The Murder of Regilla: A Case of Domestic Violence in Antiquity. Sarah B. Pomeroy

The Murder of Regilla: A Case of Domestic Violence in Antiquity



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The Murder of Regilla: A Case of Domestic Violence in Antiquity Sarah B. Pomeroy ebook pdf
Publisher:
Language: English
Page: 264
ISBN: 0674034899, 9780674042209

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In one of the great scandals of second-century Greece, Regilla, the pregnant Roman wife of Greek philosopher and rhetorician Herodes, died from a blow to the abdomen. Drawing on archeological and textual evidence, Pomeroy (Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves) carefully reconstructs Regilla's life, her eventual murder and Herodes's trial and acquittal, splendidly recreating the Greek culture of A.D. 160 and its attitudes around class, culture and sex. An upper-class woman with some schooling and exposure to the cultural affairs of her husband, Regilla owned her own property, which became a sore spot in her marriage. In other ways, though, she was hardly unique. Regilla likely could not communicate well in Greek, nor could she match wits with her husband. She married at 15, died at about 35 and ably performed the primary duty of a wife in the Roman Empire: bearing children. Numerous illustrations and quotations lend depth to Pomeroy's masterful depiction of second-century Greece and the tragic portrait of a woman whose story has been lost to history until now. Illus. (Sept. 25)
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In Athens in 160 A.D., Regilla, a Roman aristocrat who was eight months pregnant, died after being kicked in the abdomen. Her husband, Herodes, a wealthy and powerful Athenian orator, was tried for the killing but cleared, thanks to the influence of Marcus Aurelius. Pomeroy argues that he was guilty. She pieces together what is known, or can be deduced, about Regilla’s life and death—with few exceptions, she notes, "the words of women in antiquity are not extant"—and provides an absorbing analysis of justice, society, culture, and customs in the second-century Roman Empire. Women had less standing in Athens than in Rome, and Herodes was a leader in an intellectual movement that sought to reassert the glories of Attic culture (and perhaps some of its misogyny) in the era of Roman rule. He was quick to erect monuments to his dead wife, but Pomeroy reads guilt in his haste and calls them "tantamount to a confession."
Copyright © 2007
--This text refers to the

edition.



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