Roman Freedwomen: Their Occupations and Identity Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 19, 2019
Creator
  • Holman, Lindsay
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
Abstract
  • This study examines seventy-one occupational epitaphs of urban freedwomen from the western half of the Roman Empire between the first century B.C. and the third century A.D. An evaluation of the occupational epitaphs of freedwomen preserved in the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (CIL) reveals the breadth of jobs freedwomen held in the urban Roman economy. The choice of commemorating these women's occupations also suggests that pride was taken in their work. A study of the epitaphs in which freedwomen were commemorated with men (just over half of the corpus) suggests that it is the occupation of the freedwomen rather than any social relationship that carries force which conveys their identity. These occupational epitaphs demonstrate that one avenue of commemoration which freedwomen or their relatives elected to employ was memorializing their work as a symbol of the pride in their change of status from slave to freedwoman.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Houston, George
  • Naiden, Fred
  • Talbert, Richard J. A.
Degree
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
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Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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