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Chapter 4 - Conveying Women: Carpentum

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2021

Jared Hudson
Affiliation:
Harvard University, Massachusetts
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Summary

This chapter investigates the portrayal of carpentum and its prestigious relative, the pilentum, two special carriages sanctioned for use by Roman matrons but frequently portrayed as problematic or dangerous. Through an examination of several stories involving carpentum – most importantly that of Tullia, who famously drove over the corpse of her father, King Servius, in the carriage – it shows how this conveyance served to focalize Roman patriarchal anxieties surrounding women’s conflicting loyalties as daughters and wives. It moves on to analyze accounts of the prohibition of women’s privilege of using carpenta, the attempts of moralizing senators such as Cato the Elder to oppose the repeal of this ban, and the dramatic protest of the women themselves. A concluding section examines how its occasional, but conspicuous use by men is represented as effeminizing, and traces the recurring theme of hybridity in its depictions.

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Chapter
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The Rhetoric of Roman Transportation
Vehicles in Latin Literature
, pp. 208 - 247
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Conveying Women: Carpentum
  • Jared Hudson, Harvard University, Massachusetts
  • Book: The Rhetoric of Roman Transportation
  • Online publication: 20 January 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108667678.006
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Conveying Women: Carpentum
  • Jared Hudson, Harvard University, Massachusetts
  • Book: The Rhetoric of Roman Transportation
  • Online publication: 20 January 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108667678.006
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Conveying Women: Carpentum
  • Jared Hudson, Harvard University, Massachusetts
  • Book: The Rhetoric of Roman Transportation
  • Online publication: 20 January 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108667678.006
Available formats
×