Fall 2022 - HUM 231 D100

Daily Life in Ancient Greece and Rome (3)

Class Number: 6245

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 7 – Dec 6, 2022: Mon, Wed, 3:30–4:50 p.m.



Examines the social history of ancient Greece and Rome, particularly through the study of relevant artifacts, art, architecture, and ancient texts (in translation). Considers topics such as the lives of men, women, children and slaves; the home; dining; government; the economy; the army; death and burial; and entertainment. Students with credit for HS 231 or HUM 216 may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Humanities.


Roman mosaic of children with local flora and fauna. Sicily, 4th century. Wikimedia Commons

Roman mosaic of children with local flora and fauna. Sicily, 4th century. Wikimedia Commons

This course will introduce you to life in ancient and classical Greece and Rome through a survey of the period’s art, architecture, archaeological artifacts, and ancient texts (in translation). Often when we study the ancient Greco-Roman world, the focus is on famous historical events, political leaders, and their many monumental buildings and works of art. This course instead explores the social history and culture of those living within ancient Greece and Rome, by examining the everyday lives of men, women, and children across from all walks of life – rural to urban, rich to poor.

This course is organized both chronologically and thematically, forming two overarching units: 1. Daily Life in Ancient Greece and 2. Daily Life in Ancient Rome. Through these units we will discover how people of the ancient Mediterranean lived in the past: What did they eat? What did their homes, cities and towns look like? How did they bathe? How did they practice their religions? What hobbies and entertainment did they enjoy? What were the fashions of the day? How did their economy function? By answering these questions, we will draw parallels not only between life in Greek and Roman society and the wider ancient world, but also between antiquity and the modern world we live in today.


  • Midterm 1: Ancient Greece 25%
  • Midterm 2: Ancient Rome 25%
  • Assignment 1: Experimental Archaeology Project Proposal 5%
  • Assignment 2: Experimental Archaeology Project Bibliography 5%
  • Assignment 3: Experimental Archaeology Project Final Report 25%
  • Assignment 4: Experimental Archaeology Project Presentation 15%


This course counts towards a concentration in Hellenic Studies or Art and Material Culture for students in a Humanities major or minor program as well as the Hellenic Studies certificate.



Weekly readings will come from a variety of scholarly sources including journal articles, public scholarship podcasts, field reports, and academic books available as PDF’s/weblinks on the course Canvas page, or as e-books via the SFU Library.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html