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From Zeus to Aphrodite: Greek and Roman Mythology

Social Studies

Ancient Greek Mythology and Archaeology: Herakles (Hercules)

This is a one-time class about the myths of Herakles, the son of Zeus who became the strongest and most famous ancient Greek hero/demi-gods thanks to his superhuman physical accomplishments and the foundation of the First Olympic Games
Spyridon (Spiros) Loumakis
679 total reviews for this teacher
18 reviews for this class
Completed by 49 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
60 minutes
per class
Meets once
year olds
learners per class
per learner

How does aOne-Timeclass work?

Meets once at a scheduled time
Live video chat, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Great for exploring new interests and different styles of teachers

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Class Experience

In this class students will understand that the magic of myths lies not only in the stories themselves, fascinating as they are, but in the logic behind them and in their deeper meaning. Myths will be appreciated as a system of beliefs and a way of thinking about the world, as it was created by the ancient Greeks.

The goal for the students is to learn at an introductory level how Greeks were structuring their myths and some of the narrative patterns that they were employing to tell meaningful stories about their gods ahd heroes, in this case about Hercules. 

They will learn variations of certain myths on Hercules and their purpose. And together we will try to interpret and explain them, compare them with other myths, and trace their origins. Students will see that a hero could fulfill many roles in the ancient Greek religious worldview, Hercules in particular.

We will discuss together how were these stories played out in the places of worship of Hercules. What did Hercules mean to artists, such as the poets, as well as to the political and social elite of ancient Greece.

We will delve into the artwork created to immortalize the image of Hercules.
Before the class students will be asked to study the short hand-out which will be distributed in advance (24 hours before the meeting) as part of their preparation.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
Upon demand, at the end of the class a short multiple-choice test will be distributed to learners' parents, to be filled out by the learners under the supervision of their parents and sent back to me via my e-mail (optional). 
1 hour per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.
In the ancient Greek art gods are depicted often (but not always) naked. The Greek word for a naked man is "gymnos" and that is why in English today we say "gymnastics" or "gym" although our children and athletes wear uniforms. This being said, any artistic reproduction in ancient art should be expected to show nude gods. I try to use as less as possible, but it is not always within my hands since this is the nature of the ancient Greek art itself. Since, it is an art that comes from an era where there were no photographs, or videos, the art is found only on painted vases, wall paintings and sculpture. Nudity was never meant to provoke, but to tell to the ancient viewer that gods are not mortal humans and, thus, they do not need clothes. As you may very well understand, I cannot change the history of art, nor my preference as teacher of mythology to show students the original art from ancient times.


Spyridon (Spiros) LoumakisPhD Candidate, Professional Researcher, Active Scholar, Happy Father
679 total reviews
449 completed classes

About Me

As a father of two young kids, I put a lot of effort so as to entertain them in a productive, and educational way, making sure I feed their natural curiosity and encourage them to keep asking questions. Undoubtedly,  television and video games... 
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