The Women of Ancient Rome
The Historical Context
Heroines of Rome
Republican Women
Imperial Women
Women of Influence
The Forgotten Woman
The World Within
Reading and Links
Bibliography And Links


For the convenience of the reader, the books showing linked titles, below, can be purchased directly from Amazon.com. Those books which I found personally indispensable are marked in bold-faced type, although all are recommended.

Anthony A. Barrett, Agrippina: Sex, Power and Politics in the Early Empire, Yale University Press, 1996.

Florence Dupont, Daily Life in Ancient Rome, Blackwell Publishers, Ltd., 1991, 1999.

Elaine Fantham, Women in the Classical World: Image and Text, Oxford University Press, 1994.

Jane F. Gardner and Thomas Wiedemann, The Roman Household: A Sourcebook, Routledge, 1991.

Richard Hawley and Barbara Levick, Women in Antiquity : New Assessments, Routledge, 1995.

I Claudia, ed. Diane E.E. Kleiner and Susan B. Matheson, University of Texas Press, 1996. This outstanding book is, amazingly, difficult to obtain and can be found online at used book sources like ALibris and ABE.

I Claudia II: Women in Roman Art, ed. Diane E.E. Kleiner and Susan B. Matheson, University of Texas Press, 2000.

A humorous, but informative and interesting, collection of biographical sketches of known women in the ancient world is Vicki Leon's Uppity Women of Ancient Times, MJF Books, 1995.

Mary R. Lefkowitz and Maureen B. Fant, Women's Life in Greece and Rome : A Sourcebook in Translation, (2nd.ed., Baltimore 1992).

Marjorie Lightman and Benjamin Lightman, Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Greek and Roman Women, Checkmark Books, 2000.

Sarah Pomeroy, Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves :Women in Classical Antiquity, Schocken Books, Inc., 1975, 1995.

Plutarch, History of Rome: Life of Gaius Gracchus; Life of Tiberius Gracchus, issued under title Makers of Rome : Nine Lives by Plutarch (Penguin Edition), trans. Ian Scott-Kilvert, 1965.

Valerius Maximus, Valerius Maximus : Memorable Doings and Sayings (Books I-V), trans. D. R. Shackleton Bailey, Loeb Classical Library 492, 2000.

Paule Veyne, Ed., History of Private Life : From Pagan Rome to Byzantium, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1987.


Primary resources for this web site are shown here; special links pertaining to a given subject of one of the subheadings is acknowledged on that page.

Roman Women:

A preeminent, comprehensive, scholarly site on the Internet for classical women's studies is Diotima.

A marvelous online source for Roman literature related to women (through Diotima) is the permitted use of copyrighted material from the Lefkowitz/Fant sourcebook listed under this Bibliography, Women's Life in Greece and Rome.

Extremely useful links on multiple aspects of Roman women may be found at The Internet Women's History Sourcebook.

Original source materials on Rome (and Roman women) are available at The Internet Ancient History Sourcebook (Rome).

Ancient History Internet Resources has a wealth of useful material under the subheading Women in the Ancient World.

Many useful links on various related subjects may be found at About's Ancient/Classical History site on women.

Two of my favorite sites for innumerable details concerning the intimate daily lives of Roman women, from clothing to furniture to religious observance, are Villa Julilla and Lady Livia's Alcove.

Ancient Roman Marriage contains many interesting details on how Roman women tied the knot, with the fascination realization that many Roman wedding customs are still in western use today.

Excellent images and text concerning Roman art and daily life may be found at Kathryn Andrus' site for the University of Colorado, Roman Art and Architecture.

An interesting look at Roman erotic art - and, of necessity, the women in it - may be found at The Erotic Art of Ancient Rome.

Fascinating images (including many from the woman's world) from Pompeii are shown at John Hauser's Images of History: Pompeii. Additional images (many of which are used as lead-ins for this site) are found at the University of Texas at Austin's Pompeii site.

The Fayum portraits*, so called because the dry heat of that area in northern Africa has presumed funerary memorial portraits for 2,000 years with eery personality, have several excellent sites on the web. Among these: Images from History/Roman Africa, an extraordinary Greek symposium in 1998, "From the Fayum Portraits to Early Byzantine Icon Painting," (which is in Greek, but the images speak for themselves), and World Art Treasures/Berger Foundation.

For those interested in Clodia and Catullus, a marvelous selections of poems in Latin and English, as well as biographical information about Catullus and his friends, may be found at VROMA/Catullus.

General Roman History

A wonderful resource for the history of Roman Emperors and many other aspects of Roman life may be found at De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors.

The excellent biography of Hypatia and many other relevant aspects of Roman life may be found at James Grout's scholarly Encyclopaedia Romana (see "Notae" and "Nexus").

Although not, of course, a woman of Rome, I've been asked why Cleopatra was not included in this survey; partially because there are already many excellent sites focused on this Egyptian queen who so impacted Roman history, including the biography and links at RoyaltyNu: Cleopatra.

Greek Women:

My favorite source for links on many aspects of the life of Greek (as well as multicultural) women may be found at the Internet Women's History Sourcebook.

A good general resource (including information on family and home life) may be found at The Ancient Greek World.

Greek source materials from the original historians are available at the Internet Ancient History Sourcebook (Greece).

The Etruscans:

A site detailing many aspects of Etruscan life (including the perceived immorality of women) may be found at The Mysterious Etruscans.

*Note regarding the Fayum Portraits: of all the extraordinary images of Roman women I have used for this site, those in the encaustic technique known as the "Fayum Portraits" are often the most hauntingly realistic. I thought a note on the technique might interest the reader. The portraits are painted on wood or cloth and were wrapped atop the faces of mummies in the Roman Province of northern Africa from roughly the 1st through 4th centuries AD. Encaustic painting is a very old technique using molten hot wax added with pigments, first used by ancient Egyptians and Greeks. To keep the colored wax in a liquefied state it was presumably held above a charcoal fire. The hot wax was, it is thought, applied to wooden panels with the addition of various resins and gums added to help the beeswax dry and to obtain a harder, more lasting surface. The Romans adapted this technique from the Greeks when both Greece and Africa were provinces of the Empire. Since the 19th century, many of these marvelously preserved images have been found at various sites near an oasis called Fayum, which is located about 100 kilometers south of Cairo. Worldwide exhibitions have been sponsored by museums like the British Museum, the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum, and others. A wonderful (if expensive) new book on these images is now available, The Mysterious Fayum Portraits: Faces from Ancient Egypt (Euphrosyne Doxiadis; Foreword by Dorothy J. Thompson).

Suzanne Cross 2001-2006. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be used without the author's permission.