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CLAS 326 B: Women in Antiquity

Meeting Time: 
TTh 10:30am - 12:20pm
SIG 225
Joint Sections: 
CLAS 326 A
Catherine M. Connors

Syllabus Description:

Honors 394 A: Women in Greek and Roman Antiquity

Course Overview


Ancient Greek drawing, girl on left holds wax tablets, girl on right holds her wrist. 

Course goals: In this course we shall read and discuss ancient sources on religion, philosophy, medicine and law along with modern scholarly analyses of ancient society to explore the roles of women in ancient Greek and Roman society. Readings are chosen and discussions are structured with the aim of developing three types of awareness:

historical awareness --knowledge of basic historical realities of women and of family life, limitations and biases of surviving evidence, how different Greece and Rome are from each other, and from now; a sense of how political institutions can intervene in or be relevant to family relations

critical awareness -- an understanding of the history of changing interpretations of the ancient world -- how what people see in ancient Greece or Rome can also articulate what they value in their own cultures 

self-awareness -- a sensitivity to the forces (laws, customs, stereotypes, images and more) shaping our own social relations.

Learning Goals

By the end of the course, students will demonstrate the ability to:

  • recognize, describe and analyze major features of ancient Greek and Roman religious, cultural, and political life across a variety of social, economic, gender, and ethnic categories with a focus on the experiences of women.
  • recognize, describe and analyze the operation of ideologies that shaped and constrained the experiences of individuals and groups in ancient Greek and Roman society with a focus on the experiences of women
  • recognize, describe and analyze some important examples of the subsequent impact of ancient Greek and Roman ideologies and develop an awareness of related issues of equity and inclusion. 

Required Texts

Women’s Life in Greece and Rome: A Sourcebook in Translation 4th edition, 2016. (Lefkowitz and Fant).

Available from University Bookstore. Other readings will be made available on Canvas. 


portrait photo of Catherine Connors

Professor, UW Department of Classics

pronouns: she/her. You can learn more about me here. 

Email: (please note there are 2 c's at the beginning)
Office: Den 262 B 
W 23 office hours:  Tues 1:30-2:30 Wed 12:30-1:30;  or please email to make an appointment. You can come to my office in Den 262 B or use this zoom link:

Academic Integrity

University of Washington students are expected to practice high standards of academic and professional honesty and integrity as outlined in this Academic Responsibility document.


Grades will be calculated based on:

75% frequent quizzes and assignments submitted through Canvas

25% final project

Course Schedule

Planned Modules include: 


Intersectional Approaches to Ancient Greece and Rome

Minoan Women

Mycenaean Women

Greek Myth, Religion and Ritual

Women poets in the Greek world

Sex, Gender and the Household in Athens and Sparta 

Greek Law

Can women Live a Good Life? Greek Philosophy  

Theory and Therapy in ancient Greek and Roman Medicine 

Women's lives in the Hellenistic world 


Women and Families in Roman Law

Roman Comedy 

Pagans and Christians

Being Boundless, Project Day 


Academic Support

Access and Accommodations

Your experience in this class is important to me. If you have already established accommodations with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), please communicate your approved accommodations to me at your earliest convenience so we can discuss your needs in this course.

If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), you are welcome to contact DRS at 206-543-8924 or or DRS offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and/or temporary health conditions.  Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process between you, your instructor(s) and DRS.  It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law.

Religious Accommodations

Required Syllabus Language: “Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy.  Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form.

Additional Resources

Notice to Students - Use of Plagiarism Detection Software

Notice: The University has a license agreement with SimCheck, an educational tool that helps prevent or identify plagiarism from Internet resources. Your instructor may use the service in this class by requiring that assignments are submitted electronically to be checked by SimCheck. The SimCheck Report will indicate the amount of original text in your work and whether all material that you quoted, paraphrased, summarized, or used from another source is appropriately referenced.



Catalog Description: 
A broad survey of primary sources in medicine, law, philosophy, religious ritual, myth, history, and ethnography, informed by perspectives from literature, art, and archaeology. Provides students the tools to analyze the social roles of women in ancient Greece and Rome.
GE Requirements: 
Diversity (DIV)
Social Sciences (SSc)
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Last updated: 
January 18, 2024 - 1:54am