1st Edition

Women in Antiquity Real Women across the Ancient World

Edited By Stephanie Lynn Budin, Jean MacIntosh Turfa Copyright 2016
    1110 Pages
    by Routledge

    1110 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume gathers brand new essays from some of the most respected scholars of ancient history, archaeology, and physical anthropology to create an engaging overview of the lives of women in antiquity. The book is divided into ten sections, nine focusing on a particular area, and also includes almost 200 images, maps, and charts. The sections cover Mesopotamia, Egypt, Anatolia, Cyprus, the Levant, the Aegean, Italy, and Western Europe, and include many lesser-known cultures such as the Celts, Iberia, Carthage, the Black Sea region, and Scandinavia. Women's experiences are explored, from ordinary daily life to religious ritual and practice, to motherhood, childbirth, sex, and building a career. Forensic evidence is also treated for the actual bodies of ancient women.

    Women in Antiquity is edited by two experts in the field, and is an invaluable resource to students of the ancient world, gender studies, and women's roles throughout history.

    General Introduction

    Part One: Mesopotamia


    1. Stephanie Lynn Budin—"Female Sexuality in Mesopotamia"
    2. Erica Couto-Ferreira—"Being mothers or acting (like) mothers? Constructing motherhood in ancient Mesopotamia"
    3. Claudia Suter—"Images of Queens, High Priestesses, and Other Elite Women in 3rd-Millennium Mesopotamia"
    4. Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati—"Women's Power and Work in Ancient Urkesh"
    5. Alhena Gadotti—"Mesopotamian Women’s Cultic Roles in late 3rd – early 2nd millennia bce"
    6. Josué J. Justel—"Women, Gender and Law at the Dawn of History: The Evidence of the Cuneiform Sources"
    7. Andrew McCarthy—"Businesswomen and their Seals in Early Mesopotamia"
    8. Anna-Isabelle Langlois—"The Female Tavern-Keeper in Mesopotamia: Some Aspects of Daily Life"
    9. Saana Svärd—"Neo-Assyrian Elite Women"
    10. Janet Monge and Page Selinsky—"Patterns of Violence Against Women in the Iron Age Town of Hasanlu, Solduz Valley, Iran"
    11. Maria Brosius—"No Reason to Hide – Women in the Neo-Elamite and Persian Periods"

    Part Two: Egypt


    1. Rosalie David—"Understanding The Lives Of Ancient Egyptian Women: The Contribution Of Physical Anthropology"
    2. Marc Orriols-Llonch—"Women’s role in sexual intercourse in ancient Egypt"
    3. Erika Feucht—"Motherhood in Pharaonic Egypt"
    4. Suzanne Onstine—"Women's participation in the religious hierarchy of Ancient Egypt"
    5. Jan Picton— "Living and Working in a New Kingdom 'harem town'"
    6. Deborah Sweeney—"Women at Deir el-Medîna"
    7. Katharina Zinn—"Women in Amarna: legendary royals, forgotten elite, unknown populace?"
    8. Joyce Tyldesley—"The Role of Egypt’s Dynastic Queens"
    9. Jacke Phillips—"Women in Ancient Nubia"

    Part Three: Hittites


    1. Trevor Bryce—"The Role and Status of Women in Hittite Society"
    2. Gary Beckman—"Birth and Motherhood among the Hittites"
    3. Billie Jean Collins—"Women in Hittite Religion"

    Part Four: Cyprus


    1. Kirsi O. Lorentz—"Real bones, real women, real lives: Bioarchaeology of women in ancient Cyprus"
    2. Stephanie Lynn Budin—"Maternity in Ancient Cyprus"
    3. Jennifer M. Webb—"Women at home and in the community in prehistoric Bronze Age Cyprus"
    4. Louise Steel—"The social and economic roles played by the women of Alashiya"
    5. Nancy Serwint—"Women and the Art of Ancient Cyprus"
    6. Joanna Smith—"Women in the Cities of Cyprus: Rulers and Urban Dwellers from the Late Bronze Age to the Hellenistic Period"

    Part Five: The Levant and Carthage


    1. Patrick M. Michel—"Functions and personalities of "Syrian" Priestesses in the Bronze Age: Priestesses at Mari, Emar, and Ugarit"
    2. Marguerite Yon—"Women’s Daily Lives in Late Bronze Age Ugarit (2nd millennium bce)"
    3. Jennie Ebeling—"Women's Daily Life in Bronze Age Canaan"
    4. Kevin McGeough—"‘Will Womankind Now Be Hunting?’: The Work and Economic Lives of Women at Late Bronze Age Ugarit"
    5. Carol Meyers—"Women's Daily Life (Iron Age Israel)"
    6. Assaf Yasur-Landau—"Women In Philistia: The Archaeological Record Of The Iron Age"
    7. Carol Meyers—"Women's Religious Life (Iron Age Israel)"
    8. Peggy Day—""Until I Come and Take You Away to a Land Like Your Own:" A Gendered Look at Siege Warfare and Mass Deportation"
    9. Kathryn Lafrenz Samuels and Meritxell Ferrer Martin—"Phoenician & Carthaginian women: the evidence from ritual contexts"

    Part Six: The Aegean, Bronze Age and Historical


    1. John Prag—"From the Caves of the Wind to Mycenae Rich in Gold: the faces of Minoan and Mycenaean women"
    2. John Younger—"Minoan Women"
    3. Stephanie Lynn Budin—"Maternity in the Bronze Age Aegean"
    4. Cécile Boëlle-Weber—"I-je-re-ja, ka-ra-wi-po-ro and others... Women in Mycenaean Religion"
    5. Cynthia Shelmerdine—"Women in the Mycenaean Economy"
    6. Brendan Burke—"Beyond Penelope: Women and the role of Textiles in Early Greece"
    7. Sherry Fox—"The Bioarchaeology of Women in Greek Antiquity"
    8. James Whitley—"Women in Early Iron Age and Archaic Greece: A View from the Grave"
    9. Yurie Hong—"Mothering in Ancient Athens: Class, Identity, and Experience"
    10. Matthew P. J. Dillon—""Chrysis The Hiereia Having Placed A Lighted Torch Near The Garlands Then Fell Asleep (Thucydides Iv.133.2)." Priestesses Serving The Gods And Goddesses In Classical Greece"
    11. Allison Glazebrook—"Prostitutes, Women, and Gender in Ancient Greece"
    12. Edward E. Cohen—"The Athenian Businesswoman"
    13. Gillian Ramsey—"Hellenistic Women and the Law: Agency, Identity and Community"

    Part Seven: Etruria and the Italian Archipelago


    1. Fulvia Lo Schiavo and Matteo Milletti—"The Nuragic women: Facts and hypotheses on Bronze Age Sardinian women"
    2. Judith Swaddling—"Seianti: portrait of an Etruscan woman"
    3. Larissa Bonfante— "Motherhood in Etruria"
    4. Jean MacIntosh Turfa— "Health and medicine for Etruscan women"
    5. Gilda Bartoloni and Federica Pitzalis— "Etruscan marriage (matrimonio etrusco)"
    6. Gilda Bartoloni and Federica Pitzalis— "The wife of the prince (la donna del principe)"
    7. Ingrid Edlund-Berry— "Etruscan goddesses & worshipers: the place of women in the context of urban and non-urban sanctuaries"
    8. Margarita Gleba— "Women and textile production in pre-Roman Italy"
    9. Jacopo Tabolli and M. DeLucia Brolli— "Faliscan women"
    10. Camilla Norman— "Daunian Women: Costume And Actions Commemorated In Stone"
    11. Enrico Benelli— "Etruria: female slaves and slave-owners"

    Part Eight: Rome

    1. Lena Larsson Lovén— "Roman motherhood"
    2. Emily Hemelrijk—"Women's daily life in the Roman West"
    3. Fanny Dolansky—"Strained relations, gender differences, and domestic ideals: the significance of two Roman family festivals"
    4. Hilary Wills Becker— "Roman women in the urban economy: occupations, social connections, and gendered exclusions"
    5. Linnea Åshede—"A demanding supply: prostitution in the Roman World"
    6. Elizabeth Greene—"Identities And Social Roles Of Women In Military Settlements In The Roman West"
    7. Anna McCullough— "Female Gladiators in the Roman Empire"

    Part Nine: At the Edges


    1. Adrienne Mayor—"Warrior Women: The archaeology of Amazons"
    2. Lourdes Prados Torreira— "Women in Iberian Culture: 6th–1st centuries b.c."
    3. Miranda Aldhouse-Green—"Viragos and Virgins: Women in the Celtic World"
    4. Nancy Wicker— "Women In The Roman Iron Age (A.D. 0–400) In Scandinavia"

    Part Ten: Coda

    1. Kathy L. Gaca— "Continuities in Rape and Tyranny in Martial Societies from Antiquity Onwards"


    Stephanie Lynn Budin is an ancient historian with a focus on ancient Greece and the Near East. Her published works include Artemis (2015), Images of Women and Child from the Bronze Age (2011), The Myth of Sacred Prostitution in Antiquity (2008), and The Origin of Aphrodite (2003), as well as numerous articles on ancient religion and iconography. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and bunnies.


    Jean MacIntosh Turfa received her Ph.D. in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology and Latin from Bryn Mawr College, USA. She was a consultant for the Kyle M. Phillips Etruscan Gallery of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, where she is currently a Consulting Scholar.

    "Women in Antiquity is an extremely useful compilation which is intended to be, without doubt, a reference book for all those with an interest in well-written ancient history spanning all its complexity, a must that cannot go missing from any library."

    - Agnès Garcia-Ventura, Università degli Studi di Roma, Italy


    "For Budin and Turfa, the 'Ancient World' takes off in the east in Mesopotamia, runs around both shores of the Mediterranean, and ends in  Iberia in the west.  In a sense, it covers the areas reached, ruled, or influenced by the Roman Empire ... What we have are 74 (!) crisp chapters, each written by a specialist, many of whom are sharing with us the results of their own latest research and excavations ... Summing up Women in Antiquity, I don't care how familiar you think you are with any of these cultures, there will be plenty new to learn."

    - Judith Weingarten, review on 'Zenobia: Empress of the East' at http://judithweingarten.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/where-are-real-women-of-ancient-world.html 


    "This valuable collection of papers reveals the multifarious ways ancient women participated at all levels of their societies. Of particular value is, first, its inclusion of cultures usually overlooked in other collections of essays (the Celtic, Scandinavian, Hittite), second, its temporal spread from the early Bronze Age well into the Iron Age, and, third, its focus on archaeological realia, documents, inscriptions and the like, rather than on male-authored literature for male-audience consumption. This collection of papers is an essential library resource for programs in gender studies, ancient studies, and archaeology."

    - Judith Lynn Sebesta, University of South Dakota (USA) in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review