In letter 7.24 Pliny provides his readers with a character sketch of the elderly matriarch of a distinguished and wealthy Italian family-Ummidia Quadratilla. Ummidia passed her later years as a fan of the theater; specifically, "she had pantomimes." Pliny disapproves of the shows presented by these performers, and he chastises Ummidia for her interest in pantomime. In fact he views her conduct as symptomatic of a vice among women in general: "I have heard that she herself used to relax her mind with checkers or watch her pantomimes, as women do in the idleness of their sex." We should not be surprised by these comments; there was a tradition of ambivalence among the Romans toward the professions of the theater, and when women became involved with these professions, the ambivalence could turn to contempt. Given the general disposition of Roman males toward pantomime and women, modern readers should not so readily accept Pliny's assessment. By training her slaves as pantomimes, Ummidia was greatly increasing their value. From numerous ancient sources we know that the monetary value of slaves trained in the theatrical professions was among the highest accorded any slave. Moreover, because of Ummidia's endowment of a theater in her native Casinum and the performance of Ummidia's pantomimes in public games, we might say that she was the manager of a small "theatrical empire." Finally, because of the great interest in pantomime on the part of the masses and the desire of the upper classes, including members of various imperial families, to soothe these masses with games, control of popular pantomimes might have given Ummidia access to limited political power.

[Footnotes]

[Footnotes]
1
Syme 1968:72-105.
Ann. 12.45.6; 12.48; 13.8-9; 14.26.4.
CIL 2.172
CIL 10.5182.
Sherwin-White 1966
2
Pliny 7.24.4
4
Shelton 1990:163-86
Dobson 1982:81-85.
5
Jory 1991:147
6
Athenaeus 6.273.
Thomas Weidemann 1981:78-94.
Sallust Jug. 85.39
Polybius 31.24.4 (31.25.5)
7
Pliny 1.15, 3.12, 9.17
Juv. 11.162-82
Mart. 5.78, 9.77.
8
Sat. 53.12.
ILS 5205
CIL 12.1929
Tac. Ann. 11.1-3
9
Edwards 1993:98-136
Csapo 1995:275-79
Leppin 1992:160-68
Ducos 1990:19- 33
Levick 1983:105-10.
Balsdon 1969:279-88
Marek 1.959:101-11.
11
Garton 1972:231-83
Leppin 1992:189-319
Juvenal's indictment (3.86-108)
12
Wistrand 1992:30-40
Pliny Pan. 46.1-6; 54.1-2
Sen. Nat. 7.32.3
Petr. Sat. 52.9
Tac. Ann. 14.20-1
13
Pro Rosc. Com. 23.
14
Priapea 19
Mart. 5.78
Pliny 1.15.3
Juv. 11.162-78
Fear 1991:75-79.
Val. Max. 2.10.8
Scholia ad Juvenaleem 6.249-50
Servius' commentary to Ecl. 10.6
Digest 22.4.6-7, 22.2.44, 23.2.47, 33.73.3, 48.2.4, 48.5.11, 48.5.25
Edwards 1997
Ducos 1990:20-26.
15
Finkelpearl 1991:226-31
Csapo 1995:378-89
Beacham 1992:141-53
Balsdon 1969:274-79.
Plut. Sulla 36.1
Mor. 318c
Cic. In Verr. 2.3.78
Ep. ad Att . 10.10.5, 10.16.5, 15.22
Phil. II 58-62,69
Plut. Ant. 9.4
Tac. Ann. 1.54.2.
Dio 54.17.5
Suet. Cal. 36.1, 55.1
Dio 54.17.4
Tac. Ann. 1.77.
16
Juv. 6.60-81 and 11.168-70.
Val. Max. 6.3.12.
Suet. Dom. 3
Suet. Aug. 45.4
Tac. Ann. 14.60-62
17
Aug. 43.1
18
Jory 1991
19
Tac. Ann. 1.54
20
Tac. Ann. 1.77
Dio 57.14
Vell. Pat. 2.126
Suet. Tib. 34.1.
Slater 1994:120-44
Jory 1984:57-66.
21
Jory 1984:57.
Wüst 1949:864-69.
22
Suet. lib. 34
Tac. Ann. 1.77
SHA M. Ant. 11.4
Tac. Ann. 4.13, 13.25
Suet. Tib. 37
Dio 57.21
Pliny Pan. 46
Suet. Dom. 7
23
Tac. Ann. 1.77
Suet. Jib. 37
Dio 61.8-9
Suet. Aug. 44
Rawson 1987:83-114.
24
Dio 54.2.3-4, 54.17.4
Dio 56.47
25
Levick 1983:105-108
Lebek 1990:43-58
1991:41-51.
26
Sherwin-White 1966:402-403.
27
Pan. 46.1-4
28
Dio 68.10.2
Pliny's Panegyric dates to 100 CE
Ep. 7.24 dates to 107 CE.
29
Delia 1991:197-217
Forbis 1990):493-512
Dixon:1986:93-120
Hallett 1984:35-61
Dixon 1983:91-112
Van Bremen 1983:223-41
Skinner 1983:273-87
MacMullen 1980:208-18.
30
Guillemin 1927:36n1
31
Carcopino 1941:104.
32
Dobson 1982:82.
33
Fantham 1994:350.
35
Champlin 1991:201-202
37
CIL 10.1946
ILS 5183
38
AE 1985, 189
CIL 11.4726
39
CIL 10.5299.
40
CIL 10.5813
ILS 5628
41
AE 1946, 174
Fora 1992:269-73
42
Bradley 1985:311-30.
Forbes 1955:321-60
Mohler 1941:262-80.
Bradley 1985:324-25.
46
Kirschenbaum 1987:31-88.
48
Forbes 1955:329
49
Digest 38.1.7
Ulpian On Sabinus 28
50
Pliny NH 7.39
DCC (700,000 HS)
Lebek 1990:45-51
51
Periplus 49.26
Strabo 2.99
Casson 1989:209-10.
52
Axer 1980:59-88.
Wright 1931:15-20.
53
Beaujeu 1975:109-24.
57
Dio 39.38
Pliny NH 8.7
Cic. Ad Fam. 7.1.
Hanson 1959:43-46.
58
Plaut. Asin., pr. 1-3
Mart. 6.71.3, 5-6
Westermann 1924:134 44
Bell 1924:145-46.
59
CIL 4.3891.
60
Leppin 1992:190-94
Leppin 1992:181-83
Bonaria 1959:224-42.
61
Leppin 1992:250-51
62
CIL 4.3891
CIL 4.2155
63
Leppin 1992
Garton 1972
Jory 1970:224-53.
65
ILS 5246
68
CIL 14.2886
Tac. Ann. 13.19.4 and 13.27.3
Suet. Nero 54
Dio 63.18.1
Pliny NH 7.55
Lucian Dancing 63.
71
Jory 1970:237n1.
72
Wiseman 1985:28-38
73
Leppin 1992:293.
74
CIL 6.31034, 32445
75
Wiseman 1985:35
76
CIL 6.10096
77
CIL 6.18450
78
CIL 6.29434
79
CIL 6.975, IV. 13.
80
Syme 1968:88-99.
81
Forbis 1990
Van Bremen 1983
MacMullen 1980
Richlin 1997:339-46, 368-74.
82
Syme 1968:78, 83-84
83
Fora 1992:272-73

Bibliography

Bibliography
Axer, J. 1980. The Style and the Composition of Cicero's Speech, Pro Q. Roscio Comoedo. Warsaw.
Balsdon, J. 1969. Life and Leisure in Ancient Rome. New York.
Beacham, R. 1992. The Roman Theatre and its Audience. Cambridge, Mass.
Beaujeu, J. 1975. "Les jeux sacerdotaux du haut empire." BICS 22:109-24.
Bell, H. 1924. "A Musician's Contract." JEA 10:145-46.
Bonaria, M. 1959. "Dinastie di pantomimi latini." Maia 3:224-42.
Bradley, K. 1985. "Child Labor in the Roman World." Historical Reflections 12:311-30.
Carcopino, J. 1941. Daily Life in Ancient Rome. London.
Casson, L. 1989. Periplus Maris Erythraei. Princeton.
Champlin, E. 1991. Final Judgments: Duty and Emotion in Roman Wills, 200 B.C.—A.D. 250. Berkeley.
Csapo, E., and W. Slater. 1995. The Context of Ancient Drama. Ann Arbor.
Delia, D. 1991. "Fulvia Reconsidered." In S. Pomeroy, ed., Women's History andAncient History. Chapel Hill.
Dixon, S. 1983. "A Family Business: Women's Role in Patronage and Politics at Rome 80-44 B.C." C&M 34:91-112.
-. 1986. "Family Finances: Terentia and Tullia." In B. Rawson, ed., The Family in Ancient Rome. Ithaca.
Dobson, E. 1982. "Pliny the Younger's Depiction of Women." CB 58:81-85.
Ducos, M. 1990. "La condition des acteurs à Rome. Données juridiques et sociales." In J. Blänsdorf, ed., Theater und Gesellschaft im Imperium Romanum. Tübingen.
Edwards, C. 1997. "Unspeakable Professions: Public Performance and Prostitution in Ancient Rome." In J. Hallett and M. Skinner, eds., Roman Sexualties. Princeton.
-. 1993. The Politics of Immorality in ancient Rome. Cambridge.
Fantham, E., H. Foley, N. Kampen, S. Pomeroy, and H. Shapiro. 1994. Women in the Classical World. New York.
Fear, A. 1991. "The Dancing Girls of Cadiz." GaR 38:75-79.
Finkelpearl, E. 1991. "The Judgment of Lucius: Apuleius, Metamorphoses 10.29-34." ClAnt 10:221-36.
Fora, M. 1992. "Ummidia Quadratilla ed il Restauro del Teatro di Cassino." ZPE 94:269-73.
Forbes, C. 1955. "The Education and Training of Slaves in Antiquity." TAPA 86:321-60.
Forbis, E. 1990. "Women's Public Image in Italian Honorary Inscriptions." AJPh 111:493-512.
Garton, C. 1972. Personal Aspects of Roman Theater. Toronto.
Guillemin, A. 1927. Pline le Jeune, Lettres. Paris.
Hallett, J. 1984. Fathers and Daughters in Roman Society. Princeton.
Hanson, J. 1959. Roman Theater-Temples. Princeton.
Jory, E. 1970. "Associations of Actors in Rome." Hermes 98:224-53.
-. 1984. "The Early Pantomime Riots." In A. Moffatt, ed., Maistor: Classical, Byzantine and Renaissance Studies for Robert Browning. Canberra.
-. 1991. "The Literary Evidence for the Beginnings of Imperial Pantomime." BICS 28:147-61.
Kirschenbaum, A. 1987. Sons, Slaves, and Freedmen. Washington.
Lebek, W. 1990. "Standeswürde Berufsverbot unter Tiberius: Das SC der Tabula Lar- inas." ZPE 81:37-96.
-. 1991. "Das SC der Tabula Larinas: Rittermusterung und andere Probleme." ZPE 85:41-70.
Leppin, H. 1992. Histrionen. Bonn.
Levick, B. 1983. "The Senatus Consultum from Larinum." JRS 73:97-115.
MacMullen, R. 1980. "Women in Public in the Roman Empire." Historia 29:208-18.
Marek, H. 1959. "Die soziale Stellung des Schauspielers im alten Rom." Altertum 5:101-11.
Mohler, S. 1941. "Slave Education in the Roman Empire."TAPA 71:262-80.
Rawson, E. 1987. "Discrimina Ordinum: The Lex Iulia Theatralis." PBSR 55:83-114.
Richlin, A. 1997. "Carrying Water in a Sieve: Class and the Body in Roman Women's Religion." In K. King, ed., Women and Goddess Traditions in Antiquity and Today. Minneapolis.
Shelton, J. 1990. "Pliny the Younger, and the Ideal Wife." C&M 41:163-86.
Sherwin-White, A. 1966. The Letters of Pliny. Oxford.
Skinner, M. 1983. "Clodia Metelli." TAPA 113:273-87.
Slater, W. 1994. "Pantomime Riots." ClAnt 13:120-44.
Syme, R. 1968. "The Ummidii." Historia 17:72-105.
Van Bremen, R. 1983. "Women and Wealth." In A. Cameron and A. Kuhrt, eds., Images of Women in Antiquity. Detroit.
Weidemann, T. 1981. Greek and Roman Slavery. Baltimore.
Westermann, W. 1924. "The Castanet Dancers of Arsinoe." JEA 10:134-44.
Wiseman, T. 1985. Catullus and His World. New York.
Wistrand, M. 1992. Entertainment and Violence in Ancient Rome. Göteborg.
Wright, F. 1931. Cicero and the Theater Smith College Classical Studies 11.
Wüst, E. 1949. "Pantomimus." RE 18.3:833-69.
This content is only available via PDF.