Women in Ancient Rome
- Paul Chrystal
15th July 2013
What life was really like for Roman women. Explores the role of women in Roman society, law, religion, medicine and politics, as well as how they have been depicted in art and literature.
The history of women in ancient Rome is fascinating and exhilarating. It gives a unique insight into one of the world's most dynamic, successful super-power civilisations and, at the same time, illuminates any number of admirable, exciting, evil, slatternly and dangerous women fighting to be heard and seen against insurmountable odds in a world run by men for men. 'Silent' is a word that is sometimes used to describe these women, because of the paucity of first-hand evidence from women for their lives; 'silent' can also be used to describe how the typical Roman male liked his women. Some women though broke that silence and forged an identity of their own in a largely suspicious, paranoid, patronising, critical world. It is those women whom we meet in this intriguing book. Paul Chrystal examines aspects of the Roman woman's lifestyle: her evolving role in the family; the assertive, brave, pernicious and outrageous women in the public arena; we learn about women's education and of artistic, cultured women; we meet women soothsayers, witches and ghosts; we examine the role of women in religion and in the mystery cults; women as health professionals; women's medicine; women's sexuality; women as mistress, prostitute and pimp.