chapter  6
49 Pages

Childbirth, menstruation and domestic space in Greco-Roman Egypt

WithAda Nifosi

This chapter focuses on women’s use of domestic space, during the phases of menstruation and childbirth. Until the 1980s, papyrologists were the only scholars who wrote about the use of domestic space in Greco-Roman Egypt. In Greco-Roman Egypt, the preservation of thousands of papyri allows for a more specific study of households. Modern Egyptian architecture can offer valuable comparative data for the study of houses in Greco-Roman Egypt. However, it is important to consider the risks deriving from this comparison, as contemporary Egyptian architecture is the result of centuries of varying cultural influences. Greco-Roman houses in Egypt are ignored in favour of the more popular Dynastic Egyptian architecture. The most consistent elements found in Greco-Roman Egyptian houses are the building materials and construction techniques. Towers are attested at several Greco-Roman Egyptian urban and rural sites in the papyri and by terracotta models.