ROMAN WOMEN by J.P.V.D. Palsdon


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The first comprehensive study of Roman women offered as a corrective for the approach of Ovid, Martial, Tacitus, Juvenal which when read alone discolor reality. The author covers the period from the ""foundation of Rome"" by Romulus and Remus 753 B.C. to the death of Constantine in A.D. 337. The book separates into two distinct parts: first comes the history, crammed with important distaff personages, whose lives and deaths affected the rule of empire; then in a section devoted to the habits of the times, the role of marriage in a civilization determined to fill its egion ranks with native sons rather than mercenaries, of women whether as mater milias, Vestal Virgins or courtesans is explored. Fascinating tales abound (the ape of the Sabines is reinterpreted, Nero's murder of his mother detailed) and significance are constantly pointed up with a view to the social history of Rome. But the interest will be mainly for serious students of the times, since the material is ense, the anecdotes condensed in a close scrutiny that covers a thousand years with generous content in short space. Social historians, Latin scholars amateur and professional will find this lively fare.

Pub Date: April 26th, 1963
Publisher: John Day