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Article

The law of Augustus concerning the regulation of marriage (18 bce), a plebiscite often treated in conjunction with the consular law of Papius and Poppaeus (lex Papia Poppaea, 9 ce, together as lex Iulia et Papia), primarily obliges all Roman citizens to enter into marriage with the purpose of producing legitimate offspring. With this goal, the law probably contained set age limits at which point one was expected to have been married, an age likely reflective of the fertility age, and an extensive list of rewards and privileges for those producing (legitimate) offspring.The literary sources of the 1st and 2nd centuries ce emphasize the reward structure the law contained. For example, Tacitus, in Tac. Ann. 2.51 suggests the number of children was crucial for the election of a praetor. The general overviews of the laws enacted by Augustus in Suetonius, Augustus 34 and Cassius Dio, Historia Romana.

Article

Katharine T. von Stackelberg

A physical condition whereby a living organism has both male and female reproductive parts, hermaphroditism is a well-established phenomenon in the ancient world. In Greek and Roman literature and art, hermaphroditism in humans had cultural significance as divine portent, erotic subject, mediating or transgressive condition, and symbol of marital union. The most significant literary accounts of human hermaphroditism are found in Plato’s Symposium and Ovid’s Metamorphoses; the greatest concentration of visual evidence is to be found in the environs of Pompeii and Herculaneum.Hermaphroditism is not acknowledged in Greek texts before the 4th century bce, when it is identified in three distinct ways: as a mythical and philosophical concept in Plato’s Symposium (189d–190c); as a natural phenomenon in Aristotle’s Generation of Animals (770b, 30–35); and as an eponymous figure in the title of a lost play by Posidippus of Pella. The earliest physical evidence also dates from the same period as an Athenian terracotta figurine, probably a cult votive, raising the hem of hir skirt in a ritual gesture (see .

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

Hera  

Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge and Gabriella Pironti

This major figure in the pantheon, daughter of Cronus and wife of Zeus, is already attested to by name on two Mycenaean tablets, one from Thebes (1) (TH Of 28) and the other from Pylos (PY Tn 316), where she appears together with Zeus. In continental Greece, the Peloponnesus is the region where the cult of Hera was most prevalent. According to Homer (Il. 4.51–52), Hera’s favourite cities were Argos (1), Sparta, and Mycenae; several cults are actually reported in Sparta, but her most famous sanctuary was on the hill dominating the Argive plain, where there was apparently a temple from as early as the 8th centurybce. Sanctuaries with archaic buildings were present at Perachora, Tiryns (on the site of the megaron of the Mycenaean palace), and Olympia. Regarding island sites, Hera had a small temple on Delos from the 7th centurybce, although the best known is the sanctuary on Samos, where the main building (rebuilt in the 6th centurybce) was mentioned by Herodotus, who commented on its magnificence (3.

Article

Jacob Giltaij

The lex Papia Poppaea was enacted in 9 ce by the suffect consuls, M. Papius Mutilus and Q. Poppaeus Secundus, probably on the initiative of the Emperor Augustus. The law complemented, supplemented, and enhanced the provisions of the lex Iulia de maritandis ordinibus (the law of Augustus concerning the regulation of marriage, enacted in 18 bce). The two laws, referred to jointly as the lex Iulia et Papia, had the primary effect of obliging all Roman citizens to marry and have (legitimate) heirs.There are several pre-Justinian sources in which the lex Papia Poppaea is treated separately from the lex Iulia de maritandis ordinibus. For example, in Gaius, Institutes 2.286a, the lex Papia Poppaea is said to have determined that those who did not have children (orbi) would lose half of their estates and legacies upon death. Moreover, Gaius indicated that the lex increased the rights of patrons in the case of the death of their freedmen, providing them with an equal share irrespective of whether the freedmen had left a will (.

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

Mario Citroni

Sulpicia (2), poet of the age of *Domitian. *Martial 10.38, which must have been written on her death (lines 12–14) after fifteen years of happy marriage, is to be dated between 94 and 98 ce. She wrote love poems addressed to her husband Calenus, expressing, according to Martial (10.35, 38), both total fidelity and bold sensuality, a feature confirmed by her one surviving fragment, which is a rare example in Latin poetry of married eroticism. She is mentioned on several occasions in later literature (Auson. p. 218.10 P., Sidon.Carm. 9.261, Fulgent.Myth. 1.4) and a poem in seventy hexameters, the Sulpiciae conquestio (Epigrammata Bobiensia 37), is written in her name. In it she is made to abandon minor verse (in hendecasyllables, iambic trimeters, and scazons) and to denounce the degradation of the empire under Domitian, in relation to a banishment of philosophers; the victims of this banishment supposedly include Calenus. The style, prosody, and implausibility of the piece point to its being a late text, probably from the same date as the Bobbio collection itself (end of 4th or beginning of 5th century ce).

Article

Harriet I. Flower

Terentia (c. 98 bcec. 6 ce?) was the first wife of Cicero, to whom she was married for over thirty years, and the mother of his two children Tullia and M. Tullius Cicero. She and Cicero divorced in 46 bce, two years before his death, but she lived on to be 103 years old (Val. Max. 8.13.6, Plin. HN 7.158). She is said to have later married Sallust and M. Valerius Messalla Corvinus, but these other marriages to much younger men seem highly dubious. Terentia is well attested in Cicero’s writings, especially his rich correspondence, as well as in other ancient sources, which makes her one of the most frequently mentioned women of the first century bce. Yet her own voice and point of view are hard to recover, since none of her letters to Cicero has survived. She is not attested as having been as independently active in politics or as visible in the public eye as the most prominent women, such as Servilia, Fulvia, or Clodia (the wife of Metellus). She was a wealthy and well-connected woman who worked hard to support Cicero and their children in times of exceptional political and financial turmoil.

Article

women  

Helen King

Almost all information about women in antiquity comes to us from male sources. Some women could read and write (see literacy), at least to the level needed for their role as guardians of the *household stores (e.g. Xen.Oec. 7.5 and 9.10; see housework), but, although there are many references to literary works by women, very few texts survive. The known exceptions to male authorship include women poets (e.g. *Sappho, *Corinna, *Erinna, *Nossis, Sulpicia (1 and 2)), early philosophers (e.g. *Hypatia; some Hellenistic pamphlets are attributed to Pythagorean women; see women in philosophy), personal letters from women, and the 5th-century ce travel diary of Egeria (*Itinerarium Egeriae). Many attributions to women are problematic. Were women's letters written by scribes? Is a text ascribed to a woman simply in order to attack a man (e.g. Aspasia's alleged authorship of *Pericles(1)'s speeches)?The central source problems, and the strategies developed to overcome them, underpin the large amount of work on ancient women produced since the 1980s.

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

Ville Vuolanto

The lex Voconia is a plebiscitum, named after the people’s tribune Q. Voconius Saxa, who proposed the bill before the concilium plebis (see comitia) in 169bce. It provides that testators of the first census class (that is those with a minimum wealth of 100,000 asses) were not allowed to institute a woman as a testamentary heir. Furthermore, the law states that the value of a legacy or donatio mortis causa could not exceed the part of the inheritance left to the heir or heirs (Gai. Inst. 2.274 and 2.226; Dio Cass.56.10; Cic. Verr. 1.43). It seems likely that this latter provision was not as restrictive as the former and that it therefore applied to all levels of the society irrespective of their wealth.There is no persuasive evidence that the law originally would have included other provisions. While the 3rd-centuryPauli Sententiae (4.8.20) excludes female relatives more remote than sisters from intestate succession among the agnates and connects this exclusion to the lex Voconia, it cannot be determined whether this was one of these other provisions.

Article

David M. Lewis

Crete provides historians with a rich fund of legal inscriptions from the Archaic and Classical periods. Although legal inscriptions have survived from several poleis (Axos, Datala, Dreros, Gortyn, Eltynia, Lyktos, Eleutherna, Prinias, Phaistos, and Cnossus), it is Gortyn that has produced the most spectacular finds and in the greatest quantities. These laws provide detailed provisions on various aspects of life, but in particular they deal with property and the family, as well as legal status. Rules on marriage, divorce, adoption, and inheritance all aim to guarantee the stability of families over the long term, whilst numerous laws on debt aim to prevent citizen households from falling below the subsistence margin. Taken as a whole, Crete’s laws provide much evidence for the priorities of male citizens living across the island and the various challenges that they faced.Ancient literary traditions strongly associated Crete with lawgiving through legendary figures such as Minos.

Article

widows  

Thomas A.J. McGinn

While the task of defining the term “widow” is straightforward, the phenomenon of widowhood is more complex. Qualified above all by demographic and socio-economic factors, as well as conditioned by legal rules, the status of widow in classical antiquity was far from monolithic. The evidence for Greece, that is, above all Athens in the late 5th and 4th centuries bce, and Rome, with the main focus on the period from c. 200 bce to c. 250 ce, shows that neither society developed an independent legal category for such women. This means that they typically enjoyed or were denied the same basket of rights that held for most adult female citizens. It is even disputable whether widowhood was understood in either society as a distinct social category. Largely because men tended to be older than women at first marriage, husbands typically predeceased their wives, so that widows outnumbered widowers by a wide margin. Widows were often a source of tension and suspicion, functioning as lightning rods for the praise and blame of women in general. Losing a husband to death often entailed a reduction in available economic resources, though this was not inevitably true, and, where it was true, its implications could vary from culture to culture or even within a culture. Remarriage was an option much more available to upper-class widows than to the sub-elite.

Article

Cicero’s and Terentia’s daughter Tullia was born around 78 bce, shortly after her parents were married. Since her brother Marcus Tullius Cicero, her only sibling, was about 13 years younger and Tullia married young, she essentially grew up as an only child in the home of Rome’s leading orator. We do not know if any other siblings died as infants. She was surrounded by a loving and stable family and a large household of slaves. Her uncle Quintus Cicero and his wife Pomponia, sister of her father’s best friend T. Pomponius Atticus, were also a regular part of her life. Her mother’s half-sister Fabia was a Vestal Virgin. Tullia may have been brought up by a pious mother to practise Rome’s traditional polytheistic religion. Terentia also had a wide circle of friends and acquaintances amongst Rome’s elite women. Tullia received an excellent education and loved reading. She also enjoyed public entertainments, such as the games held at Antium, where Cicero owned a villa for a while.