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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While Aristophanes may be guilty of comic exaggeration in assigning these four
roles to a single woman , elite Athenian ... the more public the role , such as that
of the kanephoros , the more often she is depicted in Attic sculpture and painting .
But the fragility and precariousness of this restored ritual order does not negate
the women's overall positive role at the poem's end , a positive role that is
reinforced by the fact that at the epic's close the poet aligns with the women and ...
See , for instance , the role of Fama in the Dido episode of Aen . 4.173–97 . 9. On
the motif and its various functions in Greek tragedy , see Rehm 1994 . Seaford
1987 provides a very useful typology of the tragic wedding . 10. See Wilson 1983
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Sources and Methodology
THE SCANDAL OF WOMENS RITUAL
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