SyllabusHI223 - History 223 Explorations in European...

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History 223: Explorations in European History Roman Women (and Men)
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Instructor: Prof. M. Kleijwegt; office hours: WF: 11:00-12:00; office: Humanities 5219; email: [email protected] Teaching Assistant: Casey Stark Lecture Hall: Humanities 1101, MWF 9:55-10:45. The position of women in Roman society was marginal. In legal terms women were regarded as lifelong minors who required a male guardian in order to be represented in court or to engage in financial transactions. Women were generally less educated than their male counterparts and had fewer opportunities to develop or display their talents. Their role was more or less restricted to the home and to a limited number of public offices, usually in the religious sphere. This course will examine the main social environments which are of importance to the lives of women. We will study to what degree the position of women was anchored in, and controlled by, the world of their male relatives and to what degree women could and did choose to ignore the rules that were imposed on them. Did women choose their own marriage partners, were they able to initiate a divorce, and to what degree was their sexual behavior policed by their male relatives? In order to answer these questions successfully the course will pay close attention to the interpretation of sources, whether they are of a literary, legal or documentary kind. The key problem is that the majority of the sources which survive from the Roman world were written by and for men. The course will demonstrate methods and ways in which male-authored evidence can be used to reconstruct the lives and experiences of women. Textbooks: Augusto Fraschetti (ed.), Roman Women , translated by Linda Lappin, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press 2001. Jane F. Gardner, Women in Roman Law and Society , New York and London: Routledge
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1995.
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