From Good Goddess to Vestal Virgins: Sex and Category in Roman Religion

Forside
Psychology Press, 1998 - 207 sider
1 Anmeldelse
The role of women in Roman culture and society was a paradoxical one. On the one hand they enjoyed social, material and financial independence and on the other hand they were denied basic constitutional rights. Roman history is not short of powerful female figures, such as Agrippina and Livia, yet their power stemmed from their associations with great men and was not officially recognised.
Ariadne Staples' book examines how women in Rome were perceived both by themselves and by men through women's participation in Roman religion, as Roman religious ritual provided the single public arena where women played a significant formal role. From Good Goddess to Vestal Virginsargues that the ritual roles played out by women were vital in defining them sexually and that these sexually defined categories spilled over into other aspects of Roman culture, including political activity.
Ariadne Staples provides an arresting and original analysis of the role of women in Roman society, which challenges traditionally held views and provokes further questions.
 

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Innhold

THE CULT OF BONA DEA
13
Hercules and Cacus
17
Hercules and Bona Dea
24
The womens goddess
30
A rite so ancient
32
Bona Dea and the mysteries of Mithras
36
Opertanea Sacra
40
Wine milk and honey
44
INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER 3
97
VENUS
99
Venus Verticordia
103
Venus Obsequens and Venus Erycina
113
Venus and Bona Dea
125
The Vestals and Rome
127
INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER 4
129
THE USES OF VIRGINITY THE VESTALS AND ROME
131

The cults of Ceres and Flora
53
INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER 2
55
CERES AND FLORA
57
Uneasy misogymy
59
Wife and prostitute in myth
62
Wife and prostitute in ritual
84
Venus role in Roman religion
95
The transvaluation of virginity
135
Virginity and the ritual representation of Roman integrity
147
CONCLUSION
157
Notes
163
Bibliography
188
Index
201
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