Women in Antiquity

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Sunoikein
technical terms for marriage in Greek. “Living Together”
Engue
Greek term for “betrothal”
Ekdosis
Greek; the part of the marriage ceremony in which the physical transfer of the bride occurs from her father to her husband.
Gamos
Greek; wedding feast.
Loutrophoros
Greek; special jar for carrying the water of a bride’s pre-nuptual bath
Sponsalia
Roman term for “bethrothal”
Lares
Roman household god connected to ancestor worship.
Talassio
Roman marriage cry.
Hymen Hymenaeus
Roman marriage cry.
Usus
the simplest type of Roman marriage, literally means “by use” and requires that the bride and groom live together and intend to be married.
Confarreatio
an archaic religious form of Roman marriage. Involves the sacrificing a cake made of spelt to Jupiter. By the 1stCentury BCE, only used by those who held certain priesthoods.
cum manu
Latin for “with power”. A type of marriage in which the guardianship of the woman passes to the husband.
sine manu
Latin for “without power”. A type of marriage in which the guardianship of the woman remains with her father.
Univira
Roman term for woman who was only married once.
Epikieros
An Athenian heiress who is the only surviving child of her father. She is required to marry a close male relative of her father and have a child to inherit the father’s property.
Epithalamium
Marriage song
Oikos
Greek term for household. It can include the people in the household, the physical household and the concept of a household.
Familia
Roman term for household. It can include the people in the household, the physical household and the concept of a household.
Andron
Greek; men’s dining room.
Gunaikon
Greek; women’s quarters.
Atrium
Roman; main room of the house that is partially open to the sky; the most public area of a Roman house.
Impulvium
Pool in the atrium in which rainwater collects.
Domus
Roman; house (typically physical place)
Insula
Roman; apartment building
Peristyle Court
Roman; a covered walkway around a garden; private “Greek” half of the large, elaborate Roman domus.
Arkteia
Rights celebrated for Artemis by prepubescent girls.
Thesmophoria
Festival to Demeter celebrating individual and civic fertility.
Anodes
“The way up”. first day of Thesmophoria.
Nesteia
“The fast”. Second day of Thesmophoria.
Kalligeneia
“The bearer of beautiful offspring”. Third day of Thesmophoria.
Pnyx
The hill on which the Thesmophoria was held; usually the sight of the assembly of Athenian male citizens.
Eleusinian Mysteries
rights celebrated for Demeter and Persephone in the town of Eleusis. Only members could participate.
Panathenaia
one of the most important festivals in Athens. Celebrated in honour of their patron goddess, Athena Polias.
Delphic Oracle
sacred to Apollo. Presided over by a priestess.
Dodona Oracle
sacred to Zeus. Presided over by a priestess.
Bona Dea
Roman; the Good Goddess
The Sibyl
Oracular priestess of Apollo at Cumae.
Sibylline Books
books of prophecies kept in Rome and consulted in times of crisis.
Penates
Roman household god who was connected to the household security and prosperity.
Lararium
Shrine to Lares
Bacchus
god of wine and ecstasy.
Lyric
a genre of poetry, sung or recited to the music of a lyre.
Sappho
a lyric poet; the most well known female poet of antiquity.
Elegy
a genre of poetry often used to write love poems.
Sulpicia
a female Roman love elegist.
Rhetoric
the art of speaking persuasively.
Forensic Oratory
Legal Speeches.
Deliberative Oratory
Political Speeches.
Epideictic Oratory
“show off” Speeches.
Kore
a statue of a young female, used as a temple dedication or grave marker.
Epinetron
A ceramic thigh guard to keep women’s clothes from getting stained when carding wool.
Lebes gamikos
wedding vase used for water for sprinkling the bride.
Symposium
a Greek drinking party, not attended by respectable women.
Hetaira
A Greek courtesan. She provides intellectual stimulation, conversation and companionship as well as sexual services.
Cnidian Aphrodite
first statue of a nude Aphrodite.
Karyatid
a statue of a woman that acts as a column.
Ana Pacis/Alter of Peace
an alter set up by Augustus that features reliefs of the imperial family, including women and children.
Peculium
tips or wages given to a slave that they are allowed to keep.
Wet nurse
a woman who is employed to breast feed another woman’s child.
Porne
Greek word for a common prostitute; often a slave.
Cythens/Volumnia
a mistress of Marc Antony who was also a mime actress.
Mime
a low status form of drama associated with suggestive performances.
Conuiuium
a Roman dinner and drinking party; similar to a symposium.
Aspasia
Greek courtesan famous for her relationship with statesman Pericles and her own intellect.
Sabine Women
wives of the first citizens of Rome. Their intervention between their warring fathers and husbands prevented bloodshed.
Tullia
as the daughter of the second-last King of Rome, she plotted to kill her father and sister.
Lucretia
noblewoman whose rape was avenged by her husband and father, resulting in the founding of the Roman Republic.
Clodia
notorious Roman noblewoman, her reputation was destroyed by Cicero when she was a witness against his protege Marcus Caelius.
Fulvia
wife of Marc Antony and she supported him politically and militarily while he was out of Italy.
Servilia
Mother of Brutus, one of Caesar’s killers.
Eumachia
prominent woman in Pompeii, patroness of the Fuller’s Guild.
Euergetism
the socio-political phenomenon of voluntary gift giving.
Hellenistic
the time period between the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC) and the death of Cleopatra VII (30 BC)
Seleucid Kingdom
Hellenistic kingdom composed of most of the old Persian Empire.
Antigonid Kingdom
Hellenistic kingdom made up of Greece and Macedonia.
Ptolemaic Kingdom
Hellenistic kingdom centered on Egypt.
Arsinoe I
wife of Ptolemy I and the first Hellenistic Queen of Egypt to be deified.
Arsinoe II Philadelpus
wife and sister of Ptolemy II; they were the first Ptolemaic rulers to practice sibling marriage.
Cleopatra VII
the last Hellenistic monarch and last Queen of Egypt.
Matrona
respectable Roman married woman; Female head of household.
Augusta
title given to women. Feminine version of Augustus. Means “revered”.
Sacrosanctitas
a status that indicated a religious and political legal prohibition to do violence in any way.
Apotheosis
the process of being declared a god or goddess after one’s death.
Livia
Wife of Augustus and first empress in all but name.
Octavia
sister of Augustus and a model of virtuous Roman womanhood.
Julia the Elder
daughter of Augustus who was banished for committing adultery and died while in exile.
Hierophantides
the priestess who assissted Eleusinian rituals.
Arrhephoros
girls who help weave the sacred robe for the statue of Athena.
Kanephoroi
women who carry baskets of incense in procession.
Parthenon Frieze
Marble sculptures located within the Athenian Parthenon. Most likely sculpted in the Classical period of the mid 5th Century BCE by the notable sculptor Phidias.

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