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For a long time, women were not allowed to appear in theatrical performances, and women played men’s roles. The only exception was a group of mimes, among whom you could meet women. One of the most famous mimics was a Volumnia, a liberator of Publius Volumnius Eutrapelus, who took the name Cytheris in honor of Aphrodite from Cytheris.

She was the mistress of the Mark Antony’s brand , with whom she was to ride around Rome in a chariot drawn by lions, which Cicero reminisced with indignation. Then she also became involved with Marcus Junius Brutus and others. Roman poets such as Gallus, Horace, Virgil, Propertius, Ovid and Martial. She appears in the literature as Lycoris.

  • Alison Keith, Lycoris Galli/Volumnia Cytheris: a Greek Courtesan in Rome

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