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Women in Livy Catherine Littlefield 11/03/10 Suffering Women Women’s suffering used as exemplum, acting as catalyst for male action to change governmental.

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Presentation on theme: "Women in Livy Catherine Littlefield 11/03/10 Suffering Women Women’s suffering used as exemplum, acting as catalyst for male action to change governmental."— Presentation transcript:


2 Women in Livy Catherine Littlefield 11/03/10

3 Suffering Women Women’s suffering used as exemplum, acting as catalyst for male action to change governmental structure Lucretia: The end of the Republic Verginia: The fall of the decemvirs Heraclia: The end of Syracuse regime Women important and needed as catalysts of change, used by Livy to describe why and how a historical event may have taken place The men who perform these misdeeds are punished with a loss of power

4 Lucretia and the Fall of the Monarchy (1.57-60) 1.58.7-11: sed date dexteras fidemque haud inpune adultero fore... vos' inquit 'videritis, quid illi debeatur; ego me etsi peccato absolvo, supplicio non libero; nec ulla deinde inpudica Lucretiae exemplo vivet.’ cultrum, quem sub veste abditum habebat, eum in corde defigit prolapsaque in vulnus moribunda cecidit. “But give your right hands and trust that the adulterer will by no means be unpunished … ‘you will see to,’ she said, ‘what is owed to him; although I absolve myself of the sin, I do not free myself from punishment; no woman shall live unchaste(ly) thence by the example of Lucretia.’ She plunged the knife that she had concealed beneath her dress in her heart, and slipping on the wound, she fell dead.”

5 Verginia and the end of the decemvirs 3.44-58 3.44.1 sequitur aliud in urbe nefas ab libidine ortum, haud minus foedo eventu, quam quod per stuprum caedemque Lucretiae urbe regnoque Tarquinios expulerat, ut non finis solum idem decemviris, qui regibus, sed causa etiam eadem imperii amittendi esset. Ap. Claudium virginis plebeiae stuprandae libido cepit. “Another forbidden thing follows in the city having risen from a desire by no means of less foul consequence, than that which through the rape and the slaughter of Lucretia had expulsed the Tarquins from the city and the throne so that not only was there the same end for the decemvirs that there had been for the kings, but there was also the same cause of their losing power. The desire of raping a virgin of the plebs seized Appius Claudius.”

6 Heraclia of Syracuse 24.24-26 24.26.1-2 Heraclia erat filia Hieronis, uxor Zoippi, qui legatus ab Hieronymo ad regem Ptolomaeum missus voluntarium consciverat exilium. ea cum ad se quoque veniri praescisset, in sacrarium ad penates confugit cum duabus filiabus virginibus resolutis crinibus miserabilique alio habitu … “Heraclia was the daughter of Hiero, The wife of Zoippus, who, sent as an ambassador by Hieronymus to king Ptolemy, had decided on voluntary exile. When she had learned that these guys were coming to her, she fled into a sanctuary to the household gods with her two virgin daughters, with their hair having been loosened and with other wretched appearance …”

7 Women killed before news came of pardon 24.26.14-16 quod paulo post nuntius venit, mutatis repente ad misericordiam animis, ne interficerentur. ira deinde ex misericordia orta quod adeo festinatum ad supplicium neque locus paenitendi aut regressus ab ira relictus esset. itaque fremere multitudo et in locum Adranodori ac Themisti—nam ambo praetores fuerant—comitia poscere, quae nequaquam ex sententia praetorum futura essent. “… because a little after a messenger came, with their minds suddenly changed towards pity so that they might not be killed. Thence anger from the ones pitying arose from mercy because they had made such great haste towards punishment and had left no place for regret or returning from anger. And so the multitude raged and they demanded an election in the places of Adranodorus and Themistus--for both had been the praetors--which was about to be by no means from the opinion of the praetors.”

8 The frequent death and disappearance of Women in Livy Once women have served their purpose in Livy’s histories they are eliminated –Some disappear Rhea Silvia: Imprisoned for giving birth as a Vestal Virgin--not mentioned again in Livy –Served purpose as mother of founder of Rome (Romulus) –Some are killed or kill themselves Lucretia Verginia Heraclia

9 The mos maiorum and Augustan moral reforms Livy uses women as exemplum to instruct to imitate virtue and avoid vice as the ancestors would do –The men who did not follow this (Tarquin, Appius Claudius and the murderers of Heraclia and her daughters), caused ruin and collapse of their governments –Women are inclined to their pudor not only for the sake of themselves, but also for their fathers who are affected if their daughters become un-pure Lucretia gives into rape to avoid dishonor –She also kills herself, being unable to live with the shame of losing her honor Verginia is killed by her father so he avoids being shamed by her nearly unchaste deeds

10 Lucretia’s Rape 1.57.10-11 ibi Sex. Tarquinium mala libido Lucretiae per vim stuprandae capit; cum forma tum spectata castitas incitat. “There, evil desire seizes Sextus Tarquinius to debauch Lucretia through force; both her appearance and her observed chastity incite him.” –Lucretia is attractive because of her chastity 1.58.4 ubi obstinatam videbat et ne mortis quidem metu inclinari, addit ad metum dedecus: cum mortua iugulatum servum nudum positurum ait, ut in sordido adulterio necata dicatur. “When He saw that she was resolute and was not being swayed by the fear of even death, he adds disgrace to fear: he says that he will place a naked slave, having been slaughtered, with her being dead, so that she would be said to have been killed in foul adultery.” Pudicitia: Chastity of Lucretia causes her to give in to avoid being shamed in death

11 Death over Shamed Pudor 1.58.7 'minime' inquit; 'quid enim salvi est mulieri amissa pudicitia? vestigia viri alieni, Collatine, in lecto sunt tuo; ceterum corpus est tantum violatum, animus insons; mors testis erit. “She replied, ‘Far from it; for what is well for a woman when she has lost her honor? Traces of a strange man, Collatinus, are in your bed. But my body only has been violated; my heart is guiltless, death will be my witness...’” Lucretia would rather die than live without honor--shows how chaste she really is

12 Women’s relation to her family and state Betrayal Tarpeia, 1.11.6 Sp. Tarpeius Romanae praeerat arci. huius filiam uirginem auro corrumpit Tatius ut armatos in arcem accipiat... accepti obrutam armis necauere... “Spurius Tarpeius commanded the Roman citadel. Tatius corrupts the virgin daughter of this man with gold to admit armed men into the citadel... having been let in, they threw their shields upon her to kill her...” Horatius’ sister, 1.26.3-4 mouet feroci iuueni animum conploratio sororis in uictoria sua tantoque gaudio publico. stricto itaque gladio simul uerbis increpans transfigit puellam. ' abi hinc cum immaturo amore ad sponsum' inquit, 'oblita fratrum mortuorum uiuique, oblita patriae. sic eat, quaecumque Romana lugebit hostem.' “The lamenting of the sister moves the spirit of the fierce youth in his own victory and in so great public joy. And so, with his sword having been drawn at the same time complaining with words he ran it through the girl. ‘Depart,’ he says, ‘from here to your spouse, with your untimely love, since you have forgot your brothers, both the dead and the living, and forgot your country! So go every Roman woman whoever will mourn an enemy!’” *Going against the state = punishable by death

13 Women’s relation to her family and state Loyalty Sabines, 1.13.1-2 tum Sabinae mulieres, quarum ex iniuria bellum ortum erat, crinibus passis scissaque ueste, uicto malis muliebri pauore, ausae se inter tela uolantia inferre, ex transuerso impetu facto dirimere infestas acies, dirimere iras, hinc patres, hinc uiros orantes, ne sanguine se nefando soceri generique respergerent, ne parricidio macularent partus suos, nepotum illi, hi liberum progeniem. “Then the Sabine women, from whose wrong had risen the war, with loosened hair and torn garments, with their woman’s fear having been conquered by evils, having dared to carry themselves amongst the flying weapons, with an attack having been made from the side, divided the hostile battle lines, divided their anger, begging their fathers on this side, on that their husbands, that fathers-in-law and sons-in-law should not stain themselves with impious bloodshed, nor pollute with parricide their own offspring, the former their offspring of grandsons, the latter their offspring of children.”

14 Bibliography Adams, J.N. 1972. “Latin Words for ‘Woman’ and ‘Wife”. Glotta 234-55. Brown, R. 1995. “Livy’s Sabine Women and the Ideal of Concordia”. Transactions of the American Philological Association 125: 291-319. Best, E. E. 1970. “Cicero, Livy, and Educated Roman Women”. The Classical Journal 65.5: 199-204. Dixon, S. 2001. Reading Roman Women: Sources, Genres, and Real Life. London. Hemker, J. 1985. “Rape and the Founding of Rome”. Helios 9.1: 9-20. Janan, M. 1999. “Beyond Good and Evil: Tarpeia and Philosphophy in the Feminine”. The Classical World 92.5: 429-43. Joshel, S.R. 1992. “The body Female and the Body Politic: Livy’s Lucretia and Verginia,” In A. Richlin, Ed., Pornography and Representation in Greece and Rome. New York: Oxford University Press 112-130. Langlands, R. 2006. Sexual Morality in Ancient Rome. Cambridge. Martin, J.M.K. 1942. “Livy and Romance”. Greece & Rome 11.33: 124-29. Mastrorosa, I. 2006. “Speeches pro and contra women in Livy” 34, 1-7: Catonian Legalism and Gendered Debates.” Latomus 65.3: 590-611. Milnor, K. 2005. Gender, Domesticity, and the Age of Augustus: Inventing Private Life. Oxford. Moore, T. 1993. “Morality, History, and Livy’s Wronged Women”. Eranos 91.1: 384-6. Sebesta, J.L. 1997. “Women’s Costume and Feminine Civic Morality in Augustan Rome”. Gender and History 9.3: 529-41 Small, J.P. 1976. “The Death of Lucretia”. American Journal of Archaeology 80.4: 349-60. Smethurst, S.E. 1950. “Women In Livy’s ‘History’”. Greece & Rome 19.56: 80-87. Takács, S. 2008. Vestal Virgins, Sibyls, and Matrons. Women in Roman Religion. Austin, TX.

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