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VCE Classical studies

2016
Welcome!
We will be exploring the world of Greek and Roman myths and legends, reading the poems written
and spoken by the ancient story tellers who invented how we tell stories to each other today. Discover
some of the great art works that defined the grandeur of the classical world and learn how they lived,
loved and died.
Besides your imagination, open mind and writing skills, you will need:
Semester 1:
Metamorphoses by Ovid (Penguin Classics)
King Oedipus by Sophocles in The Theban Plays translated by E. F. Watling (Penguin )
Semester 2:
The Odyssey by Homer (Penguin Classics)
Prometheus Bound, by Aeschylus in Prometheus Bound by translated by Phillip Vellacott, Penguin
Assessment will be based on class work, projects, essays, tests and exam.
Holiday Tasks
1. Over the summer read Book 1, Metamorphoses and answer the 10 questions attached.
2. Go to web sites below and familiarise yourself with any Roman and Greek myths and legends.
Sites: http://www.wingedsandals.com/
http://www.bulfinch.org/
Have a wonderful holiday and enjoy your reading!
Miss Cook

Metamorphoses
Book 1
1. The narrative structure of Book One. Answer at least two of the following sub-questions:
a) What does the narrator ask of the gods in his brief invocation? What hopes does he advance for his
poem?
b) What logic underlies the transition (440ff) from the new creation to the story of Apollo and
Daphne? What ties them together?
d) What connects the Apollo/Daphne story with the Jove/Io Story? (cf. 573ff)
e) What is the connecting link between the Jove/Io story and Phaethon? (753ff)
"The Creation" (pages 1-3)
2. How was the Earth created (6-87), and by whom? How does this creation account differ from, the one offered
in Genesis, if you are familiar with that account?
3. Who created humans, and why? (73-87) How did they differ from animals? What does Ovids handling of
this issue tell you about his stance towards the stories he tells?
"The Ages of Mankind" (pp. 3-8)
4. How does the narrator describe the Four Ages (95ff)? What reason does he offer for the deterioration from the
Golden to the Silver Age? What causes the deterioration into the Bronze and Iron Ages?
5. What seem to be Joves intentions with regard to the Iron Age human race? Does he plan to destroy them all?
Why do Deucalion and Pyrrha alone survive? What redeeming qualities do they have? (319ff)
"The Flood" and "Deucalion and Pyrrha" (pp. 9-14)
6. Deucalion and Pyrrha pray to Thetis (370ff). What does she tell them to do? What, if anything, does Themis
promise have to do with Joves promise to make a new and better race of beings? (249ff) How does the narrator
sum up the principle of this new dispensation?
"Apollo and Daphne" (pp. 14-18)
7. How, from 502ff, does Apollo at first court Daphne? What metaphor does the narrator employ to describe the
pursuit that follows?
8. What becomes of Daphne around 546ff? How does the narrator tie the story of Daphnes metamorphosis to
his own time? How does her change differ from the one suffered by Lycaon? Does some principle underlie this
changewhy does Daphne change in the specific way she does, and not in some other way?
"Io" (pp. 18-23)
9. What metamorphosis does Io, the daughter of the river god Inachus, undergo? (586ff) How does she manage
to turn into a human again?
"Phaethon" (pp. 23-24)
10. How is the final tale of Book One (about Phaethon) related to Ovids task as an epic poet?

Mind Map Activity


Central concept

CHANGE

Consider, if you like the following:


Different e.g. Butterfly
Improvement - change can be for the better
Lifestyle Ones life can change. Lifes circumstances e.g. job loss, new love, where one lives.
Events Things happen to people that cause changes.
Love In and out of love.
Thinking Our ideas change. New ideas.
Evolution, Death, Fashion, Appearance
Name:

Mind Map

Short Explanation
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Legends and Myths


Lesson plan based on Amphora Describe modernday legends and compare them to ancient legends.
Skills and Focus: Discussion, Cultural Comparisons, Writing
Thematic Connection: Myths and Legends, Connecting Past and Present
Objectives
Understand the place of the legend of Herakles in ancient Greek life.
Compare ancient and modern legends.
For the subject on the front of the vase, the painter chose the
struggle between Herakles and Apollo over the sacred tripod
at Delphi, one of the greatest sanctuaries in the Greek world.
It was the site of an oracle, a place people visited to put
questions to the god Apollo and receive prophetic answers.
The tripod (here, a bowl on three long legs) was the symbol
of Delphi. In the image, Apollo holds the right side of the
tripod in one hand and his characteristic bow and arrow in
the other. The powerful nude figure on the other side of the
tripod is Herakles, the heroic strongman, brandishing a club
above his head. The exploits of Herakles included
encounters with human adversaries and monstrous animals;
on the white lip of the vase, he can be seen strangling the
supposedly invincible lion of Nemea.
In the myth depicted on the body of the vase, Herakles killed
a man and was struck with a disease as punishment. He went
to Delphi to find out how to atone for his crime, but the
oracle refused to answer. In a rage, he seized the tripod and
stole it to set up his own oracle. Behind Apollo is his sister
Artemis, smelling a flower and also holding a bow. In front
of Herakles is his divine protector, Athena. This is the
moment when either the god or the hero might win, and the
tripod occupies center stage between them. In the end, Apollo won, and the tripod remained at Delphi.
This amphora marks a turning point in Attic vase painting. It is one of the earliest executed in the red-figure
technique. The introduction of the red-figure technique is attributed to the workshop of Andokides. While we
think of red-figure mainly in terms of drawing, it differs from black-figure also in a very different apportionment
of the glazed and unglazed surfaces on a vase. The preparation of these surfaces was probably the
responsibility of a potter, and for that reason the new technique is associated with a potter rather than a painter.
On some works combining red-figure and black-figure, a single painter seems to have done both; here, however,
two different artists are likely.
The new red-figure style did not replace the black-figure technique all at once, and there are some vases on
which the two appear side by side. On those vases by the potter Andokides that are half red-figure and half
black-figure, the artist of the red-figure side has been identified as the Andokides Painter, and the artist of the
black-figure side has been identified as the Lysippides Painter. It is at about this time that painting on white
ground made its appearance, and the potter Andokides applied a white slip to the vertical surface of the mouth
and asked a black-figure painterpossibly Psiax, who was well-versed in a miniature styleto decorate the
surface with the wrestling scene of Herakles and the Nemean lion in the presence of Athena and Hermes.

Activity
Step 1: What according to you is a legend or a myth. Be sure to understand that a legend can be either
a person who accomplished some remarkable feat or an event of longstanding significance.
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Critical Thinking
Students need to:
explain why the ancient Greeks painted an image of him onto an amphora.
describe Hercules most admirable characteristics.
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Step 2: Compile a list of contemporary legends or myths. Some of the legends should be people and
some should be events. Discuss how these people and events fulfill the requirements of what you listed
above is a legend. Discuss in what ways they are represented in our culture today. (E.g Beckham 9/11)
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