Pandora’s Daughters
CLHU U160-001
Spring 2003
T. Davina McClain, Associate Professor
Classical Studies

Place: Bobet 214B Time: MWF 8:30-9:20AM
Office: Bobet 301  Office Phone: 865-3683
Home: 985-653-3908 (8AM-10PM) 
                 (use the area code, but don't dial 1) 
Office Hours: MWF 7-8am; WF 10:30-11:00am; MW1:30-3pm
e-mail: homepage:


This class will explore the nature of women's lives in the ancient world, as well as the way women have been represented in the literary and artistic works of the ancient Greeks and Romans.  We will first try to establish some sense of women's experiences in ancient Greece.  Even though the study of these experiences is necessarily dependent in a large part on works of literature, it is vital that we understand more about women's lives than the stories of Medea and Dido tell us.  While we establish some sense of the historical world of women, we will learn about individual women and their families, so that the world of women is not a nameless and faceless one, but rather a world filled with individuals whose lives made an impression on the past and on the present.  Then we will look closely at the literary representations to understand better the sources on which our information is dependent and to explore the other forces (cultural context, mythology, genre) that shaped the depictions of women in ancient (and modern) literature.

To accomplish all of this, you have to accept certain responsibilities:

    1.  You will attend every class;
    2.  You will prepare for every class by reading and thinking about the assignment;
    3.  You will ask questions when you don't understand something.
    4.  You will participate in class discussions.  Learning is an active process, not a passive one.  If you cannot put your ideas into words, can you be sure that you really understand?

And I have certain responsibilities too:

    1.  I will make the class policies clear
    2.  I will stick to the syllabus AS LONG AS it is in the best interest of the class
                (i.e., changes may need to be made)
    3.  I will answer your questions
    4.  I will provide clear explanations of the material
    5.  I will make learning fun!

Your grades will be calculated on the basis of the following:
Attendance 20% You begin with 100 pts. for attendance.  I subtract 3 pts. for every day you miss.
Preparation 20% At the beginning of each class, there will be a brief T/F quiz over the readings for the day.  These cannot be made up.  If you miss the quiz because you are late to class, you will receive a 0.  You must be on time. 
Participation 10% You must participate in class discussion by asking questions, responding to questions, and sharing your reactions to and ideas about the material. 
Exams 20% If you miss an exam, you must provide a written excuse with a phone number for verification.  You must take the make-up exam within a week of the original exam date. 
Papers 20% Your papers will address issues about the representation and the realities of women's lives.  They will be a minimum of 1200 words and on a topic of your choice.  For more details, click here . Plagiarism on these papers will earn you an F in the class.
Final 10% The final will be comprehensive and comparative.

Required textbooks:

    Blundell, S.  Women in Ancient Greece
    Dixon, S.  The Roman Mother (xeroxed by permission)
    Biographical Dictionary of Greek and Roman Women (BDGRW)
    Greek literature packet
    Roman literature packet

Roman world -
Roman house -
Roman maps -
month day date Reading Assignments due/Exams/Papers
Jan M 13  Intro

W 15 Introduction to the Greek World

F 17 Blundell, pp. 9-12; 63-77

M 20 Martin Luther King Day - no class

W 22 Blundell, pp. 78-94

F 24 Blundell, pp. 95-112; BDGRW selections 7th-6th centuries (you can get to a century by century list by clicking here.

M 27 Blundell, pp.113-149

W 29 Blundell, pp. 150-159; BDGRW selections 5th century

F 31 Blundell, pp. 160-169; BDGRW selections 4th century
Feb M 3 BDGRW selections 3rd century

W 5 Images of Greek women


M 10 Blundell, pp. 13-46

W 12 Blundell, pp. 47-57; Homer selections (pgs 1-20 in packet)

F 14  Homer selections and Hesiod selections (xerox and (pgs 20-57 in packet)

M 17 Greek Lyric poets selections (xerox and;; (pgs 57-73 in packet)

W 19 Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes

F 21 Sophocles, Women of Trachis (

M 24 Euripides, Andromache (pgs 75-99 in packet)

W 26 Aristophanes, Lysistrata (pgs 100-153 in packet); Paper I topic due

F 28 Oratory and History (xerox (pgs 73-4 in packet) and and
Sections 17-70 of the Speech "Against Neaera"  (use the arrows at the top or bottom 
of the text page to navigate.   I have reset the link below to begin at the right section.)
March M 3 Mardi Gras

W 5 Mardi Gras

F 7 Paper I due; Introduction to the Roman World

M 10 Dixon, preface-p. 40

W 12 Dixon, pp. 41-70

F 14 Dixon, pp. 71-103; BDGRW selections 7th-2nd centuries

M 17 Dixon, pp. 104-167; BDGRW selections 1st century BCE (Publilia-Octavia (2)

W 19 Dixon, pp. 168-209; BDGRW selections 1st century BCE (Calpurnia (1) to Tullia(2)

F 21 Dixon, pp. 210-232; BDGRW selections 1st century BCE (Urgulania to Statilia)

M 24 BDGRW selections 1st century CE (Petronia to Attia Variola) (updated)

W 26 BDGRW selections 1st century CE (Aurelia to Vibia Sabina) (updated)

F 28 BDGRW selections 2nd-3rd centuries CE (updated)

M 31 Images of Roman women
April W 2 Exam 2   Review Sheet          Roman women for Exam

F 4 Classical Association of the Middle West and South Meeting - no class

M 7 Plautus, Amphitryo

W 9 Terence, The Mother-in-law 

F 11 Cornelia and Catullus and Cicero; Cicero - For Marcus Caelius Rufus

M 14 Easter Break 

W 16 Easter Break 

F 18 Easter Break 

M 21 Easter Break

W 23 Livy selections

F 25 Horace and Propertius and Sulpicia selections

M 28 Ovid

W 30 Vergil, Aeneid selections (4)
May F 2 Seneca and Suetonius

M 5 Pliny selections; Paper II topic due, Paper II due at Final (guidelines)

W 7  Juvenal

Final Exam   Wednesday May 14th, 9-11AM