Roman Men and Women: Generalizations and Exceptions
Text adaptations and notes by Brittany Blagburn and Jessalynn Bird.
Class Plan (one 75 minute college class or several shorter classes)
Before class, read the scanned chapter from Barrow’s book on the Romans about Roman women (or another textbook). Then, also before class, read your assigned document from the selection below.
Group 1 reads Livy.
Group 2 reads Hortensia’s speech.
Group 3 reads the Laudatio.
Group 4 reads Cicero on Clodia.
Be prepared to discuss the following questions in class.
What does Barrow (textbook chapter) say about the opportunities afforded to and limitations imposed on Roman women and men?
How do these compare and contrast to the statuses of Greek women and men?
Does your assigned document confirm or contradict the picture of the life of Roman women depicted by Barrow? Be prepared to point to specific passages and explain how they either confirm or contest Barrow’s picture of Roman women and Roman men.
After sharing and discussing our documents, we will look at other forms of surviving evidence.
1. Are there any interesting parallels or contradictions between textual evidence and surviving artistic and archeological evidence (see the Powerpoint) for Roman women and men?
2. How has the historical record been altered by which statues and monuments from Rome have been selected for display in museums? What does this tell us about the power of museums to shape our perception of the past? (see the links in the document on Africans living in the Roman empire).
3. Will social media undermine or contest the power of scholars and/or museums to shape impressions (Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, etc)? Is social media’s power to put images out there a positive or negative influence on our perceptions of the past as it relates to the present? Can you think of specific examples of this?