The Cult of Bona Dea

We have a tendency to imagine ancient Rome as a place where women were deprived of autonomy, existing primarily as wives. Reproduction was the watchword of womanly purpose, and the purity of a woman was both her most prized and her most ephemeral attribute. Under the constant watch of tutors and with no avenue into … More The Cult of Bona Dea

Maenads: Female Followers of Dionysus

Maenad: Female Followers of Dionysus  Who were the Maenads? To be put in short, maenads were female followers of Dionysos. The Greek god Dionysos, who is equivalent to the Roman god of Bacchus, was representative of wine and madness. The practice of maenadism is thought to have started in Thebes, coinciding with the birth place of Dionysus. … More Maenads: Female Followers of Dionysus

The Pythia

The Pythia was the oracular priestess at Delphi, who would deliver prophecies to suppliants under the possession of Apollo. This was one of the most important oracles in the Greek world and it was in use for nearly a thousand years. … More The Pythia

The Muses

Identity and Roles in Antiquity The Muses of Greek mythology were goddesses of poetry, song, and dance and are unparalleled in any other part of the world. They are likened to Nymphs, Charites (Graces), and Sirens as they are all highly skilled in song and/or dance. They represented practice, memory, and song (Melete, Mneme, and … More The Muses

Pregnancy & Childbirth in Ancient Greece

  As one might expect, childbirth in the ancient world was extremely dangerous. This was due partially to a lack of understanding about the female body, leading to societal assumptions about pregnancy and childbirth, as well as the use of potentially dangerous herbs. The Hippocratic writings A large portion of the written sources about women’s … More Pregnancy & Childbirth in Ancient Greece