CLSX 374 / HWC 374 (no. 69432)


(Spring 2013; MWF 11:00-11:50 am; Wescoe 4033)

Last update: 20 January 2013

red-figure kylix (ca. 475 BCE) by Apollodoros: one woman massaging the labia of another


Professor, Department of Classics: 1032 Wescoe
Associate Director, CGIS, for Jewish Studies

Office Hours
MWF 12:00-3:30 pm (Wescoe 1032) -- Classics office
TR 11:00 am - 3:00 pm (Wescoe 4029) -- Jewish Studies office

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

Course Description: This course presents an introduction to ancient Greek and Roman attitudes towards gender performance and sexual expressions and behaviors, with continual reference to modern attitudes and behaviors. In specific, the course uses gender and sexuality to sketch out a picture of ancient Greek and Roman societies against which we will also examine our own society. After a short introduction to the major concepts, there will be lectures and class discussions on topics like the following: age grades & rites of passage; childhood & adulthood; marriage; conception, birth, infanticide; the family; love; male homosexuality; female sexuality & the extant women poets; women & property; and sex & politics

Course Catalogue: "Classical Greek and Roman attitudes to gender and sexuality compared and contrasted with modern notions and behaviors. Attention is paid to literature (dramatic, philosophical, medical, and legal texts) and archaeological evidence (vase painting, sculpture, and domestic architecture). The course may include the following topics: age divisions and rites of passage from childhood to maturity; marriage; conception, birth, and infanticide; the family; love; homoeroticism; property and economics; and sexuality and the law, politics, and religion. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required: (Same as HWC 374.)"

Course Goals: Besides a familiarity with the details of ancient Greek and Roman notions of sex and gender, the student should also understand that gender expression, sexual attitudes, and sexual and behaviors have histories: there is no one "natural" or immutable expression of sex, sexuality, or gender. These concepts differ from culture to culture and change over time.




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 ( She may convene a panel of three Classics Professors to hear your complaint. If you do not receive a satisfactory solution, you may submit a written complaint to the University Judicial Board in the College office of Governance in Strong Hall.

ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT (Plagiarism, Cheating, Inappropriate Behavior)
  • Plagiarism: turning in someone else's work as your work; quoting another person's work or statement without acknowledgement. For more information see the Writing Center's website on plagiarism.

  • 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; unauthorized changing of grades; unauthorized use of University approvals or forging of signatures; falsification of research results; plagiarizing of another's work; violation of regulations or ethical codes for the treatment of human and animal subjects; or otherwise acting dishonestly in research." (section 2.6.1-7 of the Rules and Regulations of the Kansas University Senate)

    For more information on academic misconduct, see the Writing Center's website on academic misconduct.

  • I regard plagiarism and cheating as very serious offenses (I sit on the CLAS Academic Misconduct Board). 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, the cheating student will fail the assignment, if not the course.

    The Academic Achievement & Access Center (AAAC) coordinates accommodations and services for all KU students who are eligible. If you have a disability for which you wish to request accommodations and have not contacted the AAAC, please do so as soon as possible. Their office is located in 22 Strong Hall; their phone number is 785-864-4064 (V/TTY).

    For information about their services click here (

    Also, please contact me privately in regard to your needs in this course.

    A chronological outline of Greek History

    A chronological outline of Greek Art & Archaeology


    23-25 Jan: Introduction to the course: requirements, overview of the topics: the cultural construction of sexuality

    28-30 Jan: Terminology ("sex" & "gender"), Theory
    Interesting Readings: do not check books out for more than 1 day
  • Bamberger, Joan, "The Myth of Matriarchy: Why Men Rule in Primitive Society" in Rosaldo & Lamphere, Women, Culture and Society (Stanford, 1974) 263-280: Bb/Docs/Readings
  • Ortner, Sherry B, "Is Female to Male as Nature is to Culture?" Feminist Studies 1 (1972) 5-21
  • Rich, Adrienne, "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence," Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 5.4 (Summer 1980) 631-660
  • Scott, J, "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis," American Historical Review 91 (1986) 1053-1075
  • Younger, John G. 1997. "Gender and Sexuality in the Parthenon Frieze." In: C. Lyons and A. Koloski-Ostrow eds., Naked Truths. Women, Sexuality, and Gender in Classical Art and Archaeology (Routledge, London 1997) 120-53

  • 1-4 Feb: Social Relationships among the Sexes
    Interesting Readings: do not check books out for more than 1 day
  • Frontisi-Ducroux, Françoise. 1996. "Eros, Desire, and the Gaze," in: Kampen, Natalie B. ed. 1996. Sexuality in Ancient Art (Cambridge 1996): 81-100: ART LIBRARY N5333 .S425 1996
  • Golden, Mark, "Slavery and Homosexuality at Athens," Phoenix 38 (1984) 308-324
  • Gould, J, "Law, Custom and Myth: Aspects of the Social Position of Women in Classical Athens," Journal of Hellenic Studies 100 (1980) 38-59 LI>Younger, Outline of the Athenian Festival Calendar Bb/Docs/MiscMaterials

  • 6-11 Feb: Sex and Sexual Activities
    Interesting Readings: do not check books out for more than 1 day
  • Aristotle, Problem 30. Bb/Docs/Readings
  • Younger, John G. "Sexual Activities," from Sexuality A-Z: an Encyclopedia. Bb/Docs/MiscMaterials

  • 15 Feb, short quiz on terminology

    15 Feb, Paper 1 due

    13-22 Feb: Male Homosexuality
    Interesting Readings: do not check books out for more than 1 day
  • Bremmer, Jan, "Greek Pederasty and Modern Homosexuality," From Sappho to de Sade. Moments in the History of Sexuality, edited by Jan Bremmer (London: Routledge 1989) 1-14: Bb/Docs/Readings/Bremmer
  • Halperin, D.M., "Sex Before Sexuality: Pederasty, Politics, and Power in Classical Athens" in M. Duberman, et al., eds., Hidden from History (Meridian 1989) 37-53: WATSON HQ76.25 .H527
  • MacMullen, "Roman Attitudes to Greek Love," Historia 31 (1982) 484-502
  • Veyne, Paul. "Homosexuality in Ancient Rome," Western Sexuality: Practice and Precept in Past and Present Times, edited by Philippe Ariès and André Béjin (trans.; Blackwell, Oxford 1985) 26-35: Bb/Docs/Readings/Veyne
  • Younger, J.G. "Outline of Greek Male Homosexuality." Bb/Docs/MiscMaterials

  • 25 Feb - 4 Mar: Male Nudity, Athletics, the Military
    Interesting Readings: do not check books out for more than 1 day
  • Crowther, N.B., "Nudity and Morality. Athletics in Italy," Classical Journal 76 (1980-1) 119-23
  • McDonnell, M., "The Introduction of Athletic Nudity: Thucydides, Plato, and the Vases," Journal of Hellenic Studies 102 (1992) 182-193
  • Osborne, Robin, "Men Without Clothes: Heroic Nakedness and Greek Art," Gender and History 9.3 (November 1997) 504-28
  • Walters, Jonathan. "Invading the Roman Body: Manliness and Impenetrability in Roman Thought," Roman Sexualities, edited by Hallett and Skinner (1997), 29-43: WATSON HQ13 .R65 1997
  • Winkler, John J., "Laying Down the Law: The Oversight of Men's Sexual Behavior in Classical Athens", in: Winkler, John J., The Constraints of Desire (Routledge, New York 1990): 45-70: WATSON DF93 .W56 1990

  • 27 Feb (W): NO CLASS

    8 Mar, Paper 2 due

    6-13 Mar: Women's Bodies, Prostitution
    Interesting Readings: do not check books out for more than 1 day
  • Bonfante, Larisa, "Excursus: Etruscan Women," in: Fantham, Elaine, Helene Peet Foley, Natalie Boymel Kampen, Sarah B. Pomeroy, and H.A. Shapiro. 1994. Women in the Classical World. Image and Text (New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994): 243-259: WATSON HQ1127 .W652 1994
  • Cartledge, P., "Spartan Wives: Liberation or License?" Classical Quarterly 31 (1981) 84-105
  • D'Ambra, Eve. 1996. "The Calculus of Venus: Nude Portraits of Roman Matrons," in: Kampen, Natalie B. ed. 1996. Sexuality in Ancient Art (Cambridge 1996): 219-32: ART LIBRARY N5333 .S425 1996
  • Dean-Jones, Lesley Ann, "The Cultural Construct of the Female Body in Classical Greek Science," in S.B. Pomeroy ed., Women's History and Ancient History (Chapel Hill: UNC Press 1991) 111-31: Bb/Docs/Readings/Dean-Jones.
  • Homeric Hymn to Demeter
  • Joshel, S.R. "The Body Female and the Body Politic: Livy's Lucretia and Verginia." In Pornography and Representation in Greece and Rome, ed. Amy Richlin. Oxford University Press. 1992. WATSON HQ472.G8 P67
  • King, Helen, "Bound to Bleed: Artemis and Greek Women," in: Cameron, Averil, and Amelie Kuhrt, A, eds., Images of Women in Antiquity (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1983): 109-27. WATSON HQ1127 .I43
  • Kurke, Leslie. 1997. "Inventing the Hetaira: Sex, Politics, and Discursive Conflict in Archaic Greece," Classical Antiquity 16 (1997): 106-50
  • Lange, L, "Woman is Not a Rational Animal: On Aristotle's Biology of Reproduction" in S. Harding & MB Hintikka, eds., Discovering Reality: Feminist Perspectives on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science (Dordrecht, Amsterdam 1983) 1-15: WATSON HQ1154 .D538 1983
  • Two short pieces: Lissarrague, François, "Women, Boxes, Containers: Some Signs and Metaphors," pp. 91-101; and Reeder, E.D., "Women as Containers," pp. 195-199, both in: : Reeder, Ellen D. ed., Pandora. Women in Classical Greece (Princeton: Princeton University Press 1995): ART LIBRARY N7638.G8 P36 1995
  • Stewart, Andrew, F. 1996. "Reflections," in Natalie Kampen, ed., Sexuality in Ancient Art (Cambrdige: Cambridge University Press 1996) 136-54: ART LIBRARY N5333 .S425 1996

  • 15 Mar (F): MIDTERM

    16-24 Mar: SPRING BREAK

    15 Mar - 1 Apr: Female Homosexuality
    Interesting Readings: do not check books out for more than 1 day
  • Poems by Sappho and Nossis: Bb/Docs/Readings/Poetry
  • Castelli, Elizabeth A., David Halperin, Ann Pellegrini, Ken Stone, Deirdre Good, and Natalie Boymel Kampen. "Lesbian Historiography before the Name?" GLQ: Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 4 (1998) 557-630
  • Chauncey, George, "From Sexual Inversion to Homosexuality: Medicine and the Changing Conceptualization of Female Deviance," Salmagundi 58-59 (1982-3) 114-146
  • Hallett, Judith, "Female Homoeroticism and the Denial of Roman Reality in Latin Literature," Yale Journal of Criticism 3 (1989) 209-27: Bb/Docs/Readings/Hallett
  • Lardinois, Andre, "Lesbian Sappho and Sappho of Lesbos" in Jan Bremmer, From Sappho to de Sade: Moments in the History of Sexuality (Routledge, New York 1989) 15-35: WATSON HQ18.E8 V36 1989
  • Winkler, John J., "Double Consciousness in Sappho's Lyrics," in: Winkler, J.J., The Constraints of Desire (Routledge, New York 1990): WATSON DF93 .W56 1990
  • Younger, John G. 2001. "Women in Relief: 'Double Consciousness' in Classical Tombstones." In: Nancy S. Rabinowitz and Lisa Auanger eds., From the Homosocial to the Homoerotic: Women's Relations to Women in Antiquity (University of Texas Press, Austin 2001) 167-210
  • Younger, "Outline of Female Homoeroticism." Bb/Docs/MiscMaterials

  • 2 Apr (T), 2-5 pm: 8th Rehak Memorial Symposium on Art and Gender, Hall Center Auditorium Jeannine Uzzi (University of Southern Maine: "What Rome Wants: Politics and Pederasty in Roman Imperial Art"

    Eve D'Ambra (Vassar College): "The Beauty of Roman Girls: Portraits and Dolls"

    Amy Richlin (University of California, Los Angeles): "Roman Pet Boys in Nineteenth-Century Germany: Theodor Birt and the Pueri Minuti"

    5 April, Paper 3 due

    3-10 Apr: Rape, Marriage, Love, Divorce

    Interesting Readings: do not check books out for more than 1 day
  • Brown, P.G., "Love and Marriage in Greek New Comedy," Classical Quarterly 43 (1993) 184-205
  • Cary, Christopher, "Rape and Adultery in Athenian Law," Classical Quarterly 45 (1995) 407-417
  • Oakley, J.H., and R.H. Sinos, The Wedding in Ancient Athens. 1993. WATSON GT2751.A74 O25
  • Patterson, C.B., "Marriage and the Married Woman in Athenian Law," in S.B. Pomeroy, ed., Women's History, and Ancient History (1991), 48-72: and in WATSON HQ1127 .W6525 1991
  • Treggiari, Susan. 1991. "Divorce Roman Style: How Easy and How Frequent Was It?," in Marriage, Divorce, and Children in Ancient Rome, edited by B. Rawson, Oxford (1991) 31-46: WATSON HQ511 .M37 1991
  • Walcott, P., "Romantic Love and True Love: Greek Attitudes to Marriage," Ancient Society 18 (1987) 5-33

  • 12-19 Apr: Conception to Death
    Interesting Readings: do not check books out for more than 1 day
  • Bremmer, Jan, "The Old Women of Ancient Greece," Sexual Asymmetry: Studies in Ancient Society, edited by J. Blok and P. Mason (Amsterdam: Gieben 1987): 191-215: WATSON HQ1127 .S49 1987
  • Cohn-Haft, Louis, "Divorce in Classical Athens," Journal of Hellenic Studies 115 (1995) 1-14
  • Engels, D., "The Problem of Female Infanticide in the Greco-Roman World," Classical Philology 75 (1980) 112-20
  • Hanson, A.E. , "Conception, Gestation, and the Origin of Female Nature in the Corpus Hippocraticum," Helios 19, 1992, 31-71: Bb/Docs/Readings/Hanson
  • Harrison, W, Law of Athens (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1968-71), esp. part I, chap 1, "Marriage": RECALL from ANNEX KL4115.A75 H37 1968
  • Laale, H.W., "Abortion in Greek Antiquity: Solon to Aristotle," Classical & Modern Literature 13 (1992-3) 157-66 & 191-202: Bb/Docs/Readings/Laale
  • Laale, H.W. "Abortion in Roman Antiquity: Monarchy to Early Empire," Classical & Modern Literature 13 (1992-3) 297-308: WATSON PN883 .C54
  • Patterson, Cynthia, "'Not Worth the Rearing': The Causes of Infant Exposure in Ancient Greece," Transactions of the American Philological Association 115 (1985) 103-123
  • Pomeroy, Sarah B., "Infanticide in Hellenistic Greece," in: Cameron, Averil, and Amelie Kuhrt, A, eds., Images of Women in Antiquity (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1983): 207-221: WATSON HQ1127 .I43
  • Shapiro, H.A., "The Iconography of Mourning in Athenian Art," American Journal of Archaeology 95.4 (1991) 629-656
  • Stears, Karen. 1995. "Dead Women's Society: Constructing Female Gender in Classical Athenian Funeral Sculpture," Time, Tradition and Society in Greek Archaeology, edited by Nigel Spencer (London and New York: Routledge, 1995): 109-31.: WATSON DF78 .T55 1995

  • 22-29 Apr: Children, Adolescents
    Interesting Readings: do not check books out for more than 1 day
  • Amundsen, S.W., and C.J. Diers. "The Age of Menarche in Classical Greece and Rome," Human Biology 41 (1969) 124-32: ANSCHUTZ GN1.H8
  • Cole, Susan G, "The Social Function of Rituals of Maturation: the Koureion and the Arkteia," Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 22 (1984) 233-244
  • E. Eyben, "Family Planning in Graeco-Roman Antiquity," Ancient Society 11/12 (1980/1) 5-82: WATSON D51.A5
  • Harrison, W, Law of Athens (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1968-71), esp. part I, chap 2, "Children": RECALL from ANNEX KL4115.A75 H37 1968

  • 26 Apr, Paper 4 due

    1-8 May: Sexuality and the Law, Politics, Economics
    Interesting Readings: do not check books out for more than 1 day
  • Bb/Docs/Readings/Aristophanes
  • Demosthenes, "Neaera": Bb/Docs/Readings/Demosthenes
  • Raditsa, L.F., "Augustus' Legislation Concerning Marriage, Procreation, Love Affairs and Adultery," Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II.13 (1980) 278-339: WATSON DG209 .T36
  • Younger, J.G. "Tekhnitides: Women Artists in Ancient Greece." Her Art: Greek Women in the Arts from Antiquity to Modernity. Ed. Diane Tourliatos-Miles. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2011, 33-50.
  • Van Bremen, Riet, "Women and Wealth," in: Cameron, Averil, and Amelie Kuhrt, A, eds., Images of Women in Antiquity (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1983): 223-241: WATSON HQ1127 .I43

  • 13 May (M), 10:30 am - 1 pm: FINAL EXAM

    John Younger