In one of the great scandals of second-century Greece, Regilla, the pregnant Roman wife of Greek philosopher and rhetorician Herodes, died from a blow to the abdomen. Drawing on archeological and textual evidence, Pomeroy (Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves) carefully reconstructs Regilla's life, her eventual murder and Herodes's trial and acquittal, splendidly recreating the Greek culture of A.D. 160 and its attitudes around class, culture and sex. An upper-class woman with some schooling and exposure to the cultural affairs of her husband, Regilla owned her own property, which became a sore spot in her marriage. In other ways, though, she was hardly unique. Regilla likely could not communicate well in Greek, nor could she match wits with her husband. She married at 15, died at about 35 and ably performed the primary duty of a wife in the Roman Empire: bearing children. Numerous illustrations and quotations lend depth to Pomeroy's masterful depiction of second-century Greece and the tragic portrait of a woman whose story has been lost to history until now. Illus. (Sept. 25)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
The Murder of Regillaby Sarah B Pomeroy
Born to an illustrious Roman family in 125 BCE, Regilla was married at the age of fifteen to Herodes, a wealthy Greek. Twenty years later--and eight months pregnant with her sixth child--Regilla died under mysterious circumstances, after a blow to the abdomen delivered by Herodes's freedman. Though Herodes was charged, he was acquitted. Pomeroy's investigation suggests that despite Herodes's erection of numerous monuments to his deceased wife, he was in fact guilty of the crime.
[Pomeroy] provides an absorbing analysis of justice, society, culture, and customs in the second-century Roman Empire.
Sarah B. Pomeroy's passionate account in The Murder of Regilla, following her from birth to death, is a sharp reminder of the brutally blunt edges of gender inequality.
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Meet the Author
Sarah B. Pomeroy is Distinguished Professor Emerita of Classics and History at the City University of New York.
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