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Lecture 13

Lecture 13 Roman Women

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Glenn Wilkinson

Lecture 13 (October 11) Roman Women 1. continuation: Sulla’s dictatorship of 81 B.C., proscriptions, reforms, and death in 78 B.C. 2. wives a. marriage cum manu b. marriage sin manu c. the “Laudatio Turiae” 3. contraception and abortion – Soranus’ Gynecology 4. misogyny – Juvenal’s Sixth Satire Sulla - had himself declared dictator without term limit in 81 B.C. - instigated proscriptions - attempt to rebuild and re-establish the republic - in spite of his unusual actions he was one of the optimates - opposed the populism of Marius - reforms as dictator were very old-fashioned - four key reforms • traditional senate number of 300 men, then doubled to 600  replenished the senate with equestrian class – were promoted  increased the number of offices  number of quaestorships increased to 20 • introduced old rules to prevent senators from holding too many offices • stripped the tribunate of its power – tribune of the plebs – removed the right of veto, and prevented tribunes from seeking further political office  attempt to block the main weapon used by populist politics • removed the grain subsidy introduced by Gaius Gracchus - relinquished the dictatorship in the year 81 B.C. – reinstated normal election process - took consulship in the year 80 B.C. - then retired to estate and died of natural causes a few years later Marriage - marriage cum manu – dominant form of marriage in early period • form of marriage in which the potestas of a woman from father to husband • legal status of wife was like that of a daughter –could not own property, could not initiate a divorce • if husband died – he would be released from his manus and receive a portion of his property rd - from 3 century B.C. onwards – marriage sine manu • woman was still part of her father’s potestas – not transferred to husband • if father died or emancipated daughter – she was the legal owner of her property • if married without manus, her husband couldn’t touch it • woman could initiate a divorce – very simple,
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