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Women in Antiquity 14.docx

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Mount Allison University
CLAS 2051
Fiona Black

Early Rome  expansion of Roman empire, exchange of ideas, customs, lots of "mirrors" to look into for comparison  Romulus and Remus- rape of the Sabine women- R/R invited neighbouring cities to a big festival for Neptune (Roman equivalent of Posiedon), stole the women to form their empire because they could only find men, ensuring they built the city upon legitimate heirs of chaste young women o Sabines ran away from violent Romans after their daughters were stolen o when they returned to Rome, they found their daughters with children, who assured their parents that everything was fine o rape was viewed as legitimate, some later writers questioned the morality of this, especially when the mythology was that Zeus raped mortals to bear children  Sabines approached the Capitoline Hill in attack, since the Roman military was situated on a hill, this proved difficult o Tarpeia- daughter of Spurius (literally means bastard) Tarpeius- general of the Roman military; was convinced by the Sabines to come down and open the gate to allow the soldiers free access to the Capitoline Hill, easier access to attack the Roman people; she asked for their gold armbands for payment, instead they crushed her with their shields (which they wore on their arms)- LEGENDARY  speaks to notion that women are easily gullible- that a man can promise them something shiny in exchange for doing anything (even betraying her own people)  provides some reason to authorize strict control over women's indulgences- prevent them from having nice things because they will only want more- it is their nature  Lucretia (509) o back when the Etruscan kings of Rome- the Tarquinians- were exiled o Superbus Tarquinias was eventually kicked out because his son Sextus Tarquinias and his friends (the Etruscan aristocrats) had a bet about who had the best wife  group decided to spy on each man's wife, ended up at Lucretia, a Roman matron, who is weaving and managing the household, (not one of their wives)  decide she is the best wife, Sextus "conceives a passion for her," fantasized about being with her  under false pretences, under hospitality in Roman world, must allow him to stay the night  at night, he sneaks into her bed chamber, tells her that if she doesn't have sex with her, he will kill her  she says, do whatever  he changes his method, threatens to kill a nearby slave if she doesn't have sex with him. she agrees  he leaves, and she goes to her father, the magistrate  she tells him what has happened, he
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