Iraq Banner Desktop

Store Banner Mobile

Primary tabs

Mary Naples

With an emphasis in Women’s Studies, Mary Naples earned an M.A. in Humanities from Dominican University of California in 2013. Her master’s thesis: “Demeter’s Daughter’s: How the Myth of the Captured Bride Helped Spur Feminine Consciousness in Ancient Greece,” examines how female participants found empowerment in a feminine fertility festival. Her deep love of the classical world is reflected in her writing which explores women’s narratives ranging from the ancient Greek and Roman worlds into the Byzantine era and even into ancient Israel and Judea. Having traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Mediterranean, perhaps it’s no surprise that Mary Naples’ favorite city is Naples, Italy. Its multi-layered antiquity, spectacular vistas to say nothing of its hallmark pizzas and warm Neapolitans, makes this a treasured destination point. After a career in high-tech, Mary lives in Sausalito with her husband and cat, Maddie. There she has a collection of books on the classical world and a garden with a Cretan-styled labyrinth. Because reading has always been a passion, she enjoys her work at the local library. When she is not working at the library or writing about the ancient world, Mary enjoys learning Italian and playing classical piano.

See more:


Member for
4 years 12 months
Opt-in to Ancient Origins Newsletter (AC): 


The Meeting of Antony and Cleopatra by Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema (1885) (Public Domain)

Cleopatra Selene, Serene Queen of Mauritania

The only child of Cleopatra and Marc Antony ’s to reach adulthood, Queen Cleopatra Selene (40 BC- 5 BC) of Mauretania was one of the most important women of the Augustan age— exceptional in and of...
Majestic Temple of Hera at Paestum ( Nido Huebl/ Abobe Stock)

Greek Goddesses’ Temples Grace Paestum On The Italian Tyrrhenian Sea

The ancient Greek city of Poseidonia, now Paestum , lies on the Italian coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Paestum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famed for its well-preserved ruins. In fact, posterity...
Iliad, Book VIII, lines 245–53, Greek manuscript, late fifth, early sixth centuries AD. (Public Domain)

The Iliad: Overlapping Mycenaean Bronze Age And Dark Age Allegories

Known as the “Age of Heroes,” the Mycenaean civilization (1600-1100 BC) was immortalized in the Homeric epics by such noteworthy characters as the imperious commander-in-chief “king of men” Agamemnon...

Homeric Hymn to Demeter Or The Thesmophoria – Which Came First?

Evoking early agrarian rituals which celebrated the primal mysteries of birth, death, and resurrection, the Homeric Hymn to Demeter has the distinction of being amongst humankind’s first literary...
Spartan woman with warrior in the background (serhiibobyk / Adobe Stock)

The Slaveholding City-State Of Sparta’s Liberated Women

On the face of it, Spartans might have felt right at home living under the iron fist of the Third Reich given that this city-state—more than any other in the Greek world—- sacrificed individuality on...
Amazonomachy - Annihilation Of The Amazons

Amazonomachy - Annihilation Of The Amazons

It was love at first sight when Achilles locked eyes with the famed Amazon warrior queen, Penthesilea . Romance, however, was the last thing on his mind. Alas, poor Penthesilea—Achilles would realize...
Mosaic of Theodora - Basilica of San Vitale, RAVENNA (built A.D. 547), Italy. UNESCO World heritage site. (Petar Milošević/ CC BY-SA 4.0)

Formidable Byzantine Roman Empress Theodora - Saint Or Sinner?

The hooded gaze of an inscrutable Theodora (c.497- 548 AD) greets hundreds of thousands of visitors each year as they pay their respects to her mosaic at the Basilica of Saint Vitale in Ravenna ,...
Fatally Disrupting The Thesmophoria: The Savagery Of Greece’s Citizen Wives

Fatally Disrupting The Thesmophoria: The Savagery Of Greece’s Citizen Wives

A dominant paradigm of ancient Greece was turned on its head when subjugated women were made autonomous by participating in a feminine fertility festival known as the Thesmophoria . Devoted to human...
Samson and Delilah (1887) by Jose Etxenagusia (Public Domain)

The Bible’s Bedeviling Bad Girls: Delilah, Jezebel And Salome

It should come as no surprise to most that the biblical writers were unfair to the gentler sex. After all, ever since Eve bit into the forbidden apple, the Good Book has been long obsessed with the...
The Eleusinian Mysteries: Demeter’s Secret And Sacred Rites

The Eleusinian Mysteries: Demeter’s Secret And Sacred Rites

Conjuring up mystical images of secret initiation rites held under cover of darkness, the Eleusinian Mysteries had a reputation as a dark and dangerous festival. In fact, it was surrounded by such an...
Ariadne in Naxos’ (1877) by Evelyn De Morgan. (Public Domain)

Loves Of The Lady Of The Labyrinth: Ariadne Powerful Minoan Goddess

In the Myth of the Minotaur , if not for the ministrations of the humble Princess Ariadne, Theseus —the Greek hero—would not have had a prayer. Although often portrayed as a mere maiden, truth be...
Fresco depicting an erotic scene, from the cubiculum of the villa of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, 1st century AD, Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Augustus’ Draconian Marriage Laws And The Banishment Of Julia Augusti

“ Let her be banished for life ,” Augustus (63 BC-14 AD) is recorded as saying about the harsh exile of his only biological child, Julia, to the barren and windswept penal island of Pandateria (...
The Mutilation of Uranus by Saturn: fresco by Giorgio Vasari and Cristofano Gherardi. (1560) Sala di Cosimo I, Palazzo Vecchio (Public Domain)

The Highest Altar: Human Sacrifice in Ancient Greece

In the Greek Peloponnese, high atop the summit on Arcadia’s Mount Lykaion (Wolf Mountain) lies an altar at one of the oldest and most revered of all primordial sanctuaries. Towering at nearly 5,000...
Thesmophoria by Francis Davis Millet, 1894-1897 (Public Domain)

Thesmophoria: Feminine Consciousness in Ancient Greece

In the most highly anticipated religious festival of the year, women came from far and wide to gather in their cities to celebrate the Thesmophoria, the oldest and most widespread of all ancient...
The island of Ischia seen from the sea, showing volcanic features. Colored etching by Pietro Fabris, (1776). (Wellcome Images/ Public Domain)

Pithekoussai: Ancient Greek Colony of Nestor’s Cup

Celebrated for its thermal springs and verdant landscapes, the volcanic island of Ischia, called Pithekoussai during its ancient Greek days —located in the Bay of Naples —harkens back to the...