ANCMED202R-000: Literature & Traditions

Topic: Virgin & Whore: Ancient World

January 12, 2016 - April 25, 2016
DaysTimeLocationInstructorGERCreditOPUS #
2:30pm - 3:45pm
Callaway Center N109
Casias, Cassandra

Interdisciplinary study of texts and themes from ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, and the Near East, and their reception in Western and Near Eastern traditions from antiquity to the present.

How did men perceive women in Ancient Greece and Rome? In this course, we will read works of ancient literature (in translation) from Homeric Greece to Late Antiquity that contain portrayals of women on opposite ends of the sexual spectrum: “pure” women (virgin priestesses, consecrated women, chaste wives) and “shameless” women (prostitutes, slaves, adulterous wives). In class, we will connect each primary source to the legal, political and social contexts that influenced the male author’s conception of female sexuality. This course will help students better understand gender dynamics in the ancient Mediterranean and gain a familiarity with the different styles and conventions of Greek and Latin literary genres.


Books TBD: Possible texts include Homer’s Odyssey, Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, Sophocles’ Antigone,Cicero’s Pro Caelio, Terence’s Adelphoe, andApuleius’ Golden Ass. It is important for everyone to have the same text, so students should wait for the official list from the bookstore in order to make sure that they purchase the right edition and translation of each ancient work.

The schedule of courses on O.P.U.S. is the official listing of courses, including days and times they meet and the General Education Requirements they satisfy. Students should use course descriptions as general guidelines. Course requirements, grading details, book lists, and syllabi are subject to change.