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What Are the Different Types of Mythology Courses?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

Different types of mythology courses often provide general or introductory information regarding mythology or focus on a particular mythological system. General or introduction classes on mythology often provide an overview of mythological concepts and systems, usually with a focus on comparing different types of mythology such as Egyptian, Greek, and Norse. More focused mythology courses, however, often provide greater information on one particular type of mythology. There are also some courses that can focus on modern mythological systems, often by demonstrating how ancient mythology continues to influence modern thought and how storytelling continues to create myths and legends.

Mythology courses are classes that primarily deal with mythology and mythological concepts as the primary focus of the class. Some of the most common classes in mythology deal with a general overview or introduction to mythological concepts. These classes often deal with the basic features that many different types of mythologies have in common, such as creation myths and stories, the different gods and creatures that often populate these mythologies, and common themes or motifs found among mythological systems. Introductory mythology courses often provide information regarding a number of different mythologies, usually including Greek and Roman, Egyptian, Norse, Asian, and Native American myths.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

There are also some mythology courses that are more focused on one particular culture and its mythology and legends. A class on Greek and Roman mythology, for example, might focus on common myths found in Greek culture and how many of these myths found their way into Roman culture and legend as well. Egyptian mythology courses, on the other hand, focus on the legends and stories of Ancient Egypt and the various gods and figures from these stories. There are also a number of other cultures with myths and legends that can be learned about in various classes, such as Celtic and British mythology, Japanese and Chinese myths, and the myths of Native Americans and South American cultures.

Some mythology courses can also take a somewhat more unusual or progressive approach to learning about mythology. A class that focuses on modern mythology, for example, might explore how ancient myths continue to influence modern storytelling and popular entertainment and culture, through both linguistic and thematic traditions. Mythology courses that focus on storytelling and how mythology has influenced various narratives are likely to introduce the works of Joseph Campbell and the idea of the “hero's journey.” This concept, also called the “monomyth,” is quite commonly found in many language and writing classes and explores the way in which numerous cultures have crafted heroic figures and stories.

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