Monday, October 10, 2005

Feminae Romanae: The Women of Ancient Rome

Feminae Romanae: The Women of Ancient Rome - A history of women in ancient Rome from the Graeco-Etruscan period to the fall of the Empire. Sections cover multiple periods, graphics and biographies of famous Roman women.

The link titled "Republican Women" of course has nothing to do with American politics. But it does lead to a good essay on the role of women in the Roman Republic.

From the site:

For nearly eight centuries the city of Rome was imperial, ruling at its height more than 50 million people from Britain to northern Africa and the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East towards Asia. The indelible traces of Rome’s long sway confront us in every aspect of modern western life. The surviving voices of Rome - Caesar, Cicero, Marcus Aurelius, Livy and others - define all we now know and understand of a vast, complex society and its beliefs. Yet for nearly a millennium, half of all people living and dying under the Caesars were women and their voices come to us solely through men. Their own words are mere whispers: a source here, a poem fragment there, and a reference in a politician’s biography, tomb epitaphs. Yet the women of the Roman Empire were equally its founders and mainstay and their voices are only now, after 16 centuries, beginning to be heard.

This site attempts to give a sense of context to the position of Roman women vis-à-vis other Mediterranean cultures of the time and to follow their transition towards increasing freedom and power as the Empire itself grew. Historical Context contrasts the older cultures of Greece and the Etruscans, who influenced the early Romans. Heroines of Rome tells the legendary stories of Roman women that influenced later generations as to what a woman was supposed to be. Republican Women covers roughly the third through first centuries BC; Imperial Women documents the changes accruing after the failure of the Republic and the rise of Augustus. Forgotten Women attempts to sketch working women of Rome, of whom so little has been written in their own time. The World Within deals with the private world of the Roman women, both in terms of her female household, her love affairs, or her spirituality insofar as we may trace them. Women of Influence provides biographies of notable Roman women including Cornelia, Livia, Clodia, Agrippina the Elder, Julia Domna, and Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantinople.

1 comment:

Mary~M said...

Thanks, it's about time! :)