Love and Sex in Roman Society - CL573

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
(version 2)
Spring 6 30 (15) DR A Alwis checkmark-circle


This module reviews texts relating to sexual behaviour attitudes and relationships throughout Latin Literature, raising questions about both the perception of sexuality in antiquity and how perception was translated into social and political relationships. Because of the nature of its coverage, it can be counted as either a literature or a social history course, and is intended as a wide-ranging complement to both. The module relies on primary texts from a variety of literary genres, from Epic and poetry to private letters, legal texts and inscriptions.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 40


Also available under Level 5 (CLAS6670)

Method of assessment

Essay 1 (2,000 words) – 40%
Essay 2 (3,000 words) – 60%

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Ancona, R. & E. Greene (eds), (2005). Gendered Dynamics in Latin Love Poetry. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.
Bartsch, S. (2006). The Mirror of the Self: Sexuality, Self-knowledge, and the Gaze in the Early Roman Empire. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Hersch, K. (2010). The Roman Wedding: Ritual and Meaning in Antiquity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kraemer, R. (2011). Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module Level 6 students will be able to:

Show systematic critical understanding, through clear expression, of selected authors and topics in Latin literature and Roman history and culture;
Demonstrate developed skills in exegesis, critical analysis, and assessment of a selection of texts and artefacts from ancient Rome;
Show systematic understanding of the sexual stereotypes in ancient societies
Manage their learning through the use of primary sources and current research in classical & archaeological studies.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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