Sarcophagus fragment
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Fragment of a marble Sarcophagus
ca. 230-240 ACE
Duke Museum of Art


  1. Boatwright, MT. The Imperial Women of Rome: Power, Gender, Example, Context.  Oxford University Press,  404 pages.

    This book explores the constraints and opportunities of the women in the Roman emperor’s family from 35 BCE, when Octavia and Livia received unprecedented privileges from the state, to 235 CE, when Julia Mamaea was assassinated with her son Severus Alexander. Historical vignettes feature Agrippina the Younger, Domitia Longina, and some others as the book analyzes the history of Rome’s most eminent women in legal, religious, military, and other key settings of the principate. It also examines the women’s exemplarity through imaging as well as their presence in the city of Rome and in the empire. Evidence comes from coins, inscriptions, papyri, sculpture, and law codes as well as ancient authors. Numerous illustrations, maps, genealogical trees, and detailed tables and appendices complement the text. The whole reveals imperial women’s fluctuating but persistent marginalization and lack of agency despite their potential, even as it elucidates Rome’s imperial power, legal system, family ideology, religion and imperial cult, court, capital city, and military customs.