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Women and Slaves in Greco-Roman Culture is the first book to critically explore how slaveholding and the subordination of women shaped ancient societies and reveals how women and slaves intersected with one another in both the cultural representations and the social realities of classical antiquity. The contributors consider a broad range of evidence including the mythical constructions of epic and drama: the love poems of Ovid; the Greek medical writers; Augustine's autobiography; the brief record of an unnamed Roman slave and the archaeological remains of a slave mining camp near Athens to argue that the distinctions between male and female, servile and free were inextricably connected. This erudite and well-documented book provokes questions about how we can hope to recapture the experience, and subjectivity, of ancient women and slaves, and addresses the ways in which femaleness and servility interacted with other forms of difference, such as class, gender and status. Women and Slaves in Greco-Roman Culture offers stimulating and frequently controversial insight into the complexities of gender and status in the ancient world.
Sandra R. Joshel teaches ancient history, myth and culture and women's studies in the Liberal Arts Department of the New England Conservatory of Music. She is the author of Work, Identity and Legal Status at Rome: A Study of the Occupational Inscriptions (1992). Sheila Murnaghan is Associate Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Disguise and Recognition in the Odyssey (1987).