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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In reading these accounts , we face what the anthropologist Thomas Buckley has
called the “ double male bias , ” namely , descriptions by male writers based
largely on male informants.33 Winkler ( 1990 , 206 ) acknowledges this problem
Does such an example allow us to wonder if ancient male writers ' protestations
of ignorance were similarly pro forma ? 40 And if so , does that dilute the
arguments I have made for the significance of male ignorance ? Or does it
suggest that ...
There is , however , one curious feature of both the magical and medical
prognoses and treatments surveyed here : all of the healers of , and writers on ,
the wandering womb are male . This is not surprising , of course , in the case of
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Sources and Methodology
THE SCANDAL OF WOMENS RITUAL
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