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Course Description

A comparative study of ancient epics from Greece, Rome, the ancient Near East, India, and Tibet exploring the narrative qualities and socio-political functions that define the epic genre. Epos and oral poetry, bards and sacred poets, epic as history, epic and national identity, heroes and heroines, wives and enchantresses, fate and gods, epic and anti-epic, and their reflection in modern movies and video games. Readings may include selections from Gilgamesh, The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Epic of Gezar, Ramayana, The Aeneid, Shahnameh, and Cú Chulainn's.