Myth and Cult in the Ancient Near East

Subject 107-272 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Antonio Sagona


Tony Sagona

Subject Overview:

This subject will introduce the myths and cults of Mesopotamia and neighbouring lands, including Egypt, through an examination of literature and material culture. Attention will be paid to key issues and themes, which remained current and problematic in the ancient Near Eastern mind, including the order of the universe and humanity's role in it, the transcendent or sacred, the creation, and death and the afterlife. The subject also focuses on how these views were expressed in formailsed symbolic behaviour. On completion of this subject students should have an understanding of the Near Eastern frame of mind through myths and rituals; have assessed critically the relevant literary and material evidence; and have shown an understanding of the major and scholarly approaches to the subject matter.

Objectives: Students who successfully complete this subject should...

* possess a knowledge of the key myths of Mesopotamia and surrounding regions;
* understand how narratives were transmitted and adapted by different cultures;
* be able to analyse and integrate textual and archaeological evidence to understand the complexities of ancient Near Eastern cult

A class paper and follow up essay of 2500 words 60% (10% presentation, 50% essay, due during semester), and a take-home exam of 1500 words 40% (due in the examination period). Hurdle requirement: students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to be pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available at the beginning of semester

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be skilled in critical thinking and analysis;

  • possess effective written communication skills;

  • have an understanding of social, ethical and cultural context.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient World Studies
Ancient World Studies
Classical Studies && Archaeology Major

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