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Edinburgh University: Prof Dame Mary Beard – Gifford Lectures – #3/6 – The Ancient World and us – Lucretia and the Politics of Sexual Violence



In this third lecture Professor Dame Mary Beard focused on the “various forms of sexual violence in the mythical history of ancient Rome” that were an integral part of its development. As she said, “The bottom line here is that early Roman history is bound up with rape, that almost all Roman stories of the foundational moments of their city feature violence against women as the immediate cause.” As she further explained,

if you want to understand Roman culture, one of the first things you need to see is not simply that there is such a massive parade of sexual violence, but more than that, that every single major political revolution or turning point in early Roman history was integrally bound up with sexual violence: the foundation of the city, the first Roman marriage, the establishment of the democratic republic, and its re-establishment after the abuses of the commission of ten.

Although she mentioned a number of instances of rape that had significant impact on Roman history, she noted that she would focus the majority of her lecture on “the Rape of Lucretia” (as the lecture title suggests). MORE At LINK



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