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Women's Ritual Competence in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean





ISBN 9780367880729
Published December 19, 2019 by Routledge
248 Pages

 
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Book Description

Contributions in this volume demonstrate how, across the ancient Mediterranean and over hundreds of years, women’s rituals intersected with the political, economic, cultural, or religious spheres of their communities in a way that has only recently started to gain sustained academic attention. The volume aims to tease out a number of different approaches and contexts, and to expand existing studies of women in the ancient world as well as scholarship on religious and social history.



The contributors face a famously difficult task: ancient authors rarely recorded aspects of women’s lives, including their songs, prophecies, and prayers. Many of the objects women made and used in ritual were perishable and have not survived; certain kinds of ritual objects (lowly undecorated pots, for example) tend not even to be recorded in archaeological reports. However, the broad range of contributions in this volume demonstrates the multiplicity of materials that can be used as evidence – including inscriptions, textiles, ceramics, figurative art, and written sources – and the range of methodologies that can be used, from analysis of texts, images, and material evidence to cognitive and comparative approaches.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements



Abbreviations



List of Figures



Notes on Contributors





 



Introduction



Matthew P. Dillon, Esther Eidinow, and Lisa Maurizio



 



I. OBJECTS AND OFFERINGS







  1. The Forgotten Things: Women, Rituals and Community in Western Sicily (8th–6th Centuries BCE) - Meritxell Ferrer






  2. Materiality and Ritual Competence: Insights from Women’s Prayer Typology in Homer - Andromache Karanika






  3. Power through Textiles: Women as Ritual Performers in Ancient Greece - Cecilie Brøns






  4. Silent Mourners: Terracotta Statues and Death Rituals in Canosa - Tiziana D’Angelo and Maya Muratov






  5.  



    II. AUTHORITY AND TRANSMISSION





  6. Shared Meters and Meanings: Delphic Oracles and Women’s Lament - Lisa Maurizio






  7. Priestess and Polis in Euripides’ Iphigeneia in Tauris - Laura McClure






  8. Owners of Their Own Bodies: Women’s Magical Knowledge and Reproduction in Greek Inscriptions - Irene Salvo






  9.  



    III. CONTROL AND RESISTANCE





  10. Bitter Constraint? Penelope’s Web, and "Season Due" - Laurie O’Higgins






  11. Women’s Ritual Competence and Domestic Dough: Celebrating the Thesmophoria, Haloa, and Dionysian Rites in Ancient Attika - Matthew P. Dillon






  12. Inhabiting/Subverting the Norms: Women's Ritual Agency in the Greek West - Bonnie MacLachlan






  13.  



    IV. DENIAL AND CONTESTATION





  14. Women’s Ritual Competence and a Self-Inscribing Prophet at Rome - J. Bert Lott






  15. "A Devotee and a Champion": Re-interpreting the Female "Victims" of Magic in Early Christian Texts - Esther Eidinow






  16. "What

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Editor(s)

Biography

Matt Dillon is an Associate Professor of Classics and Ancient History in the School of Humanities, University of New England, Armidale, Australia. He has written several articles and a book on women’s religion in ancient Greece, Girls and Women in Classical Greek Religion (2002). He is interested in all ancient religions, and in Greek society.



Esther Eidinow is an Associate Professor of Ancient Greek History at the University of Nottingham, UK. She has particular interest in ancient Greek religion and magic, and her publications include Oracles, Curses, and Risk among the Ancient Greeks (2007), Luck, Fate and Fortune: Antiquity and its Legacy (2010), and Envy, Poison and Death: Women on Trial in Classical Athens (2015).



Lisa Maurizio is an Associate Professor of Classical and Medieval Studies at Bates College, Maine, USA. She is interested in interplay between gender, oral poetry, and Greek religion, and has published articles on Delphic divination as well as Classical Mythology in Context (2015).