Mythology Meeting in Claygate every 3rd Thursday of the month, at 10.30 to 12.30. Traditional tales of various cultures
This group meets in the Leader’s home. There are usually about 7 of the 9 members at each meeting.
About 5 years ago a half a dozen of us had expressed an interest in studying Greek mythology. None of us had had a classical education and our knowledge came from reading/hearing the myths as children, reading and/or attending performances of Greek plays or gleaning information from artworks with a classical theme. One member was willing to offer their home as a meeting place and we got together to figure out how we might manage a self-educating group.
To get started it seemed logical to start with creation myths. Each member researched the topic and came to the group sessions with notes or a power point presentation and we exchanged information and had a discussion. Once the group was advertised as available we quickly had new members join us.
Following on from the creation myths, we looked at the various Greek gods in turn, then the heroes and monsters in the myths. We read the Odyssey and some Greek plays, such as the Oresteia and arranged a trip to a theatre to see it performed on stage. Finally, we read the story of the Trojan war contained in Homer’s Iliad and visited the British Museum to look at the portrayal of this myth on Greek vases.
Our studies of Greek mythology motivated us to look at the myths of other cultures and we are currently researching some of the Roman myths found in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which were the inspiration for many classical paintings. It is likely that a trip to the National Gallery to look at some of these will follow. We have plans to read Virgil’s Aeneid, which tells the story of the founding of Rome by an escapee from Troy after the Trojan war. It seems that the more you study ancient stories, the more interesting stories you find. It is fascinating to see how they all still seem so relevant, even in the twenty-first century.