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History 111 Honors
Comparative Civilization I: Women in Antiquity
Judith Lynn Sebesta

Office: East 212 (677-5568)
jsebesta@sunbird.usd.edu
Office hours: 10-11 a.m MTWR

This course examines women's place in four civilizations: their social conditions, the gender roles they played and the power/authority they possessed, their silence, their speech, and their accomplishments.

Readings will include essays that are sociological, historical, biographical, anthropological, feminist, and literary analytical in approach. In addition to these essays, our sources will include the writings of men about women, (all too few) women's own writings, stele inscriptions, papyrus rolls, vase paintings and other forms of art.

Textbooks:

Reserve Readings: These are indicated by an asterisk in the syllabus and may be obtained from the Circulation Desk of I.D. Weeks Library. In addition, I have put on reserve a number of books students may find useful in preparing their research paper and project.

Attendance and Expectations: Attendance is mandatory except for personal illness or family crisis. Students are expected to read all assignments, attend every lecture, take notes, participate in discussions, and secure all handouts.

Students who expect to miss more than three meetings should meet with the instructor during the first week. In case of an emergency causing a student to miss more than two consecutive meetings through absence from campus, the student should notify the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences who will notify all the instructors.

Evaluation: Evaluation will be on the basis of written work, oral work, and participation in class discussions. The written work will include a mid-term exam, the keeping of a notebook, and two short papers. The oral work will consist of the presentation of one of these papers to the class. (The class is responsible for the content of these oral papers.)

Each student will also keep a single notebook dedicated to this course only and make it available for periodic inspection and evaluation by the instructor. The notebook should include the student's neatly organized notes on the lectures and, in separate sections, the readings.

The oral presentation will be of 15 minutes in length followed by discussion and be based on one of the two papers a student is expected to write. If necessary, (an) additional class period(s) will be scheduled to provide time for all students' oral presentations.

Each paper should be of five to ten pages in length. The papers are due in the Office of the History and Classics Departments (E 207) by 4:00 p.m. on the scheduled days (they may, of course, be turned in early.) Papers submitted later than that time and date will be penalized by ten points, and an additional ten points every twenty-four hours thereafter.

The papers must by typed neatly and conform to Chicago style, include title page and bibliography: see K. L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, These, and Dissertations, 5th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987) or The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993) available at I. D. Weeks Library.

The papers should address any two of these four themes:

Students should begin by defining the concepts they will discuss in the paper and develop their argument carefully from the primary and secondary texts and materials presented, read, and discussed in the course. Students should consult closely with the instructor as they develop their ideas.

Grade determination: A total of 240 points is assigned to this class, divided thus:

240-216 points = A; 216-200 = B; 200-175 = C; 175-150 = D; 150-0 = F

Course Calendar

September
5 Syllabus and Overview of Course.
Prehistoric Women: Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages
Readings:
*Glenn Blackburn, Vol. I. Western Civilization: A Concise History: Paleolithic Era xeroxed selection

10 Paleolithic Origins.
Guest lecturer, Dr. Brian Molyneaux, Anthropology Program
Readings:
Ehrenberg, chapters 2 and 3.
*M. Gimbutas, The Language of the Goddess. introduction pp. xv-xxiii.

12 Concept of the Mother Goddess(es).
Guest lecturer, Dr. Brian Molyneaux, Anthropology Program
Readings:
*M. Gimbutas. The Language of the Goddess.
Chapter 12 The Vulva. sections 12.1 through 12.6.1;
chapter 13 The Deer and Bear as Primeval Mothers sections 13.2;
chapter 17 Male Gods and Daimones all sections;
appendix, The Place and Function of the Goddess pp. 316-317.

17 Summary and Discussion

19 Aegean Women:
The 'Traditional' View
Readings:
*Nancy Demand. A History of Ancient Greece (chapter 2 "Minoan Crete," xeroxed selection)

24 Video "Crete and Mycenae"
Readings: Ehrenberg, chapter 4, pp. 108-118
*E. W. Barber, Women's Work, Chapter 4 "Island Fever."

26 Palaces as Religious Centers. Priests/Priestesses
Readings:
*Sara Immerwahr, "The People in the Frescoes" (xeroxed selection)
* N. Platon, "The Minoan Palaces: Centres of Organization of a Theocratic Social and Political System" (xeroxed selection)

October
1 Goddesses/Gods. The Akrotiri Paintings
Readings:
*A. Baring and Jules Cashford, The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image, chapter 3 "Crete: The Goddess of Life, Death, and Regeneration" pp. 106-144.
*M. Gimbutas, The Language of the Goddess, Chapter 14 Snake p. 121 and section 14.4; chapter 24 Bull, Bee, Butterfly (entire chapter)
*N. Marinatos, Art and Religion in Thera: Reconstructing Bronze Age Society (xeroxed selection)

3 Summary and Discussion

8 Egyptian Women: Old Kingdom and New Kingdom.
Women's Social and Legal Position
Readings:
*Glenn Blackburn, Vol. I. Western Civilization: A Concise History: Egyptian Civilization xeroxed selection
*Gay Robbins, Women in Ancient Egypt. Chapter 6 "Women outside the home" pp. 111-126; Chapter 7 "The economic and legal position of women" pp. 127-141

10 Daily Life and Religious Life
Readings:
*Gay Robbins, Women in Ancient Egypt.
Chapter 3 "Marriage" pp. 56-74;
Chapter 4 "Fertility, pregnancy, and childbirth" pp. 75-91;
Chapter 5 "The family and the household" pp. 92- 110;
Chapter 8 "Women and Temple Ritual" pp. 142-156;
Chapter 9 "Personal Religion and Death" pp. 157-175

15 Old Kingdom Artistic Depictions of Women. Guest lecturer: Brian Molyneaux, Anthropology Program
Readings:
*Gay Robbins, Women in Ancient Egypt. Chapter 10 "Images of women in literature and art" pp. 176-189

17 New Kingdom Artistic Depictions of Women.
Guest lecturer: Brian Molyneaux, Anthropology Program

22 Depiction of women in Literature.
Readings:
*J. Foster, translator. Love Songs of the New Kingdom. University of Texas. 1992 (xeroxed selections)
* The Instruction of Ptahhotep. trans. by M. Lichtheim in Ancient Egyptian Literature: A Book of Readings, vol. I. University of California Press 1973.
* The Instruction of Any. trans. by M. Lichtheim in Ancient Egyptian Literature: A Book of Readings, vol. II. University of California Press 1976.

24 Summary and Discussion

29 Midterm

31 Greek Women:
Sources. Man's Life/ Woman's Life in the Polis
Readings:
S. Blundell, Chapters 11 and 12 Lefkowitz and Fant, Women's Life in Greece and Rome: Numbers 28-38; 225; 249-250, 267 (bring to class)
*Glenn Blackburn, Vol. I. Western Civilization: A Concise History: Athens xeroxed selection
*Thucydides, Pericles Funeral Oration

October 31 First paper due

November
5 Qualities of the Ideal Woman. Gesture and Gaze. The Wedding
Readings:
Blundell, Chapters 6 and 9
Lefkowitz and Fant, Women's Life in Greece and Rome: Numbers 208; 226-230, 234; 273-275 (bring to class)

7 Artistic Representations of Women
Readings:
Blundell, chapter 17
Lefkowitz and Fant, Women's Life in Greece and Rome: Numbers 287-288; 303; 329 332 (bring to class)

12 Depiction of Women in Literature
Readings:
Blundell chapters 4, 7, 8, and 15
Lefkowitz and Fant, Women's Life in Greece and Rome: Numbers 1-21, 57 (bring to class)
*E. Fantham, et al. Women in the Classical World (xeroxed selections) (xerox these and bring to class)

14 Religious Life
Readings:
Blundell, chapter 14
Lefkowitz and Fant, Women's Life in Greece and Rome: Numbers 377, 391-394, 399 404, 406 ( bring to class)

19 Women's Bodies and the "Proof" of Anatomy
Readings
*E. Fantham et al, Women in the Classical World: Image and Text. Chapter 6, "Medicine and the 'Proof' of Anatomy, Leslie Dean-Jones.
*Lefkowitz and Fant, Women's Life in Greece and Rome: Numbers 338, 341, 343-350, 376, 379 (bring to class)

21 Summary and Evaluation

26 Students' presentations

28 No class: Thanksgiving

December
1 Second paper due

3 Students' presentations

5 No class

10 Students' presentations

12 Students' presentations

18 Final period: 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. May be used for students' presentations

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