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14.2 Retrospectiva de Valerio Máximo y Aulo Gelio
sobre la mujer romana

Santiago López Moreda
Universidad de Extremadura – Cáceres (España)
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Abstract
The Empire beholds a new social phenomenon, the literary otium, a true hobby among dilettanti, sons of a welloff bourgeoisie, who sees in erudition a new way of social distinction. That is how the Encyclopaedism, or general knowledge, was born in authors like Valerius Maximus, Pliny and Aulus Gellius, who pay attention to the civic values and virtues emanated from the classical models. The enkyklion paideia as a general instruction, basic knowledge in the subjects that will shape the seven artes liberales: grammar, rhetoric and dialectics, on one hand, and arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music, on the other.
One of the productions of this new culture is based on the analysis of the values of the traditional Roman woman against the new woman of the Empire. Valerius Maximus and Aulus Gellius review, not without pessimism, with a series of exempla, the virtues that used to embellish the republican woman: wife, mother, faithful, chaste, parentloving, etc., examples that are opposite to the “new woman”, luxury loving, litigant and plotting, androgynous and even transvestite.


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