lesbiassparrow: (Default)
PS. Rome

If you want to know the names of elite and politically important women outside of the two that you've decided are all we need to see I would be happy to send you some books. Also you can be ambitious as a woman and not have to shag everything in sight or hit your daughter on a repeated basis (though I can't really blame Atia on the Antony front).

Shall I give you a description of Cornelia, Pompey's last wife, just to get you started? "The young woman had many charming qualities apart from her youth and beauty. She had a good knowledge of literature, of playing the lyre, and of geometry, and she was a regular and intelligent listener to lectures on philsophy." (Plutarch, Life of Pompey)



pps. I don't care about historical accuracy really, I'm just a bit tired of the same old representation of ambitious Roman women as nasty sex-monsters who will boink anything that moves. Not every Roman matron was mommie dearest in a stola.
lesbiassparrow: (Default)
Given that I am currently teaching a course on women in antiquity I am shockingly uninformed about Roman depilatories. But I do know that according to Ovid, crocodile dung was used in rouge, that Pliny the Elder wore a bra on his head to cure headaches, and if a menstruating woman walked through your crops they would die. Oh and wombs would wander all over a woman's body if you weren't lucky. (And you don't want to know how you would fix a blocked womb.)

Next week I will post on the fun of the lupercalia and nearly naked aristocrats running through the streets of Rome beating willing women. I really hope they film Mark Antony's participation in those festivities.


lesbiassparrow: (Default)

August 2011

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