William Sterling

Women in Etruria and Rome

Ancient Etruscan and Roman Women

Comparing and contrasting women in the societies of Ancient Etruria, Ancient Rome and Roman Britain including the importance of the worship of goddesses. Examining the position of women in Ancient Italy as well as the attitude to women as seen as goddesses. The contrasting roles of women in Etruscan and Roman women, for example how they attended feasts and the difference in class. The numerous female goddesses were examined and how their attributes reflected the view of men. Death and burial were also looked at and the magnificent Etruscan burial of Seianti was contrasted with the freedmen portraits of Roman women.

I ran this course at the City Lit and the British Museum in April 2010 and May 2015

For personal reasons I was unable to issue any handouts but promised something for the website.  The first document is a family tree of the Julio-Claudians where I have highlighted some of the important women.  It is sometimes stated that the Julio-Claudians died out with Nero in 68 AD but Augustus’s granddaughter Vipsania Julia Caesaris had five grandchildren one of whom, Junia Lepida, was the grandmother of the Empress Domitia Longina who had descendants probably to the middle of the C3rd including Antonia Gordiana, daughter, sister and mother of the three Emperors Gordian.  As Mark Antony’s mother was a Julian his descendants are also included and his descendants by his second wife Antonia Hybrida include Queen Pythodorida of Pontus, her daughter, Queen Antonia Tryphaena of Thrace, the rulers of Armenia, several Byzantine emperors from Basil I onwards and even some western rulers such as the Emperor Otto III.  Antony’s descendants by his last wife, Cleopatra, include the priest kings of Emesa and the dominant women of the Severan dynasty: Julia Domna, wife of Septimus and mother of Caracalla and Geta, her sister Julia Maesa, mother of Julia Soaemias, mother of Elagabalus, and Julia Avita Mamaea, mother of Severus Alexander.

Julio Claudian tree women highlighted