Our Mythical Childhood...

The Reception of Classical Antiquity in Children’s and Young Adults’ Culture in Response to Regional and Global Challenges

Our Mythical Education

The research on the presence of Classical Antiquity is of vital importance to grasp the phenomenon of reception fully. Within the OMC Project, an international team of scholars studied the presence of the Classics in educational curricula worldwide. The research results have been published in the volume Our Mythical Education edited by Lisa Maurice.

As Lisa has put it, the volume examines the reception of the ancient myths within formal education in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, over a wide geographical area. It focuses for the most part on school education, but with forays into post-high school where relevant. An unusually wide range of such societies are represented in this study. Unlike many works on reception, which focus on Europe or North America, the volume Our Mythical Education covers Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, Africa, America (including Canada, the USA, and South America) and Australasia (both Australia and New Zealand) and it breaks new ground in its attention to geographic regions without a strong classical tradition, such as Brazil, Israel and Japan. 

Such a wide scope enables the bringing together of diverse approaches to similar topics.  Examination of the use of mythology in light of political and ideological changes, such as fascism, the various forms of government in Spain, the communist Soviet Union, Belarus, Poland, and even the attempts to decolonialise the curriculum in South Africa identity, provides an opportunity for comparison on a wide scale. Importantly, these analyses also provide ideas of how mythology can be used further in the future, pedagogically, ideologically, politically, and how it can create bridges between different peoples and societies that might on the surface seem to be very different from each other, but which in fact face similar and overlapping issues within their education systems. 

The volume was published both as a hardcover and in Open Access: 

Lisa Maurice, ed., Our Mythical Education: The Reception of Classical Myth Worldwide in Formal Education, 1900–2020, in the series “Our Mythical Childhood”, Warsaw: Warsaw University Press, 2021, pp. 579.

Design of the Cover: Zbigniew Karaszewski

posterTable of Contents

Open Access to the whole volume is available via the Publisher’s website.

Below we invite you to have a look into the first pages of all the chapters:

Introductory Sections: 

Part I: Our Mythical Education in Western Europe

Part II: Our Mythical Education in Central and Eastern Europe

Part III: Our Antipodean Mythical Education

Part IV: Our American Mythical Education

Part V: Our Far-Flung Mythical Education: Africa, Asia, and the Middle East


The next aspect of the studies into the reception of Classical Antiquity in education is presented in the Our Mythical Education Database (OMED). This is a small database planned within the Project with the aim of gathering some basic links and materials in regard to the use of Classical Mythology in education and to make these resources available to educators and the general public interested in the theme. We expect ca. altogether 100 entries, as a preliminary phase of testing the ground for the future research. The OMED is edited by Lisa Maurice who performs the second peer-review of the entries which are managed and introduced to the OMED by Ayelet Peer.

To visit the OMED, click here.