About Me

My photo
Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Monday, March 22, 2010

Writing ancient women: Jenny guest blogs for Gillian Pollack

Great (and detailed) post on the background to The Priestess and the Slave.


I've always found the ancient world far more interesting than the modern world – but not the wars, the revolutions, the kings and generals (or even the occasional queen). Instead, I'm fascinated by the tiny details of the daily life of ancient people – what they ate and drank, what they wore, who they worshipped, and how, and why.

One of my favourite university subject was Greek Daily Life, in which one of my assessable assignments was making a long strip of woven cloth. This was more sensible than it sounds: my learned but eccentric teacher Rhona Baere was insistent that we understand that all respectable ancient Greek women, and many of the less respectable variety, plus most female slaves, spent most of their lives in interminable spinning and weaving. (After the hours watching the cloth grow, painfully slowly, I've never forgotten.) She also taught us how Greek pots and furniture were made, and read Plato's Symposium with us, so we could see how the men behaved without respectable women around.


Piero said...

Well, that was inspiring and wonderful. On the minus side, now I have yet another book to read...

Anonymous said...

Rather cool site you've got here. Thank you for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read more soon.

Kate Benedict