Women in Ancient Egypt

Temporarily out of stock

ISBN: 0714109568
Author: Gay Robins
Weight/Dimensions: 520g, 170 mm 240 mm 15 mm
Price: £8.95

The life and culture of ancient Egypt is richly represented in the wealth of surviving evidence, but how often has that evidence been interpreted, consciously or otherwise, from a male viewpoint? Only quite recently has the relative ‘invisibility’ of women in histories of Egyptian life been questioned and their contribution to Egyptian society studied.

Egypt was ruled by a king and administered by an all male bureaucracy, but even so there is evidence that women could wield influence and power indirectly, and in some cases directly, when a woman took the position of ‘king’. Gay Robins discusses the role of royal women, queenship and its divine connotations, and describes the exceptional women who broke the bounds of tradition by assuming real power.

She shows how women could hold office in temple cult, and goes on to discuss the everyday life of women, both within the home and family and in the economic and legal sphere. Necessarily, the surviving evidence in art and in written records deals with women of the elite class: peasants, male or female, left little trace behind them. 

The author has looked anew at the primary sources and, without glossing over the tantalising gaps which exist in the evidence, she offers fresh and revealing insights into women’s lives and, therefore, into ancient Egyptian society as a whole.