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Title: Ottavia la prima ‘First Lady of Imperial Rome’
Authors: Valentini, Alessandra
Issue Date: 28-Jun-2016
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Alessandra Valentini, "Ottavia la prima ‘First Lady of Imperial Rome’" in: Francesca Cenerini e Francesca Rohr Vio (a cura di), "Matronae in domo et in re publica agentes - spazi e occasioni dell'azione femminile nel mondo romano tra tarda repubblica e primo impero", Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2016, pp. 239-255
Series/Report no.: Polymnia. Collana di Scienze dell'Antichità. Studi di Storia romana
A.A. Barret, in his book of 2002, describes Livia as the ‘First Lady of Imperial
Rome’, in order to illustrate the exceptional nature of the role played by the wife of
Augustus within the new political and social context of the empire, suggesting that she
was the first woman to assume this role. Augustus’ choices concerning the wife reveal
his will to gradually ensure for Livia a prominent position within the new political reality
and to strengthen the public role of women of his gens in the new political con-text.
For her role as mother of Augustus’ heir and for her longevity, she benefited from this
experimentation, however ancient evidences show that the main subject of this process
was Octavia Minor, sister of Augustus. Through the analysis of some specific aspects of
her action (the role as mediator and as patron, the matrimonial strategies concerning
her children, the active role in the urban development of Rome) this paper tries to
show how the role of first ‘First Lady’ can be given to her.
Type: Article
ISBN: 978-88-8303-753-5
eISBN: 978-88-8303-754-2
Appears in Collections:05. Matronae in domo et in re publica agentes

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