Being a Woman in Roman Gaul: Gendered Votive Offerings in a Colonial Context

Author(s): Alena Wigodner

Year: 2017


The annexation of Gaul into the Roman Empire in the mid-first century BCE spurred the development of new religious practices in that region, including the practice of offering votive figurines at sanctuaries. Because each votive represents a personal decision on the part of the dedicant, analysis of votive assemblages provides unique insight into the demographics of worshippers and illuminates aspects of individual identity in this colonial context. Here, I present the results of a quantitative analysis of gendered votives, most notably female anatomical figurines—a votive type that existed neither in Gaul nor in Rome at the time of Roman conquest. Analysis of the geographic spread of the practice of offering gendered votives as well as of the differences between male- and female- gendered votives, especially when compared with the much more Roman practice of offering written dedications, provides a means through which to study Roman colonialism as a gendered experience. These preliminary results suggest ways in which women in the Gallic provinces navigated the unique cultural landscape of Gaul under Roman rule.

Cite this Record

Being a Woman in Roman Gaul: Gendered Votive Offerings in a Colonial Context. Alena Wigodner. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430175)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17181