Scroll and Tablet Blog

Have you ever wondered if concepts like “female” or “male,” “woman” or “man” have been consistent across cultures? Or whether past peoples thought about sexual identity, morality, and orientation in the same way that you do? Maybe you’ve heard rumors that Ancient Greece and Rome were basically wild orgies, societies that contributed to their own downfall through sexual perversion. Can that possibly be true?

CLAS-B 311 serves as an introduction to sex and gender in ancient Greece and Rome. The goal of the course is to provide an easily accessible gateway to the Classical World, by way of an interesting and important area of research. By studying representative works of art, artifacts, and literature, you will explore topics including:

  • the lives of women in the ancient world
  • ancient same-sex relationships
  • the role of sexuality in history and literature
  • how social status shaped sexual morality
  • characters such as Helen of Troy, Odysseus’ “faithful” wife Penelope, the Tyrant-Slayers, Sappho, and Lucretia, whose death created the first Republic (allegedly)

Most importantly, you will also learn to think critically about important questions: How did ancient Mediterranean societies conceptualize sex and gender? How did such conceptions evolve and function within the specific context of the ancient Mediterranean world? What social roles did sex and gender play? How did societies shape ideas of sex and gender, and how did sex and gender shape societies? How are sex and gender reflected in the literature and art of both ancient societies and our modern culture?

Want to explore how this course connects with the modern world? Check out our blog posts inspired by this course.

Fun Facts:

  • 5 week, 1 credit “appetizer” class
  • offered online asynchronous
  • can be combined with other 1 credit “appetizer” classes
  • no pre-reqs
  • can be applied to the Classical Studies Minor

Coming Next: Fall 2024 (26763)

  • 2nd 5 week session (9/30/2024–11/1/2024)
  • online asynchronous
  • Dr. Elizabeth Thill

Recent Offerings

SPRING 2024 (2nd 5 wk)
  • online asynchronous (Dr. Elizabeth Thill)
Fall 2023 (2nd 5 wk)
  • online asynchronous (Dr. Elizabeth Thill)
spring 2023 (3rd 5 wk)
  • online asynchronous (Dr. Elizabeth Thill)