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Outre monde

Sex is the friction of a piece of gut and, following a sort of convulsion, the expulsion of some mucus. —Marcus Aurelius

In Rome, a woman had no legal identity other than as a man’s daughter or wife, entirely subjected first to her father and then to her husband, who was entitled to beat her if he felt that she had overstepped her mark. Although women from good families were taught to read and write, the vast majority did not receive any formal education. They could not vote or take up any formal role such as magistrate or soldier, and were effectively confined to running the home and having children. Almost every woman came under pressure to bare a healthy son who would survive into adulthood to inherit his father’s estate, after which the widowed woman could well find herself destitute. There were, of course, a few exceptional women, and…

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