exams, assessments, policy

Breakdown of assessments and grading: 

  • 2 papers
    • 1st paper: due 23rd October, 4-5 pages [15%]
    • 2nd paper: due 11th December, 5-7 pages [20%]
  • 2 exams
    • midterm: 16th October [15%]
    • final: tbd [20%]
  • 1 classroom report (text/object) [10%] 
  • participation [20%]
  • [extra credit (1): up to +3%; see below]
  • [extra credit (2): up to +3%; see below]

For paper 1 (4-5 pages), answer the following question:

— What obstacles stand in the way of our understanding ancient women, and how do they limit, warp, or alter our view? In your answer, you may consider: assumptions of scholarship; ancient evidence from male perspective; survival of ancient evidence.

For paper 2 (5-7 pages), you will edit and revise your first paper to include evidence and analysis from the second half of the semester.

Format all papers double-spaced with Times New Roman, 12-point font, 1” margins at top and bottom, 1″ margins on sides. Papers must be printed and handed in (not emailed). All papers must include BOTH references to primary text AND citations of scholarly works.

Essays will be graded according to the following criteria of content, style, citation. I expect you to quote the ancient evidence directly in order to make your argument, and to use the scholarly resources which I have assigned as part of your readings, e.g. Mary Beard, Page duBois, Sarah Pomeroy, Women in the Classical World, etc. Although you should feel free to use the ideas we discuss in class, the best papers are those which go beyond the classroom discussion and generate original analysis upon the texts and scholarship.

Exemplary essay: A (95-100%), A- (90-94%)
Answers the question with a sophisticated argument and is eloquently written.
Many well chosen quotations from ancient sources, properly cited.
Supported by quotations and references to scholarly articles, properly cited.

Good essay: B+ (87-89%), B (84-86%), B- (80-83%)
A good argument, which may come close to answering the question.
Some contact with ancient sources, scholarly articles.
Perhaps occasional slip of grammar or spelling.

Adequate essay: C+(77-79%), C (74-76%), C- (70-73%)
A vague argument, does not answer question.
No contact with ancient sources, scholarly articles.
Several problems with grammar or spelling.

Insufficient essay: D+ (67-69%), D (65-66%)
A weak or non-existent argument.
Does not answer question.
Contains factual errors or irrelevant details.
Uses inappropriate or unattributed sources.

F (0-64%)
Does not complete assignment or inadequately completes assignment.


Both exams (midterm and final) will include:

  • identifications of 5 key terms
  • commentary upon text or object
  • short essay.

How do I prepare my object/text report? One of your assignments in this course is to present in class a short oral (5-10 mins) report on a specific passage of text, or on a specific object. You may read from notes, or from a prepared script; you could make a handout, or a powerpoint. Early on in the semester, you must choose which report you wish to give; your options can be found in the Schedule of Readings. What does such a report involve? Here are some questions that will help you focus your investigation:

Text Report

  • Who wrote the text?
  • When were they writing?
  • What language were they writing in?
  • What is the text’s form (letter, speech, poem, play etc.)?
  • Who is the intended audience, and how does that impact the content?
  • What is the text describing?
  • Is the assessment coloured by a specific perspective?
  • How does the text fit into the broader contexts of culture or time?
  • What are the similarities and differences in this text to other texts which we have read? What is the significance of such similarities or differences?
  • How does this passage relate to the rest of the work from which it is excerpted?
  • What do scholars have to say about this text?
  • What are the features of style or rhetoric?

Object Report

  • What is the object?
  • What material is it made out of?
  • When was it made?
  • Where was it made?
  • What is the object’s form (sculpture, architecture, vase, papyrus etc.)?
  • What was its function/use?
  • What does the object represent or depict? Is there any scholarly controversy about this?
  • Is there anything significant about how it was preserved?
  • How is it similar or different from other objects of its type?
  • Was the object made to be used by a specific kind of person?
  • How does this object relate to broader themes we’re discussing? How does it relate to the texts we’re reading?
  • What does this object tell us that a text from the same period does not?
  • What do scholars have to say about this object?
  • What are the significant elements of its style or aesthetic?

Participation is assessed according to your level of involvement in class discussion.

Grade scale:
A = 95-100%, A- = 90-94%, B+ = 87-89%, B = 84-86%, B- = 80-83%, C+ = 77-79%, C = 74-76%, C- = 70-73%, D+ = 67-69%, D = 65-66%, F = 0-64%.


Extra credit (1): [up to +3%] 
Visit the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; it’s free for college students. Select an object from Greek or Roman antiquity. The object must either depict women, or be an object that was used by women. Take a selfie with the object and send with the report (you may also tweet the selfie to me if you wish). Write a 2-3 page report on its qualities and significance. Due before Thanksgiving.

Extra credit (2): [up to +3%]
Write a poem in the style of any of the poets we have read this semester. Read student poems from past classes for inspiration. Due 11th December. 

You may do one or both (or neither!) of the extra credit assignments.


Hub requirements. CL 206 fulfills the following categories in the BU Hub: 1) Historical Consciousness: This class examines the evidence of women in historical contexts spanning 8th c. BCE Greece to 1st c. BCE/CE Rome. 2) Social Inquiry I: This class examines social structures which produce the roles of women in their historical contexts. 3) Critical Thinking: Students learn to assess different theories presented in modern scholarship and to analyze the evidence of ancient sources.


Lateness & Academic Integrity:
All work is due on the dates specified except in case of emergencies. If you are unable to attend an exam due to such an emergency, you must contact me before class. If I am not in my office, leave a message in the department office with Classics staff (617-353-2427), or email me (culik@bu.edu). Violations of academic conduct (such as plagiarism) will be reported to the Dean. For the code, see: http://www.bu.edu/academics/policies/academic-conduct-code/. Plagiarism is a serious offence, and benefits no one. If you are ever in a crisis over a paper or report and are tempted to plagiarize, come speak to me instead. 


Disability & Accommodation:
Any student requesting accommodations based on disability should contact BU’s Disability Services: http://www.bu.edu/disability/.