44 Workshop 5



General Instructions:

For this workshop, you’ll be organized in a Zoom Breakout Room with a group of approximately four students.  Select a person to be the timekeeper.  This person should keep the group moving along according to the time allotments on the worksheet.  This job is crucial, since without it, the group will not complete the experience which the worksheet is designed to bring about.  Please select a volunteer reporter.  Everyone should make notes of their own reflections.  The reporter’s job is to record the group’s conclusions and report these out.


This workshop has two parts and is designed for 1 hour.  Please note the start: _________ and end:__________ times before beginning.


Although we must use the internet in order to meet, please refrain from using a search engine (e.g. Google) to look up answers to questions.  If a question arises during discussion that you cannot answer without external research, please bring your question back to the seminar for discussion and/or use it as a writing prompt and do your research outside of class.


Part I: One more woman on the road to Rome (35 minutes)

(5 min prep and set up)

In Workshop Four “Part II: The role of Women in Roman history” you were asked to, first, go through both the Livy and Vergil and make a list of all the important female characters.  As you go, describe each character: who are they?  What do they do?  What role do they play in the history of Rome?

And, next, to focus on Dido, Lavinia, Rhea Silva (Ilia), and the Sabine Women.  You imagined, or drew, a Venn Diagram with four circles in order to consider their commonalities, the thematic continuity in their depictions, as the center of the diagram

Today, please get settled with your new group to revisit, discuss, modify, or reconstruct, your Venn diagrams from last week, adding a fifth circle for Lucretia.



  1. (15 min) Please describe and discuss Lucretia, as you did the other characters. Note, also, the similarities and differences between Livy, Dionysius, and Ovid’s versions. How does the addition of Lavinia change the thematic center of your diagrams?


  1. (15 min) These stories tell us a lot about how Ancient Rome was understood symbolically and thematically in its own time as well as today. How does your description of the center of this Venn diagram inform your understanding of the story of the rise of Ancient Rome?

Please be prepared to report out your conclusions and raise related questions for discussion with the reconvened class.


Part II.  Mini-Seminar (25 min)

In the intro to “Lucretia” in our Pressbook, I asked you to begin, as you read the Joshel and Kenty essays, to think about authorial voice and compare their styles.  Taking your thoughts in response to this prompt as a starting point, please discuss these essays.  Work together with your small group to consider two or three questions that arose for you in reading – and comparing – these two pieces, in connection with the Livy, Dionysius, and Ovid.  You may wish to take a few minutes to collect your thoughts, individually, prior to conducting this mini-seminar.  Toward the end of your time, take a moment to reflect on the insights that arose through your discussion as well as questions that remain.  One (or more) volunteers from the group will be asked to report out on your experience to the reconvened seminar.

See below for general guidance on Student-Led Seminar, Zoom-style, which may help you have a productive discussion today.





Student-led Seminars


A productive student-led seminar requires several contributions from each participant.  For one, it helps to come with questions.  Please come to class on seminar days with one question already prepared!  Where do you find seminar questions?  Pay attention while you are reading to passages that surprise, confuse, or interest you.  Note your thoughts/feelings/questions (and the relevant passages) clearly in your notes so you can access them in class.  Don’t rely on memory!  There’s nothing like sitting down in a silent room (or in front of a Zoom screen) full of people who are set the task of creating a productive conversation to make your mind go blank.  Second, you should not expect a “spokes on a wheel” model of discussion with the course instructor at the center, moderating your discussion.  You are in charge.  To move the conversation along, therefore, please try to contribute the following to each discussion:

  1. Pose one question for discussion;
  2. Respond at least once to someone else’s proposed discussion question;
  3. Contribute at least one process-oriented comment, e.g. “We seem to have exhausted our discussion of this question, shall we move on? Who has another question to propose? I see that Jane has their hand raised / has unmuted themselves / has commented in the chat …..”



Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Rome Copyright © by Jody Valentine. All Rights Reserved.

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