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CLAS 320 A: Society and Status in Greece and Rome

Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
TTh 8:30am - 10:50am
* *
Breitenfeld photograph
Sarah Brucia Breitenfeld

Syllabus Description:

Classics 320: Society and Status in Greece and Rome

5 Credits
Synchronous Hour: Thursdays 9:30-10:30am

Sarah Brucia Breitenfeld (they/them)
Office hours: Fridays 9:30-10:30am and by appointment.

Class meetings:

For the most part, this class will be taught asynchronously (that is, not live). Recordings will be posted on this Canvas page, and you can watch them at your convenience. Each Thursday from 9:30-10:30am we will meet over Zoom to discuss a reading related to the topics we have covered that week.

Dipylon Krater closeup

Closeup of the Dipylon Krater (Athens, 8th century BCE)


In this course, we will be examining the public and private lives of the ancient Greeks and Romans, with a special focus on status, class, and gender. The diversity of human experience in the ancient world will be explored through the following topics: Greek and Roman social organization (men, women, children, the elderly, immigrants, slaves, and freed slaves); housing; dress; food and drink; sex and sexuality; death and beliefs in the afterlife; magic and religion; politics; theatre and music; art and architecture; economics; law; warfare; etc. No prerequisites.

Fulfills the following GE requirements: Diversity (DIV), Individuals and Societies (I&S), and Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)


In this class, students will:

  • identify the practices and ideologies of Greek and Roman society, as demonstrated by weekly quizzes.
  • analyze primary and secondary sources for Greek and Roman social history, as demonstrated by weekly class activities and discussion boards.
  • reflect broadly on the diversity of human experience in the ancient world, as demonstrated by written answers on the final exam.


All textbooks available for free online via UW libraries. Students may purchase physical copies if they would like through the UW Bookstore.


Catalog Description: 
Examines the societies of ancient Greece and Rome, with a special focus on status, class, and gender. The diversity of human experience is explored through the study of men, women, children, the elderly, slaves, housing, dress, food, sexuality, medicine, death, religion, theater, politics, law, economics, travel, warfare, art, and athletics. Offered: A.
GE Requirements: 
Diversity (DIV)
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
April 29, 2021 - 10:53pm