CLST 271: Classical Mythology
Fall Semester 2002
Dr. Jacqueline Long
- To deepen your understanding of one of the major Homeric
Hymns, and the mythological thought it reflects
- To read critically both original source material -your Hymn,
in translation- and scholarly arguments about that Hymn
- To develop an interesting, valid argument about the ideas reflected
in your Hymn
- To advance your argument persuasively in written form, citing evidence from the
text of your Hymn and explaining how it proves your insights
- To use a professional scholar's published arguments about your
Hymn as a point of departure for your own argument: that is,
- as a model of how insight, evidence, and argument can be
combined to demonstrate an interpretation persuasively
- as suggestions about some of the ideas your Hymn may
reflect; but note!!
- the goal of this exercise is not necessarily to agree with or to
disagree with a professional scholar, but to build a convincing
demonstration of your own ideas, from the evidence of the
ancient source; use the published scholarly argument you are working
with as a model, reference, and punching-bag
- For your principal focus in this exercise, choose either:
- Hymn 2 to Demeter
- Hymn 3 to Apollo
- Hymn 4 to Hermes
- Hymn 5 to Aphrodite
- (even as you explore your Hymn in greater depth, your
insights will illuminate other Homeric Hymns and other
mythological material as well)
- Read the chapter of Jenny Strauss Clay's The Politics of
Olympus that corresponds to your Hymn (two copies of Dr.
Clay's book are on reserve in Cudahy library:
PA4023 .Z5 C5 1989).
Think about the following issues:
- What is Clay's overall interpretation of your Hymn?
- What pieces of evidence does Clay identify as important for her
- What arguments does Clay build on her evidence?
- How does she construct her arguments?
- Do you agree with Clay? To what extent? Why or why not?
- What additional evidence do you see that could confirm Clay's
- What additional evidence do you see that could modify Clay's
conclusions in any way?
- Focus on a particular section of your Hymn where you judge
you have the most to add to what Clay argues, either extending her
interpretation, refining it, or modifying it, to yield an even better
understanding of your Hymn
- Define the point you are going to write your essay to prove
- Assemble the evidence you need to prove your point
- Articulate the arguments that will show how your evidence proves
- Make sure you have taken into account any relevant contrary
evidence or counter-arguments that could undermine your point, and show
why they do not invalidate your point, after all
- Organize your evidence and arguments so they will explain your
analysis clearly and persuasively
- Write up your essay in 5-6 typed, double-spaced pages. References
to Clay's chapter may follow short-form reference in parentheses, such
as (Clay, 207); include full bibliographical information at the back
of your paper, outside the page-count.
- For additional guidance, see Dr. Long's
Guide to writing academic papers
- For insight on how university professors evaluate student essays,
see the criteria on
Papers prepared and copyrighted (2002) by the
Center for Teaching and Learning of Harvard University
- Hand in your essay at the start of class
Thursday, 10 October
BACK to CLST 271 Schedule of
Readings and Assignments
This file last updated 26 September 2002 by