The Science Behind the Myth: Homer's "Odyssey"

This The Science Behind the Myth: Homer's "Odyssey" video also includes:

Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh, my! Sorcerers, cyclops, and drugs, oh, my! Matt Kaplan theorizes that there might be a scientific basis for some of the events in the Odyssey, that Circe might actually have been a chemist and have mixed jimson weed into the food of Odysseus's crew, causing them to hallucinate. What fun!

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Instructional Ideas

  • For other examples, check our Linnda Caporael's paper "Ergotism: The Satan Loosed in Salem" in which she theorizes that ergot, a fungus that infects rye, can explain events depicted in The Crucible 
Classroom Considerations

  • Flip the lesson and have class members view the video, check out the research links, and complete the quiz before returning for a full-class discussion

  • The resource includes the video, a quiz, research suggestions, and a discussion prompt

  • None