A Space for Women in the Etruscan and Roman Houses (VI-I Cent. B.C.)?

Vincent Jolivet


The article analyzes the scientific discussion about the existence of a domestic space reserved to women in Etruscan and Roman houses. The hypotesis regarding the existence of a gynaeceum has been recently proposed for the Etruscan houses built on Palatino in Rome (VI cent. B.C.) and for the ancient phase of the Centaurus Protodomus in Pompei. Considering the specific role of Roman matronae as laniferae, and also a substantial equality of social role between Etruscan men and women, it is possible to advance the hypotesis of the existence of a room originally reserved to women (oecus) on one side of the tablinum, the symmetrical room being reserved to men (triclinium). 

Key words: Gynaeceum - Etruscan and Roman houses 

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