Women's Roles in Ancient Civilizations: A Reference Guide

Women's Roles in Ancient Civilizations: A Reference Guide


By (author) Bella Vivante, Edited by Bella Zweig


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Paperback $27.99
  • Publisher: Greenwood Press
  • Format: Hardback | 408 pages
  • Dimensions: 161mm x 241mm x 33mm | 835g
  • Publication date: 30 June 1999
  • Publication City/Country: Westport
  • ISBN 10: 0313301271
  • ISBN 13: 9780313301278
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: glossary, index

Product description

Knowledge about the roles of women in ancient civilizations has been limited to traditionally held notions, but recent discoveries and research have led to exciting insights into the great variety of ways in which women contributed to ancient cultures. This reference work, designed for student research, features lengthy essays and a wealth of new information about women's roles in twelve ancient civilizations around the world-China, India, Japan, Mesopotamia, the Levant, Egypt, West Africa, Greece, Rome, the Maya, the Inca, and Native North America. Historical studies have tended to ignore women's roles in ancient civilizations and to devalue their contributions to the community. These essays examine women's religious, political, public, economic, and domestic roles, their legal status, creative expression in art and literature, and notions of beauty. Students can then compare women's roles across cultures. The contributors, each of whom is a subject specialist, examine not only the nature of women's limitations in patriarchal culture but the ways in which women often succeeded, despite these limitations, in becoming agents of social change. Each essay begins with a timeline of events in the history of that culture to place the narrative in historical context, and concludes with suggestions for further reading about women in that culture.

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Author information

BELLA ZWEIG is Associate Professor at the University of Arizona. Her research has focused on women's roles in ancient Greek religion, drama, poetry, and society, and she has also performed in ancient Greek, including scenes at the famed ancient theatre at Epidauros in Greece. Her translation of Euripides' Helen in Women on the Edge: Four Plays by Euripides is forthcoming.

Review quote

"I...enthusiastically endorse Women's Roles in Ancient Civilizations (Bella Zweig, ed.)....[I]t is a very valuable resource which should be available in every high school library."-Eileen M. Strange Head, Modern and Classical Languages Miss Porter's School, Farmington CT

Table of contents

Introduction; Asia: The Far East; Women in Ancient China; Women in Ancient India; Women in Ancient Japan; Asia: The Near East; Women in Ancient Mesopotamia; Women in Ancient Levant; Africa; Women in Ancient Egypt; Women in Ancient West Africa; The Mediterranean; Women in Ancient Greece; Women in Ancient Roman Civilization; The Americas; Women in Ancient Mesoamerica; Women in the Ancient Andes; Native America in North America: Ojibway and Iroquois; Glossary; Index.