Greek Roman mythology imageThe myths of the ancient Greeks and Romans are some of the most exciting stories ever told. From Theseus outwitting the Minotaur to Odysseus escaping the one-eyed cyclops, and the innumerable stories of love involving the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus, as well as an array of over-the-top superheroes, these tales are the foundation stone on which Western civilization was built. Because of that it is no surprise to learn they have been loved by artists from the moment they were first told until the present day. And because of this we can use visual art to learn these ancient stories and at the same time expand our appreciation and enjoyment of some of the greatest paintings and sculptures ever made.

This course will comprise eighteen evening sessions held in the classroom at Imperial College, South Kensington. During the course students will also have the opportunity to attend one Saturday half-day session at a major museum in London, to discuss with their tutor the use of mythology in works of art, using of actual art objects.

No previous knowledge of art or ancient culture or mythology is needed to join.

Indicative Programme

  • Session 1: Who were the Greeks and their Gods
  • Session 2: The Birth of Gods, Men and Women
  • Session 3: Ovid, Metamorphosis and The Metamorphoses
  • Session 4: Medusa (or Days of the Living Dead!)
  • Session 5: Hubris and Blasphemy
  • Session 6: The Lives and Loves of Zeus
  • Session 7: Et Ego in Arcadia
  • Session 8: The Gods of Love
  • Session 9: The Heroes 1 - Herakles (Hercules)

*** Christmas break ***

  • Session 10: Apollo and Dionysus
  • Session 11: The Heroes 2 - The Perseus and Jason Cycles
  • Session 12: Gods of War
  • Session 13: The Trojan War
  • Session 14: The Heroes 3 - Odysseus
  • Session 15: Doomed Love - Orpheus and Euridice
  • Session 16: Mythology as Allegory
  • Session 17: The Heroes 4 - Aeneas
  • Session 18: A Living Tradition?

This programme is indicative and may be subject to modification.

About the tutor

Mr Leslie Primo is an Art Historian, Television Presenter, and Freelance Lecturer. More information about the tutor’s work, interests and background can be found here:

Twitter: artfirstprimo      Blog: artfirstprimo

Questions regarding the content and teaching of the above course should be sent to the course tutor, Mr Leslie Primo,

Imperial College undergraduates and postgraduates may, if they wish, acquire 2 ECTS credits after successfully completing their Evening Class. To qualify, a student must attend the classes regularly and pass a test at the end of the second term. In late January, students will be invited to apply to take the test.

Please carefully review the Programme TimetableTerm Dates and Fees & Enrolment information before clicking on the booking link.