make their way into the city.
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    This is where fighters like Achilles and
    Odysseus and Agamemnon and Hector
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    all fought, and we're going to be reading
    more of that as the course progresses.
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    So you can see that these stories,
    even if you have only a cursory knowledge
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    of classical antiquity, these are names
    that have filtered their way through
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    to modernity and are constantly being
    reevaluated, reconsidered,
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    criticized, reused.
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    A couple years ago, the movie Wonder Woman
    was a big hit in summer blockbusters,
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    and Wonder Woman is an Amazon, who is--
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    they're a tribe of women
    in classical mythology.
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    I don't want to give out any spoilers,
    but Diana's main rival
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    in the Wonder Woman comics is
    the god Ares, who is the Greek god of war.
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    Now, once we start to look
    more and more at this,
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    the idea of classical mythology
    starts to become a lot more clear.
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    We could just call this class
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    "Introduction to Ancient Greek
    and Roman Mythology,"
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    but for a long time,
    it's been called "classical" mythology.
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    And that might have something to do
    with the fact that
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    the idea of "classical" connotes
    something that's exemplary,
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    that is given a high
    kind of cultural value,
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    and that is considered enduring in a way
    that these stories still have
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    a kind of resonance,
    even 2,000 years after their retelling.
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    Is that what you think of when you
    think of the idea of "classical?"
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    >> Yeah, I mean, I do, I think there's
    definitely the element of classics as
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    very foundational, but I think there's
    also a problematic element to classics
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    in that calling something "foundational"
    or "ideal" and idealizing the past
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    really contributes to kind of othering
    the other cultures
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    that we're overlooking to look at these.