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Indo-European Mythology 1

Indo-European Mythology 1 is the study of main mythical themes and events among several Indo-European cultures. The course's primary goal is to introduce students to Indo-European cultures' mythologies such that they can begin to perceive apparent similarities and differences.

Exit Standards:

  1. List and discuss the major primary sources for the mythology of three Indo-European cultures, including their dates of origin and authorship (if known). Discuss any important factors that may cause problems in interpreting these sources, such as the existence of multiple revisions, or the presence of Christian or other outside influences in surviving texts. (minimum 300 words)
  2. Name and describe three different schools of interpretation of myths (e.g. 'nature symbolism', allegory, fragmented history, social engineering, psychological symbolism,) and one major writer associated with each. Discuss which one you tend to favor and compare its strengths and weaknesses to the others (minimum 1000 words)
  3. Summarize a creation tale of any Indo-European culture and discuss parallels to a creation tale of any two other Indo-European cultures. (minimum 300 words)
  4. Compare and contrast the Divine War theme in the myths of three different IE cultures. (If a culture has more than one myth that fits the theme, please choose one for comparison.) (minimum 300 words)
  5. Describe the fate of the dead in the myths of two different Indo-European cultures. Where do they go? What do they do to get there? Who meets them? Are there deities associated with death and the Land of the Dead? How do the dead interact with the living? (minimum 300 words)
  6. Myths often reflect the social structure of the cultures from which they come. Generally describe the social divisions in two different Indo-European cultures (e.g.: Dumézil's Priest/King-Warrior-Provider division, or the Vedic Brahmin-Kshatriya- Vaisya-Sudra castes) and show how they are reflected in that culture's myths. (minimum 300 words)
  7. Explain how each of the following elements of ADF ritual does or does not resonate with elements of two different Indo-European cultures. You need not use the same two cultures as a basis of comparison for each element. For example, you may compare and contrast the concept of the Earth Mother in Greek and Vedic cultures, and Deities of the Land in light of Irish-Celtic and Breton-Celtic cultures. (minimum 100 words each)
    1. Earth Mother
    2. Deities of Land
    3. Deities of Sea
    4. Deities of Sky
    5. Outsiders
    6. Nature Spirits
    7. Ancestors
  8. Discuss how the following seven elements of ADF's cosmology are (or are not) reflected in the myths of two different Indo-European cultures. For this question, please use the same two cultures as a basis of comparison for the entire question. (minimum 100 words each)
    1. Upperworld
    2. Middleworld
    3. Divisions Of Middleworld (e.g., 4 Quarters, 3 Triads, 8 Sections)
    4. Nether/Underworld
    5. Fire
    6. Well
    7. Tree
  9. To what extent do you think we can offer conjectures about Indo-European myths in general? Are the common themes strong enough that the myths seem like variations? Or are the differences so powerful that the themes are less important than the cultural variations? (minimum 300 words)


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