Often called the “birthplace” or “cradle” of “Western Civilization,” Ancient Greece holds unparalleled symbolic power.  The history of “Western Civilization” has been told as a series of exceptional achievements by remarkable men, beginning with Greeks.  Greek men promoted this narrative in their own time.  Save a few exceptions, all of the texts that survive from Ancient Greece were produced by men.  Yet, the Ancient Greeks celebrated both female as well as male gods and some memorable Greek myths present women as extremely powerful. Ancient Greek conceptions of sex and sexuality differed significantly from our own, while patriarchal and misogynist patterns feel eerily familiar.  Through open-minded but critical inquiry, participants in this course will interrogate not only ideas about sex and gender in Ancient Greece and today, but also the fundamental concept of “Western Civilization” itself.  Participants in this seminar — the authors of this pressbook — will contribute to a two-thousand year old, yet never more vital, conversation about ourselves as historical and embodied human beings.


Gender & Sexuality in Ancient Greece Copyright © by Jody Valentine. All Rights Reserved.

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