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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... manifestations of women's involvement in their societies , ancient and modern ,
and to discern where their subordination persists and where the seeds of
empowerment might lie , we turn to women's religious domain in traditional
The likening of the women to the river underscores their formidable power ; yet
this power is portrayed in turn as subject to the control of bacchants whose thyrsi
bear the marks of war . As a result , the women's power yields to forces contrary
costume , differing only in the footwear and the pose of the dog , turning back
toward its mistress in the Nemi relief.23 The ... In the reliefs on their altars , Aelia
Procula and Aelia Tyche turn the tables on death , so to speak , by initiating the
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Sources and Methodology
THE SCANDAL OF WOMENS RITUAL
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