Coursera - Greek and Roman Mythology by Peter Struck

Having played Age Of Mythology in 9th class I grew a strong liking to the Greek, Egyptian and Norse Gods. Odin and Zeus especially fascinated me. So when I took the course with a minor game mythology background I had no idea how wonderful it would be.

The lectures were spread out into 10 weeks, 8 for Greek Mythology and 2 for Roman (I thought they had similar cultures and history but the course taught me different as we learnt that Romans don't even want to be associated with the Greeks). The major books and topics covered were -

  • Homer's Odyssey
  • Hesiod's Theogony
  • Homeric Hymns to Apollo and Demeter
  • Aeschylus' Agamemnon
  • Aeschylus' Eumenides
  • Euripides' Bacchae
  • Sophocles' Oedipus Rex
  • Vergil's Aeneid
  • Ovid's Metamorphoses

The course material was very interesting. The professor put up a slideshow of interesting places of historical importance, it was as if we were living through the times with the photos. The professor's passion was infectious and I often found myself going through Wikipedia and other sources reading about the plays and the people.

The evaluation was divided into 2 major components a weekly quiz and 2 writing assignments which were to be peer graded. One needed an average of 80% in all the quizzes except two. One of the great features introduced was multiple submission penalty which impressed me a lot. Generally with multiple submissions one lands up with a quiz where all the questions were present in a previous quizzes but this correction penalty greatly addresses this need. Also to get a certificate we needed 50%+ marks in at least 1 of the 2 written assignments. This came as a boon for most people as the second assignment submission came during the Thanksgiving holidays during which most of the folks were too busy to turn in the assignment.

An additional feature I witnessed was the screenside chat which did happen in many Udacity and edX courses but was the first time I saw it in Coursera. These were optional and seeing these videos were not mandatory for taking evaluation (though it will give a better insight). 

Overall the course was very well organised though I feel an extra week of Roman Mythology can be added and if there is a need for compensation I suggest kick out the Eumenides (I liked it the least of all the books). Hope there are more courses like these of Egyptian, Norse and if I dare to dream - Hindu Mythology.

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