What's the meaning of "mistress" in the following sentence? Could you help me to explain it? Thanks.

They extolled the beauties of poverty and humility and meekness. These were not exactly the virtues which had made Rome the mistress of the world.

Jan 20, 2016 12:25 PM
Comments · 4

Not at all, Su.Ki.  It's interesting how we have all been conditioned to conjure up images and associations when we see certain words.


The glories and debauchery of Rome!  And mistress!  And the Vatican! And for some, memories of homoerotic masters in Latin classes at school.


It must be so nice to be innocent (again) and to ask innocent questions here.  Paradise (lost)!



January 20, 2016

It means the greatest power in the world. 'Mistress' is the feminine form of 'master', meaning 'boss'. When cities are personified, it is normal to use the feminine form.

January 20, 2016

Quite right, Ben. All she needs is high leather boots and a riding whip.


Sorry. Lowering the tone there.

January 20, 2016




January 20, 2016