Finding Persephone

Finding Persephone : Women's Rituals in the Ancient Mediterranean

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Drawing upon the latest research in gender studies, history of religion, feminism, ritual theory, performance, anthropology, archaeology, and art history, Finding Persephone investigates the ways in which the religious lives and ritual practices of women in Greek and Roman antiquity helped shape their social and civic identity. Barred from participating in many public arenas, women asserted their presence by performing rituals at festivals and presiding over rites associated with life passages and healing. The essays in this lively and timely volume reveal the central place of women in the religious and ritual practices of the societies of the ancient Mediterranean. Readers interested in religion, women's studies, and classical antiquity will find a unique exploration of the nature and character of women's autonomy within the religious sphere and a full account of women's agency in the public more

Product details

  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 154 x 236 x 22mm | 539.77g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 20 b&w photos, 1 figures, 2 maps
  • 0253219388
  • 9780253219381
  • 1,133,956

Review quote

[T]he scholars who contributed to this volume have done a fine job of initial recovery with careful re-interpretation of their maddeningly fragmentary primary sources. 69.1, 2010 * Western Folklore * [This] volume spans nearly a millennium of the Greco-Roman world. It offers a snapshot of the best work in a burgeoning subfield. Especially welcome is the fresh attention paid to issues of female agency, local differentiation in cult practices, and the precise literary, material, and socio-political contexts of our evidence. August, 2011 * Journal of Folklore Research * . . . a good representation of the potential of the study of women's rituals as a medium for relocating women to the center of ancient society from their long relegation at the edge. January 2009 -- Randall S. Howarth * Mercyhurst College * [T]his volume has advanced the study of women and men and ritual in the ancient Mediterranean, an area which has rightly entered the mainstream of classical scholarship. * Classical Review *show more

About Maryline G. Parca

Maryline Parca teaches at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is author of The Franchetti Collection in Rome: Inscriptions and Sculptural Fragments.Angeliki Tzanetou teaches at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has published articles on women's rituals and politics in Greek more

Table of contents

ContentsAcknowledgmentsAbbreviationsPart 1. Introduction1. Ritual and Gender: Critical Perspectives Angeliki TzanetouPart 2. Sources and Methodology2. The Scandal of Women's Ritual Deborah LyonsPart 3. Gender and Agency3. Looking for the Images: Representations of Girls' Rituals in Ancient Athens Jenifer Neils4. Improvising on the Athenian Stage: Women's Ritual Practice in Drama Barbara Goff5. Sanctissima femina: Social Categorization and Women's Religious Experience in the Roman Republic Celia E. Schultz6. Threat and Hope: Women's Rituals and Civil War in Roman Epic Vassiliki PanoussiPart 4. Performance7. Folk Songs as Ritual Acts: The Case of Work-Songs Andromache Karanika8. The Rise of the Demon Womb in Greco-Roman Antiquity Christopher A. Faraone9. Thesmophoria and Eleusinian Mysteries: The Fascination of Women's Secret Ritual Eva StehlePart 5. Appropriations and Adaptations10. Worshipping Demeter in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt Maryline Parca11. Nuptiarum Sollemnia? Girls' Transition to Marriage in the Roman Jurists Lauren Caldwell12. Maidens and Manhood in the Worship of Diana at Nemi Eve D'Ambra13. Male Improvisation in the "Women's Cult" of Eileithyia on Paros David D. Leitao14. Early Christian Antipathy toward the Greek "Women Gods" Kathy L. GacaBibliographyContributorsIndexshow more

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