CLSX 315 (87381)

Women in Ancient Art & Society

(Spring 2010; TR 11:00-12:15 pm; Wescoe 4033)

Last update: 15 Febuary 2010

Hydria (water jar) painted by Hypsis (ca. 510-500 BCE): Amazons arm themselves.
Shoulder: chariot scene, 2 youths on horseback.


Professor, Department of Classics
Director, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

1013 Wescoe & 213E Bailey

Office Hours:
MW 11:00-2:00 in Bailey 213E (for MW times, please make an appointment by emailing Jan Emerson
TR 12:45-3:30 in Wescoe 1023

If these office hours are impossible, email me to arrange for other times.

Required: Mary R. Lefkowitz and Maureen B. Fant, Women's Life in Greece and Rome. A Source Book in Translation (2nd. ed., Baltimore 1992); also available on-line
Recommended (the following are available in paperback from online stores like for about $15.00 each new and much less used)

Some course materials will be put Blackboard (

Classical Resources on-line

Brandeis Classical Resource Websites
Diotima (general resources)

Course Description: This course presents an introduction to women in the ancient Greek and Roman world from the 7th century BCE to the 3rd century CE.

Course Goals: Besides a familiarity with the basic outlines of ancient women's history and lives, the student should also obtain an introductory understanding of feminist theory.

  • Attendance & Class Participation. I expect full attendance at each class session; I shall take attendance 12-15 times during the semester (this may determine whether you take the Final or not).

    You should come to each class because almost ALL the material on the exams (slide illustrations, important points), will come from the lectures.

    I expect some class participation (questions, discussion) from each student. ąThis will result in my knowing your name; if I do not know your name by the Midterm, then you are not doing your job.

    Your attendance will be noted, and taking the Final exam will be partly determined by your attendance.

  • 2 Short Papers (1 due before the Midterm; the 2nd due before Stop Day -- you can turn in your paper any time before their due date).
    From the list posted below, select 2 subjects to write on -- or select a topic of your own. Email me your choices so I can help you.
    Each paper should be short (3-5 pages) -- bibliography and illustrations are both necessary, but they are NOT to be included in your page count.
    Your text should be sign-posted, with separate sections each with a heading (e.g., "Introduction," "A Problem," "A Possible Solution"). On Blackboard/Documents, I have uploaded a "Sample Paper".
    Treat these papers as research papers with a good and properly cited bibliography (at least 3 sources), sources given in the text (in-text or footnotes or endnotes) for where you got your information, and captions to your illustrations that say where you got those.
    Click here for a summary about bibliography and footnotes.
    Click here for a select bibliography in the KU libraries.
    Click here for a list of some topics.

  • 3 Quizzes and the Midterm

    There will be 3 short quizzes (15 minutes each), a midterm, and a possible final (see below).

    Quizzes: 11 Feb, 8 Apr, 6 May.
    Midterm exam: 11 March (R), 11:00 am - 12:15 pm, WES 4033.
    possible Final exam: 10 May (M), 10:30 am - 1:00 pm, WES 4033.

    For the Quizzes, the Midterm, and Final Exam, a "template" will be posted on Blackboard one week before the exam.

    The templates will give information of the following sort: "From the following 5 discussion points, the quiz will select 3, on 1 of which you will write a one-page essay."

    The quizzes will be short: identification of art work, terms, & names, short essays on major discussion points.

    The Midterm and Final will have approximately the same format: identification of art work, terms, & names, a couple of short essays on major discussion points and one longer essay.

  • Final Exam and Course Grade
    Your course grade will be based fairly equally on the Midterm, the 3 quizzes, the 2 short papers, and your in-class participation and attendance, as well as the Final Exam, if taken (see below).

    After I grade your quiz 3 and second short paper, I shall post on Blackboard/Gradebook your "Grade So Far."

    IF you attended 75% of the 12-15 sessions (9-11 sessions) when I took attendance you will NOT have to take the Final Exam. You may, instead, take the "Grade So Far" as your Course Grade and skip the Final Exam.
    IF you did not attend these 9-11 times when I took attendance, then I will post on Blackboard/Gradebook the following notice: "take exam." Those for whom I have posted this message MUST take the Final Exam to receive credit for the course.

    The Final Exam will be based mostly on the lectures after the Midterm.

    If you are NOT satisfied with your "Grade So Far," you may take the Final Exam (10 May, 10:30 am - 1:00 pm, WES 4033). Taking the Final Exam will NOT result in a grade lower than your "Grade So Far."

  • Makeup Exams (Midterm/quizzes/Final Exam) will be given ONLY if your absence is legitimate (serious health problems, a death in the immediate family) AND if you have a written document testifying to this emergency, to be submitted within a reasonable length of time; if this is a foreseeable absence, then you must inform me of your absence at least one week in advance by e-mail.

  • Points
    3 quizzes @ 10 pts = 30 pts
    6 disc forums @ 5 pts = 30 pts
    Midterm = 20 pts
    2 short papers @ 10 pts = 20 pts
    TOTAL = 100 pts

How to get a good grade in this class
  • Do the readings!
  • Come to every class - you will not be able to pass this course with a satisfactory grade if you do not see the images presented in class and participate in discussing the major points.
  • Ask questions in class; tell me your name until I have memorized it.
  • Do your own work!

    Complaints: If you have a complaint, please discuss it first with me. If you feel that you cannot discuss it with me, you may take your complaint to the Chair of the Classics Department, Professor Pamela Gordon ( If you do not receive a satisfactory solution, you may submit a written complaint to the Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the College office in Strong Hall.

    Plagiarism, Cheating, and Academic Misconduct
  • Plagiarism = turning in someone else's work (including online websites!) as your work; quoting another person's work or statement without proper citation or acknowledgement. If you do not know what plagiarism is, read the following guide from the KU Writing Center: "Avoiding Plagiarism".

    Plagiarism is presenting someone else's words or work as your own. Plagiarism applies to material taken from another person without properly citing your sources. Paraphrasing another writer, substituting words, or rearranging sentences from the work of another also constitutes plagiarism. Plagiarism is easily detected with databases and search engines.

    Plagiarism is academic misconduct and is a violation of rules and regulations of the University of Kansas. Penalties for academic misconduct range from an automatic failure of the assignment, failure in the course, academic suspension with a flag on your Arts Form, to expulsion from the University.

  • Cheating: getting answers on exams from someone else or from some help that is not in your own brain (e.g., iPods, cell phones).

  • Academic Misconduct: "Academic misconduct by a student shall include, but not be limited to, disruption of classes; threatening an instructor or fellow student in an academic setting; giving or receiving of unauthorized aid on examinations or in the preparation of notebooks, themes, reports or other assignments [= cheating]; knowingly misrepresenting the source of any academic work [= plagiarism]; unauthorized changing of grades; unauthorized use of University approvals or forging of signatures; falsification of research results; plagiarizing another's work; violation of regulations or ethical codes for the treatment of human and animal subjects; or otherwise acting dishonestly in research." (section II. of the Rules and Regulations of the Kansas University Senate)

  • The University regards plagiarism and cheating as very serious offenses. All attempts to take credit for work that is not your own or to assist others in doing so will be dealt with according to the policies of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

  • At the very least, I shall FAIL the cheating student in that assignment AND I shall file an academic misconduct charge against the student with the Office of Academic Services (the student will then have the opportunity to contest the charge, and to accept or appeal the punishment). If the student has committed prior offices or if I judge the academic misconduct severe enough, I may propose a harsher punishment than failure of the assignment (e.g., failure of the course, or suspension or expulsion from the University).

    Special Accommodations: Anyone who has a disability which may require some modification of seating, testing, or other class requirements should contact the Office of Student Disabilities to acquire the proper form that will allow me to make appropriate arrangements.


    14 (R) Jan -- 1. Introduction: Who were the Greeks & Romans? What are our sources for them? What can we gain from an exploration of women, gender, and sexuality in Greek and Roman antiquity? What are the issues and approaches we need to keep in mind?

    19 (T) Jan -- 2. Basic Feminism
    Required Readings on BB/Documents/Readings/BasicFeminism (of the following first three, you must read two)
  • Adrienne Rich, Compulsory Heterosexuality. In: Blackboard/Documents/Readings/Unit 2.
  • Sherry Ortner, Is Female to Male as Nature is to Nurture. In: Blackboard/Documents/Readings/Unit 2.
  • Monique Wittig, "One is Not Born a Woman". In: Blackboard/Documents/Documents/Unit 2.
  • Jonathan Dean, Who's Afraid of Third Wave Feminism? In: Blackboard/Documents/Readings/Unit 2.
  • Deborah Solomon, Fourth Wave Feminism. In: Blackboard/Documents/Readings/Unit 2.

    19-26 (T-T) Feb -- Discussion Forum 1: basic feminism

    21 (R) Jan -- 3. Basic Outline of a Woman's Life in Greece

    26 (T), 28 (R) Jan -- 4. Women's Work: Textiles, Home Economy, Sex Work
    Required Readings
  • Lefkowitz & Fant, VI. Public Life (esp. no. 160); VIII. Ocupations
  • J.G. Younger, "'Tekhnitides': Women Artists in Ancient Greece," an illustrated lecture given at "Her Art: Greek Women Artists Conference," University of Missouri-St Louis, 16 April 2005. In: Blackboard/Documents/Readings/Unit 4.
  • Younger, "Prostitutes & Prostitution" from Sex in the Ancient World A-Z. In: Blackboard/Documents/Readings/Unit 4.
  • T. McGinn, Pompeii Brothels and Society. In: Blackboard/Documents/Readings/Unit 4.

    Recommended Readings
  • Harriet Faxon, A Model of an Ancient Greek Loom. In: Blackboard/Documents/Readings/Unit 4.
  • Wayne Ingalls, Traditional Greek Choruses and the Education of Girls. In: Blackboard/Documents/Readings/Unit 4.
  • Text and Textiles. In: Blackboard/Documents/Readings/Unit 4.
  • Luther Hooper, The Technique of Greek and Roman Weaving. In: Blackboard/Documents/Readings/Unit 4.

    2 (T), 4 (R) Feb -- 5. What Did Women Know?: Education, Music, Medicine
  • Lefkowitz & Fant, VII. Private Life (esp. no. 267); X. Religion (esp. no. 415, 417)
  • websites for medicinal herbs , especially the gallery
  • Wayne Ingalls, Traditional Greek choruses and the education of girls. In: Blackboard/Documents/Readings/Unit 5.
  • Sheramy D. Bundrick, Music and Image in Classical Athens (Cambridge University Press 2005), "Women and Mousike," pp. 92-102. In: Blackboard/Documents/Readings/Unit 5.
  • Laale, H. W., "Abortion in Greek Antiquity: Solon to Aristotle," Classical & Modern Literature 13 (1992-3) 157-66 & 191-302

    2-9 (T-T) Feb -- Discussion Forum 2: work & education

    9 (T), 11 (R) Feb -- 6. Women, Birth & Death
  • J.G. Younger, "Women in Relief: 'Double Consciousness' in Classical Tombstones." In: Among Women: From the Homosocial to the Homoerotic in the Ancient World, edited by Nancy S. Rabinowitz and Lisa Auanger, 167-210. University of Texas Press, Austin. (also Blackboard/Documents #16)
  • Gyncecology in the Ancient World, annotated bibliography

    11 (R) Feb -- Quiz 1 on Blackboard

    16 (T), 18 (R) Feb -- 7. Women's Cults
  • Alkman, Parthenion
  • J.P. Johansen, "The Thesmophoria as a Women's Festival," Temenos (Helsinki) 11 (1975) 78-87 (Blackboard/Documents #20)
  • Matthew Dillon, Girls and Women in Classical Greek Religion, chap. 2, "The public religious roles of girls and adolescent women in Athens" (Blackboard/Documents #17)
  • Matthew Dillon, Girls and Women in Classical Greek Religion, chap. 3, "Women priests" (Blackboard/Documents #18)
  • Matthew Dillon, Girls and Women in Classical Greek Religion, chap. 4, "Women-only festivals" (Blackboard/Documents #19)

    23 Feb - 2 Mar (T-T) -- Discussion Forum 3: birth-death, cults

    23 (T), 25 (R) Feb -- 8. Anne Leon lectures
  • Lefkowitz & Fant

    2 (T), 4 (R) Mar -- 9. Medical Constructions of the Female Body; Midterm template online
  • Lefkowitz & Fant, IX. Medicine and Anatomy; Religion (esp. no. 406)
  • Hanson, Female Nature. In: Blackboard/Documents/Readings/Unit 8.

    9 (T) Mar -- 10. Hesiod's Women; Semonides' list of wife-types
  • All texts in Blackboard/Documents/Readings/Unit 11.

    11 (R) Mar -- Paper 1 due

    11 (R) Mar -- Midterm

    15-19 Mar: Spring Break

    23-30 (T-T) Mar -- Discussion Forum 4: medicalization of women's bodies

    23 (T), 25 (R) Mar -- 11. Homer: Helen, Andromache; Penelope, Nausicaa, Circe
  • Lefkowitz & Fant, III. Philosophers
  • All texts in Blackboard/Documents/Readings/Unit 10.
  • Lefkowitz & Fant,

    30 (T) Mar, 1 (R) Apr -- 12. Greek Women Writers: Sappho, Nossis, Korinna, Anyte
  • Lefkowitz & Fant, I. Women's VoicesI. Women's Voices
  • Nossis, Korinna, Anyte texts in Blackboard/Documents/Unit 17
  • Sappho, poems
  • Marilyn Skinner, "Corinna of Tanagra and Her Audience," in Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 2 (1983) 9-20. In: Blackboard/Documents/Unit 17
  • M.L. West, Corinna, in The Classical Quarterly, n.s. 20.2 (Nov. 1970), 277-287. In: Blackboard/Documents/Unit 17

    6 (T), 8 (R) Apr -- 13. Anne Leon lectures

    8 (R) Apr -- Quiz 2 on Blackboard

    13 (T), 15 (R) Apr -- 14. Women's Sexual Desire: Lysistrata
  • Lysistrata, the Gutenberg EBook, translation by Norman Lindsay

    13-20 (T-T) Apr -- Discussion Forum 5: women writers, women in Homer/Hesiod

    20 (T), 22 (R) Apr -- 15. Anne Leon lectures

    27 (T), 29 (R) Apr -- 16. Every Man's Nightmare: Antigone and Medea
  • Sophocles, Antigone, translation by William Blake Tyrrell and Larry J. Bennett
    Wikipedia's notes on "Antigone"
  • Euripides, Medea, translation by Cynthia Luschnig.
    Wikipedia's notes on "Medea"

    27 Apr - 4 May (T-T) -- Discussion Forum 6: Roman women

    29 (R) Apr -- Final Exam template online

    4 (T) -- 17. Maenads, Amazons, Monsters
  • Lefkowitz & Fant, X. Religion (esp. no. 388)

    6 (R) May -- Quiz 3 in class

    6 (R) May -- Paper 2 due

    7 (F) May: Stop Day

    10 (M) May, 10:30 am - 1 pm -- Final Exam

    A SHORT LIST OF POSSIBLE TOPICS (i.e., think up your own)
    A Greek woman author and her works
    Women in the cemetary
    Women's hairstyles as depicted in sculpture and/or vase-painting
    A woman or women in an ancient play
    Greek/Roman marriage customs
    Three representations of women compared and contrasted
    HerStory: take a myth or myth-history of a woman and re-tell it in the 1st person
    Some prominent women merchants
    Prostitution in Pompeii
    How Athena, Artemis, Hera, or Aphrodite are worshopped
    Women artists or musicians
    Biography of the wife or daughter of a Roman politician or emperor (you could also do this a "HerStory" [see above])
    Women's pets

    BIBLIOGRAPHY of sources in KU libraries.
    Elizabeth Barber, Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years: Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times (New York: Norton & Co., 1994)

    Blundell, Sue, Women in Ancient Greece (1995)

    Keuls, Eva C., The Reign of the Phallus (1985)

    Peradotto, John, and J.P. Sullivan, eds., Women in the Ancient World: The Arethusa Papers (1984)

    Pomeroy, Sarah B., Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves (1975)

    Pomeroy, Sarah B., ed., Women's History and Ancient History (1991)

    Rabinowitz, Nancy, and Amy Richlin, eds., Feminist Theory and the Classics (1993)

    Richlin, Amy, Pornography and Representation in Greece and Rome (1992)

    Winkler, John J., The Constraints of Desire: The Anthropology of Sex and Gender in Ancient Greece (1990)