Women in Antiquity

Course Info

HIA 311: Women in Antiquity. 3 hours, 3 credits. In-Person lecture. Examination of the image, role and status of women in both Ancient Greek and Roman society as seen from the important literary works of antiquity.

Details HIA 311-XT81 (50985), Spring 2022. Crosslisted with: HIA 750-XT81 (51065), WST 311-XT81 (58740). Meetings: Tuesdays 6:00–8:00 p.m., room Carman 210.

Instructor Dr. Mark B. Wilson, Adjunct Assistant Professor. Office: Carman 292. Email: mark.wilson@lehman.cuny.edu. Website: markbwilson.com. BlackBoard: link.

Office hours Tuesdays 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m and 5:00–6:00 p.m.


The written evidence from the ancient world is dominated by the actions and perspectives of men, who both ruled public life and created most of the cultural expression that has endured. Increasingly over the past several decades historians have sought to overcome this evidentiary bias by striving the represent women’s perspectives both in the narratives of individuals cultures and times and through the specific exploration of the voices, deeds, and representations of women of antiquity, as a pathway to understanding both the meaning of womanhood in any given society and the mores of the cultures they helped bring about and shape for posterity.

Specific Learning Objectives

In this course we’ll be pursuing a number of goals, including:

  • Exploration of the emergence of civilization and its implications for humanity
  • Exploration of gender roles in in the ancient world, in different cultures and across time
  • Examining social, cultural, religious, economic, and political norms that affected, and were shaped by, women in ancient societies
  • Understanding images of women in ancient cultures, and how they related to the lives of women in those societies
  • How the study of women’s roles has affected modern understanding of ancient cultures
  • Development of the skills associated with the study of history, including the interpretation of primary sources and other evidence.