n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - The familiar other : the pivotal role of women in Livy's narrative of political development in early Rome

Volume 41, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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This paper sets out to examine Livy's presentation of women as important factors in early Roman political development. After a general discussion of issues involved, it will first give a rapid survey of all references to Roman women in the first six books of his story of Rome from its beginnings. It will then briefly discuss the view of Roman prejudices about women that may be deduced from the known popularity of the work and will try to assess the degree to which Livy and his readership considered women to be part of the Roman socio-political fabric, that is, to what degree women were presented by him, and accepted by his readers, as 'insiders', as an essential part of Roman culture, as 'the familiar Other'.

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