A History of Women in the West: From Ancient Goddesses to Christian Saints v. 1

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9780674403697: A History of Women in the West: From Ancient Goddesses to Christian Saints v. 1
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Informed by the work of seventy-five distinguished historians, this five-volume series sets before us an engaging, panoramic chronicle that extends from antiquity to the present day. The inaugural volume brings women from the margins of ancient history into the fore. It offers fresh insight into more than twenty centuries of Greek and Roman history and encompasses a landscape that stretches from the North Sea to the Mediterranean and from the Pillars of Hercules to the banks of the Indus. The authors draw upon a wide range of sources including gravestones, floor plans, papyrus rolls, vase paintings, and literary works to illustrate how representations of women evolved during this age. They journey into the minds of men and bring to light an imaginative history of women and of the relations between the sexes.

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Review:

A stellar cast of historians from many countries here examines women's bodies, hearts, and minds and explores their nature and role...Their investigation pinpoints the changes that have taken place in a colonized continent...The road to freedom is long. We look forward to visiting subsequent stations along the way.--Anne Pons "L'Express "

[This book contains] a wealth of knowledge and a scholarly scrupulosity which bodes well for its successors.--Helen Hackett "Times Higher Education Supplement "

A series of carefully interrelated essays that form the first volume of a five-part encyclopedic history of women...[This work] marks the rapid development over the past twenty years in the study of women in the ancient world.--Mary Beard "Times Literary Supplement "

A bold new enterprise that will no doubt stand as a milestone in European history.--Laurent Theis "Le Nouvel Observateur "

From the Back Cover:

In the words of the general editors, A History of Women seeks "to understand women's place in society, their condition, the roles they played and the powers they possessed, their silence, their speech, and their deeds. It is the variety of the representations of women--as gods, Madonnas, witches, and so on--that we hope to capture, in its permanence as well as its many transformations". Informed by the work of seventy-five distinguished historians, this five-volume series sets before us an engaging, panoramic chronicle that extends from antiquity to the present day. The inaugural volume brings women from the margins of ancient history into the fore. The authors' deft analysis offers fresh insight into more than twenty centuries of Greek and Roman history and encompasses a landscape that stretches from the North Sea to the Mediterranean and from the Pillars of Hercules to the banks of the Indus. In the minds of the ancients, the roles for which women were destined were silent ones: motherhood and homemaking, tasks relegated to obscurity by scribes who focused exclusively on the deeds of men. Even the census neglected women; in Rome, only heiresses were counted. But the dearth of information about women in official archives and the near absence of writing by women from this era stand in stark contrast to the astonishing profusion of texts and images created by men that are concerned with women and gender. The number of women's representations is astonishing. The authors draw upon sources ranging from gravestones to floor plans, from stele inscriptions to papyrus rolls, from vase paintings to Greek and Roman literary works, to illustrate how representations of women evolved during thisage. They journey into the minds of men--from the Greeks imagining their goddesses to the Church Fathers inventing the figure of the martyred female saint--and bring to light an imaginative history of women and of the relations between the sexes. The authors explore select aspects of ancient mythology, philosophy, law, and art that illuminate the social position of women and the prevailing attitudes about sexual difference. The social practices that left an indelible mark on women's lives--practices associated with sexuality and reproduction, property, and religious ritual and priesthood--are fully examined in these pages. The myths of a remote era in which women held the reins of power are put to rest. What emerges is a vital portrait that enriches our understanding of the women of antiquity and enlarges our knowledge of their true roles in the social, religious, economic, and imaginative life of the ancient world. The volume's elegant prose and superb illustrations will engage and delight both the general reader and the seasoned historian.

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9780674403703: A History of Women in the West: From Ancient Goddesses to Christian Saints v.1: From Ancient Goddesses to Christian Saints Vol 1

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