Scroll and Tablet Blog

Posted on February 12th, 2022 in Courses by Elizabeth W. Thill | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Have you ever wondered what the lives of women were like in the ancient world? Mythology is full of extraordinary women, and, statistically, 50% of every human who lived in ancient times was a woman. Yet finding ancient women can be difficult, given that they were excluded from many of the activities, big and small, that leave evidence in the historical and archaeological records.

CLAS-B 313 serves as an introduction to how the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome conceptualized, dealt with, and discussed women who were extraordinary, for either good or ill. 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
  • how ancient myths reflected real social struggle in how to treat women and girls
  • the role of sexuality in history and literature
  • how ancient history reflected real social struggle in how to treat women and girls
  • characters such as Helen of Troy, Odysseus’ “faithful” wife Penelope, the first Roman empress Livia, and Nero’s mother Agrippina Minor

Most importantly, you will also learn to think critically about important questions: How did ancient Mediterranean societies conceptualize extraordinary women? How did such conceptions evolve and function within the specific context of the ancient Mediterranean world? How did societies shape ideas of female lives and how did female lives shape societies? How are extraordinary women 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
  • no pre-reqs
  • can be combined with other 1 credit “appetizer” classes
  • can be applied to the Classical Studies Minor

Recent Offerings

Fall 2023 (3rd 5 wk)
  • online asynchronous (Dr. Elizabeth Thill)
Fall 2022 (3rd 5 wk)
  • online asynchronous (Dr. Elizabeth Thill)