Social Studies

(Summer Camp) the Life and Deeds of Herakles (Hercules)

In this 5-day camp we will substantially use ancient Greek art and mythology to explore the entire story of Herakles, from its beginnings to the very end, bringing to life all episodes of a life full of wonders and tragedy
667 total reviews for this teacher
New class

60 minutes

per class

5x per week

over 1 week


year olds


learners per class

per learner - per class

How does aMulti-Daycourse work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

How Outschool Works

Available Times

Pacific Time

Tue Aug 9

Aug 9 - Aug 13 (1 week)
Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr
1am - 2am
Outside 6am-10pm in your local time.

Mon Aug 15

Aug 15 - Aug 19 (1 week)
Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr
2pm - 3pm

Mon Aug 22

Aug 22 - Aug 26 (1 week)
Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr
4pm - 5pm

Mon Aug 29

Aug 29 - Sep 2 (1 week)
Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr
6pm - 7pm

Don't see a time that works for you?


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 ancient Greeks were structuring their stories about their mythical past and some of the narrative patterns that they were employing to tell meaningful stories about what a "hero" meant in ancient Greece. 

We will discuss together how were the stories about Herakles played out in ancient art, and especially in relation to a world that was inhabited by and shared between heroes, monsters, beasts and gods.

We will finally delve into the ancient Greek religion with respect, so as to learn from theses examples two very important lessons: that there is no absolute truth, and that nothing unchangeable in time, when it comes to religious traditions, old and new. 
I have a B.A. and M.A. in ancient Greek and Roman history and archaeology, as well as an M.A. in history and phiosophy of religions (especially ancient religions). I have excavated in ancient Greek sites, I speak ancient and modern Greek, as well as archaic and classical Latin and I have some knowledge of ancient Egyptian (Coptic script) and I am currently finishing my PhD. 
At the end of the camp students will be assigned an (optional) multiple-choice quiz, in order to test their memory, attention and observation. This test may also include one or two questions requiring a very short answer, in order to assess the learners' comprehension. 
I do not believe that a letter grade is meaningful for a summer camp on mythology. However, as I often do with my one-time classes, which are always small classes, I communication with the parents and the children directly, providing my personal comments, private feedback and an informal assessment, especially if they complete the (optional) quiz assigned at the end of the camp.
5 hours per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.
(a) I use only and exclusively ancient art, original artworks created by the ancient people whose stories I teach in my classes, and this is the reason why I spend hours finding images that are from museums and collections of art from all over the world; 
(b) this course is based on what some of the ancient civilizations believed, which means that their ideas may have been based on their observations, their imagination or their fears and hopes, but not on facts; 
(c) the class is about the ancient world and not modern religions, which means that I approach the ancient world, based on the work of scholars (like me) who study it historically from a secular perspective.  
I have a special note for the Greek art I will be using in the class related to ancient Greek cosmology:
in the ancient Greek arts 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
667 total reviews
436 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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