9 May 2024 Start
9 May 2024 End
7.00 pm Time
UK Peace Memorial Hall at Badminton School, Westbury Rd, Bristol BS9 3BA

Roman Women: The Power of the Body

Thursday, May 9, 2024

The third and final Bristol CA talk in the 2023-2024 series will take place in person on Thursday 9th May. Professor Helen King (The Open University) will deliver a talk titled “Roman Women: The Power of the Body”.

Registration for this event can be made via Eventbrite:

About the talk: In the Classical world, women’s bodies were sometimes imagined to be very different from those of men, but could also be seen as similar in their composition even if not quite as good as male bodies. In either case, the materials of the female body were thought to hold special powers. In this talk I shall consider the basic theories put forward in medical writings about the body, and then consider the different ways in which both magic and medicine suggested that women’s bodies were powerful. I shall focus on milk and blood as important fluids and shall revisit stories in which even the sight of the naked female body could stop men – or insects! – in their tracks.

About the speaker: Helen King is Professor Emerita of Classical Studies at the Open University, and has held posts in Cambridge, Liverpool, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Reading, as well as in visiting roles in Europe and the USA. Her research interests encompass ancient medical thought within its social and cultural context, gender and the history of the body, as well as the reception of ancient medicine, among others. In September 2024, Profile Books will be publishing her book Immaculate Forms: Uncovering the History of Women’s Bodies.

Venue: As in previous years, the talk will take place in the Peace Memorial Hall at Badminton School, Westbury Rd, Bristol BS9 3BA (

Tickets: There is no charge for registering via Eventbrite, and talks are free for Bristol Classical Association members, university students, and school pupils. There will be a cost of £5 at the door for visitors who have registered but do not fall in one of the above categories.

The link to register can be found here:

If you encounter issues, or have any questions, please contact us at [email protected]

The talk will start at 7pm, with arrival and refreshments from 6.45pm.