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Mythology and Literature

Code: 100422 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2500243 Classics OT 3 0
2500243 Classics OT 4 0
2502758 Humanities OT 3 0
2502758 Humanities OT 4 0
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


SebastiÓ Giralt Soler

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


NOTICE: This guide has been translated into Engliish by means of an automatic translator and may contain translation mistakes. If in doubt, the original Catalan version prevails.

Given the introductory nature of this subject, no knowledge of Greco-Roman mythology, art or literature is presupposed and, therefore, the student must have a good disposition to approach these aspects from his more basic contents. Only interest in classical antiquity and its survival, universal literature, art, and other cultural manifestations is demanded.


Students must be willing to follow classes taught in Catalan and use written material in that language (without excluding others), but they can use in their work or their participation Spanish (or another nearby language).

Objectives and Contextualisation

This subject aims to be an introduction to Greco-Roman mythology and its survival to the present day. We will approach the definition of the concepts of myth, mythology, and mythography; to the analysis of iconography for the identification of mythical referents; to the gods and some of the major mythical cycles; in the literary sources of Greek and Roman mythology; to the literary, religious, and everyday contexts in which myths circulated in antiquity; in transmission mythology from antiquity to the present world; to the various interpretations that have been proposed of the mythical fact and the mythical tales.

These contents will be completed with the confrontation with a selection of literary and iconographic sources that allow us to know the classical mythology and exemplify its survival. At the end of the course, the student will have approached different theories, ancient and modern, about the myth and its interpretation. He will have assimilated the gods and some of the main mythical cycles of the Greco-Latin tradition and will have become familiar with the use of the main tools, literary and iconographic, for the identification and study of ancient myths, their Greek and Latin sources, as well as its reception in the Western tradition.


  • Developing critical thinking and reasoning and communicating them effectively both in your own and other languages.
  • Interpreting a work of art in the context in which it was developed and relating it with other forms of cultural expression.
  • Students must demonstrate they know the evolution of the artistic imagery of the antiquity.
  • Summarising the current debate about the place of the classic Western tradition.
  • Developing critical thinking and reasoning and communicating them effectively both in your own and other languages.
  • Identifying the historical processes of contemporary culture.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analysing the recycling of classical motifs in new contexts.
  2. Applying the historical, institutional, cultural and literary knowledge to the commentary of texts.
  3. Assessing the reception in the West of the thought and history of the classical world.
  4. Connecting an artistic imagery with other cultural phenomena within its period.
  5. Criticising the film adaptations of the classical mythological legends.
  6. Enumerating concepts of classic culture that have survived to the present society.
  7. Identifying and explaining scenes, motifs, gods and other mythical characters in their artistic representations though antiquity.
  8. Identifying the Greco-Roman sources that have inspired artists and literary people through history.
  9. Identifying the results of the projection of the classical world to the Western culture on various levels and in several eras and territories.
  10. Interpreting the material and cultural context of transmission of ancient texts.
  11. Relating the contemporary myths with the classical antiquity.



Presentation: Greco-Latin mythology in our environment
What is a myth? Definition essay.
Sources for the study of mythology: literature and art.
The myth in Greece. Myths and logos.
Interpretations of mythology.
Cosmogonic and theogonic myths.
The Olympic gods.
Myths of Crete.
The house of Thebes.
The Trojan War.


Class attendance will serve the student to acquire tools for the analysis and study of Greco-Roman myths from their sources to their survival over the centuries, especially in literature and the visual arts. The learning activities, consisting of the analysis and commentary of literary texts and / or other cultural manifestations, in synthesis works, in an exam and in a final work, will allow to deepen and consolidate the acquired knowledge and competences.

The student will find the materials in the virtual campus (Moodle) of the subject: activities, text dossiers, presentations, links, audiovisual materials, current news…

The exam will consist of the analysis of literary texts and artistic images of antiquity and classical tradition that deal with myths or theoretical passages on mythology.

The final work will consist of one of these two options:

Study of a myth or mythical character, which must include three basic aspects:
Literary sources,
Ancient iconography,
Literary and artistic tradition.

In-depth study of a work of art or literature based on a myth to analyze its treatment and sources.

In the event that for justified reasons (conferences, student assemblies, congresses, etc.) some classes are missed, they may be recovered by extending the class period or proposing substitute activities.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Classes 43.5 1.74 1, 2, 6, 9, 7, 8, 10, 11, 4, 3
Exam 1.5 0.06 1, 2, 9, 7, 8, 4
Type: Supervised      
Essay 50 2 1, 2, 5, 9, 7, 8, 10, 11, 4, 3
Type: Autonomous      
Activities online 30 1.2 1, 2, 9, 7, 11
Personal study 25 1 1, 6, 9, 7, 8, 10, 4, 3


Evaluation criteria:

Failure to present the work will prevent passing the subject.
Recovery will consist of a written examination and, where appropriate, reworking of the work.
To participate in the recovery, students must have previously been assessed in a set of activities whose weight is equivalent to a minimum of 2/3 of the total grade.
With the recovery it will only be possible to recover the note of the examination and, in his case, of the work, if they have suspended or if they have not been able to realize by a justified cause with an official document. Recovering another activity not performed at the time will only be possible for a reason that can be justified with an official document.
If it is detected that the student has copied the exam or the work, he will be able to suspend the subject without option to re-evaluation.
A date for an assessment activity can only be changed if the student’s absence or non-delivery of the activity can be justified with an official document.
The review of exams and other activities will take place in the teacher's office on the date and time determined by the teacher and communicated to all students.
The rating of Non-Evaluable will only be given if these three conditions are met:
the student does not submit any assessment activity,
does not appear on the exam
does not appear in the reassessment.


School period: from February 10 to June 5.
Exam: first week of June.
Deadline for submission of the work script (mandatory in an arranged tutorial): Thursday 2 April.
Delivery of work: until Wednesday 10 June.
The other activities must be presented throughout the course.

Notice: Dates on this calendar are subject to change for justified reasons.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Essay 30 0 0 1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 7, 8, 10, 11, 4, 3
Exam 50 0 0 1, 9, 7, 8, 11, 4
Participation in class and other teaching activities 20 0 0 1, 2, 6, 9, 7, 8, 10, 4



  • Irène Aghion - François Lissarrague - Claire Barbillon, Guía iconográfica de los héroes y dioses de la antigüedad, Madrid, Alianza editorial, 1997.
  • Yves Bonnefoy (ed.), Diccionario de las mitologías y de las religiones de las sociedades tradicionales y del mundo antiguo, 6 vols., Barcelona 1996 i segs. (orig. Paris 1981).
  • Walter Burkert, Religión griega. Arcaica y Clásica, Madrid, Abada editores, 2007 (orig. Stuttgart 1977).
  • Richard Buxton, El imaginario griego: los contextos de la mitología, Madrid, Cambridge University Press, 2000 (orig. Cambridge 1994).
  • Thomas H. Carpenter, Art and Myth in Ancient Greece. A Handbook, Londres 1991 (orig. Repr. 1998).
  • Marcel Detienne, La invención de la mitología, Madrid 1985 (orig. París 1981).
  • Miguel Ángel Elvira, Arte y mito. Manual de iconografía clásica, Madrid, Sílex, 2008.
  • Anthony Grafton, Glenn W. Most, Salvatore Settis, The Classical Tradition, Cambridge (Mass.) – Londres, Belknap, 2010.
  • Gilbert Highet, La tradición clasica. Influencias griegas y romanas en la literatura occidental, Mèxic, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1978 (orig. 1948).
  • Timothy Gantz, Early Greek Myth. A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993.
  • Carlos García Gual, Introducción a la mitología griega, Madrid, Alianza Editorial, 2007 (orig. 1992).
  • Fritz Graf, Greek Mythology. An Introduction, Baltimore-Londres, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993.
  • Pierre Grimal, Diccionari de mitologia grega i romana, Barcelona, Edicions de 1984, 2008 (versió castellana: Paidós, 2007) (ed. orig. París 1951).
  • Robin Hard, El gran libro de la mitología griega, Madrid, La Esfera de los Libros, 2008.
  • Christine Harrauer - Herbert Hunger, Diccionario de mitología griega y romana, Barcelona, Herder, 2008.
  • Geoffrey Stephen Kirk, El mito. Su significado y funciones en la antigüedad y otras culturas, Barcelona 1985 (orig. 1970).
  • Antonio López Eire - María del Henar Velasco López, La mitología griega: lenguaje de dioses y hombres, Madrid, Arco, 2012.
  • Lucia Impelluso, Héroes y dioses de la antigüedad, Barcelona, Electa, 2002
  • Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Zuric-Munic, Artemis, 1981.
  • René Martin (dir.), Diccionario de la mitología clásica, Madrid, Espasa Calpe, 1998 (orig. Dictionnaire culturel de la mythologie gréco-romaine, París, Nathan, 1992).
  • Mark Morford - Robert J. Lenardon - Michael Sham, Classical Mythology, Internationaltenth editionOxford, Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • Jane D. Reid, The Oxford Guide to Classical Mythology in the Arts, 1300-1990s, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1993.
  • Antonio Ruiz de Elvira, Mitología clásica, Madrid, Gredos, 1975.
  • Joan Sariol - Santiago Cucurella - Carmen Moncau, La mitologia clàssica. Literatura, art, música, Barcelona, Barcanova, 1994.
  • Jean Seznec, Los dioses de la antigüedad en la Edad Media y el Renacimiento, Madrid, Taurus, 1987 (orig. Londres 1940).
  • Jean-Pierre Vernant, Mito y sociedad en la Grecia antigua, Madrid, Siglo XXI, 1982 (orig. 1974).
  • Roger D. Woodard (ed.), The Cambridge companion to Greek mythology, Cambridge,Cambridge University Press, 2007 (Versió electrònica, 2008, des de la UAB).