Finding Persephone: Women's Rituals in the Ancient Mediterranean
Drawing upon the latest research in gender studies, history of religion, feminism, ritual theory, performance, anthropology, archaeology, and art history, Finding Persephone investigates the ways in which the religious lives and ritual practices of women in Greek and Roman antiquity helped shape their social and civic identity. Barred from participating in many public arenas, women asserted their presence by performing rituals at festivals and presiding over rites associated with life passages and healing. The essays in this lively and timely volume reveal the central place of women in the religious and ritual practices of the societies of the ancient Mediterranean. Readers interested in religion, women's studies, and classical antiquity will find a unique exploration of the nature and character of women's autonomy within the religious sphere and a full account of women's agency in the public domain.
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Although Greek papyrologists are aware of the existence of abundant parallel
documentation ( principally for the Ptolemaic period ) in the indigenous language
, their preoccupation with the political , administrative , and economic history of
Instructively , all this attested Ptolemaic personnel — the two priestesses and
their two male counterparts — are described as w'b , the demotic rendering ,
perhaps , of the Greek hiereus ( hiereia ) ; see Otto 1905 , 75–77 and Colin 2002
The delivery practices that Tertullian deplores correlate closely with Greek rituals
in honor of Eileithyia , where women in labor had red ribbons , probably wrapped
around their wombs , just as Eileithyia would wear a red ribbon in her hair ...
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Sources and Methodology
THE SCANDAL OF WOMENS RITUAL
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