THE FIVEASH LEGACY LECTURE: Manly Women: Power in the Roman Republic

While virtually no authentic voices of Roman women survive, their importance in social, political, and economic spheres can be inferred from surviving literature and inscriptions. They must always have had influence, but it is in the late Republic that their power first becomes patent. Under the emperors, Rome would remain the preserve of the imperial family, but opportunities for status outside of the city grew exponentially for both men and women who had the means and the desire to secure it. Who were these women who stepped beyond the ‘traditional’ boundaries of feminine behavior? What evidence of their influence did they leave behind? What was their importance in the changed political landscape of the Empire?

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