35: Women and Wool Working in the Ancient Roman Empire, Part 2

-- Mon 30 August 2021
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In Part 1 of Women and Wool Working in the Ancient Roman Empire, we discussed the practical matters of textile production in domestic and commercial contexts. In this second episode, we look at the performative ways that textile production was used to construct women's identities. This includes the incorporation of textile tools and production into rites of passage such as marriage, childbirth, and death as a symbol of the virtuous matron. We further discuss religious use and association of textile production through the stories of the Fates, Arachne, and the Virgin Mary. We then come around to weave the rest of the narrative together: could the piece that fits in the women-shaped hole of textile production in ancient Rome be... women?

This episode is dedicated in loving memory of Laura Callahan-Hazard and Sigrid Steinbock, both enthusiastic supporters of Morgan's dissertation, themselves both textile artists, and who both had wanted to read Morgan's dissertation but left this world too soon.