Roman women in the urban economy

Occupations, social connections, and gendered exclusions

Authored by: Hilary Becker

Women in Antiquity

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138808362
eBook ISBN: 9781315621425
Adobe ISBN: 9781317219910


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The Roman epigraphic habit, much like Roman literature and history, favors the story of its male inhabitants. Consider, for example, this women’s epitaph from Rome which focuses on the male of the family:

Marcus Octavius Primigenius, a hair-plucker (alipilus) at the baths by the Triton, made (this funerary plot) for Ancharena Aphe, his very pious and very dear wife (coniugi sanctissimae et carissimae), concerning whom nothing grieved him unless her death, (and made this) for himself, for their freedmen and freedwomen and for their descendants. 1

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