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Women in Antiquity 16.docx

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Mount Allison University
CLAS 2051
Fiona Black

Roman Republic, continued  Roman Comedy o Plautus (c. 255-184 BCE)  Cistrellaria: Syra: "It certainly seems right to me, Selenium dear, that our class should be kind to each other and stick together, when you see those highborn women, those top matrons, how the cultivate their friendship and how tight they are with one another... Because we are freedwoman, both your mother and I became prostitutes. She brought you up, and I brought up this one (her son), your fathers being from various quarters. I didn't make my girl become a prostitute because of pride, but so that I shouldn't starve."  Mercantor: Madame of a brothel: Goodness, women live under a hard law- and it's so much more unfair than for men. Because if a man brings a whore home, behind his wife's back, and she learns about it, he can't be punished. But if a wife goes out of the house behind her husband's back, he's got cause for divorce, and she's dumped. If only the law were the same for a wife as for a husband! See, a good wife is content with a single husband- why should a husband be less content with a single wife? Goodness, if I could fix it, if men were punished the same way, when anybody brought home a whore behind his wife's back, the way women are divorced who bring it themselves, there'd be a lot more men being dumped than o Terence (c. 195-159 BCE) o early Roman literature used Greek literature as its model, after 100 BCE, evolved into itself o Roman comedy is indebted to Early Greek comedy, looked at Greek plays, made them for a Roman audience, could just be translating Greek into Latin, could be taking the basic plotlines (working the story so it fits a Roman context), or could be satirizing the Greek plays- problematizes what we are able to say about the commentary made by the plays o what do the plays say about the sex trade in Rome?  Laws of Guardianship o pater familias:  a position unparalleled in Greek law  the life and death of all members within his household is within his control  male offspring were subjected
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