Elite women of ancient Rome were constantly confronted with the moral expectations generated by this patriarchal society. For the matrona (matron), perhaps the most important moral virtue for her to display privately and publicly was pudicitia, sexual chastity. For this seminar, I will present my research on the ancient Roman woman and explore whether concerns for proper feminine morality appreciably influenced the health care that she could access in the late Republic and Empire. The presentation of women in medical literature will be compared to non-medical literature and archaeology, in order to uncover the lived reality of the female patient. Additionally, an exploration of the relevant scholarship will situate the chapter and contrast its methodology with current research in the medical humanities.

About Classics and Ancient History Seminars

Please note, if applicable to the session, Classics and Ancient History seminars are followed by a wine-and-cheese reception ($2 coin donation per person). Enquiries about the seminars may be made to Associate Professor Tom Stevenson.

The Friends of Antiquity, an alumni organisation of the University, runs its own series of public lectures, which take place on Sunday afternoons. The Friends’ program for 2019 can be found at http://www.friendsofantiquity.org.au.