Women of the Roman political elite did not lack power. Whilst they did not have access to the formal power structures of the state, they were able to tap into all the power resources available. They could handle an enormous power base from the means available to them within the private sphere. It was when a woman such as Fulvia attempted to cross the rigid but invisible boundary into the public sphere that source criticism was heaped upon her. Women could, and did, possess auctoritas, and using this with the other power resources available to them were able to manipulate the behaviour of the ruling group. Livia was the transitional woman. She was a powerful and formidable woman within her own right, and, with the aid of her husband Augustus, gave a public face to womanhood through her own, very public role. She was the First Lady of Rome, the princeps femina. It was the very public nature of this role, and the honours she held, that allowed the Imperial women following her to hold a far more public profile than that of her predecessors. She did not breach any barriers, but they may have become a little blurred. However, her power started and ended in the private sphere. It was her role that was public, but her activities that gave her power were firmly settled in the private sphere, and this did nothing to detract from the potency of the power that she possessed and wielded.