Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links

CL4013 Goddesses of the Ancient Mediterranean

CL4013 Goddesses of the Ancient Mediterranean

Module Organiser: Dr. Christine Morris
Duration of Course: All Year
Contact Hours: 44 (22 x 2-hour seminar)
Weighting: 20 ECTS

Description: This course explores the nature of female divinity in the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean from earliest times through to the Greek and Roman world.

During this course we will be reviewing the history of the subject and engaging critically with a number of major issues which are of central importance to the study of goddesses in ancient religions. The course draws on a wide range of sources (all of which require careful assessment and contextualisation): archaeological remains, art, texts, and it makes extensive use of anthropological models of religion and ritual theory.

Introductory Reading

  • M. Ehrenberg, 1989. Women in Prehistory. (London: British Museum Press) [clear and readable introduction to many important issues]
  • Lucy Goodison and Christine Morris (eds), 1998. Ancient Goddesses. The Myths and the Evidence (London: British Museum Press and Madison: University of Wisconsin Press) [hereafter Ancient Goddesses] (Review by Mary Lefkowitz)
  • Miranda Green and Sandra Billington (eds), 1996. The Concept of the Goddess (London: Routledge) [ch.1 of especial interest; generally focused towards folklore but read chapters on other cultures - Ireland, Japan - for ideas]
  • P. Schmitt Pantel (ed), 1992. A History of Women in the West. 1. From Ancient Goddesses to Christian Saints (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press)
  • C. Larrington (ed), 1992. The Feminist Companion to Mythology (London)
  • A. Fleming, 1969. The myth of the mother-goddess, World Archaeology 1:2, 247-61.
  • R. Hutton, 1997. The Neolithic Great Goddess: a study in modern tradition, Antiquity 71, 91-9.

Goddesses of the Ancient Mediterranean guide (PDF, 53KB)
Exam Papers


Last updated 25 February 2011 ryanw1@tcd.ie.