Women in the Classical World : Image and Text
Information about women is scattered throughout the fragmented mosaic of ancient history. The vivid poetry of Sappho survived antiquity on remnants of damaged papyrus, riddled with gaps. The inscription on a beautiful fourth century B.C.E. grave praises the virtues of Mnesarete, an Athenian woman who died young, but we do not know if the grave's marble stele shows Mnesarete, or simply a ready-made design chosen by her family. We read that on one occasion in the fourth century a great number of Roman wives were given a collective public trial and found guilty of poisoning their husbands, but we can only guess whether these "poisonings" were invented, or were linked to a high occurrence of accidental food poisoning, or to something more sinister. Apart from the legends of Cleopatra, Dido, and Lucretia, and images of graceful maidens dancing on urns, the evidence about the lives of women of the classical world - visual, archaeological, and written - has remained little known and little understood. Now, the lavishly illustrated and meticulously researched Women in the Classical World lifts the curtain on the women of ancient Greece and Rome, from slaves and prostitutes, to Athenian housewives, to Rome's imperial family. The first book on classical women to give equal weight to written texts and artistic representations, it brings together a great wealth of materials - poetry, vase painting, legislation, medical treatises, architecture, religion and funerary art, women's ornaments, historical epics, political speeches, even ancient coins - to present women in the historical and cultural context of their time. Written by leading experts in the fields of ancient history and art history,women's studies, and Greek and Roman literature, the book's chronological arrangement allows the changing roles of women to unfold over a thousand year period, beginning in the eighth century B.C.E. The authors seek out and present ancient literature that preserves women's own voices.
- Hardback | 442 pages
- 180.34 x 254 x 35.56mm | 1,133.98g
- 15 Sep 1994
- Oxford University Press Inc
- New York, United States
- 150 halftones, 4 maps, bibliography
About Elaine Fantham
About the Authors: Elaine Fantham is Giger Professor of Latin at Princeton University. Helene Peet Foley is Olin Professor of Classics at Barnard College. Natalie Boymel Kampen is Professor of Women's Studies and Art History at Barnard College. Sarah B. Pomeroy is Professor of History at Columbia University. H. Alan Shapiro is Professor of Classics at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.