Roman Women / Edition 1

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Overview

This collection of essays features important Roman women who were active in politics, theater, cultural life, and religion from the first through the fourth centuries. The contributors draw on rare documents in an attempt to reconstruct in detail the lives and accomplishments of these exceptional women, a difficult task considering that the Romans recorded very little about women. They thought it improper for a woman's virtues to be praised outside the home. Moreover, they believed that a feeble intellect, a weakness in character, and a general incompetence prevented a woman from participating in public life.

Through this investigation, we encounter a number of idiosyncratic personalities. They include the vestal virgin Claudia; Cornelia, a matron; the passionate Fulvia; a mime known as "Lycoris"; the politician Livia; the martyr and writer Vibia Perpetua; a hostess named Helena Augusta; the intellectual Hypatia; and the saint Melania the Younger. Unlike their silent female counterparts, these women stood out in a culture where it was terribly difficult and odd to do so.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Roman society saw women as having feeble intellects and weak characters, and therefore it recorded very little about their lives. Drawing on exceptional documents, these nine essays highlight women who were active in Roman politics, theater, cultural life, and religion between the first and fourth centuries. Originally published in 1994 as , this edition includes a new introduction by the editor. Fraschetti teaches Roman administrative history at the U. of Rome, and translator Linda Lappin works regularly on Italian translations for American university presses. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226260945
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Translator's Acknowledgments
Introduction Augusto Fraschetti
1. Claudia the Vestal Virgin John Scheid
2. Cornelia the Matron Corrado Petrocelli
3. Fulvia the Woman of Passion Catherine Virlouvet
4. Lycoris the Mime Giusto Traina
5. Livia the Politician Augusto Fraschetti
6. Perpetua the Martyr Emanuela Prinzivalli
7. Helena Augusta: From Innkeeper to Empress Franca Ela Consolino
8. Hypatia the Intellectual Silvia Ronchey
9. Melania the Saint Andrea Giardina
Bibliographic Notes
Index

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