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Additional resources for Aspects of women in antiquity: proceedings of the first Nordic Symposium on Women's Lives in Antiquity, Göteborg 12 - 15 June 1997, Volume 1997

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Robert Graves. New York: Penguin, 1979. D. 15–59) The Julio-Claudian dynasty of emperors defined their legitimacy to rule based on their relationship to the great Caesar Augustus, who had been agrippina the younger 3 the first emperor of the Romans. This significant tie of blood made the female relatives highly important, because through marriage with them and creation of heirs one could legitimately claim the imperial throne. At least one woman, however, was not content to be the passive conduit of imperial power; she wanted to rule in her own right—at least as regent.

For example, there was a marker by one of the Athenian gates that was said to mark the grave of the Amazon Antiope, and there were several other tombs farther from Athens that were explained as the burial places of Amazons who had died while fleeing the battle against Theseus. Art, too, revealed the popularity of the legend, for there were many portrayals of Amazon women in sculptures and vase paintings. Why was this legend so popular, and what did it mean for the ancient Greeks who happily repeated the stories?

In their advocacy of chastity, the authors of the Acts make villains of suitors, husbands, fathers, and even occasionally mothers who stand for the social life of marriage. Thecla (see Thecla) rejects her mother’s entreaties and her suitor’s pressure to follow Paul in chastity. In The Acts of Peter, the apostle has converted many women, including the beautiful Xanthippe. Her husband was “filled with fury and passionate love for Xanthippe, and amazed that she would not even sleep in the same bed with him, was raging like a wild beast and wished to do away with Peter; for he knew that he was responsible for her leaving his bed.

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