Ancient Roman Women's Influence On Politics

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ANCIENT ROMAN WOMEN Roman aristocratic women influenced politics, but they could not serve as magistrates, senators, or military commanders. During the empire, the wives of emperors began to wield more power than women had ever held before. Livia, the wife of Augustus, advised her husband for 51 years of marriage before living her last 15 years under the rule of her son, Tiberius. She was deeply devoted to her husband and family and only appeared in public to display the virtues of a Roman matron, which included chastity, modesty, frugality, loyalty, and dignity. Behind the scenes, Livia and Augustus were extremely close, and she played a part in his important decisions, although some sources unfairly portray her as the…show more content…
Poor families sometimes abandoned infant daughters in the countryside to avoid paying dowries, the gifts traditionally given by a girl's parents to her husband's family. The practice of allowing baby girls to die, called female infanticide, continued down to the Christian era and had an impact on the size of the female population. Childbearing was dangerous. Tombstones show that the life expectancy of women was 34 years as contrasted with 46 years for men because women often died in childbirth. Some male writers attacked imperial women's education, political power, and sexuality. Roman women did have one kind of real power - the wealth that came from their right to own and inherit property. Despite this wealth and prestige, no Roman woman actually ruled the empire in her own name, although some other countries did have women rulers: Egyptian queen Cleopatra, Queen Boudicca of the Britons, and Zenobia, who reigned over Palmyra in Syria. In Rome, men held political power and women could only exercise indirect power. IMPORTANT ROMAN WOMAN IN HISTORY…show more content…
Our best primary sources, Tacitus and Suetonius are dead. The Historia Augusta is not known for its accuracy, being a collection of gossip and fanciful tales. Pliny the Younger sheds some light on this period, and Dio Cassius does not appear until the reign of Commodus. What we know about the two Faustinas, Elder and Younger, must be pieced together from monumental inscriptions, legends on coins, and the few cases in which writers actually describe events of their lives. Faustina the Elder was loved very much by her husband, the emperor Antoninus Pius. They lived happily together during one of the most peaceful and prosperous periods of Roman history. The empire had reached its greatest extent under Trajan in the early Second Century but Hadrian found it more expedient to give up all territory across the Danube for the sake of a strong, defensible frontier. During the next sixty years the empire enjoyed the economic prosperity that is one of the benefits of a powerful and stable
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