3 - Occupations
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 November 2020
Inscriptions collected in this chapter demonstrate that women were employed in a wide range of occupations: not only were they engaged in gendered professions, as hairdressers, wet nurses and midwives, but they were also involved in more general vocations, for instance as physicians, albeit less frequently than men. Women were involved in trade and a limited number of crafts (primarily clothing and luxury production), and in education, entertainment and prostitution. Most working women we meet in inscriptions were freedwomen who had been trained as slaves. Their brief epitaphs advertise their professions as part of their social identity. Apart from funerary inscriptions, amphora stamps and painted messages on potsherds record the names of female ship owners and traders exporting wine and olive oil, brick stamps demonstrate their engagement as managers and owners of brick production and lead water pipes their management of lead workshops, graffiti advertise their services as prostitutes and wooden tablets their particpation in business transactions. Most testimonies are from Rome and the cities of Italy.
- Women and Society in the Roman WorldA Sourcebook of Inscriptions from the Roman West, pp. 124 - 182Publisher: Cambridge University PressPrint publication year: 2020