List of Roman women

The list below includes Roman women who were notable for their family connections, or their sons or husbands, or their own actions. In the earlier periods, women came to the attention of (later) historians either as poisoners of their husbands (a very few cases), or as wives, daughters, and mothers of great men such as Scipio Africanus. In later periods, women exercised or tried to exercise political power either through their husbands (as did Fulvia and Livia Drusilla) or political intrigues (as did Clodia and Servilia), or directly (as did Agrippina the younger and later Roman empresses).

Distinguished women of the Middle Republic

  • Aemilia Tertia (3rd century BC-2nd century BC), wife of Scipio Africanus Major and mother of Cornelia Africana (see below), noted for the unusual freedom given her by her husband, her enjoyment of luxuries, and her influence as role model for elite Roman women after the Second Punic War. Her date of birth, marriage, and death are all unknown. Her husband's birth and death dates are also not known precisely, but approximated.
  • Cornelia Africana (2nd century BC), virtually deified by Roman women as a model of feminine virtues and Stoicism, but never officially deified. The first Roman woman, whose approximate birth year and whose year of death is known, thanks to a law she had passed to allow her granddaughter to inherit.
  • Licinia, the name of the women of the gens Licinius. Notable members include
    • Licinia, a woman killed by her relatives in 142 BC for murdering her husband;
  • Murcia, the name of the women of the gens Murcius.
    • Licia, a woman killed by her relatives in 142 BC for murdering her husband. Both Licinania and Murcia appealed for a trial, and before they could come to trial, they were tried by their relatives and executed. This was a major scandal in the censorship of Lucius Mummius Achaius and Scipio Aemilianus.
  • Pomponia (mother of Scipio) (2nd century BC), daughter, niece, wife, and mother of consuls; born a plebeian noblewoman but married to a patrician. Mother of Scipio Africanus Major and Scipio Asiaticus. She was reportedly very religious and devout, but nothing else is known of her including the year of her marriage or death.
  • Publilia (1st century BC), the name of a woman of the gens Publilius. She was killed in 154 BC for poisoning her husband, the consul of the preceding year.

Distinguished women of the Julio-Claudian House

Distinguished women of the Western Roman Empire

See also

Lists of women

This is an index of lists about women.

Lucilla

Annia Aurelia Galeria Lucilla or Lucilla (March 7, 148 or 150 – 182) was the second daughter and third child of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius and Roman Empress Faustina the Younger. She was the wife of her father's co-ruler Lucius Verus and an elder sister to later Emperor Commodus. Commodus ordered Lucilla's execution after a failed assassination and coup attempt when she was about 33 years old.

Women in ancient Rome

Freeborn women in ancient Rome were citizens (cives), but could not vote or hold political office. Because of their limited public role, women are named less frequently than men by Roman historians. But while Roman women held no direct political power, those from wealthy or powerful families could and did exert influence through private negotiations. Exceptional women who left an undeniable mark on history range from Lucretia and Claudia Quinta, whose stories took on mythic significance; fierce Republican-era women such as Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi, and Fulvia, who commanded an army and issued coins bearing her image; women of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, most prominently Livia (58 BC-AD 29), who contributed to the formation of Imperial mores; and the empress Helena (c.250–330 AD), a driving force in promoting Christianity.As is the case with male members of society, elite women and their politically significant deeds eclipse those of lower status in the historical record. Inscriptions and especially epitaphs document the names of a wide range of women throughout the Roman Empire, but often tell little else about them. Some vivid snapshots of daily life are preserved in Latin literary genres such as comedy, satire, and poetry, particularly the poems of Catullus and Ovid, which offer glimpses of women in Roman dining rooms and boudoirs, at sporting and theatrical events, shopping, putting on makeup, practicing magic, worrying about pregnancy — all, however, through male eyes. The published letters of Cicero, for instance, reveal informally how the self-proclaimed great man interacted on the domestic front with his wife Terentia and daughter Tullia, as his speeches demonstrate through disparagement the various ways Roman women could enjoy a free-spirited sexual and social life.The one major public role reserved solely for women was in the sphere of religion: the priestly office of the Vestals. Forbidden from marriage or sex for a period of thirty years, the Vestals devoted themselves to the study and correct observance of rituals which were deemed necessary for the security and survival of Rome but which could not be performed by the male colleges of priests.

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