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Good book! A Place at the Altar

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:21 pm
by Caeso Cispius Laevus
Sal.

A Place at the Altar: Priestesses in Republican Rome, by DiLuzio, sheds light on a previously little explored aspect of the Cultus Deorum in ancient Rome: the role of priestesses. I liked how this book outlined the gender-inclusive nature of the priesthoods. In ancient Rome, priestly service was a cooperative endeavor, requiring men and women, husbands and wives, and elite Romans and slaves to work together to manage the community’s relationship with its Gods. I think our modern Republic and the future development of the Cultus Deorum must keep these things in mind.

This book explores the central role of the Vestal Virgins and shows that they occupied just one type of priestly office open to women. Fascinatingly this book explores other female priestesses, including the flaminica Dialis, the regina sacrorum, and the wives of the curial priests, all who served as part of priestly married couples. Others, such as the priestesses of Ceres and Fortuna Muliebris, were largely autonomous. A very good review of the female roles within the sacra Publica!