This highly acclaimed collection, the first sourcebook on ancient women and now in its fourth edition, provides a unique look into the public and private lives and legal status of Greek and Roman women. The texts represent women of all social classes, from public figures remembered for their deeds (or misdeeds), to priestesses, poets, and intellectuals, to working women, such as musicians, wet nurses, and prostitutes, to homemakers. The editors have selected texts from hard-to-find sources, such as inscriptions, papyri, and medical treatises, many of which have not previously been translated into English. The resulting compilation is both an invaluable aid to research and a clear guide through this complex subject.
The brand new design of the fourth edition integrates the third edition's appendix and adds many new and unusual texts and images, as well as such student-friendly features as a map and chapter overviews. Many notes and explanations have been revised with the non-classicist in mind.
Its readings cover women's legal status, domestic conditions, health issues, and relations with other people. The emphasis throughout is not so much on what ancient writers thought about women, as on what women actually did, both within the home and outside it, from their intellectual achievements, benefactions, and religious roles, to humble jobs and acts of physical and moral courage.