Women at War in the Classical World (Hardback)
Paul Chrystal has written the first full length study of women and warfare in the Graeco Roman world. Although the conduct of war was generally monopolized by men, there were plenty of exceptions with women directly involved in its direction and even as combatants, Artemisia, Olympias, Cleopatra and Agrippina the Elder being famous examples. And both Greeks and Romans encountered women among their ‘barbarian’ enemies, such as Tomyris, Boudicca and Zenobia.
More commonly, of course, women were directly affected by war as non-combatant victims, of rape and enslavement as spoils of war and this makes up an important strand of the author’s discussion. The portrayal of female warriors and goddesses in classical mythology and literature, and the use of war to justify gender roles and hierarchies, are also considered. Overall it is a landmark survey of how war in the Classical world affected and was affected by women.
As Rome grew from a small city state to the mightiest empire of the west, her dominion was contested not only by the civilizations of the Mediterranean, but also by the ‘barbarians’ – the tribal peoples of Europe. The Celtic, the Spanish-Iberian and the Germanic tribes lacked the pomp and grandeur of Rome, but they were fiercely proud of their freedom and gave birth to some of Rome’s greatest adversaries. Romans and barbarians, iron legions and wild tribesmen clashed in dramatic battles on whose fate hinged the existence of entire peoples and, at times, the future of Rome. Far from reducing…By Ludwig Heinrich Dyck
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