Grant Voth

Grant Voth >

65
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The World’s Oldest Myth: Gilgamesh
Episode 1 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 2 - The Middle East and South Asia
Start these riveting lectures at the only appropriate point: the oldest story in the world. In looking at the epic of Gilgamesh, you'll learn how this foundational Babylonian myth reflects real historical tensions between ancient Eastern city-states; tensions mirrored in…
The Titans in Greek Mythology
Episode 1 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 1 - Ancient Europe
Welcome to the ancient Greek myths: some of the most popular, well-known stories in Western civilization. When did these tales emerge, and what are our earliest sources for them? Find out in this lecture on father-son conflicts between Uranus, Kronos,…
The Beauty of African Mythology
Episode 1 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 3 - Africa
Jump into the distinctive elements of African mythology with the story of Shango--a fearsome king of the city-kingdom of Oyo who later became a god. Explore how the cyclical structure of the story is another distinctive feature of African myths.…
Japanese Tales of Purity and Defilement
Episode 6 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 4 - Asia and the Pacific
Prepare yourself for stories of decaying goddesses, befouled maidens from the underworld, deities emerging from a parent's dirty nostrils, and the contamination of the gods' most sacred spaces with divine excrement. The mythology of this culture, which prizes purity and…
Norse Tales of Odin and Thor
Episode 11 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 1 - Ancient Europe
Dark and brooding, Norse mythology reflects the harsh living conditions of ancient Germanic and Scandinavian people. Here, focus on two of the most well-known Norse gods: Odin (the god of war who sacrificed himself on a tree) and Thor (the…
Odysseus, Master of Schemes
Episode 5 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 1 - Ancient Europe
Turn now to the hero of Homer's celebrated Odyssey: Odysseus. From his plans for the Trojan horse to his tricking of a murderous cyclops to his final arrival back in Ithaca, learn how Odysseus's scheming and lying led to heroic…
The Babylonian Creation Story
Episode 2 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 2 - The Middle East and South Asia
Where did ancient Babylonians believe the world came from? What startling similarities does their account have with the Bible's? Explore these and other questions in this look at the Enuma Elish, a sophisticated creation story (or cosmogony) that casts the…
Gods and Humanity in Greek Thought
Episode 3 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 1 - Ancient Europe
Discover fresh insights into several Greek myths that teach us about the relationship between gods and humans. Is Prometheus a troublemaker (according to Hesiod) or a liberator (according to Aeschylus)? What happened after Pandora's box of evil spirits was opened?…
Complex Goddesses: Athena, Aphrodite, Hera
Episode 2 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 1 - Ancient Europe
Meet three iconic goddesses whose personalities and stories reflect how the ancient Greeks viewed women. They are: Athena, who emerged fully-formed from Zeus's head and is linked to legal courts; Aphrodite, best known for her wild love affair with Adonis;…
Great Mythologies of the World Course 1 - Ancient Europe
Epic battles between titanic gods. The creation, re-creation, and repair of the world. Perilous quests for lost treasures and the comfort of home. Magical items imbued with the power to protect - and destroy. Mythology has provided fascinating and thrilling…
12 videos
Romulus, Remus, and Rome’s Origins
Episode 7 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 1 - Ancient Europe
Not all Roman mythology is indebted to Greece. Focus on several uniquely Roman myths about the empire's founding, including the lives of the brothers Romulus and Remus and the abduction of the Sabine women. What's the difference between creation and…
Nature in Native American Myth
Episode 1 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 5 - The Americas
Nature spirits take on a variety of forms in various cultures. Discover the maize myths and other stories about the origins of nature in the Americas. Learn how these stories demonstrate the way people answered questions about how the world…
The Mother Goddess in Rome and Beyond
Episode 9 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 1 - Ancient Europe
What does Cybele reveal about the great mother goddesses of mythological traditions? Learn how this classic figure evolved over thousands of years, how it adapted to different cultures, how it became connected in Rome with power and aristocracy, and where…
The Dagda’s Harp and Other Celtic Myths
Episode 10 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 1 - Ancient Europe
Using the intriguing tale of Dagda and his magic harp as a framework, Professor McClymond introduces you to the often unappreciated world of Celtic mythology. Meet unforgettable heroes like Cu Chulainn and Lugh, and encounter powerful magical items and treasures…
Chaos and Order in Egypt
Episode 3 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 2 - The Middle East and South Asia
Perpetual violence. A destructive struggle between order and chaos. Welcome to the mythography of ancient Egypt, which includes multiple creation stories tied to different city centers; a fantastic pantheon of gods; different historical and mythic "time lines"; and maat, the…
The Book of Job
Episode 6 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 2 - The Middle East and South Asia
Examine the biblical Book of Job through a mythological lens and learn how it addresses the same basic questions of other myths. How do Job's trials and tribulations at the hand of the Hebrew god force us to look at…
The Great Indian Epics
Episode 7 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 2 - The Middle East and South Asia
Get inside Indian culture with this lecture on its two great epics: the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Both are frame narratives that bring together hundreds of smaller stories. Both help establish Vishnu's importance among other Hindu gods. And both have…
The Golden Fleece and the Hero’s Return
Episode 6 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 1 - Ancient Europe
An altogether different--and darker--mythological adventure story is Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece. In pondering the best-known versions of both Jason's story and his wife, Medea's, you'll begin to see Jason as a failed hero and Medea as more than…
Spirits and Syncretism in Korean Myth
Episode 4 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 4 - Asia and the Pacific
Early Koreans interacted with the spirit world through spirit mediums, primarily women, who perform shamanic rituals and preserve cultural knowledge even up to the modern day. These traditions incorporate religious, mythological, and scholarly borrowings from Japan and China into a…
African Creation Stories
Episode 2 of Great Mythologies of the World Course 3 - Africa
Many myths found across the globe wrestle with the concept of how the world started. African mythology is no exception, embracing a variety of philosophies including ex nihilo ("out of nothing") myths, chaos stories, and cosmology tales to explain our…