• Hercules, c. 30 BC–20. Bronze with silver and copper inlays; 5-11/16 x 3-1/8 in. Purchase from the J.H. Wade Fund 1987.2

Gods and Heroes from Greece and Rome

Grade Level: 
Student Level: 
High School

Using bronze sculptures, coins, ceramic vessels, and a carved marble sarcophagus from the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, students investigate the exploits of Herakles, Athena, Perseus, Orestes, and others who vividly populated the imagination of the classical Western world. This is one of a planned series of distance learning lessons that compare the myths of several cultures and character traits of their heroes, as well as their quests, and connections to the natural world.

Program Format: 
  • Open with discussion of narrative characteristics Greeks and Romans myths.
  • Gods and Heroes comparison interactivity conducted throughout videoconference.
  • View and discuss depictions of Hercules and other gods and heroes in ceramics and sculpture.
  • Using objects from the Cleveland Museum of Art collection such as a sarcophagus, tapestries, and paintings, review myths of Orestes and Perseus.
  • Time permitting, interactivities using role playing or creative revamping of myths according to modern sensibilities.
  • Students will be able to compare gods and heroes of Greece and Rome, including Hercules, Orestes and Perseus.
  • Students will understand the importance of mythology in Greek and Roman culture.
  • Students will learn the characteristics of myth and understand how culture is revealed through the stories it tells.
  • Students will be introduced to the cultural and historical context of selected works of art and learn how art can tell a story.
  • Students will be introduced to the characteristics of mythology and learn that ancient myths, legends, and stories are used to explain the natural world, to teach morals, and to entertain.