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Women in the Classical World : Image and Text - Elaine Fantham

Paperback

Published: 30th March 1995
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Information about women is scattered throughout the fragmented mosaic of ancient history: the vivid poetry of Sappho survived antiquity on remnants of damaged papyrus; the inscription on a beautiful fourth century B.C.E. grave praises the virtues of Mnesarete, an Athenian woman who died young; a great number of Roman wives were found guilty of poisoning their husbands, but was it accidental food poisoning, or disease, or 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 uncollected and uninterpreted.
Now, the lavishly illustrated and meticulously researched Women in the Classical World lifts the curtain on the women of ancient Greece and Rome, exploring the lives of slaves and prostitutes, Athenian housewives, and 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, religious 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. Both the art and the literature highlight women's creativity, sexuality and coming of age, marriage and childrearing, religious and public roles, and other themes. Fascinating chapters report on the wild behavior of Spartan and Etruscan women and the mythical Amazons; the changing views of the female body presented in male-authored gynecological treatises; the "new woman" represented by the love poetry of the late Republic and Augustan Age; and the traces of upper- and lower-class life in Pompeii, miraculously preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 C.E. Provocative and surprising, Women in the Classical World is a masterly foray into the past, and a definitive statement on the lives of women in ancient Greece and Rome.

"A much needed book which synthesizes text and image very effectively for undergraduates."--Wendy Slatkin, University of Redlands "Well-written and well-organized text. Good use of artistic and archaeological evidence."--Thea Smith, University of Cincinnati "A broad range of primary sources is well integrated into interpretive essays on various aspects of the female experience in Greek and Roman societies. The authors are to be congratulated for doing such a good job of introducing the students to the issues."--W.J. Murnane, University of Memphis "Highly interesting!"--Ann Nauman, St. Joseph Seminary College "One of the finest works to emerge from recent feminist scholarship....This is the first study to recognize the bounty that previously-ignored source material yields....Seasoned scholars and novices alike will be entranced by this clearly written, richly illustrated account of a mysterious age."--Bookman's World "A much needed book which synthesizes text and image very effectively for undergraduates."--Wendy Slatkin, University of Redlands "Well-written and well-organized text. Good use of artistic and archaeological evidence."--Thea Smith, University of Cincinnati "A broad range of primary sources is well integrated into interpretive essays on various aspects of the female experience in Greek and Roman societies. The authors are to be congratulated for doing such a good job of introducing the students to the issues."--W.J. Murnane, University of Memphis "Highly interesting!"--Ann Nauman, St. Joseph Seminary College "One of the finest works to emerge from recent feminist scholarship....This is the first study to recognize the bounty that previously-ignored source material yields....Seasoned scholars and novices alike will be entranced by this clearly written, richly illustrated account of a mysterious age."--Bookman's World "Fills a real need for a sound basic text!"--Gloria Merker, Rutgers University "An excellent study on the issue of gender in the ancient world. The work is well researched and makes very good use of the sources."--Stephen Simon, Appalachian State University "Admirable overview of the varied roles and contributions of women in the ancient world....A must in classical studies."--Gregory Camp, Minot State University "Superb contribution both for teaching and scholarship."--Jonathan Zophy, University of Houston "Looks great! Has motivated me to propose a new course!"--Martin Helzle, Case Western Reserve University "An excellent text for a course on women in the ancient world. The combination of visual and written sources place it above other texts in this category."--D. Domingo-Foraste, CalState-Long Beach "A timely summary of contemporary thought--both modern and ancient--suitable for use in a variety of courses. Highly recommended for its collection of ancient texts, ancient art, and modern interpretation."--Daniel Garrison, Northwestern University "A valuable textbook for courses on ancient Greece and Rome. Authoritative tratment of subjects based on ancient authorities and modern scholarship."--Demetrios Constantelos, Richard Stockton College "A very usable text, inclusive, and excerpts well-chosen."--Edna Steeves, University of Rhode Island "Excellent! By far the most complete and well-balanced treatment I've seen. The material is well-presented and highly readable!"--Christina Horst Roseman, Seattle Pacific University "A handsome text using a nice variety of sources, many of which do not appear in standard texts. The combination of literature and visual art is very effective."--Martha Payne, Ball State University "Well-arranged, well-illustrated, carefully documented, largely free of ideology and theory."--William Calder, University of Illinois-Urbana "Excellent book for a class--wide ranging, stimulating, well-illustrated."--R. Talbert, University of North Carolina "Wonderful background material for my "Women in Literature" class!"--Nancy Sheley, Washburn University "An ideal text for a women's studies course as it is well thought out and easy to read. A good supplemental reading for an upper level general history of Greece and Rome course. Exceptional illustrations."--M.C. Rosenfield, University of Massachusetts "A unique illustrated chronological survey of women's lives built upon a foundation of vivid cultural and social history and laced with poetry, anecdotes, and original interpretations. Women are portrayed within the contexts of household customs, sexual mores, experiences in marriage, outlets for creativity, religion, motherhood, and politics. Each sphere is illuminated in surprising detail, the result of careful yet passionate study of all kinds of texts, from medical treatises to trade documents and literature, as well as by astute scrutiny of images found on monuments, decorative arts, murals, and sculptures. Fantham and company have achieved an exciting and invaluable synthesis of visual and literary materials, a triumph, in sum, of scholarship and analysis."--Booklist "Women in the Classical World provides a sound introduction for anyone interested in the field. Based on a wide array of current research, the book integrates primary sources, both visual and textual, into a clear narrative overview. I would single out for special praise the book's consistent attention to questions of social class, and the up-to-date chapter bibliographies. The book ends with a timeline peppered with women's names--as unusual a feature as it is welcome."--Amy Richlin, author of The Garden of Priapus and Pornography and Representation in Greece and Rome "Spanning a thousand years of ancient history, this path-breaking study of women in classical antiquity sets a new and long-awaited standard in the field for its range and breadth of vision, its skillful blend of texts and artistic monuments of every sort, and its remarkably intelligent presentation and commentary. The expert collaborators have shaped a volume that is informed throughout by the latest scholarship of women in Greece and Rome but makes its rich and fascinating array of material accessible to any and all readers. A monumental and enduring achievement."--Froma I. Zeitlin, Charles Ewing Professor of Greek Language and Literature, Princeton University "The perfect textbook for courses on women in the ancient world. Its comprehensive account of women's lives is richly supported by literary, artistic and documentary evidence. The abundant excerpts from inscriptions and papyri are especially valuable. It will be an essential resource for anyone studying the ancient world."--Michael Gagarin, author of Early Greek Law and The Murder of Herodes

I. WOMEN IN THE GREEK WORLD 1: Women in Archaic Greece: Talk in Praise and Blame 2: Excursus--Spartan Women: Women in a Warrior Society 3: Women in Classical Athens: Heroines and Housewives 4: Excursus--Amazons: Women in Control 5: The Hellenistic Period: Women in a Cosmopolitan World 6: Excursus--Medicine: The "Proof" of Anatomy II. WOMEN IN THE ROMAN WORLD 7: Republican Rome I: From Marriage by Capture to Partnership in War--The Proud Women of Early Rome 8: Excursus--Etruscan Women 9: Republican Rome II: Women in a Wealthy Society--Aristocratic and Working Women from the Second Century B.C.E. 10: Excursus--The "New Woman": Representation and Reality 11: Women, Family, and Sexuality in the Age of Augustus and the Julio-Claudians 12: Excursus--The Women of Pompeii 13: Women of the High and Later Empire: Conformity and Diversity Chronology of the Greek and Roman Worlds 776 B.C.E.-313 C.E. List of Illustrations Index

ISBN: 9780195098624
ISBN-10: 0195098625
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 448
Published: 30th March 1995
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 18.0  x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.83