Egyptian and Near Eastern Mythology

Subject ANCW20013 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

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

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture per week for 12 weeks and eleven 1-hour tutorials scheduled across the semester
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 8.5 hours per week including class time: total time commitment 102 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Roderick White

Subject Overview:

This subject will focus on the gods and the goddesses, heroes and villains from ancient Egypt and neighbouring lands. Students will explore some of the mythical stories that emerged from the lands of the Nile and Mesopotamia, which predate those found in classical mythology by several thousand millennia. Among the central patterns and themes that will be studied are the creation of the cosmos, the search for immortality, and hero myths in which men confront monsters. The characters we will meet along the way include deities such as Isis and Osiris, the formidable goddess Inanna, and the quintessential Near Eastern hero, Gilgamesh. We will engage directly with these narratives in the surviving literary sources, and in art, which are major source for Egyptian and Near Eastern myths.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • be able to demonstrate familiarity with the central patterns and themes in Egyptian and Near Eastern mythology.
  • be able to demonstrate familiarity with mythical narratives of the two regions.

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 pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. After five working days late assessment will not be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Subject readings will be available on line

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:

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • be skilled in critical thinking and analysis.
  • possess effective written communication skills.
  • have an understanding of social, ethical and cultural context.
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient World Studies
Classical Studies and Archaeology
Classical Studies and Archaeology
Classical Studies and Archaeology Major
Related Breadth Track(s): Archaeology
Ancient Civilizations B
Ancient Egypt and the Near East

Download PDF version.