Mothering and Motherhood in Ancient Greece and Rome by Lauren Hackworth PetersenMothering and Motherhood in Ancient Greece and Rome by Lauren Hackworth Petersen

Mothering and Motherhood in Ancient Greece and Rome

EditorLauren Hackworth Petersen, Patricia Salzman-Mitchell

Paperback | April 1, 2013

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 145 plum® points

Ships within 1-3 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Motherhood played a central role in ancient Greece and Rome, despite the virtual absence of female participation in the public spheres of life. Mothers could wield enormous influence as the reproductive bodies of society and, in many cases, of culture. Yet motherhood and acts of mothering have received relatively little focused and sustained attention by modern scholars, who have concentrated almost exclusively on analyzing depictions of ancient women more generally.

In this volume, experts from across the humanities present a wealth of evidence from legal, literary, and medical texts, as well as art, architecture, ritual, and material culture, to reveal the multilayered dimensions of motherhood in both Greece and Rome and to confront the fact that not all mothers and acts of mothering can be easily categorized. The authors consider a variety of mothers—from the mythical to the real, from empress to prostitute, and from citizen to foreigner—to expose both the mundane and the ideologically charged lives of mothers in the Classical world. Some essays focus on motherhood as a largely private (emotional, intimate) experience, while others explore the ramifications of public, oftentimes politicized, displays of motherhood. This state-of-the art look at mothers and mothering in the ancient world also takes on a contemporary relevance as the authors join current debates on motherhood and suggest links between the lives of ancient mothers and the diverse, often conflicting roles of women in modern Western society.

Lauren Hackworth Petersen is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Delaware, where she specializes in Roman art and archaeology. Patricia Salzman-Mitchell is Associate Professor in the Department of Classics and General Humanities at Montclair State University. She specializes in Latin poetry, gender studies in Clas...
Title:Mothering and Motherhood in Ancient Greece and RomeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9 × 6.01 × 0.65 inPublished:April 1, 2013Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292754345

ISBN - 13:9780292754348

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgments
    1. Introduction: The Public and Private Faces of Mothering and Motherhood in Classical Antiquity
      Lauren Hackworth Petersen and Patricia Salzman-Mitchell
    2. Maternity and Miasma: Dress and the Transition from Parthenos to Gun\e
      Mireille M. Lee
    3. Motherhood as Teleia: Rituals of Incorporation at the Kourotrophic Shrine
      Angela Taraskiewicz
    4. Collaboration and Conflict: Discourses of Maternity in Hippocratic Gynecology and Embryology
      Yurie Hong
    5. Citizen-Mothers on the Tragic Stage
      Angeliki Tzanetou
    6. Working Girls: Mother–Daughter Bonds among Ancient Prostitutes
      Anise K. Strong
    7. Tenderness or Taboo: Images of Breast-Feeding Mothers in Greek and Latin Literature
      Patricia Salzman-Mitchell
    8. Mater Patriae: Cleopatra and Roman Ideas of Motherhood
      Prudence Jones
    9. Mater Amoris: Mothers and Lovers in Augustan Rome
      Genevieve Liveley
    10. Per hunc utero quem linquis nostro: Mothers in Flavian Epic
      Antony Augoustakis
    11. Imperial Mothers and Monuments in Rome
      Margaret L. Woodhull
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Index

Editorial Reviews

"A recent collection of essays on motherhood and mothering in antiquity, Mothering and Motherhood in Ancient Greece and Rome, reminds us that questions about what it means to be a mother were also present in ancient Greek and Roman societies, despite some significant differences." - Times Literary Supplement - 201211