Roman mythology in high school

Discussion in 'Roman Mythology' started by Enertia, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. Enertia

    Enertia Member

    When you were in high school, did you go over Roman Mythology? How long did the lesson last, and do you think the teacher did a good job? I really feel ripped off, when it comes to what I learned in high school. I had been reading Roman mythology, since I was in third grade. Yes, I was an advanced reader, and read everything I could get my hands on. Anyway, I was excited about the upcoming Roman mythology lesson, and all the insightful discussions that might happen. The day comes, and my teacher starts to read us some mythology. Then she states, that she does not understand this stuff, and we are going to skip it. WHAT!!!! I was so heartbroken! How in the world does a teacher not understand Roman mythology? People wonder why American children are not so smart, maybe it is because of crappy teachers! No offense to any teachers, because there are loads of awesome teachers out there.
  2. Myrddin

    Myrddin Well-Known Member

    Understandable. And why would anyone introduce something that they aren't even planing on teaching?! That's just ... dumb.
  3. Nadai

    Nadai Active Member

    That's unfortunate. I wish myth was a more popular subject for middle and high schoolers. Before college I only had the option of taking one mythology course in elementary school; the section lasted all of three weeks at the end of which we had a Greek festival.
    It's sad that kids don't get a chance to learn more about that type of thing in school, but I suppose that they always have the option of reading up on those subjects that interest them on their own time.
    In my opinion it's the same as teaching religion in school. Some parents don't want their children learning those types of things. I remember that my parents weren't very happy when they learned that I had such a deep interest in mythology. They're devout Christians and didn't want me studying about any type of god other than God. Obviously I won the fight; they didn't have much choice when I chose Classical myth as my second major;)
    LegendofJoe likes this.
  4. Reminds me of an essay I wrote recently. Christianity does not preclude people from studying mythology; it is the culture of Christianity that has imposed this stricture.

    I remember doing a study of Egypt in school; we spent an amount of time on its mythology, but it wasn't until several years ago that I developed a taste for it and sought out mythology to read and explore.
    Nadai likes this.
  5. RLynn

    RLynn Active Member

    That's probably not an uncommon attitude, but it's so sad.
  6. Nadai

    Nadai Active Member

    To some, I suppose. It worked out fine for me.
  7. RLynn

    RLynn Active Member

    I'm glad about that, of course, but it's sad for the people who have such strict beliefs. They miss out on so many interesting things.
    My parents were Christian, but not of the fundamentalist or evangelical variety. They compartmentalized their religious beliefs, so that it had little impact on their attitude toward mythology and such. Religion was just another item in their rather conventional middle class lifestyle.
  8. Strictly speaking, a fundamentalist Christian is a Christian, and an un-fundamentalist Christian is a heretic. Fundamentalists have received a very bad name from folks who are actually legalists. A fundamentalist simply believes in the fundamentals of Christianity.

    Likewise, an evangelical Christian is simply a believer who is concerned with the spiritual well-being of another; Evangelicals also have received a negative stigma on account of some who should more accurately be called proselytizers*. The Bible does endorse this—to a degree—but you will find more often that followers of Christ are called to live a life which at the same time is drastically different than before they were a Christian, yet common enough that they will not isolate or alienate any of their friends or relatives that are not Christians.

    * Christians are not to incite conviction; it is the task of the Holy Spirit to bring about conviction. "Bible-thumpers" aren't exactly Biblical.

    And, as you may have gathered, I am a Christian. :) I'm pretty disgusted with the mainstream church, myself. Thankfully, the Church has not and never shall be corrupted.


    But I've derailed this thread enough....
    Nadai likes this.
  9. RLynn

    RLynn Active Member

    Deleted.
  10. Deleted.
    Nadai likes this.
  11. Nadai

    Nadai Active Member

    Oh, Lordy:confused:
    ...
    I think we should all avoid judging one another. I also am a Christian, nondenominational, not that anyone asked. I love my parents and appreciate their teachings, though at the time they seemed strict to me and I suppose to nonChristians they would seem excessively so, I now know that it was out of love that they instructed me the way they did. I've recently began attending a C.O.G.I.C church and I find that they are even more strict with their beliefs than what my family is (I prefer nondenominational over C.O.G.I.C).
    ...
    For all of the Christians, I can't speak toward any other religion because I know too little about them, there is no right way to practice Christianity. It amazes me how many different ways people can interpret the same thing: The Bible. The Bible states that all other religions and gods are to be considered wrong and that you are to avoid those people who practice, study, or believe in those religions; "do not be unequally yoked (with nonbelievers)". God looks down on people who learn and practice other religions, in fact He says that a man can't serve God and serve the world, meaning that he will live either for God alone or he'll die.
    ...
    In IKings 18:24 Elijah ordered 450 prophets of Baal to make an altar and pour it down with water to sacrifice a bull, he then challenged their god to burn the altar. They pored water on the wood three times and when it was soaked through they prayed for Baal to light it. They prayed, but the fire wouldn't light. Elijah then poured even more water (12 jars) on the wood and asked God to light the altar. Immediately fire came and lit the altar; so hot was God's fire that it consumed the wood, the stone, the ashes, the water, and the sacrifice. Everyone saw that God was the only god and so began to worship him and the 450 prophets were executed. Some would think that a harsh punishment, but the punishment for turning someone away from God is death. The punishment for studying the teachings of other gods is death. I studied Anthropolgy in school as well as Classical Greek Myth, but because in the field you have to cast of ethnocentric views of the world and cultures created from personal beliefs and social customs and be able to adopt anothers (whoever you're studying) it became too difficult for me. I learned of one Anthropologist who maintained her Catholic beliefs. My first Anthro professor had a partner quit in the middle of his first field assignment in Africa because he couldn't accept their beliefs because they interfered with his own. As Christians we are to study and practice no other word than His. While I still love Greek myth and now read it to my kids, I make sure to tell them that what I read to them is fiction. They know that there are people in the world who believe in different things from them and we are not to judge or condemn those people. What other people choose to do is their own lives is their prerogative.
    ...
    (Matt 7:13-14 NIV) "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
    The Taciturn Scholar likes this.
  12. RLynn

    RLynn Active Member

    Deleted.
  13. jerri

    jerri Member

    I'm a good example of why parents don't want their kids reading mythology. I was brought up Catholic but when we learned mythology and I heard the dismissive way it was taught it made me question my own beliefs even more. (Mythology didn't make me an agnostic--just added fuel to the fire) If those religions based on those times were ridiculed by us what makes ours any better?
    (Rhetorical question)
    RLynn likes this.
  14. RLynn

    RLynn Active Member

    I suppose what bothers me most about the plethora of Christian religions (as well as other variants of Judaism) is the insistence that belief is all important, and reason must be discouraged from calling it into question. That's the sort of mindset which can make one vulnerable to cultism, which obviously can have disastrous consequences. I think that I may be a Christian (i.e., a follower of Jesus Christ, however distant I may be from his standard of perfection), but I balk at the excesses of Pauline theology and the additional intricacies added by the various denominations, so I'm probably destined for Hell anyhow.
  15. Hmm, interesting. My reading of mythology has only bolstered my faith. I expect that each person's reaction to mythology (or any subject, really) depends greatly on environmental factors: a person's upbringing, location, etc. etc.


    Both C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton handled reason and Christianity quite well. The two are not mutually exclusive, though I agree with your observation in the trend mainstream church to place more emphasis on belief and trust, rather than on logic and reason.
    Myrddin likes this.
  16. Nadai

    Nadai Active Member

    People are products, not only of family, but their environments.
    ...
    God wants us to have faith in Him and His teaching, complete faith without question. I suppose it is easy for some to view that as cultist, obviously because there are several cult leaders claiming that they are prophets of God or that they are the new Jesus, but for Christians it's how God works. The Bible tells Christians about people who come to preach the Word claiming that they are sent by God, but we are to stay away from those people because they are false prophets and they will be held to a higher standard and judged more severely than most. Any and every problem a person will encounter in this world can be explained in the Bible. If Christians read it they will learn how to live and reach Heaven. God says that the wisdom of the world is foolish in His eyes, so I supose that some people can lean on their logic and reason and trust only what they see and what science tells them is true, but they are not wise in God's eyes. I'd rather be an idiot destined for Heaven than a genius burning in Hell any day, but that's just me.
  17. RLynn

    RLynn Active Member

    St. Paul was a clever dude, wasn't he? He was essentially saying, "Sure, I know this new religion makes no sense; it's not supposed to." Brilliant bit of logic! There's no argument against something like that. You either take it or leave it. :cool:
  18. OracleLady

    OracleLady Member

    As a high school English teacher, I taught mythology whenever I could. Mythology IS literature. If readers do not know the mythology, the allusions to it sail right over their heads. Mythology is a basic. Some teachers are so busy teaching to year-end tests, and their students know so little, that they tend to skip filling in background. Some teachers didn't learn much mythology, so they weren't comfortable teaching it. About 50% of students claim to hate mythology, but they were largely those who hated reading anything. They liked movies, however -- movies about mythology.
    Myrddin likes this.
  19. Rhonda Tharp

    Rhonda Tharp Active Member

    A few years ago I created a mythology class for 8th graders which covered myths from Greek, Celtic, Norse, Egyptian, Hindu, and Japanese and Chinese cultures. It was an 18 week course and I taught it for 7 years. Because of the budget cuts schools are facing, this elective was done away with. My students saw my boxes of Myth Curriculum the other day, and asked me if I could teach it again. Since my whole day is if filled with US History classes, I couldn't really do it...So we're going to have "class" after school for those that are interested.
    Myrddin and The Taciturn Scholar like this.
  20. RLynn

    RLynn Active Member

    Rhonda, you are to be commended. I think the original concept of public schooling had more to do with training for employment than education as such, The flowering of primary and secondary education in the late 1940s and early 1950s has drifted more and more back into the development of the basic skills needed for the work force.
    It amazes me to think of the evolution of curricula from when I went to school to the present. In third grade there was a required music appreciation class, where, besides becoming familiar with the basic classical masterpieces, I learned to sight read music. This has profoundly affected the my entire life.

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