In large part women were written about in antiquity to serve as a mirror for their societies. By understanding the construction of women as oppositional or not male, we can actually learn a great deal more generally about views of gender and social norms in the ancient world. Although women in the ancient world only on the rarest of occasions speak for themselves, the strictures placed upon the behavior of both men and women and the expectations to which the sexes were urged to conform can be excavated from literary texts. This course attempts to provide sufficient historical understanding of the role of women in Greece and Rome to illuminate the context of the literary accounts. Readings are drawn from a wide range of authors including Homer, Aeschylus, Euripides, Aristophanes, Xenophon, Plato, Menander, Vergil, Livy, Tacitus, Seneca, and Perpetua. The goal is to examine women as the center of the household in both Greece and Rome and to untangle how this relates to their presentation as both victims and promulgators of violence.