Women in the Ancient World

The Arethusa Papers

Edited by John Peradotto & J. P. Sullivan

Paperback : 9780873957731, 377 pages, April 1987
Hardcover : 9780873957724, 377 pages, June 1984

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Table of contents


John Peradotto and J. P. Sullivan

Early Greece: The Origins of the Western Attitude Toward Women
Marylin B. Arthur

"Reverse Similes" and Sex Roles in the Odyssey
Helene P. Foley

Workers and Drones: Labor, Idleness and Gender Definition in Hesiod's Beehive
Linda S. Sussman

Sappho and Helen
Page duBois

The Maenad in Early Greek Art
Sheila McNally

Classical Greek Attitudes to Sexual Behaviour
K. J. Dover

The Dynamics of Misogyny: Myth and Mythmaking in the Oresteia
Froma I. Zeitlin

The Menace of Dionysus: Sex Roles and Reversals in Euripides' Bacchae
Charles Segal

Plato: Misogynist, Phaedophile, and Feminist
Dorothea Wender

The Women of Etruria
Larissa Bonfante Warren

The Role of Women in Roman Elegy: Counter-Cultural Feminism
Judith P. Hallett

Rape and Rape Victims in the Metamorphoses
Leo C. Curran

Theodora and Antonina in the Historia Arcana: History and/or Fiction?
Elizabeth A. Fisher

Selected Bibliography on Women in Classical Antiquity
Sarah B. Pomeroy (with Ross S. Kraemer and Natalie Kampen)

Suggested Undergraduate Syllabus
Sarah B. Pomeroy


One of the reasons for the study of the Greek and Roman classics is their perpetual relevance. In no area can this position be more clearly defended than in the investigation of the feminine condition, for it was here that basic attitudes derogatory to the sex were molded by legal and social systems, by philosophers and poets, and by the thinking of men long since gone.

Women in the Ancient World brings together essays that examine philosophy, social history, literature, and art, and that extend from the early Greek period through the Roman Empire. Their wide range of critical perspectives throws new light on the personal, political, socio-economic, and cultural position of women.