Travelling the Mediterranean: Late Antique and Victorian Women on the Move

Thursday 27 Jun 2024

What connects the early 4th and 19th century Mediterranean? Women. Female mobility had increased significantly following centuries of restricted travel, yet our views of the Mediterranean in these periods are still shaped by the writing of men.  

Throughout time, histories have been primarily written through the male perspective. Their focus, often on the elite, the monumental, the exceptional, has blurred opportunities to see the mundane, the everyday.  

The 4th century was a significant period of mobility, in part due to environmental pressures, and as we are beginning to discover, it was particularly pertinent for women whose travel had been so restricted up to that point. Preliminary work on the archaeological record has shown that women play fundamental roles in many aspects of resilience and organisation not often seen in the historical sources.  

Through archaeology and women’s diaries, Director of the British School at Athens Professor Rebecca Sweetman seeks to redress the bias with a view of the everyday and highlight the role of women in visioning the Mediterranean in two key periods of mobility. 

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About Rebecca Sweetman

Professor Rebecca Sweetman is the Director of the British School at Athens and is seconded from her position of Professor of Ancient History & Archaeology at the University of St Andrews. Her work focuses on Roman and Late Antique Greece and she has published widely on these areas including work on memory, resilience, Globalisation and Christianisation. Her book, The Mosaics of Roman Crete, was published in 2013 and has a volume on the Archaeology of the Cyclades in the Roman and Late Antique periods in production. She also works on archaeology and inclusivity and well-being through haptic experiences with material culture.  


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