Breastfeeding and Mothering in Antiquity and Early Byzantium (Hardcover)

Breastfeeding and Mothering in Antiquity and Early Byzantium By Stavroula Constantinou (Editor), Aspasia Skouroumouni-Stavrinou (Editor) Cover Image
NOT ON OUR SHELVES- available for order, usually ships in 1-5 days


This volume offers the first comparative, interdisciplinary, and intercultural examination of the lactating woman - biological mother and othermother - in antiquity and early Byzantium. Adopting methodologies and knowledge deriving from a variety of disciplines, the volume's contributors investigate the close interrelationship between a woman and her lactating breasts, as well as the social, ideological, theological, and medical meanings and uses of motherhood, childbirth, and breastfeeding, along with their visual and literary representations.

Breastfeeding and the work of mothering are explored through the study of a great variety of sources, mainly works of Greek-speaking cultures, written and visual, anonymous and eponymous, which were mostly produced between the first and the seventh century AD. Due to their multiple interdisciplinary dimensions, ancient and early Byzantine lactating women are approached through three interconnected thematic strands having a twofold focus: society and ideology, medicine and practice, and art and literature.

By developing the model of the lactating woman, the volume offers a new analytical framework for understanding a significant part of the still unwritten cultural history of the period. At the same time, the volume significantly contributes to the emerging fields of breast and motherhood studies. The new and significant knowledge generated in the fields of ancient and Byzantine studies may also prove useful for cultural historians in general and other disciplines, such as literary studies, art history, history of medicine, philosophy, theology, sociology, anthropology, and gender studies.

About the Author

Stavroula Constantinou is the founder and director of the Centre for Medieval Arts & Rituals at the University of Cyprus (UCY). She is also the initiator and editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed and diamond open access journal Eventum: A Journal of Medieval Arts and Rituals (first issue in November 2023). Currently, she coordinates the major EU-Horizon 2020 project Network for Medieval Arts & Rituals (grant agreement nr 951875) and a couple of other projects on mothering and storytelling. Her research focuses on Byzantine narratives, gender, ritual, performance, emotions, and the body. She is the author of the forthcoming book Interactive Embodiment: Approaching Byzantine Bodies (2024).Aspasia Skouroumouni-Stavrinou is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Medieval Arts & Rituals at UCY. Her research focuses on ancient Greek drama (with an emphasis on performance, space, gender, and reception), ancient Greek religion, ancient and early Byzantine motherhood, and family culture.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781032208756
ISBN-10: 1032208759
Publisher: Routledge
Publication Date: September 29th, 2023
Pages: 272
Language: English