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A Place at the AltarPriestesses in Republican Rome$
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Meghan J. DiLuzio

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691169576

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691169576.001.0001

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(p.240) Conclusion
A Place at the Altar

Meghan J. DiLuzio

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter argues that priestly service offered women opportunities for leadership, prestige, and even, on occasion, authority, all in the name of maintaining the pax deorum—Rome's relationship with her gods. Some priestesses served cults that were restricted to women, but many men and women served the gods together. This principle applied at the level of household, local, and citywide cult. The saliae virgines demonstrate that cooperation between the genders was not limited to husbands and wives. In fact, in his symbolic picture of Rome's permanence and his own poetic immortality, Horace links the pontifex and the Vestal, and he positions both on the Capitol. In cults operating within the public sphere, women were neither marginal nor incidental. Rather, they served as indispensable participants in a fundamentally cooperative endeavor.

Keywords:   priestly service, pax deorum, priestesses, saliae virgines, pontifex, Vestal virgins, public cults, leadership, authority

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