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‘Women's work’ meant weaving and the other tasks required in fabric‐making: cleaning and carding wool, spinning and dyeing thread. Xenophon, in his Oeconomicus, envisages a young wife whose only domestic training is in fabric‐making: he suggests that she can train slaves to make fabric, supervise household supplies, equipment, and labour, and, for exercise, fold clothes and bedding and knead dough. Columella says that the bailiff's wife on a Roman estate should supervise wool‐working and preparation of meals, and should ensure that the kitchens, the shelters for animals, and esp. the sickroom are clean. But there is silence on the details of ordinary daily tasks.

Subjects: Classical Studies — Sociology.


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