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Hypatia  

Henriette Harich-Schwarzbauer

The philosopher Hypatia (350/370–415 ce) is one of the outstanding figures in the intellectual life of Late Antiquity. She is considered a symbol of the transformation of science and philosophy under the Christian bishops in Alexandria at the end of the 4th century ce. Her life and her works are well documented in different literary genres and by famous authors, namely by Synesius of Cyrene in his letters. The extant testimonies on her work prove that she was the guiding light of astronomy in Alexandria, where she was held in high esteem. Unsurprisingly, she became the target of aggression, and she was murdered ferociously in 415. Hypatia has been commemorated in the Byzantine and the Western traditions. She has experienced an impressive revival since the Enlightenment; even in the 21st century she is depicted as a heroine in fiction and film.Hypatia appears to have spent her entire life in her hometown of .

Article

Simon Hornblower

Hypsicratia, mistress of *Mithradates VI Eupator, who admiringly called her by the male form of the name, Hypsicrates (Plut. Pomp. 32. 8). Her commemorative funerary statue has been found at Phanagoreia on the Cimmerian *Bosporus (2); it calls her Hypsikrates, but makes clear she was female. The inscription perhaps (Bowersock) formed part of the restoration of Mithradates’ prestige in the time of his grand-daughter Dynamis.

Article

Helen King

Hysteria, contrary to popular belief, was not so named by the Greeks. In Hippocratic *gynaecology (see hippocrates(2)) the womb (Gk. hystera) was indeed believed to ‘wander’ around the body, as a result of menstrual suppression, exhaustion, insufficient food, sexual abstinence, or because it is abnormally dry or light (e.g. Hippoc.Mul. 1. 7). However, neither the classic picture of symptoms familiar from 19th-cent. literature, nor the disease label, existed. Hysteria derives not so much from Hippocratic medicine, in which a number of different disorders were distinguished according to the part of the body to which the errant womb moved (e.g. Mul. 2. 123–31), as from the category of ‘suffocation of/by the womb’ dating to the Hellenistic period. The discovery by *Herophilus of the ligaments anchoring the womb to the abdominal cavity led to new explanations of how the womb could cause disturbances of breathing. *Galen (De loc.

Article

Stephen Hodkinson and Antony Spawforth

Part of the Classical *Spartan upbringing (see agōgē) during which a (small?) number of young men selected (?annually) from the hēbōntes (young men) traversed the countryside, concealing themselves by day. *Plato(1) (Laws I. 633b-c) presents it as a lengthy test of individual endurance without equipment in winter, *Aristotle (fr.

Article

Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood

Ceremonies were not identical all over Greece. For example, at Sparta they included a mock abduction (Plut.Lyc. 15. 3). But they were shaped by largely similar perceptions about the ceremony and the deities concerned with it. Thus, *Artemis was concerned with the girl's transition to womanhood, *Hera, especially as Hera Teleia, with the institution of marriage, *Aphrodite with its erotic aspect. The evidence is more plentiful for Athens, where it includes images on vases, some of which (e.g. the loutrophoroi) were actually used in the wedding ceremony. What follows is centred on Athens. But the main elements were common to all; thus, the form of the preliminary *sacrifices and offerings may have varied from place to place, but such sacrifices and offerings were made everywhere. After a ritual bath, in water carried in loutrophoroi from a particular spring or river, in Athens *Callirrhoë, the bride and groom were dressed and (especially the bride) adorned.

Article

Gordon Willis Williams

The favourite season was June. Usually on the previous day the bride put away her toga praetexta: she had come of age. Her dress and appearance were ritually prescribed: her hair was arranged in six locks (sex crines), with woollen fillets (vittae), her dress was a straight white woven tunic (tunica recta) fastened at the waist with a “knot of Hercules,” her veil was a great flame-coloured headscarf (flammeum). and her shoes were of the same colour. Friends and clients of both families gathered in the bride's father's house. the bridegroom arrived, words of consent were spoken, and the matron of honour (pronuba) performed the ceremony of linking bride's and bridegroom's right hands (dextrarum iunctio). This was followed by a *sacrifice (generally of a pig), and (in imperial times) the marriage contract (involving dowry) was signed. Then the guests raised the cry of Feliciter! (“Good luck!”).

Article

D. M. MacDowell

Marriage in Greece was a process of transfer, by which the kyrios (‘lord’ or ‘controller’) of a woman (normally her father; if he had died, her nearest adult male relative) gave her away to another man for the procreation of children. Originally this was merely a private arrangement between the two men; but, because the procreation of children affected inheritance of property and membership of the community, cities made laws regulating marriage in order to define legitimacy for those purposes.In Athens a marriage was legal only if it began with engyē (see betrothal, Greek), a formal statement by the kyrios granting the woman to a husband. (A woman with no father or brother living could be awarded to a husband by the archon, see archontes.) The woman's own consent was not legally required. She could not be married to a direct ascendant or descendant, nor to her brother or half-brother by the same mother, but marriage to a half-brother by the same father or to an uncle or cousin was permitted. From 451/0 bce marriage between an Athenian and a foreigner was forbidden (see citizenship, Greek).

Article

Adolf Berger, Barry Nicholas, and Susan M. Treggiari

Traditional expressions enshrine the view that a man took a wife for the procreation of children. According to the celebrated definition of *Herennius Modestinus adopted in the Digest, Roman marriage was ‘a joining together of a man and a woman, and a partnership (for life) in all areas of life, a sharing in divine and human law’ (Dig. 23. 2. 1), an ideal rather than a legal definition. No formalities were legally necessary for the inception of a marriage: the usual ceremonies had social and sometimes religious significance. All that was legally necessary was for a man and woman to live together with the intention of forming a lasting union (affectio maritalis, the reciprocal attitude of regarding each other as husband or wife). The initial consent was also given by both partners; if one or both was in paternal power (*patria potestas) that of the respective fathers was needed. The social consequences of marriage (honor matrimonii) followed.

Article

Mark Golden

Achilles's father hoped he would become "a speaker of words and a doer of deeds" (Hom. Il. 9.443–444), and this amalgam—realized better by Odysseus—remained the ideal of masculinity throughout antiquity. But it was not open to all: boys, slaves, the poor (like Homer's Thersites), and foreigners could not be real men. (The Persians, who wore pantaloons rather than a virile cloak or tunic, were especially suspect.) Even the citizen elite found masculinity difficult to reach and maintain; it is perhaps indicative that the most common terms—Greek andreia, Roman virtus—are feminine in gender. Sexual performance made a difference: men took the active, penetrating role; passively permitting penetration rendered them effeminate. But, since self-control too was preeminent among masculine virtues, too much sexual activity or pleasure in penetration also likened them to women. (So did a fondness for soft living—fine clothes, warm baths—or undisciplined speech.) Only in times of social turmoil did unreckoning rashness earn the label of manliness (andreia) and moderation become a mask for its lack (Thuc.

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

Simon Geoffrey Pembroke

The term “matriarchy” has, since J. J. Bachofen (Das Mutterrecht, 1861), been used to denote a quite hypothetical and now long discredited phase in the history of human societies when property was transmitted and descent traced through females, not males. There has from the outset been a persistent tendency to confuse the specific phenomenon of matrilineal descent, on the one hand—a system widely attested among contemporary peoples worldwide—with female supremacy in a more general and altogether less clearly defined sense, on the other. The system of descent is stated by Herodotus (1.173) to have been operative as a going concern among the non-Greek people of *Lycia in his own time, but this assertion is flatly contradicted by the conventional family structure reflected in their funeral inscriptions, including well over 150 in the *Lycian language itself, many of which go back to the 4th century bce.The statement of *Aristotle (fr.

Article

Marilyn B. Skinner

Matrilocality denotes a pattern of *marriage in which the groom resides with the bride's parents, as opposed to the more common patrilocal marriage, where the bride goes to live with the groom's kin. Both patterns occur in Greek myth and saga and may have coexisted in bronze age society. An essential concomitant of Homeric patrilocal marriage is the suitor's presentation of hedna, ‘gifts’, to the prospective bride-giver. In exceptional cases the girl is bestowed anaednon, ‘without gifts’, in restitution or as recompense for service (e.g. Agamemnon's promise to *Achilles at Il. 9. 146). Although hedna were once reckoned as ‘bride-price’ to compensate for the loss of a daughter, they are more plausibly explained as a pledge for the daughter's security. Instances of marriage by capture and marriage by contest are variants of the patrilocal pattern. Conversely, for families without surviving sons, matrilocal marriage permits a daughter's husband to perform a resident son's duties and claim the estate. This custom must be distinguished from matriliny, or regular succession through the female line, as the son-in-law only inherits by default. In *Homer such unions with heiresses involve close male kin: *Diomedes(2) (Il.

Article

Fanny Dolansky

March 1 was the date of the Matronalia festival, which ancient sources generally refer to as either the Kalends of March or the Women’s Kalends. Juno Lucina, goddess of light and childbirth, and Mars, in his more pacific aspects, were the primary recipients of the rites. At Juno Lucina’s temple on the Esquiline Hill in Rome, and presumably at cult sites in other locales, matronae (married freeborn women) offered flowers and prayers to the goddess. The domestic components of the festival involved husbands’ prayers, either for the preservation of their wives or their marriages; a gift exchange; and the feasting of household slaves by their mistresses (dominae). Primarily because of these latter two elements, the Matronalia was regarded by some ancient sources as the female equivalent of the Saturnalia festival, which was observed in December. The Matronalia had a long-recorded history in Italy, and there is evidence that it was celebrated in some provincial locations, including at Carthage and Burdigala (modern Bordeaux).

Article

Helen King

Menopause, in contrast to menarche, was not regarded by medical writers as being a critical time in a woman's life. This may have been because the onset of fertility was culturally far more significant than its decline, or because it is experienced not as a single event, but as a gradual process. No discussion of menopause by a woman survives, so it is not clear whether the lack of interest in this stage of life merely reflects a primary male interest in women as childbearers. In ancient medical theory, menopause occurs because women, despite being naturally ‘wetter’ than men to the extent that they need to lose the excess fluid in *menstruation, eventually dry out as a result of ageing (e.g. Hippoc.Mul. 2. 111). According to *Aristotle (Hist. an. 582a 21–4, 583b 23–8), women age more quickly than men. He placed menopause at around the age of 40, although it could be later (ibid. 585b3–5).

Article

Helen King

Was, in Hippocratic medicine (see Hippocrates(2)), regarded as essential to female health. The age of menarche was believed to be the fourteenth year, as the network of internal channels in the girl's body developed sufficiently to allow the collection and evacuation of blood. In antiquity, the first sign of puberty was generally taken to be not menarche, but breast development (Arist.Hist. an. 581a31–b24; Sor.Gyn. 1. 20 and 24; cf. Pl.Leg. 925a). Mature women's bodies, being wetter and softer than those of men, absorbed a greater amount of fluid from their diet and, due to women's supposedly less active lifestyle, this would accumulate in the body (e.g. Hippoc.Mul. 1. 1). The excess needed to be evacuated both regularly—the most common terms for the menses translate as ‘monthlies’—and heavily, the expected blood loss being about half a litre (nearly one pint) over two to three days (Mul.

Article

Helen King

Midwives and normal labour are rarely mentioned in the Hippocratic treatises (see Hippocrates(2)), perhaps because Hippocratic doctors concerned themselves with abnormal labour only. Occasional references to female ‘helpers’ and ‘cord-cutters’ survive (e.g. Hippoc. Mul. 1. 46 and 1. 68). However, it is also possible that midwives are not discussed because any woman was thought able to take on the role if necessary. In *Soranus, in contrast, the midwife appears as a literate and highly knowledgeable professional, the ideal midwife being trained in all areas of therapy—diet, surgery, and drugs—and able to decide how each case should best be treated (Gyn. 1. 2–3). Soranus' midwife does not have to have given birth herself, and can be old or young so long as she is sufficiently strong for the job. She must be free from superstition; labour, as a dangerous time for both mother and baby, was hedged around with taboos, and Soranus ridicules midwives who refuse to use iron when cutting the cord because they believe it is unlucky (Gyn.

Article

Richard Hunter

Female poet of late 4th–early 3rd cent. bce. Only scanty remains survive: ten verses from the hexameter Mnemosyne, two epigrams, a summary of a story of cruelty and mad passion from her Ἀραί (‘Curses’), and the mention of a Hymn to Poseidon. Her son, Homeros, was one of the tragic *Pleiad in *Alexandria (1).

Article

Marilyn B. Skinner

Women were deemed to have a natural right to *marriage and *children. Physicians maintained that intercourse and *childbirth were necessary to female health and prescribed pregnancy to cure pathological conditions; records of miraculous cures at the sanctuary of *Asclepius in *Epidaurus reflect a high level of sterility anxiety. Views of the maternal contribution to genetic inheritance differ: *Apollo's denial of female parentage at Aesch. Eum.658–61 and Aristotle's restriction of procreative agency to male spermatic fluid (Gen. an. 721b7–724a12) are countered by the Hippocratic belief (see Hippocrates (2)) that the embryo results from the union of male and female seed, its sex determined by the stronger of the two (see embryology). From a judicial standpoint, *Pericles(1)'s law of 451/0 bce restricting citizenship to children of two Athenian parents had the practical effect of making the mother's civic status fundamental to *inheritance questions.

Article

Suzanne Dixon

The Roman word for mother (mater) is reflected in such words as materfamilias and matrona, a respectable wife (Cic.Top. 14; Gell.NA 18. 6. 8–9). The legendary ‘first’ Roman divorce was of a virtuous wife unable to bear children and thus fulfil the formal purpose of *marriage (Gell. NA 17. 21. 44; 4. 3. 2). The promotion of citizen marriage and procreation (see childbirth) by the legislation of the emperor *Augustus included some honorific awards for mothers (Prop. 4. 11. 61; Inst. lust. 4. 18. 4; Gai. Inst. 3. 44–53; see ius liberorum).Roman ideal mothers tended to be praised for instilling the foundations of traditional morality and rhetorical skills, with the emphasis on the mother's influence on the education of her adolescent or young adult son. Where modern ideologies stress the intensive relationship of the (biological) mother with her infant and very young child and idealize maternal nurture and patience, Roman authors praised the moral severity and hardheadedness of the ideal mother's guidance (Tac.

Article

Munichia (1) (or Munychia), mod. Kastella, is a steep hill to the north-east of *Piraeus which rises to a height of 86 m. (282 ft.). Directly below is Munichia Port and to the south-east Zea Port. In 510 bce*Hippias (1) began fortifying the hill, intending to make it his seat of government (Ath. pol. 19. 2). The SW slope saw fighting in 403 when *Thrasybulus defeated the *Thirty Tyrants (Xen.Hell. 2. 4. 10–19). The theatre of Dionysus on its NW flank was used for dramatic festivals, *deme assemblies, and in 411 and 404 for political rallies. Munichia played an important strategic role throughout Athenian history, notably during the Macedonian occupation (322–229) when by garrisoning it the enemy were able to control both Athens and Piraeus. Its most prominent shrines were those of *Artemis Munichia (see Munichia (2)) and *Bendis.