He was also a historian and wrote Latin prose. Their attempts to amass power as Populares were opposed by the Optimates within the Roman Senate , among them Cato the Younger with the frequent support of Cicero. During this time, Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both the English Channel and the Rhine River , when he built a bridge across the Rhine and crossed the Channel to invade Britain. Caesar's wars extended Rome's territory to Britain and past Gaul. With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome.
Pompey managed to escape before Caesar could capture him. This Day In History. Apart from Wife mouth full a husband to three different women, Caesar had a long-term mistress, Servilia. Caesar turned around caesrs and caught Casca by the arm. The playwright may have been making metaphorical use of a passage in Plutarch that does not refer to deafness at all, but rather to a gesture Alexander of Macedon customarily made. The first stereotype is that of a good virtuous Roman wife, who is loyal to her husband, but when her husband or son died, she continues to caeswrs for her loved ones to the end of her life, never to get over her own grief. Also, while the digression into the roots of Arianism and how it might have affected various empresses relations with each other was probably necessary, it really went on too long. He went on a mission to Bithynia to secure the assistance Names of caesars wives King Nicomedes 's fleet, but he spent so long at Nicomedes' court that wkves arose of an affair with the king, which Caesar vehemently denied for the rest Names of caesars wives his life. Soon after, he sought revenge against his former captors by commandeering a group of ships and men to help him hunt down and swiftly capture the buccaneers, who he then had executed. Namees Cethegus BC : P.
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It was a joy to read. Other than students of history, one may not know this answer. I found it well written, informative and interesting. Annie's complaint rears its head that surely she didn't connive at Crispus' death, the unfairness and constancy of the wicked stepmother trope Overall, this book is full of treachery, betrayal, danger, scandal, passion, and intrigue. In 53 BC Crassus was killed leading a failed invasion of the east. Both Plutarch and Suetonius say that Caesar waved him away, but Cimber Names of caesars wives his shoulders and pulled down Caesar's tunic. Caesar held both the dictatorship and the tribunatebut alternated between the consulship and the proconsulship. Upon crossing the RubiconCaesar, according Alyssa milano nearly nude Plutarch oc Suetonius, is supposed to have quoted the Athenian playwright Menanderin Greek, " the die is cast ". Velleius Paterculus Roman History Julius Caesar ceasars the first historical Roman to be officially deified. Reading Names of caesars wives Caesara reign through the lens of Agrippina Minor is a nice twist, and I loved the inclusion of Caligula's crazy wife and his apparently crazy daughter. Latin and Nakes, cross-linked: the English translation by J. Unfortunately, he did not take her dream seriously.
Gaius Julius Caesar arrived in the world on July 13, B.
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He was also a historian and wrote Latin prose. Their attempts to amass power as Populares were opposed by the Optimates within the Roman Senate , among them Cato the Younger with the frequent support of Cicero.
During this time, Caesar became the first Roman general to cross both the English Channel and the Rhine River , when he built a bridge across the Rhine and crossed the Channel to invade Britain. Caesar's wars extended Rome's territory to Britain and past Gaul. With the Gallic Wars concluded, the Senate ordered Caesar to step down from his military command and return to Rome. Leaving his command in Gaul meant losing his immunity from being charged as a criminal for waging unsanctioned wars.
After assuming control of government, Caesar began a program of social and governmental reforms, including the creation of the Julian calendar. He gave citizenship to many residents of far regions of the Roman Empire.
He initiated land reform and support for veterans. He centralized the bureaucracy of the Republic and was eventually proclaimed " dictator for life " Latin: " dictator perpetuo " , giving him additional authority. His populist and authoritarian reforms angered the elites, who began to conspire against him. Caesar's adopted heir Octavian, later known as Augustus , rose to sole power after defeating his opponents in the civil war.
Octavian set about solidifying his power, and the era of the Roman Empire began. Much of Caesar's life is known from his own accounts of his military campaigns and from other contemporary sources, mainly the letters and speeches of Cicero and the historical writings of Sallust. The later biographies of Caesar by Suetonius and Plutarch are also major sources. Caesar is considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history.
He has frequently appeared in literary and artistic works , and his political philosophy, known as Caesarism , inspired politicians into the modern era.
Gaius Julius Caesar was born into a patrician family, the gens Julia , which claimed descent from Iulus , son of the legendary Trojan prince Aeneas , supposedly the son of the goddess Venus. They were granted patrician status, along with other noble Alban families. Despite their ancient pedigree, the Julii Caesares were not especially politically influential, although they had enjoyed some revival of their political fortunes in the early 1st century BC.
Little is recorded of Caesar's childhood. In 85 BC, Caesar's father died suddenly,  so Caesar was the head of the family at His coming of age coincided with a civil war between his uncle Gaius Marius and his rival Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Both sides carried out bloody purges of their political opponents whenever they were in the ascendancy. Marius and his ally Lucius Cornelius Cinna were in control of the city when Caesar was nominated as the new Flamen Dialis high priest of Jupiter ,  and he was married to Cinna's daughter Cornelia.
Following Sulla's final victory, though, Caesar's connections to the old regime made him a target for the new one. He was stripped of his inheritance, his wife's dowry, and his priesthood, but he refused to divorce Cornelia and was forced to go into hiding.
Sulla gave in reluctantly and is said to have declared that he saw many a Marius in Caesar. Caesar felt that it would be much safer far away from Sulla should the Dictator change his mind, so he left Rome and joined the army, serving under Marcus Minucius Thermus in Asia and Servilius Isauricus in Cilicia. He served with distinction, winning the Civic Crown for his part in the Siege of Mytilene.
He went on a mission to Bithynia to secure the assistance of King Nicomedes 's fleet, but he spent so long at Nicomedes' court that rumours arose of an affair with the king, which Caesar vehemently denied for the rest of his life. He lacked means since his inheritance was confiscated, but he acquired a modest house in Subura , a lower-class neighbourhood of Rome. On the way across the Aegean Sea ,  Caesar was kidnapped by pirates and held prisoner.
The pirates demanded a ransom of 20 talents of silver, but he insisted that they ask for He had them crucified on his own authority, as he had promised while in captivity  —a promise that the pirates had taken as a joke. As a sign of leniency, he first had their throats cut. He was soon called back into military action in Asia, raising a band of auxiliaries to repel an incursion from the east.
On his return to Rome, he was elected military tribune , a first step in a political career. He was elected quaestor for 69 BC,  and during that year he delivered the funeral oration for his aunt Julia , and included images of her husband Marius in the funeral procession, unseen since the days of Sulla.
His wife Cornelia also died that year. On his return in 67 BC,  he married Pompeia , a granddaughter of Sulla, whom he later divorced in 61 BC after her embroilment in the Bona Dea scandal. In 63 BC, he ran for election to the post of Pontifex Maximus , chief priest of the Roman state religion.
He ran against two powerful senators. Accusations of bribery were made by all sides. Caesar won comfortably, despite his opponents' greater experience and standing. After serving as praetor in 62 BC, Caesar was appointed to govern Hispania Ulterior the western part of the Iberian Peninsula as propraetor ,    though some sources suggest that he held proconsular powers.
He turned to Marcus Licinius Crassus , one of Rome's richest men. Crassus paid some of Caesar's debts and acted as guarantor for others, in return for political support in his opposition to the interests of Pompey. Even so, to avoid becoming a private citizen and thus open to prosecution for his debts, Caesar left for his province before his praetorship had ended.
In Spain, he conquered two local tribes and was hailed as imperator by his troops; he reformed the law regarding debts, and completed his governorship in high esteem. In the Roman Republic, this was an honorary title assumed by certain military commanders.
After an especially great victory, army troops in the field would proclaim their commander imperator , an acclamation necessary for a general to apply to the Senate for a triumph.
If he were to celebrate a triumph, he would have to remain a soldier and stay outside the city until the ceremony, but to stand for election he would need to lay down his command and enter Rome as a private citizen. He could not do both in the time available. He asked the senate for permission to stand in absentia , but Cato blocked the proposal. Faced with the choice between a triumph and the consulship, Caesar chose the consulship.
The election was sordid — even Cato , with his reputation for incorruptibility, is said to have resorted to bribery in favour of one of Caesar's opponents. Caesar won, along with conservative Marcus Bibulus. Caesar was already in Crassus ' political debt, but he also made overtures to Pompey. Pompey and Crassus had been at odds for a decade, so Caesar tried to reconcile them. The three of them had enough money and political influence to control public business.
This informal alliance, known as the First Triumvirate "rule of three men" , was cemented by the marriage of Pompey to Caesar's daughter Julia. Caesar proposed a law for redistributing public lands to the poor—by force of arms, if need be—a proposal supported by Pompey and by Crassus, making the triumvirate public. Pompey filled the city with soldiers, a move which intimidated the triumvirate's opponents.
Bibulus attempted to declare the omens unfavourable and thus void the new law, but he was driven from the forum by Caesar's armed supporters. His lictors had their fasces broken, two high magistrates accompanying him were wounded, and he had a bucket of excrement thrown over him. In fear of his life, he retired to his house for the rest of the year, issuing occasional proclamations of bad omens.
These attempts proved ineffective in obstructing Caesar's legislation. Roman satirists ever after referred to the year as "the consulship of Julius and Caesar. When Caesar was first elected, the aristocracy tried to limit his future power by allotting the woods and pastures of Italy, rather than the governorship of a province, as his military command duty after his year in office was over. The term of his governorship, and thus his immunity from prosecution, was set at five years, rather than the usual one.
Caesar was still deeply in debt, but there was money to be made as a governor, whether by extortion  or by military adventurism. Caesar had four legions under his command, two of his provinces bordered on unconquered territory, and parts of Gaul were known to be unstable.
Some of Rome's Gallic allies had been defeated by their rivals at the Battle of Magetobriga , with the help of a contingent of Germanic tribes. The Romans feared these tribes were preparing to migrate south, closer to Italy, and that they had warlike intent.
Caesar raised two new legions and defeated these tribes. In response to Caesar's earlier activities, the tribes in the north-east began to arm themselves. Caesar treated this as an aggressive move and, after an inconclusive engagement against the united tribes, he conquered the tribes piecemeal.
Meanwhile, one of his legions began the conquest of the tribes in the far north, directly opposite Britain. The Lucca Conference renewed the First Triumvirate and extended Caesar's governorship for another five years.
In 55 BC, Caesar repelled an incursion into Gaul by two Germanic tribes, and followed it up by building a bridge across the Rhine and making a show of force in Germanic territory, before returning and dismantling the bridge. Late that summer, having subdued two other tribes, he crossed into Britain , claiming that the Britons had aided one of his enemies the previous year, possibly the Veneti of Brittany.
He advanced inland, and established a few alliances. However, poor harvests led to widespread revolt in Gaul, which forced Caesar to leave Britain for the last time. While Caesar was in Britain his daughter Julia, Pompey's wife, had died in childbirth.
Caesar tried to re-secure Pompey's support by offering him his great-niece in marriage, but Pompey declined. In 53 BC Crassus was killed leading a failed invasion of the east. Rome was on the brink of civil war. Pompey was appointed sole consul as an emergency measure, and married the daughter of a political opponent of Caesar. The Triumvirate was dead. Though the Gallic tribes were just as strong as the Romans militarily, the internal division among the Gauls guaranteed an easy victory for Caesar.
Vercingetorix 's attempt in 52 BC to unite them against Roman invasion came too late. In 50 BC, the Senate led by Pompey ordered Caesar to disband his army and return to Rome because his term as governor had finished. Pompey accused Caesar of insubordination and treason. Upon crossing the Rubicon , Caesar, according to Plutarch and Suetonius, is supposed to have quoted the Athenian playwright Menander , in Greek, " the die is cast ".
Pompey, despite greatly outnumbering Caesar, who only had his Thirteenth Legion with him, did not intend to fight. Caesar pursued Pompey, hoping to capture Pompey before his legions could escape. Pompey managed to escape before Caesar could capture him. After an astonishing day route-march, Caesar defeated Pompey's lieutenants, then returned east, to challenge Pompey in Illyria, where, in July 48 BC in the battle of Dyrrhachium , Caesar barely avoided a catastrophic defeat.
Domitius Ahenobarbus 89 BC : Q. It demonstrates how history can be completely reinterpreted by a supposed expert into a canvas to serve modern agendas and viewpoints that are completely at odds with reality. It was not often that Caesar was prepared to sacrifice his career for a personal relationship, but he refused to leave Cornelia and did not care about the consequences. She lives in Cambridge, where she teaches Latin to middle-school children. Cell Press.
Names of caesars wives. Report Abuse
The names of Julius Caesar's Asked in Julius Caesar What were Julius caesars siblings names? Asked in Julius Caesar Who were Julius caesars parents? Gaius Julius Caesar and Aurelia Cotta. Julius Caesars' full name was Gaius Julius Caesar.. Asked in Julius Caesar Who is calphurnia? Gaius Julius Caesar mother Aurelia.
Julius taking power Save. He was Julius Caesars nephew and killed Julius Caesar with a knife. The name of Julius Caesar's daughter is Julia Caesar. Asked in Julius Caesar How big is Julius caesars army? Julius Ceasar had an army with over 50, men. Julius ceasar had an army with over 50, men. All of them. Afterall they lived over 2, years ago. Okay, I had to get the joke in. Only one of Julius Caesar's wives died and left him a widower.
That was his first wife, Cornelia. He divorced his second wife and his third wife outlived him. His mother was Aurelia Cotta. And Agrippina's connivance is completely understandable, since she wanted her son Nero to be Emperor, and she could not have connived at the death of Claudius, whose family was long-lived when not murdered because surely all the sources lie The next one would is an irritating display of Afro-centric historic revisionism.
The author chooses to claim that due to old Lucius having darker skin in the famous Severan Tondo, he was the first black Roman Emperor. She also attempts to complain that the Emperor's marble statue was a falsehood to conceal his blackness She even mentions that the statues were painted once upon a time when discussing female sculptures, but conveniently forgets it for her imbecilic ahistorical Afro-centric revisionist black Emperor inanity.
Have I mentioned the author is white? Next up is Fausta, wife of Constantine the Great. Her stepson Crispus was executed on the Emperor's orders, but at Fausta's instigation. The sources generally agree she was set against him and used allegations of sexual impropriety to cause his death. Constantine, however, had her executed shortly afterwards. Annie's complaint rears its head that surely she didn't connive at Crispus' death, the unfairness and constancy of the wicked stepmother trope The author is quite happy to proclaim a half-barbarian de facto usurper, dressed in barbarian clothes and oppressing the poor, hapless, incompetent Emperor Honorius TL;DR: Reading Caesars' Wives was an eye-opening experience, as it was published in , long before the post-modern craze we see everywhere in media today.
It demonstrates how history can be completely reinterpreted by a supposed expert into a canvas to serve modern agendas and viewpoints that are completely at odds with reality. I strongly recommend that wherever possible, members of KiA look for the original sources or only rely on established authorities who predate the modern lot of historians.
Revision is important when it aligns with known facts, not when it goes off into Annie's Complaint. This was, despite the blurb on the cover of my edition, mainly a scholarly work aimed at a scholarly audience, and Freisenbruch seems to have written it with that audience firmly in mind.
It was interesting to see the return of some of the same tired old excuses for vilification of women over the course of roughly years as well. Clearly, incest never gets less titillating. The thing that struck me about this throughout the course of Freisenbruch's chronology is just how much strong women seem to scare men.
You need only look to the receptions of Agrippinna the Younger, Pulcheria, or even Livia herself to see this happen again and again. Also, while the digression into the roots of Arianism and how it might have affected various empresses relations with each other was probably necessary, it really went on too long. The founding beliefs of the church likewise do not interest me at all despite their far-reaching implications. Freisenbruch manages to pull of writing a serious, scholarly work about a subject for which there are fewer sources than one might like admirably.
I thoroughly enjoyed this. View 1 comment. The limitations of the book, particularly the early chapter are the limitations of historical evidence. So little was recorded about the early 'first ladies' that it's hard to write much history about them.
It's a good read, a different angle on Roman history and interesting on the way the various leading women were demonised, accused of the same depravity, excesses and inces The limitations of the book, particularly the early chapter are the limitations of historical evidence.
It's a good read, a different angle on Roman history and interesting on the way the various leading women were demonised, accused of the same depravity, excesses and incest as their predecessors.
Yet in the very valid debunking of the myths around Livia, Messaline Aggrappina et al, I couldn't help feeling a bit saddened that they weren't the wild and outrageous characters we've been lead to believe. I enjoyed this but I'm really glad I did a unit of Roman history in uni because it was hard and had some assumed knowledge.
Part of this book were truly excellent, other parts could have done with some editing. Very thorough and well researched, and a different look at the usual Roman history. Nope, it was a dry, digressive, disappointingly male-focused mess with a very abrupt ending. First there is the actual way this book is written. The writing is dry, repetitive, often surprisingly shallow, and moves at the slowest pace. Content-wise, it is just as meandering and unfocused. She goes off on so many tangents and vaguely-related expositions that, while definitely interesting in their own right, completely overwhelm the main narrative thread.
I know Freisenburch has to give some political background to sketch the general context these women moved in, especially if she wanted this book to function as a general introduction to these figures as well, but it just got excessive.
Aug 27, Lauralee rated it really liked it Recommends it for: History Lovers. Shelves: age-of-antiquity , royalty , biographies , italy. The Roman Empire was one of the darkest and notorious eras in history. The emperors are known to be ruthless killers with an unquenchable lust for blood and gore.
They are known for having gladiatorial games, persecuting Christians, and some are even known for burning down the city of Rome so that they can take the credit for "rebuilding" Rome. In Freisenbruch's novel, she recounts the Roman empire from the perspective of the lives of the Roman Empresses.
The classical Roman sources The Roman Empire was one of the darkest and notorious eras in history. The classical Roman sources written by men and are biased against women have stereotyped Roman women into two categories. The first stereotype is that of a good virtuous Roman wife, who is loyal to her husband, but when her husband or son died, she continues to mourn for her loved ones to the end of her life, never to get over her own grief.
The second type of woman is a power-hungry schemer who carries poison and uses sex and murder as a means to attain their own ambition and power. In Freisenbruch's novel, these women who were considered masculine, for instance being in the army frontlines of a battle and having power and influence over their husbands and sons were seen as an offense to Roman men.
Many were attacked and accused of crimes of sexuality just so they could be rid of. These accused women were sent into exile where were brutally beaten and died of starvation. Freisenbruch's second half of the novel focuses on the less violent reign of the Christian emperors.
It starts with Helena, the mother of Constantine the first Christian emperor. Helena started the tradition of the empresses to go on a holy pilgrimage to Jerusalem and founded the true cross. Her successors have donated money to the Church, and three sisters of a Christian emperor decided to devote their life to God by being virgins and living a monastic life, though one of the sisters was forced to get married in order to help ensure the dynastic survival but still kept her vow to God having her marriage remain unconsummated.
The author gives a detail about how the Christian era had given women the freedom that had once been denied to them, and we can see why Christianity had appealed to them, and why some men criticized the Christian religion.
The Emperors of Rome, with the exception of Marcus Aurelius and the Christian emperors, are portrayed in a negative light. Some are portrayed as weak, allowing their wives and mothers to have power and influence. Some have even committed fratricide.
Others, like Nero, have ruthlessly killed their mothers, who had raised them and help them become emperors, just so they could marry a beautiful woman. Overall, this book is full of treachery, betrayal, danger, scandal, passion, and intrigue. We get to know the women that have been shrouded by the emperors.
However, I would suggest to anyone interested in this book that before they read it, they should have some prior knowledge of the history of the early Roman empire, or watch an episode of HBO's Rome or BBC's I, Claudius, for the author has mentioned these two tv shows frequently, and the way her book is written it is assumed that the reader is meant to have some knowledge of Roman history. Of course, as Annelise Freisenbruch ably demonstrates, very few of the Caesars' wives or sisters or mothers managed to escape reproach, whether fairly or unfairly.
Their positions at the very heart of power in imperial Rome held them up to great scrutiny and even greater expectations - the woman of the imperial family were expected to be figureheads, exemplars of Roman matronly dignity, chastity and soberness. It was probably a st 'Caesar's wife must be above reproach', as the old saying goes. It was probably a standard few women short of saints could live up to, and when they fell from grace they fell hard. The tale of the Roman Empire is characteristically told through the story of its Caesars, so it is beyond refreshing to read its history from the point of view of its women.
There are some real characters in this story, which stretches from the murder of Julius Caesar in 44 BC all the way down the centuries to the collapse of the western Roman Empire in the mid-fifth century. Names such as Julia, Augustus' wild and wilful daughter; Livia, his wife who set the standard for all the empresses to come; Agrippina, accused of forcefully assisting her husband Claudius to his posthumous deification as a god; St Helena, mother of Constantine, the man who converted the Empire to Christianity.
The response of the Romans to their Augustae, as they were known, demonstrates the changing patterns and currents of political thought in Rome. Behaviour condemned as abhorrent in their empresses in the early years of the Empire, such as participating in political debate or accompanying their husband on military campaigns, would be accepted as standard years later.
Women began to be represented on the currency in their own right, and as the bloodlines of Caesars failed and adoption became the standard method of succession, it was often links to the female members of the imperial family that could confer the laurel wreath of power on the potential successors jostling for position. But there was always concern and tension about the role of women in imperial life, as demonstrated by the frequency of the accusations of adultery, murder and incest that were used against them.
This book also serves as a good overview of the five centuries of imperial Rome, moving from one political dynasty to another, with, as mentioned, the women often serving as the links between one dynasty and the next.
And it is surprising just how relevant much of this material feels, even today - the role and behaviour of a politician's spouse is just as much a live issue today as it was during the height of the Roman Empire, albeit with thankfully fewer accusations of incest and murder. This is the first book I have read by this author. It was brought up as a suggestion on goodreads as I've read books dealing with similar themes and materials such as Matthew Dennisons' Empress of Rome and Judith Herrins' Women in Purple, both incidentally worthwhile reads.
The breadth of history being covered spans the La This is the first book I have read by this author. So, no mean undertaking by any means. Despite this the book is exceedingly thorough surveying the leading female figures of Romes first dynasty the Julio-Claudians right through to that of Constantines.
As the Grand Narrative of Roman history tends to focus on the stories of 'great male figures' this problem being particularly acute in the study of the Julio-Claudian women when there was still debate as to whether women should have any role in public life bar those traditionally ascribed as appropriate to them by the state.
Frisenbruch's style is accessible and pleasant to read this going hand in hand with the informative nature of the book makes it hard to put down.
There are also some handy family trees in the front of the book before the content page which are helpful in aiding the reader to orientate themselves over the course of the book.
As the Roman Imperial families appear to have drawn from a rather narrow pool of names which certainly has the potential to cause confusion as to what information pertains to which figure. The table of family trees helps a great deal in preventing this. Overall, I think this book is definitely worth a read for anyone interested in the role of women in Roman society.
Happy Reading, Gavin Rowan Feb 14, Jen rated it really liked it Shelves: women-history , ancient-history. As usual, being able to buy books at 2am is proving to be my downfall.
This book came to my attention while I listened to the last episodes of the "History of Rome" podcast. And I'm extremely glad I came into this book with a well oiled working knowledge of Roman history--even if I had only listened to the names, I did recognize them. This book is not simply a biographical look at women who were married to emperors. Obviously, our knowledge of women and their lives during the ancient times is severely limited.
As the saying goes "quiet women seldom change history," and there were so many quiet women those days. The author starts with Livia and ends with the incomparable Galla Placidia--who I have decided I thoroughly admire. The author, thus called because that's one hell of a last name you got there, examines not just how the women acted in their role as empress, but how they were perceived, portrayed, and memorialized.
Yes, because I think they would have good stories to tell. However, this book does its dangedest in an informed, interesting, and well-documented way. This definitely added to my knowledge of the time, and my wish to have Galla Placidia over for drinks. Dec 20, Tabor rated it liked it Shelves: nonfiction. Freisenbruch's work is a wonderful example of an extensive and well researched non-fiction book and further, is presented without any biases towards history.
Overall, I applaud her ability to detail the lives and trials of the women who were wives to the Roman emperors as documentation of their lives is close to nil. Ultimately, I was very impressed with the amount of research poured into this book and thought it should serve as an example to all non-fiction writers on how they should research. However, the issue with Caesars' Wives was that it read like a history textbook and was very repetitive.
This was due to the fact that the author never expanded into the bigger picture and as a result, it felt like one seemingly unimportant event after another while all the women seemed to be same. If you can ask "so what? In addition, I think it would have been interesting to hear the author's commentary on why the Roman Emperors often found themselves without heirs or on another one of the common themes found in their reigns.
I would only recommend this book to someone who was looking for an overview on the era and was a diehard scholar of the Roman Empire. Oh, how much I loved this book! With The First Ladies of Rome , instead, I could not wait to pick it up everytime I could, and I often found myself reading a lot without feeling it at all. I think Annelise Freisenbruch did a wonderful job with a subject which is very fascinating, but sadly also very little documented.
As she states in the premise, ther Oh, how much I loved this book! As she states in the premise, there are few informations available about the empresses of Rome, and often their real personality is hidden behind their husbands' fame.
Indeed, there were times while reading when I was annoyed that so little was known about some of the women, but this is definitely not Freisenbruch's fault, and she did good with what she had. While it is true some women remained a mystery, others came to life thanks to Freisenbruch's research.
My favourite was definitely Livia, but I also think Agrippina Minor was a wonderfully complex and ambiguous figure. I would love to read a historical novel about her! The time period, the traditions and the places are also wonderfully reconstructed. The descriptions of Prima Porta, Livia's villa, were especially fascinating. Also, some anecdotes were really great and surprising. The author has done exhaustive research using primary and secondary sources; looking at histories, letters, inscriptions, artwork, and coinage among other things for clues on the rise and fall of various women who married into or were born into the royal family.
She gives a balanced accounting, mentioning various biases that would have influenced the sources which she used. I also liked how she referred to medieval, renaissance, and later works which were influenced by these women and their reputations deserved or undeserved. I thought it made an interesting bridge to our modern lives. In any case, a fascinating read, which opened my eyes to exactly how perilous the times were for any man or woman in the spotlight.
View all 3 comments. I've been listening to a History of Rome podcast, which inspired me to pick up this book. This book had some interesting details, but so much of these women's lives is frustratingly unknowable; women were not considered important to the male historians who recorded events for posterity, outside of producing children.
They were celebrated, literally on pedestals, through statuary and image I've been listening to a History of Rome podcast, which inspired me to pick up this book. They were celebrated, literally on pedestals, through statuary and imagery connecting them to goddesses and supporting their sons and families.
Even the women who, after birthing three children, became independent after the death of their husbands, exempt from the legal requirement to remarry, and allowed to keep property, there is little known of them. Unless they had been suspected of poisoning their husbands, having many affairs, or scheming in some other way, which was all speculation, and has to be doubted now. If you're up for a slightly academic and slight depressing read about the role of women in society - jump right in.
Jul 20, Jeff Lanter rated it really liked it Shelves: roman-history. There is not a lot of discussion about women in the surviving Roman texts, but the Freisenbruch does a great job of using the evidence that does exist to discuss the lovers and wives of the Caesars.
I knew bits and pieces of the women's lives from reading about their husbands in other texts, but my knowledge was frequently expanded by getting a different perspective. The balance between a scholarly and readable prose really helped too. I haven't heard much about what kind of Roman artifacts have been found in the last fifty years so these sections were particularly enlightening and exciting to read.
I really liked the concept of this book: telling the story of ancient Rome through its empresses and other powerful women. Annelise Freisenbruch has clearly done an immense amount of research, and she tells her story well overall though some awkward or grammatically flawed sentences crop up here and there.
I was already quite familiar with the history of Rome until the second century A. I'm not sure if there's a direct correlation there or if it's simply because less is known about the women of the late Roman empire. Whatever the reason, the last several chapters of the book just didn't hold my interest quite as well as the earlier ones did.
Jan 17, Colin rated it really liked it Shelves: scholarly-works , teaching-resources. The book is a truly fascinating analysis of the wives of the Roman emperors, showing a very good understanding of history, the Roman psyche, and the primary source documents it helps that Freisenbruch is a Latin teacher!
While the book cannot possibly go into full detail of the wives of all of the emperors in Roman history, the Julio-Claudians are well-represented, and it does follow the history of the empire all the way to the fall of the West the tome would have to be many times the size it is to go into all the emperors to the fall of Byzantium!
May 06, Samantha added it. Overall a very nice portrayal of the women in Ancient Rome. What I found confusing was the many names, Roman women took the names of their other Overall a very nice portrayal of the women in Ancient Rome. What I found confusing was the many names, Roman women took the names of their other family members and this book follows the Julio-Claudian family which has many similar names, Julia for example, is one of the very popular ones.
I loved this book. I found it well written, informative and interesting. I love Roman history and women's history so I feel that I was the target audience for this book and it delivered! It was a joy to read. My favourite chapters were definitely about the 1st and 2nd century women: Livia, Agrippina Maior and Agrippina Minor, Messalina, Julia, etc. By the end of the book with Pulcheria and co. I st I loved this book.
I struggled a little bit, but not because of any fault of the author but because of my small interest for this period of time and lack of interest in Christian history or anything with Christianity, really Overall, I loved this book and would recommend it to everyone. Sep 18, Vicki Cline rated it liked it Shelves: ancient-history. The author has collected together as much evidence as she could find about the lives of the wives and other female relatives of many of the early Roman emperors, starting with everyone's favorite, Livia, Augustus' better half.
Personal Affairs - Julius Caesar
The list below includes Roman women who were notable for their family connections, or their sons or husbands, or their own actions. In the earlier periods, women came to the attention of later historians either as poisoners of their husbands a very few cases , or as wives, daughters, and mothers of great men such as Scipio Africanus. In later periods, women exercised or tried to exercise political power either through their husbands as did Fulvia and Livia Drusilla or political intrigues as did Clodia and Servilia , or directly as did Agrippina the younger and later Roman empresses.