During the time of the Roman Empire women were not allowed to play any
part in the political life of the empire. However women were still
able to influence powerful men and manipulate them to use their power
for the wants of woman. The most powerful woman in the roman society
was either the wife of a principate or the mother of one. Examples of
influential woman in the imperial family include Livia Drusilla, Julia
Agrippina and Octivia.
The only woman that seemed to have a stable position with both power
and security was the wife of the emperor. For example the Livia
Drusilla (58 BC-29 AD), an influential consort of Augustus, who was
depicted in imperial propaganda as the embodiment of womanliness and
dedication, while her enemies believed her to be a ruthless seeker of
power. Through the example of Livia it can be seen how influential a
wife of a powerful man can be. Augustus married her when she was very
young taking her away from her first husband Tiberius Nero. From then
on, Augustus’ affection was fixed on her. They stayed together till
the end, despite certain insecurity from not giving Augustus an heir.
Livia was the most powerful woman of her time and Augustus appeared to
have taken most of her advice.
She sometimes accompanied him from Rome and always served as a trusted
confidante and advisor. When a beloved great grandson of Augustus’
died (a son of Germanicus’), she saw to it that the child’s statue was
placed in his private quarters, demonstrating power she did contain.
However modestly she presented herself, Livia's life was showcased by
Augustus from the first ...
... middle of paper ...
1. Author: Bartman, Elizabeth.
Title: Portraits of Livia : imaging the imperial woman in Augustan Rome /
Publisher: New York : Cambridge University Press, 1998.
2. Author: Barrett, Anthony, 1941-
Title: Livia : first lady of Imperial Rome / Anthony A. Barrett.
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, c2002.
Author: Wood, Susan (Susan Elliott), 1951-
Title: Imperial women : a study in public images, 40 B.C.-A.D. 68 / by Susan
Publisher: Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 1999.
Author: Barrett, Anthony A.
Title: Agrippina : mother of Nero / Anthony A. Barrett.
Publisher: London : Batsford, 1996.
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