Monsters and Mythical Creatures in Greek and Roman Mythology

Korean Minjok Leadership Academy

Table of Contents

September 22nd 2009
March 7th 2009
February 20th 2009
February 20th 2009
September 14th 2008

September 22nd 2009 . go to CSY's Log

(1) No notes. Do yourself a favour and write chapters complete with notes. The "I fill them in when I am done writing the paper" strategy in case of larger projects results in panic-attacks when you get to the point of doing so : "Where the hell did I find this ?"
(2) You list your sources. But you do not even discuss when these texts were conceived and codified.
(3) The introduction of the individual monsters. (a) no references. (b) do you try differentiate the description of monster x in sources a, b and c ?
Is the individual listing of all these monsters really necessary, or could simple reference to the Oxford Classical Dictionary / the Britannica or Wikipedia save you all the bother ? What I read at present seems to me written to inform yourself instead of others.
The key to your paper is interpretation. You started out with a hunch, a question you tried to answer : can we observe a decrease in number of the appearance of such monsters in Greek writing over time with the emergence of Classic Greek culture. Try answer that question.
(4) If you are listing your monsters etc., discuss what they are, differentiate. For instance, Pan is the son of Hermes and himself a god.
Aristoteles justified Greece's claim to superiority, to conquer and civilize the world, with the Greek gods being anthropomorph (shaped as humans) while the gods of the oriental nations looked like animals. This statement throws up a bunch of questions.
Formulate these questions, try to look into your sources and try answer them.
A lot of work still to be done.

March 7th 2009 . go to CSY's Log

much better. This is how I expected the bibliography the first time around.
Still has many incomplete entries.
Many of these books were re-published. So we need two dates of oublication : the original date, when the English translation of the Greek/Latin text by this specific translator first was published, and the date when the translation you use (in print or electronic form) was published. If there are two such dates, the first one is given in brackets, the second without.

Argonautica by Apollonius Rhodius translated and edited by R. C. Seaton published by Harvard University Press original text 1912 / revised text 2002

who revised the text " I doubt it was R.C. Seaton.

Gods and Heroes by Gustav Schwab written by Gustav Schwab published by Pantheon Books published in 1974 764p

I read the book before I reached your age (thus before 1974) in German, the language in which Gustav Schwab wrote. And when I read it the book was regarded a classic. Find the date of the German originall; give it, check if 1974 was the year of the first publication of the English translation, or just the year in which the edition you used was printed, and add the name of the translator.

Classics which are edited as internet editions usually used to be published in book form; for these you also should give the year when they, in the translaion you use, first were published as books.

Time is pressing hard; it is time for you to write chapters..

February 20th 2009 . go to CSY's Log

even as a working bibliography this list is way too inspecific.
If you do not give me the precise edition (name of translator, place of publication, publisher, edition, year of publication), in case of Homer I have to assume that you refer to an edition in Greek.
I want all these data for every source you quote; if you refer to a web-edition, give me name of web page, translator, name of website, URL.
Iliad missing.

February 20th 2009 . go to CSY's Log

Your working table of contents is very much focussed on primary sources which do contain a number of monsters. When we discussed the topic at first, the idea was not to observe monsters for the sake of monsters, but rather observe the declining rule of monsters in recorded memory as regorded memory evolved from mythology into history. This is why Herodotus appears in your reference list.
You can examine the publications you chose, but I want you, in this paper, to observe the assumedly declining role of monsters in Greek historic literature from Hiomer to Herodotus.
In order to visualize this development, I recommend to you to write a timeline/chronology of your primary sources - when they were written. In the process you may classify the works into categories as follows : works which were conceived as a mytholigical form of historiography because at that time, rational historiography had not yet evolved, works which are part of the transition from mythological form of historiography to rational historiography,, rational historiography, and works which have been conceived as fictional mythology without any intention to be regarded as historiography.
Your table of contents treats all mythology you examine as Greek; the Aeneid was Roman mythology, Ovid a Roman.
I recommend you to treat Iliad and Odyssey in one chapter; they are both ascribed to one author. As one book writes a lot about monsters, the other little, you may use this as evidence to argue that Homer, if a historical person who wrote both, is less of an author and more of a recorder of oral tradition.

September 14th 2008

Get yourself the following books :
Iliad, Odyssey, Herodotus : Histories, Thucydides : Peloponnesian War, Polybius, Hesiod
and to make it interesting
Aeneid, books of Livy

Iliad, Odyssey composed/codified by "Homer" c 800 B.C. at a time when Greeks took mythology for real
Hesiod in-between
Herodotus, Thucydides, Polybius wrote histrory at a time when Greeks thought rational, and monsters only appeared in a distant, mythical-irrational past
Polybius tries introduce Roman history to the Greeks
Aeneid an attempt c. 30 B.C. ? to create a Roman mythical history similar to the Greek history.
Homer wrote down what had been transmitted by memorization from generation to generation.
The Aeneid is a composition created in a rational age which was to mirror the Odyssey.

We can not say for sure who is to be credited for the monsters in the Odyssey; it is pretty clear who thought up those appearing in the Aeneid.

Your examination can follow two lines : describe the transition from irrational mythology to rational history compare Greek, Roman experience

At first compose a working reference list. Most of your sources will be online; you should use the Penguins pocketbook editions so that you can quote specific pages.
Look into this one : (Woo, Na Young's paper)

German Film Industry History

Korean Minjok Leadership Academy

September 8th 2008

You are interested in movies of the type of Dr. Caligari and Mabuse.

When we look at the prospects of you writing a research paper, we need to keep a number of factors in mind :
(A) The paper should be a history paper, a paper in which I credibly can guide you.
(B) Your paper should enable you to access a wide variety of sources which you can read.
(C) Your paper should be original.

Dangers to avoid
(I) A paper being too dependent on interpretations and analyses given to you in English language secondary sources
(II) A paper emphasizing art over history; remember this is history class

At present I see several possible ways to turn your interest in manageable research projects :

(1) A project in which you compare the development of the technical capabilities of Babelsberg and Hollywood, until 1939

(2) The history of the Viennese colony in Berlin (Max Reinhardt Schule) and/or the Babelsberg colony in Hollywood
How come that Viennese (many of them Jews) came to dominate the German film industry; why did they not produce their films in Austria ? From where did they take their inspirations ?
How did Hollywood respond to the influx of so many Babelsbergians ? What was characteristic for the community of Babelsbergians in Hollywood ?

(3) The development of films on history until 1939

You can establish a preliminary list of films / sources you could access for any of these topics, before you make a decision.