One cannot deny that the outcomes of historical research are to some extent a reflection of the researcher’s perceptions of historical events. When one deals with a topic such as “the role of women in antiquity,” which gained eminence in feminist literature in the 1970s, this is all the more true. Thus, although the sources and the interpretation of sources of ancient history, the position of the researcher and cultural specifics are, as a rule, no longer questioned in conventional research of law in antiquity, these warrant a renewed scrutiny when the position of women comes under investigation.
Customary parameters of ancient history are not only defined with regard to time or period, but are also geographically and culturally defined. In mainstream western scholarship, antiquity is treated within the geographical confines of the Mediterranean Sea and the territories connected to it by historically effective political and cultural relations. However, a perusal of the literature on women in antiquity shows that research is predominantly centred on ancient Rome, Greece, and Egypt.
Revue Internationale des droits de l’antiquité, 3rd Series, Vol.47 (2000)