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date: 20 April 2024


The Oxford Encyclopedia Women in World History
Joanna S. SmithJoanna S. Smith, Ann SuterAnn Suter, Lena Larsson LovÉnLena Larsson LovÉn, Liz JamesLiz James, Merry E. Wiesner‐HanksMerry E. Wiesner‐Hanks

This entry consists of five subentries:


Ancient Greece

Roman Empire

Medieval Period

Renaissance and Early Modern Period

Women in pre‐Classical Europe were integral to all parts of society. As mothers and wives, they bore children, forged ties with other families, and provided for the economy of the household. They harvested the fields and collected wild plants. Upon maturity, they practiced rites of passage, sometimes competing as athletes. Women's innovative artistry survives in a wide array of pottery shapes and decorations, many of which preserve the patterns of their now‐lost textiles. As healers, priestesses, leaders, and slaves, they engaged in the spiritual, physical, and sociopolitical health of their communities. Female deities formed part of the pantheon.... ...

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