Rachel Meyers, assistant professor of classical studies, published “On Her Own: Practices of Female Benefaction in the Western Roman Empire” in the 2019 volume of the journal Ancient Society.
In this article Meyers uses a quantitative approach in analyzing a body of over 400 Latin inscriptions from the western half of the Roman Empire that document women’s donations, ranging from cash distributions and feasts to large architectural projects and public works. With this new approach to the evidence, Meyers demonstrates, contrary to previous claims, that women undertook costly expenditures. Rather than engaging in public benefaction mostly with family members, especially their male relatives, Roman women overwhelmingly acted on their own.
Ancient Society is an annual journal founded in 1970 by the Ancient History section of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Its main objective is the study of the society of the Greek, Hellenistic and Roman world in all its aspects, including the relations with peripheral peoples and cultures. Other regular features are the publication of new source material (papyri, inscriptions) and contributions on ancient historical writing.