The College of New Rochelle
School of Arts and Sciences
Department of Modern and Classical Languages


Fall 2002

Description: This course will focus on translation and discussion of Latin texts which portray Roman women in marriage, the family, and sexual relationships, and evidence male attitudes toward them, in a variety of literary forms (comedy, satire, love poetry, epic, myth, letters, history, inscriptions), from the 3rd Century BCE to the 2nd Century CE.

Dr. Ann R. Raia
Associate Professor of Classics
Faculty Home page
Office: Castle 325
Phone: (914) 654-5398
Office Hours: W 1:30-2, Th 11:30-12:30,
& by appointment

Course Objectives and Anticipated Outcomes: at the conclusion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. Mastery of foundational vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of Latin
  2. Ability to read, understand, and translate unadapted Latin passages from the works of a number of different authors, with appropriate assistance
  3. Understanding of how Latin differs from the forms, grammar, and syntax of English, leading to an increased understanding of how both languages function
  4. Acquaintance with the daily life and culture of the ancient Romans during the Republic and early centuries of the Empire
  5. Recognition and understanding of the values and social attitudes of the ancient Romans, particularly toward women
  6. Facility in accessing and using on-line classical resources

Materials of Instruction:

Print Course Texts:
S. Ciraolo, ed. Cicero: Pro Caelio. Wauconda, Ill.: Bolchazy-Carducci, 1999
H. Gould, J. Whiteley, eds. Titus Livius Book I. London: Bristol Classical Press, 1964
P. Shore. Rest Lightly: An Anthology of Latin and Greek Tomb Inscriptions. Bolchazy-Carducci, 1997
College-level Latin dictionary
College-level Latin grammar

Print Course Packet: selected poetry, prose, and inscriptions in Latin and English, distributed throughout the semester.

On-Line Texts and Images:
       Catullus, Allison Barker
       De Feminis Romanis, C.A.E. Luschnig, et al. at Diotima
       Feminae Romanae: The Women of Ancient Rome, Suzanne Cross
       House of Paullus Aemilius Lepidus and Cornelia
       Intermediate Latin Readings, A. Raia, et al.
       Latin Library
       Pliny, Letters: selected by H. Walker
       Roman Perseus: Catullus, Livy, Plautus, Vergil
       VRoma: images
       Women’s Life in Greece and Rome by M. Lefkowitz and M. Fant, at Diotima

Supplementary Primary Source Readings:
Suzanne Dixon. Reading Roman Women: Sources, Genres, and Real Life. London: Duckworth, 2001
E. Fantham, H.P. Foley, N.B. Kampen, S.B. Pomeroy, H.A. Shapiro, eds. Women in the Classical World: Image and Text. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994
Kleiner, Diana E. E., Susan Matheson, eds. I, Claudia: Women in Ancient Rome. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 1996
Kleiner, Diana E. E., Susan Matheson, eds. I, Claudia II: Women in Roman Art and Society. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000
M.Lefkowitz, M. Fant. Women’s Life in Greece and Rome: A Sourcebook in Translation. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1992, 2nd ed.
N. Lewis, M. Reinhold, eds. Roman Civilization: Sourcebook I: The Republic, Sourcebook II: The Empire. New York: Columbia University Press, 1966
Susan Martin, “Private Lives and Public Personae: the Laudatio Turiae
J. Shelton. As The Romans Did: A Sourcebook in Roman Social History. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998, 2nd ed.

Ancillary Materials:
Course Bibliography
Diotima's Bibliography
B. McManus' pages on Roman Names, Clothing, House, Social Class
J. Ruebel & M. Arnush's Timeline of Roman History
Videos, slides, maps, commentaries and guides to readings
Course management system for on-line syllabus, student conferencing, document posting and reading, project presentation, sharing relevant links

Methods of Instruction:
Class time will be used primarily for:

Special sessions will be scheduled for a guest lecture, slide shows, computer workshops, videos, student project presentations.

Course Requirements and Assessment Methods: Daily recitation, Class activities, Assignments, Projects, Final Exam

Students are expected to--

*Semester Projects:
1. Two Options: Choose one, for presentation on October 17:
        Inscriptions & Images: These texts, from a variety of time periods, provide an opportunity to “see” Roman women of all classes through non-privileged writing on epitaphs and through sculptural and painted images. Translate an assigned inscription, making note of the conventions of the genre of tomb and tribute inscriptions. Search the Internet for and choose an appropriate sculpture or painted image of a Roman woman. Research both in on-line and print sources. Post your translation, source links, and analysis of text & image on the course management system in preparation for your class presentation.
       Women in Roman Comedy: Stock characters of middle-class female types offer insights into the lives of and attitudes towards Roman women during the mid-Roman Republic. Choose one of Plautus' plays (Miles, Rudens, Truculentus) to read in a good English translation. Survey bibliography on your play and read at least two articles/book chapters (one will be assigned). Select a scene to translate from Latin for its focus on women, noting the vocabulary used to describe or identify them. Prepare a plot summary, listing female characters organized into stereotypes. Analyze their characterization, including their attitudes toward themselves and male attitudes to and assumptions about them. Compare these caricatures to women's social roles and attitudes presented in non-comic texts.

2. Latin Text Commentary (click here for detailed instructions):
Few Latin texts about women with commentaries are available to readers. This final project will make a contribution to annotated texts on women and will be your summative independent learning experience.
       Select a complete text or a portion of a text from the list provided; research the text in print and electronic sources; develop a glossary and notes on grammar and content appropriate for an intermediate-level Latin student.
       Once you have entered your completed work as a document in the course management system, classmates will read your text-commentary, translate it, and post both their translation and critique of your commentary.
       Corrected and revised projects may be placed on VRoma and/or offered to Dr. C. Luschnig, who invited our class to submit their projects for possible addition to her on-line anthology of Latin texts on women De Feminis Romanis.

Grading: Students will be graded on the quality of their completion of the requirements listed above as follows:
       50 % --participation, recitation, daily assignments, quizzes*
       30 % --two independent projects
       20 % --final examination
*students who exceed the maximum number of un-excused absences (4 in a 75 minute class) will find their grade negatively affected in this category.

Course Policies: attendance is required, as is appropriate class behavior; students are expected to meet deadlines: un-excused late assignments will not be accepted; make-ups will be arranged for students who have medical or other serious excuses; students are expected to report an illness through proper channels; those found cheating or plagiarizing will earn an F for the course. At the beginning of the course, students with documented special needs are expected to inform the instructor of accommodations or services needed for successful academic participation.

Topical Outline of Course Content: PUELLA, MATRONA, MERETRIX, AMICA

       The course topics derive from the theme of the course: Roman Women. Selected texts, organized into four categories, span the 3rd Century BCE to the 2nd Century CE. The readings illustrate both the positive and negative images of women within the category; they evidence variations of the female role within the category; they treat historical women, legendary women, and literary constructs; they are almost solely narrated from the male perspective, a point of view that secondary readings will help to challenge.
       The course begins with the least complicated female role of the course title, puella, and proceeds to the most complex, amica, which is not named in the course title. It moves from the level of reading texts as evidence of real women’s lives to questioning the texts by examining stereotypes, counter-stereotypes, conflicting texts, socio-economic levels, gender bias, and genre conventions.
       Readings will be found in our primary texts (Livy AUC Book I and Cicero, Pro Caelio), on line, and in your course packet materials.

Schedule: Class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2-3:15 in Chidwick 206

Assignments are given daily, in response to the differing levels of Latin expertise in the class and to my preferred pedagogy of advancing language competence through sight translation.
Additional information will be given in advance for the following special sessions:

Class will NOT meet: October 15, October 31, November 28, for which alternative arrangements will be made.

Thursday, September 5:
Introduction to the course content, pedagogy, syllabus, and the four units

Unit I: September 10-24: Readings about and discussion of Puella
    Course text: Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, Book I, selections
       Additional Readings: J. Hallett, “Women in the Ancient Roman World” in B. Vivante, Women’s Roles in Ancient Civilizations: A Reference Guide; J. Gardner, "Legendary Ladies" in Roman Myths

Unit 2: October 8-November 19: Readings about and discussion of Matrona
    Course Text: Cicero, Pro Caelio, selections on Clodia
    November 14: Illustrated guest lecture "Women in Roman Society," Barbara McManus
        Additional Readings: Jane Gardner, Th. Wiedemann, eds., "The Laudatio Turiae," in The Roman Household, pp. 48- 52, illustration #28; Suzanne Dixon, "The allure of 'La Dolce Vita' in Ancient Rome," chapter 9, in Reading Roman Women

Unit 3: November 21-November 26: Readings about and discussion of Meretrix
       Additional Reading: A. Raia, Women's Roles in Plautine Comedy

Unit 4: December 3-December 12: Readings about and discussion of Amica
    December 3: First Draft of Commentary Project due
    December 12: Second Draft of Commentary Project due; class peer critiques of commentaries
        Additional Reading: Giusto Traina, "Lycoris the Mime," in Augusto Fraschetti, ed., Roman Women, tr. Linda Lappin.

December 18:
Final Examination, Final Draft of Commentary Project, Evaluation
        Kimberly Nickerson, Commentary to Pliny's EpistulaeVII.24
        Jennifer Pinheiro, Commentary to Cicero's Pro CluentioV.12-VI.17
        Cara West, Commentary to Seneca's De Consolatione ad Marciam 3.3-4.3