Beyond the institution of marriage, its norms, and rules, what was life like for married couples in Greco-Roman antiquity? This volume explores a wide range of sources over seven centuries to uncover possible answers to this question.
On tombstones, curse or oracular tablets, in contracts, petitions, letters, treatises, biographies, novels, and poems, throughout Egypt, Greece, and Rome, 107 couples express themselves or are given life by their contemporaries and share their experiences of, and views on, marital relationships and their practical and emotional consequences. Renowned scholars and the next generation of experts explore seven centuries of source material to uncover the dynamics of the married life of metropolitan and provincial, famous and unknown, young and old couples. Men's and women's hopes, fears, traumas, joys, endeavours, and needs are analysed and reveal an array of interactions and behaviours that enlighten us on gender roles, social expectations, and intimate dealings in antiquity. Known texts are revisited, new evidence is put forward, and novel interpretations and concepts are offered which highlight local and chronological specificities as well as transhistorical commonalities. The analysis of married life in Greco-Roman antiquity, from ongoing vetting process to place where to find security, reveals the fundamental yearning to be included and loved and how the tensions created by the sometimes contradictory demands of traditional ideals and individual realities can be resolved, furthering our knowledge of social and cultural mechanisms.
Married Life in Greco-Roman Antiquity will provide valuable resources of interest to scholars and students of Classical studies as well as social history, gender studies, family history, the history of emotions, and microhistory.
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