Inventing the "First Lady" role : the Empress Livia and the public sphere

Woodcock, Ina (1998). Inventing the "First Lady" role : the Empress Livia and the public sphere PhD Thesis, School of History, Philosophy, Religion & Classics, The University of Queensland.

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Author Woodcock, Ina
Thesis Title Inventing the "First Lady" role : the Empress Livia and the public sphere
School, Centre or Institute School of History, Philosophy, Religion & Classics
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1998
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor N/A
Total pages 252
Collection year 1998
Language eng
Subjects 2103 Historical Studies
Formatted abstract
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.
Keyword Women -- Political activity -- Rome

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (RHD) - UQ staff and students only
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Created: Sat, 14 Dec 2013, 15:55:50 EST by Mr Lachlan Wong on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service