Donne violente e violenza domestica: dallo stereotipo alle realtà sociali attraverso il dato epigrafico

Sofia Piacentin


Domestic violence was frequently threatened or used in the Roman household to legitimise family roles. Narratives of violent women, written from an elite male point of view, are primarily framed within stereotypes (i.e. savage dominae, the wicked stepmother...). This study discusses two Latin inscriptions allegedly attesting female misbehavior. The first case shows to what extent modern scholarship has sometimes projected female stereotypes on the reading of inscriptions. The lack of clear evidence for violent women in epigraphy would reinforce the idea that in the absence of a widespread system of policing, matters concerning female misbehaviour were rarely prosecuted in public as this would have caused dishonour for the family. Moreover, inscriptions recording female wrongdoing seem to have also involved economic issues.

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