Lecture 6: Gender and Sexuality
January 24 , 2013
- Pia = loyal, respectful.
i) Yet no actual definition doing what you need to do
- Pudica = chaste
i) Not with anyone other than your husband
- Lanifica = wool maker
- Domiseda = home sitter
R1: A model élite wife and mother
Stranger, what I have to say is not much; stand by and read it through.
Here is the tomb, no lovely thing, of a lovely woman.
Her parents named her Claudia.
She loved her husband with all her heart.
She produced two sons: of these
She leaves one on earth, the other she placed beneath the earth.
Pleasing in conversation, and also pleasing in her manner,
She looked after the house. She made wool. I have spoken, be gone.
Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (= CIL) I.2 1211
Tombs by the road
- One could read while travelling
- Her relationship with father, husband, sons = standard
- Implies PPLD
- We don’t know how many were happy but we know that affection can grow
i) No evidence, yet impossible even to obtain such evidence at the time
ii) Harmonious relationship
Aristocratic ideal carried down in the classes
(a)Affection is a bi-product
R2: A loving couple, former slaves
Lucius Aurelius Hermia, freedman of Lucius [Aurelius],
A butcher from the Viminal Hill.
She who has by destiny gone before me, my only wife,
Chaste in body, loving mistress of my heart, Lived faithful to a faithful husband, matching him in devotion,
With no bitterness between them, until she departed from her duty.
Aurelia, freedwoman of Lucius [Aurelius]
Dessau, Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae 7472
An emphasis on slaves couldn’t marry
- 2 possibilities: either with masters’ permission while he was a slave (she was
also) or after freed, seeks a wife
i) Difficult to determine
ii) Clue that they loved each other
iii)Wife dutiful and loyal
R3: A devoted husband
You cannot believe how much I miss you. I love you so much, and we are not used
to separations. So I stay awake most of the night thinking of you, and by day I find
my feet carrying me (a true word, carrying) to your room at the times I usually
visited you; then finding it empty I depart, as sick and sorrowful as a lover locked
out. The only time I am free from misery is when I am in court and wearing myself
out with my friends’ lawsuits. You can judge, then, what a life I am leading, when
I find my rest in work and distraction in troubles and anxiety.
Pliny the Younger, Letters 7. 5 (tr. Betty Radice, Loeb Classical Library)
Pliny lack of dignity?
- So besotted with mistress, dignity is lost Pliny
- Love locket set
i) Young male lover find out the wife is mean
Talks about himself as if he is love poet
(a)Determine his own dignitias
He spends his day as a roman should
(a)He mixes dignitias, traditions of aristocrats with love and a
different way of expressing it
(b)Difficult to determine what his wife’s character is really like
(i) Pliny often brags R4: An unhappy marriage
… I come now to the line in the margin at the end of your letter in which you
remind me about your sister. This is how the matter stands. When I got to
Arpinum, my brother came over and we talked first and foremost about you, at
considerable length. From that I passed to what you and I had said between us at
Tusculum about your sister. I have never seen anything more gentle and pacific
than my brother’s attitude towards her as I found it. Even if he had taken offence
for some reason, there was no sign of it. So much for that day. Next morning we
left Arpinum. On account of the holiday Quintus had to stay the night at Arcanum.
I stayed at Aquinum, but we lunched at Arcanum – you know the farm. When we
arrived there Quintus said in the kindest way, ‘Pomponia, will you ask the women
in, and I’ll get the boys?’ Both what he said and his intention and manner were
perfectly pleasant, at least it seemed to me. Pomponia however answered in our
hearing, ‘I am a guest myself here.’ ….Quintus said to me, ‘There! That is the sort
of thing I have to put up with every day.’ You’ll say , ‘What was there in that,
pray?’ A good deal. I myself was quite shocked. Her words and manner were so
Cicero, Ad Atticum 5. 1. (Tr. D. R. Shackleton Bailey, Loeb Classical Library)
Note: Pomponius Atticus was one of Cicero’s very closest friends; Cicero’s brother
Quintus was married to Atticus’ sister Pomponia.
Private letters by Cicero
- Secretary tiro (former slaves) gathered it all and published them
i) A some