Sunday, August 14, 2011

First Ladies of Rome

As Anneliese Freisenbruch admits in this excellent history, most of the Ancient Roman women discussed in her book "would never have come to historical notice if it were not for the men they married or the sons they gave birth to", such was the patriarchal society in which they existed.

There is hardly anything written by women of the era, and too many contrasting versions from male playwrights for Freisenbruch to be definitive. But these more sceptical portraits of women, often either vilified or venerated, are very welcome.

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