Gods, Heroes and Mystery Cults: Religion in Ancient Greece - CLAS7520

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 6 30 (15) Efrosyni Boutsikas checkmark-circle


This module is an introduction to ancient Greek ritual and religion, including the Mystery cults. The module offers a comprehensive introduction to the major gods and goddesses of ancient Greece, spheres of influence, characters, relationships, exploits, and worship. It is concerned with the analysis of religious festivals, cults, beliefs, and the development of religious architecture. The module additionally briefly contrasts Greek religion to Christianity, as an example of investigating how Greek religion differs from, and resembles modern religions. The materials of the module are drawn from archaeology, Greek poets, artists, playwrights, mythographers, and philosophers from the 10th–2nd centuries BC.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 40
Private Study Hours: 260
Total Study Hours: 300


Autumn or Spring

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Presentation (20 minutes) – 20%
Essay (3,000 words) – 80%

Reassessment methods
Reassessment Instrument: 100% Coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages: https://kent.rl.talis.com/index.html

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the archaeology and the historical sources on ancient Greek cults from the 10th–2nd centuries BC;
2 Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the development of Greek religious architecture in relation to the needs of religious rites and cult practices;
3 Demonstrate systematic understanding when assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the archaeological evidence and historical sources dealing with religious practice and cult for the periods covered;
4 Demonstrate independent learning skills and discuss with confidence aspects of ancient Greek religion, beliefs of the cosmos and the divine;
5 Using established techniques, accurately identify artistic representations of the major gods, goddesses, and heroes of ancient Greece, their spheres of influence, character, relationships, exploits, and worship.

The intended generic learning outcomes.

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Discuss issues in written work using coherent and logical arguments;
2 Develop critical ability in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of sources and arguments;
3 Demonstrate comprehensive awareness of the main types of evidence and how they may be combined to produce an understanding of the discipline being studied;
4 Demonstrate confidence in working creatively, flexibly and adaptably with others whilst devising and sustaining arguments using current research within the discipline.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.