University News

"Women and Poison in Ancient Rome" Visiting Lecture October 12

September 19, 2006

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MACOMB, IL - - Chery Golden, associate professor of history at Newman University (Wichita, KS), will present “Women and Poison in Ancient Rome: Separating Truth from Type-Casting” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12 in Currens Hall 205 on the Western Illinois University campus.

Golden will address the way Roman society as well modern societies type-cast women regarding the exclusive use of poison as a weapon.

Not requiring the violence and blood associated with hand weapons or the strength of hand-to-hand struggle, societies have often identified poison as the weapon of choice for women who would murder. In ancient Rome the stereotypical poisoner in literature was a woman, and the strength of type-casting can still be seen in many modern novels and even the television miniseries “I Claudius,” Golden explained. However, material and literary evidence casts doubt on identifying poison as the exclusive weapon of women; and Golden will address this aspect of type-casting women by Roman – and modern – societies.

Golden, named Teacher of the Year (2006) at Newman, conducts research in the legal, medical and social history of Rome. Her recent presentations include “Biological Warfare in Antiquity” at the 2006 annual meeting of the Society for Military History and “Poison Trials in the Roman Senate” at the 2006 annual meeting of The Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS).

GoldenÂ’s presentation is supported by the University Theme Committee and the Visiting Lecturer Committee. It is open free to the public.

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