Author(s): CRYSTAL PAUL
The history of women in ancient Rome is fascinating and exhilarating. It gives a unique insight into one of the world's most dynamic, successful super-power civilisations and, at the same time, illuminates any number of admirable, exciting, evil, slatternly and dangerous women fighting to be heard and seen against insurmountable odds in a world run by men for men. 'Silent' is a word that is sometimes used to describe these women, because of the paucity of first-hand evidence from women for their lives; 'silent' can also be used to describe how the typical Roman male liked his women. Some women though broke that silence and forged an identity of their own in a largely suspicious, paranoid, patronising, critical world. It is those women whom we meet in this intriguing book. Paul Chrystal examines aspects of the Roman woman's lifestyle: her evolving role in the family; the assertive, brave, pernicious and outrageous women in the public arena; we learn about women's education and of artistic, cultured women; we meet women soothsayers, witches and ghosts; we examine the role of women in religion and in the mystery cults; women as health professionals; women's medicine; women's sexuality; women as mistress, prostitute and pimp.