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Greek and Roman Mythology and Religion

What is myth? How do myths deal with fundamental human concerns about who we are and the world we live in? What is the relationship between myth and religion? Why did the Greeks and Romans worship many gods, believe in oracles, or perform animal sacrifice? This lecture-only module is an introduction to the major myths and religions of the classical world using the full range of primary source material: literary, artistic and archaeological. It explores the functions of myth within society and the various theories of myth. The first half of the course will focus on themes such as the creation of myths in the wider context of Near Eastern mythology, the character of the Olympian gods, heroes and their monstrous opponents, divine-human relations, and the major mythic cycles of the Trojan war, and the Atreus and Theban sagas. The second half of the course will explore the nature of Greek and Roman religion in its social context. It considers key elements of ritual action: sacrifice, rites of passage, festivals, as well as the diverse ancient beliefs on death and the afterlife and the role of mystery religions. This lecture-only course will be illustrated.

OPTIONAL SEMINARS: The optional seminars, which are a new addition to the course, will comprise two meetings per term. Taking place on Saturday mornings, the seminars will last 2.5 hours and will offer an opportunity for small group discussion of key themes in ancient mythology and religion. Materials for discussion will be provided ahead of the meetings. Light refreshments are included in the fee for this option.


Dr Christine Morris and Dr Suzanne O’Neill

How to apply

There are a limited number of places available on this course and the closing date for online and postal applications is Friday 16th September for the September term and Friday 13th January for the January term. You may register and pay by credit/laser card online at after 16th August or you can download an application form and send it with a cheque/money order made payable to Trinity College Dublin number 1 account to: Dr Patricia Stapleton, Evening and Short Courses administrator, School of Histories and Humanities, Room 3141, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Dublin 2. Applications may be made in person in Room 3141, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin between 10th and 29th August from 2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. or by appointment.


Lecture only: €150 for the full year or €85 per term. *Concession €75 for the course or €45 per term ADDITIONAL SEMINAR OPTION: (€90 (€45 concession) for two terms, or €60 (€30 concession) per term) TOTAL FEE FOR BOTH LECTURE AND OPTIONAL SEMINAR: €240 for the full year or €130 per term. * Concession €135 for the full year or €75 per term

*The concession rate is available to second and third level students and people whose primary source of income is social welfare, health board or a government-sponsored employment scheme.

Time and place

Please check our website after 16th August for update or text INFO followed by your name and address to 087 257 2016


This lecture-only module comprises one lecture per week over two twelve-week terms commencing Monday 26 September 2016, and recommencing Monday 16 January 2017. There is a one week break in each term, (7 - 11 November 2016 and 27 Feb - 3 March 2017) when no lectures will take place.

OPTIONAL SEMINARS: The optional seminars will comprise two 2.5 hour seminars per term, which will take place on Saturday mornings. Light refreshments are included in the fee for this option.