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The painting is intended to be a realistic portrait of the young couple: literate, even learned, and equal stakeholders in business, the household, and Roman society. We have a full-length statue of the lady Eumachia, shown as a matrona the lady of the household , who represents the wider civic context of the home.
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She was extremely wealthy, and paid for the largest building on the forum at Pompeii, where this statue was found. Women were not equal to men: they could not vote or stand for office, but they could own and dispose of personal wealth, and had considerable influence. As it was buried under 24m 80ft of volcanic ash that hardened to rock, it is perhaps surprising that Herculaneum has preserved some of the most fragile and perishable evidence of daily life. One three-legged table retrieved from Herculaneum is remarkably similar to one depicted in a fresco of a house from the same town.
The intense heat and the rapid burial of Herculaneum preserved organic material such as wood, leather, and even foodstuffs by carbonising them. Fewer pieces connect us more poignantly with the day-to-day lives of ordinary people: when it was found, it still contained the remains of its nine-month-old occupant. There are also little reminders that city life can be fraught: a marble double-sided plaque from a street is almost certainly the result of a boundary dispute, resolved by city magistrates.
Pompeii is famous for its extensive ruined cityscape, but it also has large reserve collections. One piece never before loaned is a single-footed table or monopodium. This was originally a display table cartibulum in an atrium, where the family conspicuously displayed their wealth and status — a major consideration in Roman society — through fine and valuable silver. The podium is shaped as a panther, the sacred animal of the god Bacchus. Many of the inhabitants of the cities met their end in the eruption. Their skeletons have been discovered since the earliest days of the excavations, the ash around them sometimes preserving the imprint of their long-vanished bodies and even their clothing.
In , Giuseppe Fiorelli, the director of the excavations at Pompeii, poured plaster of Paris into voids in the ash around the bones, and revealed detailed casts of bodies.
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Now, in addition to the buildings and the artefacts, there were people, and with the necessary respect they, too, have a rightful place in the exhibition. In the s, archaeologists excavating a large house in the west of the city discovered under a staircase the bodies of a family, two adults and two children who had died there. The two adults, a man and woman with a child struggling up from her lap, were found side by side.
Both adults have their arms raised in the pugilist pose, seen in bodies exposed to extreme heat, in which tendons contract. This is also seen in the little child found nearby, a four- to five-year-old with very well-preserved features and clothing — possibly the most moving of all the casts. The House of the Golden Bracelet had one other secret, a suite of rooms looking out over a garden, which once had stunning views of the sea. Domestic gardens provided otium relaxation in beautiful surroundings.
One of the rooms was a summer triclinium dining room , covered in fine marble and frescoes. Next to it was a smaller room, perhaps a bedroom or study, with even more amazing decor. All around was a painted gardenscape, with fountains and decorative marbles, flowers, bushes, trees, and birds. The north wall is the best preserved. A scalloped fountain is flanked by marble panels on herms, plinths topped with heads — in this case a maenad and satyr, followers of Bacchus, god of wine and of gardens.
A wilder landscape invades the man-made. The fountain base is hidden by marigolds and ivy, with lilies, roses, and poppies rising around, and larger bushes such as oleander, plane, and palm trees. Birds are everywhere; wood pigeons, swallows, magpies, golden orioles, and blackbirds perch on bushes and take to the skies.
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These birds and plants would never normally all be seen together, but perhaps had symbolic significance — or perhaps the owner and painters simply wanted to create something very beautiful? In a final, exquisite detail from the south wall, a nightingale perches on a rosebush — the depiction is so closely observed even the tie securing the bush is shown. These and the other fascinating exhibits were commissioned or bought, used, and admired by the people of the cities in the course of their daily domestic lives.
We hope the exhibition, through these artefacts, will bring the real Romans that much closer.
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Extraordinary Women from the Golden Age of Muslim Civilisation | Inventions
She spent her time studying science and literature. Gevher Nesibe Sultan "was an early 13th century princess of the Sultanate of Rum, the daughter of Kilij Arslan II and sister of Kaykhusraw I, and the namesake of a magnificent complex comprising a hospital, an adjoining medrese devoted primarily to medical studies, and a mosque in Kayseri, Turkey. The hospital was built between and , and the medrese, whose construction started immediately after Gevher Nesibe's death in , was finished in The complex takes its name from the princess.
The tomb within the medrese is said to belong to Gevher Nesibe. During Muslim civilisation, numerous women excelled in various fields in Subsaharan Africa. Among them was Queen Amina of Zaria She was the eldest daughter of Bakwa Turunku, who founded the Zazzau Kingdom in Amina came to power between and Amina is generally remembered for her fierce military exploits.
Of special quality is her brilliant military strategy and in particular engineering skills in erecting great walled camps during her various campaigns. She is generally credited with the building of the famous Zaria wall. Image Source. Maybe she is not directly from Muslim Civilisation but the English aristocrat and writer Lady Mary Wortley Montagu is today remembered particularly for her letters from Turkey, an early example of a secular work by a Western woman about the Muslim Orient.
When Lady Mary was in the Ottoman Empire, she discovered the local practice of variolation, the inoculation against smallpox. Unlike Jenner's later vaccination, which used cowpox, variolation used a small measure of smallpox itself.
Lady Mary, who had suffered from the disease, encouraged her own children to be inoculated while in Turkey. On her return to London, she enthusiastically promoted the procedure, but encountered a great deal of resistance. However, her example certainly popularized the practice of inoculation with smallpox in British high society.
The numbers inoculated remained small, and medical effort throughout the 18th century was concentrated on reducing the risks and side-effects of the inoculation process.
We focused in our work on this topic of contributions made by women in science, technology, medicine, social care, management and patronage. In view of the growing importance of the subject of gender and women in society, this collection of articles we present below represents some of what we currently know about some famous Muslim women. We hope that this will initiate debate and start the process of unearthing what could be a most significant find:.