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Between the Domestic and Agoric Somatoscape: John Chrysostom on the Appearance of Female Roman Aristocrats in the Marketplace

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AbstractThe purpose of this essay is to give an account of John Chrysostom’s views on the public appearance of female Roman aristocrats in the marketplace, and to ask what it tells us about the functioning of pastoral power. The focus is on John Chrysostom’s 28th homily On Hebrews. The study argues that Chrysostom’s rhetoric is aimed at pastoralizing the domestic somatoscape and manipulating the patria potestas. The pastoralization of the household ramified various patriarchal operations in Christian households, and a potent programme of asceticization of the agoric space accompanies it. The asceticization of the agoric took place by means of a tripart campaign of metaphorization: firstly, metaphorical dedoulologization, accompanied by decosmeticization, and also psychic virginization.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies, University of South AfricaP.O. Box 392, UNISA,


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