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Women and War in Antiquity

edited by Jacqueline Fabre-Serris and Alison Keith

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Women in ancient Greece and Rome played a much more active role in battle than previously assumed.

The martial virtues—courage, loyalty, cunning, and strength—were central to male identity in the ancient world, and antique literature is replete with depictions of men cultivating and exercising these virtues on the battlefield. In Women and War in Antiquity, sixteen scholars reexamine classical sources to uncover the complex but hitherto unexplored relationship between women and war in ancient Greece and Rome. They reveal that women played a much more active role in battle than previously...

Women in ancient Greece and Rome played a much more active role in battle than previously assumed.

The martial virtues—courage, loyalty, cunning, and strength—were central to male identity in the ancient world, and antique literature is replete with depictions of men cultivating and exercising these virtues on the battlefield. In Women and War in Antiquity, sixteen scholars reexamine classical sources to uncover the complex but hitherto unexplored relationship between women and war in ancient Greece and Rome. They reveal that women played a much more active role in battle than previously assumed, embodying martial virtues in both real and mythological combat.

The essays in the collection, taken from the first meeting of the European Research Network on Gender Studies in Antiquity, approach the topic from philological, historical, and material culture perspectives. The contributors examine discussions of women and war in works that span the ancient canon, from Homer’s epics and the major tragedies in Greece to Seneca’s stoic writings in first-century Rome. They consider a vast panorama of scenes in which women are portrayed as spectators, critics, victims, causes, and beneficiaries of war.

This deft volume, which ultimately challenges the conventional scholarly opposition of standards of masculinity and femininity, will appeal to scholars and students of the classical world, European warfare, and gender studies.

Reviews

Reviews

The essays in this volume open up important but neglected topics for further inquiry, and will be valuable for literary and military historians alike. In addition, the international perspectives represented will challenge scholars to venture beyond traditional interpretations and methodologies, especially regarding the study of gender in antiquity.

Jacqueline Fabre-Serris and Alison Keith’s volume, Women & War in Antiquity, provides meaningful contributions to the advancement of this question. Whereas the premise of this book is bold, the scope is equally impressive; articles range in chronology from Homer and the mythohistoric Trojan origins of the classical world to the fall of Christian Rome

Women and War in Antiquity is a remarkable collection of historical and literary research, one that has much to interest the generalist, yet is sure to be an essential text for scholars of both ancient warfare and gender in antiquity... This excellent volume lights the way.

Fabre-Serris and Keith have assembled an impressive collection of papers that offer insightful interpretations of the relationship between women and war in a variety of Greco-Roman literary and historical contexts...To scholars interested in gender more generally or in the specific topics of individual chapters, this volume’s penetrating exploration of a variety of evidence will prompt productive questions for further thought.

... ope paths and offer fresh ideas for future research...

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
360
ISBN
9781421417622
Illustration Description
13 halftones
Table of Contents

Introduction
1. War, Speech, and the Bow Are Not Women's Business
2. Women and War in the Iliad: Rhetorical and Ethical Implications
3. Teichoskopia: Female Figures Looking on Battles
4. Women Arming Men

Introduction
1. War, Speech, and the Bow Are Not Women's Business
2. Women and War in the Iliad: Rhetorical and Ethical Implications
3. Teichoskopia: Female Figures Looking on Battles
4. Women Arming Men: Armor and Jewelry
5. Woman and War: From the Theban Cycle to Greek Tragedy
6. Women after War in Seneca's Troades: A Reflection on Emotions
7. Love and War: Feminine Models, Epic Roles, and Gender Identity inStatius's Thebaid
8. Elegiac Women and Roman Warfare
9. Warrior Women in Roman Epic
10. War in the Feminine in Ancient Greece
11. To Act, Not Submit: Women's Attitudes in Situations of War in Ancient Greece
12. Women's Wars, Censored Wars? A Few Greek Hypotheses (Eighth to FourthCenturies BCE)
13. The Warrior Queens of Caria (Fifth to Fourth Centuries BCE): Archeology,History, and Historiography
14. Fulvia: The Representation of an Elite Roman Woman Warrior
15. Women and Imperium in Rome: Imperial Perspectives
16. The Feminine Side of War in Claudian's Epics

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Jacqueline Fabre-Serris

Jacqueline Fabre-Serris is a professor of Latin literature at the University Charles de Gaulle–Lille 3. She is the author of Rome, l’Arcadie et la mer des Argonautes: Naissance d’une mythologie des origines en Occident.
Alison Keith
Featured Contributor

Alison Keith

Alison Keith is a professor of classics, comparative literature, medieval studies, and women and gender studies at the University of Toronto. She is the author of Engendering Rome: Women in Latin Epic.