chapter  8
31 Pages

Agrippina to Veturia

Ancient and modern companions to Female Biography
WithPeter Keegan

This chapter discusses the work of the author as Latin Editor of Mary Hays's Female Biography, and explores how a felicitous combination of interdisciplinary approaches to historical research enabled the ventriloquized 'voices' of 30 ancient Roman women (from Agrippina the Elder to Veturia). It also discusses the problems which the author encountered in editing the lives of archaic, classical and post-classical Roman women as represented in Mary Hays's opus. The chapter explores the degrees to which scholars of ancient world studies (in particular, historians of Roman antiquity) vary (or not) in their approach to critical readings of ancient literary source material dealing with historical, legendary and mythological women. It examines the correlations and divergences in knowledge and understanding of historical detail, socio-cultural context and lived experience pertaining to the biographical profiles of Roman women generated through Hays's engagement with the ancient literary record.