Women in the Ancient Mediterranean, Near Eastern and Egyptian World

Explore the lives of women from ancient Egypt, the Near East, Anatolia, Greece, Etruria and Rome. We look at their development in art, religion and society from the Neolithic period (c7000BC) to the Late Roman era. The world of women in the family, society and religion will be revealed through ancient texts, artefacts and archaeology – with some surprising, moving, and occasionally disturbing results.


  • Dillon, M., 2003, Girls and Women in Classical Greek Religion, London
  • Gardiner, J.F., 1990, Women in Roman Law and Society, London
  • Lefkowitz, M., and Fant, M., 1995, Women’s Life in Greece and Rome: A source book in translation, London [WEA Library 305.40945632 WOM]
  • Peradotto, J., and Sullivan, J.P., Eds, 1984, Women in the Ancient World: The Arethusa Papers, New York
  • Pomeroy, S.B., 1975, Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves, London (This classic, essential reading for the beginner, has been re-released as an electronic book since 1995) [WEA Library 301.4120938]
  • Robins, G., 1993, Women in Ancient Egypt, New York [WEA Library 932.0082 ROB]
  • Salisbury, J., 2002, Encyclopedia of Women in the Ancient World, London
  • Torjesen, K., 1995, When Women Were Priests, New York
  • Nakhai, B., Ed., 2008, The World of Women in the Ancient and Classical Near East, Cambridge
  • Bibliography for Women in the Ancient Near East - http://oi.uchicago.edu/oi/dept/ra/women_ad.html


  • The Neolithic cultures of Greece, Anatolia, the Near East and Egypt (c7000-c3000BC)
  • Ancient Egypt (c3000- 500BC)
  • The Near East and Anatolia
  • Bronze Age and Dark Age Greece (c2500-800BC)
  • Ancient Greece during the Archaic and Classical eras (c700-300BC)
  • Ancient Etruria, Rome and in Early Christianity (c600BC – cAD300)

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Learn about the realia of women’s lives in these societies by observing their presence in ancient texts, artefacts and archaeology.
  2. More fully appreciate the many works of art and poetry made by, for, or inspired by ancient women.
  3. Gain a feminist perspective on the lives of women in the ancient societies encompassed by this course which gives insights into many persistent attitudes towards females up to the present day.

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.