Myths – narratives in which gods and goddesses are the principal characters – provided an explanation for the human condition and the relationship between the divine and the human world. This class will provide a general introduction to the mythology of key civilizations of the ancient Near East – Egypt, Mesopotamia, Syria-Palestine – and the Hebrew Bible. The evidence for myths differs widely across this region – in Egypt, we have ample visual representations of myths and mythological motifs, Mesopotamia has left us extensive texts. Different again is the case of the Hebrew Bible – can we at all speak about a ‘biblical mythology’? Throughout the course, we will analyze in detail a number of myths and their purpose within religion and society – creation and flood myths, solar myths, myths about the underworld, myths about specific deities. We will discuss the problem of Biblical mythology and specific examples (myths of creation and destruction; historical myths). Finally, throughout the course, we will also assess cases of the reception of ancient Near Eastern myths in modern movies and popular culture (e.g., “Gods of Egypt”, 2016).