First Year Seminar: Imperial Women

CLST 089S.02

This seminar explores the life and afterlife of Agrippina the Younger, Rome's most ambitious and powerful woman but who was resented, reviled, and in AD 59 finally killed by her son and emperor Nero. Besides reading the striking historical accounts of her later written by Tacitus, Suetonius and others, we will evaluate contemporary sources: coins on which she was depicted (the first living woman to be identified and portrayed on a coin!), inscriptions honoring her, and sculptures representing her. Attention will also be given to the laws and customs barring Roman women from holding political positions or serving in the military. We will end with knowing the possibilities, restraints, actions, and reputation of this impressive woman - who would have been perfect for "Game of Thrones" - and a deeper understanding of the history of women.

Explore the culture and customs of these countries: 
Italy
Explore these religions: 
Paganism
Relevance to other majors: 
By focusing on a Roman empress, her representations, and her contexts, this class will deepen historical understanding for Women's Studies; History; and AAHVS.
89S
Faculty: 

Tolly Boatwright, tboat@duke.edu

Areas of Knowledge: 
ALP, CCI, CZ
Modes of Inquiry: 
CCI
Film, Visual & Performing Arts?
No
Literature in Translation?
Yes