Classical Mythology in the Renaissance
University of Reading
Area of Study
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Module version for: 2016/7
Summary module description:
This module provides an introduction to the uses made of classical mythology in Renaissance art, literature and material culture, with particular emphasis on Renaissance Italy. In addition to examining the appropriation of mythological subjects in civic and domestic settings, the module will consider different representations of particular individuals from classical mythology, such as the hero Hercules and the goddess Venus.
This module aims to:
? introduce students to a range of uses of classical mythology in Renaissance art, literature and material culture.
? relate these uses of classical mythology to their contemporary contexts in (primarily Italian) Renaissance culture.
? explore differing attitudes towards pagan mythology suggested by texts and artefacts of the Renaissance, with reference (where appropriate) to comparative material from other historical periods.
Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:
? identify uses of mythological material from classical antiquity in a range of Renaissance art and literature, and point to possible literary and/or artistic sources for this material.
? analyse in a detailed and informed manner specific instances of the reception of classical mythology in art, literature and material culture from c.1300 to c.1600.
? locate uses of classical mythology in Renaissance culture within their contemporary artistic, literary, social, political, religious, philosophical and intellectual contexts, and suggest ways in which the character of these engagements with antiquity may have been affected by these contexts.
? give a critical account of the concept of a ?Renaissance? in European culture in historiography and other texts from the fourteenth century to the present day, and evaluate the continuing usefulness (or otherwise) of this conceptual framework.
? Independent research and analysis
? Teamwork and presentation skills
This module examines the ways in which material from classical mythology was appropriated in public and domestic contexts during the period of the Renaissance. Following an introductory session on the concept of the Renaissance in historical thought, the module considers different approaches to the interpretation of ancient myth current during the Renaissance, such as allegory and euhemerism, and traces the ways in which these ideas affected the representation of classical gods, goddesses, heroes and monsters in Renaissance art and literature.
Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures, seminars and gallery visit.
External visits- 1
Guided independent study- 89
Total hours by term- 100
Total hours for module- 100
Summative Assessment Methods:
Written assignment including essay- 100%
Other information on summative assessment:
The module will be assessed by one essay of about 2500 words, to be submitted by 12 noon on Friday week 11 of Autumn term.
Formative assessment methods:
Length of examination:
Requirements for a pass:
Resubmission of coursework in August.
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
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Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.
ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.
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