Virtual Virginia

1165 World Mythology

Field of Study

This course introduces the academic study of mythology. This is accomplished by examining the role archetypes play in the development of a culture’s spiritual perspective as sources of myths. Literary elements such as symbols, themes and plots of myths are analyzed, enabling the student to identify common characteristics and patterns in myths originating in various cultures and ancient religions throughout human history.

Material Covered

In this course, students will learn the definition of myth by understanding how myth is utilized to convey a message through the use of stories comprised of certain themes, symbols and plots. This course will explore myths unique to certain cultures and religions, such as Norway, Egypt, Africa, Native American, Great Britain, Greece and Rome and China. Additionally, a few comparisons will be made in myths addressing creation, floods, morality, heroes, death and the end of the world, over a variety of religious traditions and cultures through common cultural archetypes in order to identify and analyze common characteristics that surface throughout the ages of humanity

Student Expectations

Activities and assignments will vary throughout the semester, which include but are not limited to: projects, essays, journals, quizzes, tests and presentations. Assignments are designed to reflect the student’s understanding of the content presented in the modules, as well as demonstrate how students synthesize the content presented. In addition, students will engage in discussion of course content through participation in a discussion board, which simulates a classroom discussion.


  • None

Course Texts and Materials


  • Title: World Mythology: The Illustrated Guide
    Authors: Robert Walter; Roy Willis
    ISBN: 978-0195307528
    Publisher: Oxford University Press