Gender and Sexuality in Greece and Rome

Subject ANCW40015 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours - 1 x 2 hour seminar per week for 12 weeks
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


Admission to fourth-year Honours or Graduate Diploma (Advanced) in Ancient World Studies, Classics, or Gender Studies; or admission to Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate, or Graduate Certificate (Advanced) in Classical Studies and Archaeology; or, permission of the subject coordinator.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr James Chong-Gossard



Subject Overview:

This subject examines gender and sexuality in the classical world. Students will engage with ancient primary texts in translation (including texts authored by women) and material culture in order to say anything definite about the ‘real’ lives of women in Greece and Rome. The subject also explores how ancient men expressed their ideology about femininity and masculinity through their literature and art. Topics include representations of gender and sexual desire in Homer, Sappho, Greek drama, Hellenistic poetry, Roman poetry, and the lives of early Christian female saints; gendered spaces in ancient domestic architecture and material culture; the prosopography of elite Roman women; the social and legal history of marriage, adultery, divorce, and prostitution in Greece and Rome; and same-sex relationships, including Greek pederasty, and debates on whether same-sex marriage existed in imperial Rome and medieval Europe. Students should complete the subject with an understanding of the complex approaches to a ‘history of women’ and a ‘history of sexuality’ in an ancient context.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • Appreciate the culture and social history of classical Greece and Rome through the lens of gender and sexuality;
  • Be familiar with core primary texts from the ancient world, including literary "classics" and well-known archaeological sites;
  • Be able to explain modern theoretical approaches to the study of ancient gender and sexuality

  • 7 x 250-word essays, on average one per week, beginning in Week 3 (35%),
  • a 1250-word journal article analysis following an oral presentation, due during the semester (25%)
  • a 2000-word final essay, due during the end of semester examination period (40%)

Hurdle Requirement:

  • Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to pass this subject.
  • All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 2% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

Readings will be available online

Johnson & Ryan (eds), Sexuality in Greek and Roman Society and Literature: A Sourcebook. Routledge

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient World Studies
Gender Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Advanced) - Ancient World Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Advanced) - Classical Studies and Archaeology
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Advanced) - Gender Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Classical Studies and Archaeology
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced) - Ancient World Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced) - Classics
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced) - Gender Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Classical Studies and Archaeology
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Gender Studies
PC-ARTS Ancient World Studies
PC-ARTS Gender Studies
PD-ARTS Ancient World Studies
PD-ARTS Classics
PD-ARTS Gender Studies

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