Myths are alive and well and constantly floating around in many guises. You'll learn why myth has been such a powerful method of orally passing down cultural information to new generations, and why we still continue to use this method of story-telling. Prof. Voth discusses the significance of myth in human history by examining creation myths from around the world, myths about Gods and Goddesses and their interactions with humans, as well as, hero myths that include present day renditions such as that of Harry Potter. A warrior embarks on a voyage to retrieve a mysterious fleece. A man lassoes the sun to lengthen the day. A giant boar raises the earth from the sea with its enormous tusks.These are just a few of the thousands of myths from around the world. They are tales of powerful gods, fearless heroes, frightening monsters, ingenious tricks, and epic battles.But more important: These stories are the keys to truly grasping the ways that principles, rituals, codes, and taboos are woven into the fabric of a particular society or civilization. It's through myths that we can answer these and other fundamental questions:How was the universe created, and why?What is the purpose of evil?Why is society organized the way it is?How did natural features like rivers, mountains, and oceans emerge?Grasping the deep-seeded truths behind myths is an illuminating and rewarding journey that reveals provocative new insights into the ways that beliefs are passed on from generation to generation.And it's a journey you can experience and own with Myth in Human History. This entertaining and illuminating course, delivered by engaging storyteller and award-winning Professor Grant L. Voth of Monterey Peninsula College, plunges you into the world's greatest myths. Taking you from ancient Greece and Japan to North America and Africa to New Zealand and Great Britain, these 36 lectures survey some of the world's most enduring myths and the cultures behind them. By the close of the final lecture, you'll find yourself looking at and understanding world mythology in startling new ways.Explore Hundreds of Captivating Stories ...Surveying the greatest myths may seem like an impossible task. So to make learning about world mythology all the more accessible, Myth in Human History is structured into five units.Myths about creation and destructionMyths about gods and goddessesMyths about heroesMyths about trickstersMyths about sacred placesBy approaching myths in this way, you'll be better able to understand mythology's profound importance in shaping nearly every aspect of culture. You'll also discover the hidden connections between them-a comparative approach that emphasizes the universality of myths across cultures.... and Meet a Wealth of Fascinating CharactersAlong with the stories themselves, you'll encounter fascinating characters, includingHerakles, the ancient Greek hero whose life illustrates the idea that all heroic stories have a similar structure;Loki, the shape-shifting trickster who introduces the concept of time into the Norse realm of Asgard; andKing Arthur, the Celtic lord and founder of the Knights of the Round Table.An Engaging Tour, a Master StorytellerA veteran Great Courses instructor, Professor Voth draws you into each myth, and, in doing so, celebrates the same enchanting oral tradition that helped to spread so many of them. With almost every myth in the course, he first tells it as a story to be listened to and savored. Then he explains how different readings and interpretations shed meaning on the myth's role in larger culture. And finally, he invites you to develop your own interpretations of these age-old tales, as well as to ponder the role that myths-both ancient and everyday-play in your own life.Myths, according to Professor Voth, are gifts from the ancestors to be cherished. Myth in Human History is the perfect way for you to celebrate these cherished gifts, to learn more about them than you ever thought possible, and to discover how mythology has the power to shape human history.