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A Companion to Women in the Ancient World

Sharon L. James (Editor), Sheila Dillon (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4443-5500-0
704 pages
February 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Women in the Ancient World (1444355007) cover image
Selected by Choice as a 2012 Outstanding Academic Title
Awarded a 2012 PROSE Honorable Mention as a Single Volume Reference/Humanities & Social Sciences

A Companion to Women in the Ancient World presents an interdisciplinary, methodologically-based collection of newly-commissioned essays from prominent scholars on the study of women in the ancient world.

  • The first interdisciplinary, methodologically-based collection of readings to address the study of women in the ancient world
  • Explores a broad range of topics relating to women in antiquity, including: Mother-Goddess Theory; Women in Homer, Pre-Roman Italy, the Near East; Women and the Family, the State, and Religion; Dress and Adornment; Female Patronage; Hellenistic Queens; Imperial Women; Women in Late Antiquity; Early Women Saints; and many more
  • Thematically arranged to emphasize the importance of historical themes of continuity, development, and innovation
  • Reconsiders much of the well-known evidence and preconceived notions relating to women in antiquity
  • Includes contributions from many of the most prominent scholars associated with the study of women in antiquity
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List of Illustrations ix

Notes on Contributors xvi

Preface and Acknowledgments xxii

Abbreviations xxiii

Maps xxvi

Introduction 1

PART I Women Outside Athens and Rome 5

Case Study I: The Mother Goddess in Prehistory: Debates and Perspectives 7
Lauren Talalay

1 Women in Ancient Mesopotamia 11
Amy R. Gansell

2 Hidden Voices: Unveiling Women in Ancient Egypt 25
Kasia Szpakowska

3 Looking for Minoan and Mycenaean Women: Paths of Feminist Scholarship Towards the Aegean Bronze Age 38
Marianna Nikolaïdou

4 Women in Homer 54
Cristiana Franco

5 Etruscan Women: Towards a Reappraisal 66
Vedia Izzet

PART II The Archaic and Classical Periods 79

Case Study II: Sex and the Single Girl: The Cologne Fragment of Archilochus 81
Sharon L. James

6 Woman, City, State: Theories, Ideologies, and Concepts in the Archaic and Classical Periods 84
Madeleine M. Henry and Sharon L. James

7 Women and Law 96
Barbara Levick

8 Women and Medicine 107
Holt Parker

9 Reading the Bones: Interpreting the Skeletal Evidence for Women’s Lives in Ancient Greece 125
Maria A. Liston

10 Approaches to Reading Attic Vases 141
Kathryn Topper

11 Spartan Girls and the Athenian Gaze 153
Jenifer Neils

12 Interpreting Women in Archaic and Classical Greek Sculpture 167
A. A. Donohue

13 Dress and Adornment in Archaic and Classical Greece 179
Mireille M. Lee

14 Women and Religion in Greece 191
Eva Stehle

15 Women and Roman Religion 204
Lora L. Holland

16 Women in Magna Graecia 215
Gillian Shepherd

PART III Women in a Cosmopolitan World: The Hellenistic and Late Republican Periods 229

Case Study III: Hellenistic Tanagra Figurines 231
Sheila Dillon

Case Study IV: Domestic Female Slaves in Roman Comedy 235
Sharon L. James

17 Female Patronage in the Greek Hellenistic and Roman Republican Periods 238
Anne Bielman

18 Women on Hellenistic Grave Stelai: Reading Images and Texts 249
Christina A. Salowey

19 Female Portraiture in the Hellenistic Period 263
Sheila Dillon

20 Women and Family in Menander 278
Cheryl A. Cox

21 Gender and Space, "Public" and "Private" 288
Monika Trümper

22 Oikos Keeping: Women and Monarchy in the Macedonian Tradition 304
Elizabeth D. Carney

23 The Women of Ptolemaic Egypt: The View from Papyrology 316
Maryline Parca

24 Jewish Women: Texts and Contexts 329
Laura S. Lieber

25 Women, Education, and Philosophy 343
Marguerite Deslauriers

26 Perceptions of Women’s Power in the Late Republic: Terentia, Fulvia, and the Generation of 63 BCE 354
T. Corey Brennan

PART IV The Beginnings of Empire 367

Case Study V: Vergil's Dido 369
Sharon L. James

27 Women in Augustan Rome 372
Judith P. Hallett

28 Women in Augustan Literature 385
Alison Keith

29 Women on the Bay of Naples 400
Eve D'Ambra

30 Early Imperial Female Portraiture 414
Elizabeth Bartman

31 Portraits, Prestige, Piety: Images of Women in Roman Egypt 423
Christina Riggs

PART V From Empire to Christianity 437

Case Study VI: Female Portraiture in Palmyra 439
Maura K. Heyn

32 Women in Imperial Roman Literature 442
Rhiannon Ash

33 Female Portraiture and Female Patronage in the High Imperial Period 453
Rachel Meyers

34 Women in Roman Britain 467
Lindsay Allason-Jones

35 Public Roles for Women in the Cities of the Latin West 478
Emily A. Hemelrijk

36 Rari exempli femina: Female Virtues on Roman Funerary Inscriptions 491
Werner Riess

37 Women in Late Antique Egypt 502
Jennifer Sheridan Moss

38 Representations of Women in Late Antiquity and Early Byzantium 513
Ioli Kalavrezou

39 Becoming Christian 524
Ross S. Kraemer

Appendix: Women in Late Antiquity (Apart from Egypt): A Bibliography 539

References 545

Index of Women 605

Subject Index 611

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Sharon L. James is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the author of Learned Girls and Male Persuasion: Gender and Reading in Roman Love Elegy (2003), and the forthcoming Women in Greek and Roman New Comedy.

Sheila Dillon is Associate Professor in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University with a secondary appointment in the Department of Classical Studies.  She is the author of Ancient Greek Portrait Sculpture (2006), and The Female Portrait Statue in the Greek World (2010). 
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"This companion without doubt succeeds in its mission, while advocating for the further inclusion of women in antiquity in both scholarship and teaching." (The Classical Journal, 3 May 2013)

"This is a fascinating study, one which will feed into much current thought and discussion, lead to more links being made between periods, between genres and opening up the world of the ancient woman to further scrutiny and understanding, perhaps even more scholarship." (Reference Reviews, 1 October 2012)

Named CHOICE Outstanding Title for 2012
"While the scope of topics here is massive and not every subject has been covered, this is an invaluable compilation of great breadth and a valuable resource on an important, complex subject." (Choice, 1 September 2012)

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