A new resource for teaching about Roman women—with contributions by RU’s Liz Gloyn

flavianFrom the epic archives of LIFE magazine, now hosted by Google. Credit: Carlo Bavagnoli

What’s new in Latin pedagogy? Ask Liz Gloyn, RU Classics PhD candidate—and one of three University graduate students honored as a Rutgers-Newark Scholar/Teacher for 2008-9.

Gloyn, who came to Rutgers Classics after taking two degrees at Cambridge University, is the latest collaborator to join a vital new project, the Online Companion to The Worlds of Roman Women.


The Companion is a compendium of unadapted Latin texts by or about Roman women. All ranks and status groups are featured, and each passage is glossed and hyperlinked.

This Online Companion complements the Worlds of Roman Women print reader that Focus published in 2005. Ann Raia, Cecelia Luschnig and Judith Lynn Sebesta edited that volume; Raia and Sebesta with Barbara McManus put together this online aid.


Explains Gloyn, “The Companion supports students by providing free text-commentaries, making new and unusual texts available.” Plus for each passage there’s an essay that provides the relevant context for women’s activities, concerns, and social roles in ancient Rome. Here Gloyn contributed the essay and commentary on Paulina, the wife of Seneca, and is currently working on a passage about Seneca’s heroic aunt.

The Companion is divided up into ten different “worlds”—for instance Childhood, or Marriage, or the Body, or Flirtation. The site also includes numerous images of material evidence from the ancient world—statues, wall paintings and women’s artefacts.

laelialessonSample learning unit: here, the disquisition on Laelia’s speech in Cic. De Oratore

There’s a pedagogical section as well, where teachers can share the innovative ways they have used the Companion. Instructors can use and contribute syllabi, lesson plans and classroom activities, which “gives faculty the opportunity for collegial interaction on Latin pedagogy”, says Gloyn.

“I’ve very much enjoyed the collaborative process,” Liz continues, “and am delighted to be part of the project”.

bavagnoli11Pompeian scene from LIFE 25 March 1966. Credit: Carlo Bavagnoli.

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