schedule of readings

The required texts are the following. Since this class will be directly engaging in these translations as specific acts of interpretation, these are the translations you must acquire. Second hand is fine.

Homer, Odyssey. Translated by Emily Wilson. ISBN 9780393089059
Mary Beard, Women and Power. ISBN 9781631494758
Josephine Balmer, Classical Women Poets. ISBN 9781852243425
Anne Carson, If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho. ISBN 9780375724510
Peter Green, Poems of Catullus: Bilingual Edition. ISBN 9780520253865


A disclaimer. While the literature, art, and mythology of the cultures of the ancient mediterranean are fascinating and often inspirational, the values and social practices of those societies can be very far from our own. This class, which explores women in antiquity, will discuss subjects which may be challenging to some students. For the ancient Greeks and Romans, the following were regular themes in their storytelling: enslavement, sexual violence, murder, incest, abduction, cannibalism. Women were regularly central to these tales of violence, as well as real life violence. Please be forewarned that we will sometimes be discussing very sensitive topics.


The instructor reserves the right to make changes as she sees fit.

(wk 1) Tuesday 4th September 2018
Introductions. What is antiquity? What is woman?

(wk 1) Thursday 6th September Theoretical beginnings. Pandora. 
— Look up “Pandora” in the Oxford Classical Dictionary [online via Mugar]
— Page duBois, “To Historicize Psychoanalysis.” Sowing the Body. Psychoanalysis and Ancient Representations of Women. 1988. pp. 7-17. [online access; HQ1127 .D83 1988]
— Gerda Lerner, “Origins.” The Creation of Patriarchy. 1986. pp15-36. [online access; HQ1121.L47 1986]

> no student reports this week.


(wk 2) Tuesday 11th September Epic Heroines Antagonists? Helen.
— Look up “Helen” in the Oxford Classical Dictionary [online via Mugar]
— Homer’s Iliad, Book 3 [handout]
— Homer’s Odyssey, translated by Emily Wilson: Book 4 (pp152-179).
— Sarah Pomeroy, “Women in the Bronze Age and Homeric Epic.” Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves. 1975. pp16-31. [online access; Mugar HQ 1134.P64]

> student text report: Homer’s Iliad 3.380-420.
> student object report: Attic drinking cup in the Boston MFA depicting two scenes of Helen (5th c. BCE).

(wk 2) Thursday 13th September | Epic Antagonists Heroines? Penelope. 
— Look up “Penelope” in the Oxford Classical Dictionary [online via Mugar].
— Homer’s Odyssey, translated by Emily Wilson: Book 1 (pp106-119).
— Mary Beard, (@wmarybeard) “The Public Voice of Women.” Women and Power. 2017. pp3-45.

> student text report: Homer’s Odyssey 1.325-364, Wilson pp115-116.
> student object report: Penelope loom vase (5th c. BCE).

n.b.: Chitra Ramaswamy in The Guardian (Feb. 19 2018).


(wk 3) Tuesday 18th September | The women of epic. Nausicaa. Circe.
Look up “Nausicaa”, “Circe” in the Oxford Classical Dictionary [online via Mugar]
Homer’s Odyssey, translated by Emily Wilson: Book 6 (pp197-207), Book 7 (pp208-219), Book 8.446-469 (pp235-236); Book 10 (pp259-278). Optional: Book 5 (pp180-196).
— 
Emily Wilson’s introduction to Homer’s Odyssey, “Goddesses, Wives, Princesses, and Slave Girls,” pp37-48.
— Optional (but recommended): read all of Emily Wilson’s introduction to the Odyssey, pp1-79.

> student object report: Odysseus and Nausicaa pyxis in the Boston MFA (5th c. BCE). On the pyxis, see Oxford University’s page on vase shapes.
> student object report: Circe transforms Odysseus’ companions on a drinking cup in the Boston MFA (6th c. BCE).

(wk 3) Thursday 20th September | A different kind of translation.
Yung In Chae, “Women Who Weave.” Eidolon. Nov. 16 2017.
David Kern, “How Translating The Great Books Is An Act Of Love: A Conversation With Sarah Ruden & Emily Wilson.” Forma Journal. March 3 2018. 
— Dan Chiasson, “The Classics Scholar Redefining What Twitter Can Do.” The New Yorker. March 19 2018.
— Browse through Emily Wilson’s (@EmilyRCWilson) twitter feed.
— Browse through the #womenancient hashtag.


(wk 4) Tuesday 25th September Penelope II.
— Homer’s Odyssey, translated by Emily Wilson: Book 19 (pp424-444), Book 22 (pp476-493), Book 23 (pp494-506).

> student text report: Homer’s Odyssey 19.50-101 (pp426-427).
> student object report: Homer’s Odyssey 22.419-485 (pp490-492), [n.b. this passage is very violent!]

(wk 4) Thursday 27th SeptemberFemale body as nature, as object.
— Page duBois, “Field.” Sowing the Body. pp. 39-64. [online access; Mugar HQ1127.D83 1988]

> student object report: Mycenaean pottery storage jar (15th-14th c. BCE) and Geometric wine jug (8th c. BCE).


(wk 5) Tuesday 2nd OctoberMothers and daughters. Persephone and Demeter.
Look up “Persephone” and “Demeter” in the Oxford Classical Dictionary [online via Mugar]
— Homeric Hymn to Demeter, translated by Gregory Nagy [online access]
— “Women in Archaic Greece: Talk in Praise and Blame.” Women in the Classical World. pp. 10-55. [online access; Mugar HQ1127.W652 1994]

> student text report: Homeric Hymn to Demeter 30-46.
> student object report: Nikandre Kore (7th c. BCE).

(wk 5) Thursday 4th October | Warrior Women. Amazons. Spartans
Look up “Amazons” in the Oxford Classical Dictionary [online via Mugar]
Adrienne Mayor (@amayor), “Ancient Puzzles and Modern Myths” (pp17-34); “Bones: Archaeology of Amazons” (pp63-83). The Amazons. Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World. [online access]
— Mary Beard on the Amazons in Women and Power pp60-62. 
“Excursus. Spartan Women: Women in a Warrior Society.” Women in the Classical World. pp63-74 [online accessMugar HQ1127.W652 1994]

> student text report: Herodotus’ Histories 4.110-117.
> student object report: Attic bowl for mixing wine and water (mid 5th c. BCE).


(wk 6) Tuesday 9th October | BU Monday. No class.

(wk 6) Thursday 11th October | The Singer. Sappho.
Josephine Balmer (@jobalmer), “Sappho” (pp23-25), Classical Women Poets; Anne Carson, Introduction to If Not, Winter, pp ix-xiii.
— Fragments of Sappho translated by Anne Carson in If Not, Winter: fr. 1, 2, 5, 16, 31, 44, 48, 49, 96, 104, 105a, 105b, 168b, 177, 179.
— Page duBois, “Fragmentary Introduction” (pp1-30). Sappho is Burning.
— Listen to BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time episode on Sappho, with Edith Hall (@edithmayhall), Margaret Reynolds, Dirk Obbink.
Browse through the twitter feed of @sapphobot, which posts fragments of Sappho, with translations by Anne Carson.
 Bonus: look for the Anne Carson’s translation of Sappho 104 in the MFA’s gallery on objects from eastern Greece 

> student text report: Sappho 31, Carson p63.
> student object report:
Fragment of Sappho papyrus, fr. 5 (P. Lond. Lit. 43, 3rd c. BCE: image online), with Peter Toth’s “The Mystery of Sappho” (8th July 2017) on the British Library blog.


(wk 7) Tuesday 16th OctoberMIDTERM.

(wk 7) Thursday 18th OctoberWomen poets.
Josephine Balmer, Introduction (pp9-22), Classical Women Poets.
— Corinna (pp33-36), Telesilla (pp49-51), Praxilla (pp53-55), translated by Josephine Balmer in Classical Women Poets.

> student text report: Corinna, Balmer p36 (“Songs of Old”).


(wk 8) Tuesday 23rd October | PAPER 1 DUE. Women of Classical Athens.
— Lysias 1 On the Murder of Eratosthenes translated by Caroline L. Faulkner [online access, Diotima]
— Sarah Pomeroy, “Women and the City of Athens.”; “Private Life in Classical Athens.” Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves. 1975. pp57-78; 79-92. [online access; Mugar HQ 1134.P64]
— “Women in Classical Athens: Heroines and Housewives.” Women in the Classical World. pp68-127. [online access; Mugar HQ1127.W652 1994]

> text report: Lysias 10-14 (“From that time, then…” to “without a word.”)
> object report:
Epinetron (5th c. BCE).  

(wk 8) Thursday 25th OctoberHellenistic Women.
— Sarah Pomeroy, “Hellenistic Women.” Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves. 1975. pp120-149. [online access; Mugar HQ 1134.P64]
— “The Hellenistic Period: Women in a Cosmopolitan World.” Women in the Classical World. pp141-187. [online access; Mugar HQ1127.W652 1994]

> student text report: Theocritus 15.44-71.
> student object report: terracotta girls at play (ephedrismos), MFA (late 4th/early 3rd c. BCE)


(wk 9) Tuesday 30th OctoberWomen poets II.
— Erinna (pp57-63), Moero (pp64-66), Anyte (pp67-79), Hedyle (pp80-82), Nossis (pp93-92), translated by Josephine Balmer in Classical Women Poets.

> student text report: Erinna, Balmer p59 (“The Distaff”).
> student text report: Nossis, Balmer p91 (“A prayer”).

(wk 9) Thursday 1st NovemberWoman as symbol: early Rome.
— “
Republican Rome I:  From Marriage By Capture To Partnership in War – The Proud Women of Early Rome.” Women in the Classical World. pp216-240. [online access; Mugar HQ1127.W652 1994]
 “Excursus: Etruscan Women,” Larissa Bonfante. Women in the Classical World. pp241-255. [online access; Mugar HQ1127.W652 1994]

> student text report: Livy 1.9-16.
> student object report: Etruscan Sarcophagus of the Spouses (6th c. BCE).


(wk 10) Tuesday 6th NovemberRoman women.
 Laudatio Turiae (ILS 8393)
— “Republican Women II: Women in a wealthy society-aristocratic and working women from the 2nd c. BCE.” Women in the Classical World. pp256-274. [online access; Mugar HQ1127.W652 1994]
Sarah Pomeroy, “The Roman matron of the late Republic and early empire.” Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves. 1975. pp149-189.

> student text report: Livy 34.1.
> student text report: Laudatio Turiae 27-52 (“Marriages as long as ours are rare..” to “A number of other benefits of yours I have preferred to to mention.”)

(wk 10) Thursday 8th NovemberWays of Seeing. 
in-class screening of John Berger, “Ways of Seeing” (1972) episode 2.
— Katy Waldman (@xwaldie), “How Women See How Male Authors See Them.” New Yorker. April 3 2018.


(wk 11) Tuesday 13th NovemberI, Claudia.
 Cicero’s Pro Caelio [handout].
Catullus: 1, 2a, 3, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 24, 37, 48, 49, 51, 58a, 70, 72, 85, translated by Peter Green, with notes.
“Excursus: The ‘New Woman’: Representation and Reality.” Women in the Classical World. pp275-288. [online access; Mugar HQ1127.W652 1994]
— 
J. Hallett, “The Role of Women in Roman Elegy: Counter-Cultural Feminism.” Women in the Ancient World: The Arethusa Papers. 1984. pp241-262. [online access]

> student text report: Catullus 51.
student text report: Catullus 49, 58a.
> student text report: Cicero Pro Caelio 33-34.

(wk 11) Thursday 15th November | Weaving love.
Look up “Ariadne” and “Thetis” in the Oxford Classical Dictionary [online via Mugar]
Catullus 64, translated by Peter Green (pp133-157), with notes (pp239-245).

> student text report: 64.131-163, Green pp141-143.
> student object report: Roman statue of Ariadne (“Sleeping Ariadne”).


(wk 12) Tuesday 20th November | MFA extra credit due. Anonymous poems.
 Anonymous (pp118-125) translated by Josephine Balmer in Classical Women Poets.

> student text report: Anonymous, Balmer p119 (“Bitte”).

(wk 12) Thursday 22nd November | Thanksgiving break. No class.


(wk 13) Tuesday 27th November | Augustan Rome.
— “Women, Family, and Sexuality in the Age of Augustus and the Julio-Claudians.” Women in the Classical World. pp289-322. [online access; Mugar HQ1127.W652 1994]
Ovid Amores 1.5, 1.8, 2.13, 2.14 [handout]
— Ovid Metamorphoses 6.424-674 [handout]
— Ovid Metamorphoses 9.666-797 [handout]; Lisa Franklin, “Life as an Iphis:
Ancient and Modern Perspectives on Your Hopeless Gay Crush.” Eidolon, July 19th 2018.

> student text report: Ovid Amores 1.8.29-54.
> student object report: Portrait of Livia (Walters Art Museum).


(wk 13) Thursday 29th November
| Cleopatra, the impossible queen.
— Propertius Elegies 3.11, 4.6; Horace Epode 9, Ode 1.37Virgil, Aeneid 8.626f. ; Plutarch, Life of Mark Antony 25f.; Pliny, NH 9.119-121 [handout]
— Maria Wyke, “Meretrix regina: Augustan Cleopatras.” The Roman Mistress. 2007. pp195-243. [online access; Mugar PA6029.L6 W95 2002]
— Shelley P. Halley, “Black Feminist Thought and Classics: Re-membering, Re-claiming, Re-empowering.” Feminist Theory and the Classics. 1993. pp23-43. [PA35.F46 1993]
— Numismatist Kevin Butcher on Cleopatra’s coin portraits, “The face of Cleopatra: was she really so beautiful?”
— Helen King, “Cleopatra and the vibrator powered by bees.” Mistaking histories. Aug. 8 2017.

> text report: Horace Ode 1.37.
> object report: Cleopatra stele (51 BCE).
> special report:
review Shelley Halley’s “Black Feminist Thought and Classics”


(wk 14) Tuesday 4th December | Ovid’s Heroines.
— 
Ovid Heroides 1, Penelope to Odysseus; 10, Ariadne to Theseus; 15, Sappho to Phaon; 16, Paris to Helen; 17, Helen to Paris [handout]
— Ovid Amores 2.18 [handout]
— Propertius Elegies 4.3 [handout]

> student text report: Heroides 15.1-20.

(wk 14) Thursday 6th December | Sulpicia.
— Sulpicia (pp95-103), translated by Josephine Balmer in Classical Women Poets.

> student text report: Sulpicia, Balmer p102 (“Sulpicia’s Advice to a Lover on His Birthday”).


(wk 15) Tuesday 11th December | PAPER 2 DUE. Poem extra credit due. Envoi