January 19 Prolegomena: Gender / Sex.

Read the above website before class. List the qualities a woman in 19th century America was supposed to have. How well did these qualities adapt her to the role she was expected to play in American society at that time?

Part I. Pharonic Egypt

January 24 Introduction to Egypt.
Egyptian's view of history and geography. Role and importance of education.

For brief readings on the geography of Egypt and the differences between Upper and Lower Egypt in antiquity, images of the Nile and deserts:

Read: Robins. Introduction pp. 11-20.. Licht.II. pp. 168-175 A Schoolbook; pp. 175-178 The Immortality of Writers.

January 26 Power.

Read: Robins, chapters 1 and 2.. Licht. I. p. 90 Tjetyi; p. 18 Weni; p. 28 Royal Decree of Pepi; pp. 15-16 Princess Ni-Sedjer-kai; p. 16 Hetep-her-Akhet; pp. 17-18 Ni-Hebsed-Pepi.; pp. 118-120 Sesotris III; pp. 123-125 Ikhernofret. Licht. II. pp. 12-15 Ahmose, son of Abana; pp. 25-29 Obelisk Inscriptions of Hatshepsut; pp. 96-100 Great Hymn to the Aten
On-line texts:

Ahmose, son of Abana


Ikhernofret (loads slow)

Hatshepsut obelisk (shaft inscriptions only)

Obelisk image

Another obelisk image

Great Hymn of the Aten


January 31 Economic/Legal Position.

Read Robins, chapter 7; Licht. I. pp. 184-192 Satire of the Trades.

on-line Satire of the Trades

Read also this essay

and and read all the texts (# 1-10) that are linked on this essay page and their notes as well.

February 2 Religion.

Read: Robins, chapters 8 and 9. Licht. II. pp. 119-132 Selections from the Book of the Dead; pp. 107-109 Hymn to Meretseger; pp. 109-110 Hymn to Ptah

On Egyptian priests and priestesses:

On the God's Wife of Amun:


February 7and 9 Women in Art

Read: Robins, chapter 10 pp. 180-190.

For some illustrations of Egyptian art:

February 14 Women in Literature: Wisdom Literature and Stories. Essay Album topic due.

Read: Robins, chapter 10 pp. 176-180. Licht. I. pp. 58-59 Instruction of Prince Hardjedef; Instruction of Ptahhotep: read only stanza 18 p. 68; stanza 21 p. 69; and stanza 37 p. 73. Licht II. pp. 135-143 Instruction of Any; pp. 200-203 The Doomed Prince; pp. 203-211 The Two Brothers.

on-line texts:

partial text of Ani

Instruction of Ptahhotep

The Doomed Prince

The Two Brothers

If you are still unclear who/what Ma'at is (this understanding is essential to understand wisdom literature):'at

February 16 Women in Love Poetry.

For some background on the provenance of these poems:

We will discuss in class the following poems. Prepare by using this study-guide for the bold-faced poems below.

We will also discuss in class "Aim him straight" and "Send it back hard."

Foster is the first page number; Fowler is the second page number in each pair of poems.
5 Aim him straight
68 When you bring it

6 Send him back hard
69 When you bring it

8 How clever my love
70 How skillfully

9 Why, just now
71 While you

13 Once more you pass her house

74-75 I passed her house befogged

18 Your love, dear man
32 Your love

50 I was simply off
60My heart

58 Last night
64 It's been seven

107 What heaven
21 The loveliest thing

11 I found my love
72 My brother

45 My love is one and only
57 My sister

48 My love's a mischief-maker
59 My brother's voice

56 I just chanced to be happening by

63 I passed close to his house


February 21 Health


February 23 Test on Egyptian Women


Part II: Greece

February 28 Introduction:.

Read WCW 5-9, 10-18.

March 2 Aidos and sophrosyne, gesture and gaze. Read WCW 19-22., and WL 1-6 Sappho


March 14 The Metaphor of Containers:

Read WCW 22-39 and WL 393 Hymn to Demeter

Read WCW 22-39 and WL 393 Hymn to Demeter

For a cross-cultural exhibit on "The Woman as Container," click here.

For information on the Eleusinian mysteries of Demeter and Persephone, click here.


March 16 Creation of women and misogyny.

Read WCW 39-53 and WL 54, 55, 56 Hesiod, 57 Semonides.


March 21 the Metaphor of Wild Animals, Images of Apprehension.

Read WCW 68-83, 98-118, and Euripides Bacchae, Medea

For a synopsis of the myth about Medea, click here.

Pentheus was the son of Echion, king of Thebes, and Agave, and a cousin of the god Bacchus. When Bacchus tried to institute his cult at Thebes, Pentheus resisted. Euripides' tragedy tells how Bacchus punished Pentheus. Bacchae are women worshippers of Bacchus; they are also called Maenads, a term that comes from the Greek word "to rave, be frenzied."

on-line Medea

on-line Bacchae


March 23 Civic Religion.

Read WCW 83-98 and WL 12-8, Anyte, 10-11 Erinna, 393-Inscriptions 396, 402-403.


March 28 Women in philosophers' thought.

Read WCW 118-124 and WL 72 Aristotle, 73-74 Plato


March 30 Health issues.

Read WCW 183-203 and WL 341-350 Hippocrates

April 4 Test on Greek women.


III. Roman Women

April 6 Legal status.

Read WCW 211-227 and LF 107-129.


April 11 Marriage.

Read WCW 227-241 and LF 130-140

For an article on the different forms of Roman marriage, click here.

For an article on Roman dowries, click here.


April 13 Religion.

Read LF Vestals 408-411; Bona Dea 412-413;

For basic information on Vestals, with linked images, click here.


April 18 Some "real" Roman women

Read LF 168 Turia, 43 Murdia.

Read Cicero's letters to his wife, Terentia, and family, written while abroad during the Civil War with Caesar:

Letter 1

Letter 2

Letter 3

Letter 4

Letter 5

April 20 The "New Woman."

Read WCW 280-292, and Catullus: handout, and LF 34 on Clodia, 173 on women's demonstrations, 260 Cornelia Gracchorum, mothers and children 258, and 259; Sempronia 174.

For a brief biographies of these women, click on the name: Cornelia Gracchorum; Clodia.


April 25 Women in the Augustan Age.

Read WCW 294-327 and LF 265, 266, 334; and Sulpicia 21, 22, and Ovid, Amores and Ars Amatoria handout


April 27 Women in the Imperial Period

Read WCW 331-344 and LF 159 Eumachia, 75 Musonius, and 261 Seneca

For biographies of these women, click on the name: Livia, wife of Augustus, Eumachia (image of Eumachia) (Numbers 2.20 through 2.37 are images Eumachia's building.)

May 2 Women in Art.

Read "Beauty as a Virtue," and the images and their commentaries in I, Claudia Women in Ancient Rome ed. Diane E.E. Kleiner and Susan B. Matheson, pp. 165-176 (on reserve).


May 4 Display of Essay Albums. No absence allowed. Penalty for absence: 40 pts.


May 11 Test on Roman Women. 8-10 p.m.