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Women in the Ancient World

Yesterday saw Forbes announce their annual list of the  World’s 100 Most Powerful Women with Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton and Dilma Rouseff topping a list that includes politicians, CEOs, bankers, cultural icons, billionaires and entrepreneurs.

This inspiring reminder of the achievements of women in modern day society was closely followed by the arrival of our forthcoming title Women in the Ancient World (available from 26 September), offering us an alternative roll-call of women whose lives and roles went far beyond the traditional view of a ‘woman’s work’;  here are Drusilla, the first Roman woman to be recognized as a goddess;  Hatsheput, who bolstered her authority as Queen of Egypt by boldly adopting a male persona; Hypatia of Alexandria, an admired philosopher; and Sappho, one of the most famous musicians in antiquity.

9780714130772_Women in the Ancient World_Jacket

Juxtaposing these  public figures with themes such as domestic life, motherhood, stereotypes and depictions of the female body, Women in the Ancient World explores the different traditions, trends and attitudes towards women in ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt and the Near East, as well as revealing some surprising resonances with our own time.

Read the rest of this entry for some of our favourite images from the book:

Mother and Child Cypriot Figurine_1450-1200BC

Cypriot Figurine of Mother and Child, 1450-1200BC

Roman Mummy Portrait, AD 160

Roman Mummy Portrait, AD 160

Etruscan strigil, 300BC - usually used by male athletes to scrape the dust and sweat from their bodies, strigils were also used by liberated Etruscan women- as this piece shows.

Etruscan strigil, 300BC - usually used by male athletes to scrape the dust and sweat from their bodies, strigils were also used by liberated Etruscan women- as this piece shows.

Category: Ancient History, Art, Autumn 2011, History, New Releases, Previews

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