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Article

Boudica  

Louise Revell

Boudica is remembered as the leader of the British tribes during the rebellion against the Romans in 60/61 ce. Her exploits are described in accounts by Tacitus and Dio, although there is some inconsistency between them. There is no direct, contemporary evidence from Britain itself for her life, although the archaeological evidence can provide some context. The slim evidence for her life has not prevented her becoming an iconic figure in British history. Consequently, it could be argued that the real Boudica is less significant than the multiple Boudicas and Boadiceas created in histories and fictional accounts which range from the Roman historians themselves to the Horrible Histories film. This making and remaking of her image has formed an important element in the scholarship about her.The textual evidence for Boudica and the revolt of the southern tribes of Britain is limited and problematic. All the accounts are from outside Britain itself or post-Roman. The fullest accounts are in .

Article

Saskia Hin

People’s life courses are shaped by the complex interactions of contextual factors, of individual behavior, and of opportunities and constraints operating at the macro level. Demography studies these processes with a focus on particular transitions in the life course: birth, leaving home, marriage, and other transitions in civil status (divorce, remarriage, and transitions into widowhood), the birth and survival of offspring, migration, and finally the end of the life cycle—death.

Initial work on the ancient world focussed primarily on macro-level data, trying to establish overall trends in population development on the basis of census figures and other population estimates. This approach has received further impetus with the advent of survey demography (see Population Trends). More recently, attention has turned to single events in the life course. Core demographic studies have attempted to establish patterns and rates of marriage, fertility, migration, and mortality. Others have taken a complementary approach with a stronger focus on qualitative data. These support investigation of sociological, cultural, and economic aspects of demographic phenomena. The remainder of this article focusses on a concise evaluation of current understanding of marriage, fertility, migration, mortality, and population trends in the ancient Greco-Roman world.

Article

Kelly L. Wrenhaven

In ancient Greece and Rome, masturbation was viewed with good-humored disdain. Although it was not apparently subject to the same kinds of scathing attacks that Greek comedy makes on male same-sex activity, it was certainly connected with a lack of sophistication. In line with sexual subjects in general, references are found primarily in Greek comedy and sympotic art of the Archaic and Classical periods, where it is typically associated with barbarians, slaves, and satyrs, all of whom fall into the category of the “Other,” or the anti-ideal. All were deemed lacking in sophrosyne (“moderation”) and enkratia (“self-control”) and were associated with uncivilized behavior. The Greeks had a varied terminology for masturbation. The most commonly found verb is dephesthai (“to soften”), but several other words and euphemisms were used (e.g. cheirourgon, “self-stimulation”).1The comedies of Aristophanes (1) provide the majority of references to masturbation and largely associate it with slaves. The lengthiest reference is a joke that occurs near the beginning of Knights, when Slave B tells Slave A to masturbate in order to give himself courage.

Article

stola  

Kelly Olson

The stola was a long, sleeveless overdress or slip-like garment suspended from shoulder straps that is claimed by literary sources to be the distinguishing garment of the Roman matrona. The stola was worn over the tunic and belted with a cord (see Figure 1). It was a sign that the wearer (perhaps freeborn) was married in a iustum matrimonium. The term is not mentioned by Terence, Cato, or Plautus, and so the garment may not have been commonplace before about 50 bce. It is by no means referred to by all authors even after this date: often the garment of the married woman is referred to in general terms as longa vestis (e.g., Ov. Fast. 4.134), which may refer to her long enveloping tunic, and not the stola at all. It is uncertain whether or not freedwomen wore the stola (see ILLRP 977; = CLE 56; Macr. Sat.

Article

Marilyn B. Skinner

Volumnia Cytheris, a freedwoman of P. Volumnius Eutrapelus, was a celebrated mime actress (see mime, roman), notorious during the 40s bce for her affairs with prominent political figures. Her lovers included Mark Antony and C. Cornelius Gallus, the inventor of Roman love elegy, who celebrated her under the pseudonym “Lycoris” in four books of amatory verse (Serv. ad Verg. Ecl. 10.1 and 6). According to a late source (De vir. ill. 82.2) she was also the paramour of the tyrannicide M. Iunius Brutus (2). All three men were, like Eutrapelus, at one time adherents of C. Iulius Caesar (2), and her association with them may have furthered her former owner’s ambitions.1 While the name “Cytheris,” alluding to Venus’s birthplace, sexualizes its possessor and is thus a suitable appellation for a stage performer, “Lycoris,” reminiscent of a cult title of Apollo, transports her into the realm of literature.

Article

Zenobia  

John Frederick Drinkwater

Zenobia (Septimia), or in *AramaicBath Zabbai, one of the great women of classical antiquity (PLRE 1. 990 f.). The second wife of *Septimius Odaenathus of *Palmyra, on his death in ce 267, in suspicious circumstances, she secured power for herself in the name of her young son, *Septimius Vaballathus. As long as Zenobia kept the east secure, *Gallienus and *Claudius (II) Gothicus were prepared to accept her regime, including its bestowal upon Vaballathus of his father's Roman titles, and hence of the claim to be more than just king of Palmyra. However, in 270 Zenobia exploited the political instability that followed the death of Claudius to expand beyond Syria by taking over Egypt and much of Asia Minor, and further to enhance Vaballathus' Roman titles, while continuing to recognize *Aurelian as emperor. When Aurelian finally moved against her in 272, her forces failed to stop him at *Antioch (1) and *Emesa, and—now calling her son Augustus and herself Augusta—she was cornered in Palmyra.