A Rome of One’s Own: The Forgotten Women of the Roman Empire
From the acclaimed author of A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum comes a wildly entertaining new history of Rome that uses the lives of 21 extraordinary women to upend our understanding of the ancient world.
The history of Rome has long been narrow and one-sided, essentially a history of “The Doing of Important Things,” and as far as Roman historians have been concerned, women don’t make that history. From Romulus through “the political stab-fest of the late Republic,” and then on to all the emperors, Roman historians may deign to give you a wife or a mother to show how bad things become when women get out of control, but history is more than that.
Emma Southon’s A Rome of One’s Own is the best kind of correction. This is a retelling of the history of Rome with all the things Roman history writers relegate to the background, or designate as domestic, feminine, or worthless. This is a history of women who caused outrage, led armies in rebellion, wrote poetry; who lived independently or under the thumb of emperors. Told with humor and verve as well as a deep scholarly background, A Rome of One’s Own highlights women overlooked and misunderstood, and through them offers a fascinating and groundbreaking chronicle of the ancient world.
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