Roles Of Women In Roman Empires

1007 Words 5 Pages
During both the Roman and Persian Empires, women played an important and pivotal role in their societies. These women held both public and political positions in their empires, and possessed the authority that women in previous times had never had before. Both the Roman and Persian women who obtained this power did so in different ways, and these women also both conducted themselves differently once obtaining this uncommon privilege. Livia and Esther were both some of the first patricians in their respective ancient societies. They served under both emperors and a king, and through both their sexuality and intellect, they rose to a prominent and powerful position.
Livia was known mostly for her relationship with Augustus Caesar, born Julius
…show more content…
Livia and Octavian were married for over fifty years until he died in fourteen CE. Dio stated that Livia “occupied a very exalted station, far above all women of former days” (66). She, unlike other women of the time, could hear people ranging from regular citizens to senators at her home. Based on recent historical documents, Dio’s research found that she thought of herself as the superior to Augustus, shown by the assumption of credit for Tiberius eventually becoming emperor. She refused to enter into the Senate, camps, or public assemblies because she would have rathered to manage the empire. She was a revered figure in Rome, and many people thought of her on the same level. Dio wrote of these propositions made by the people about her, “expressing the opinion that she should be called Mother of her Country, and many that she be called Parent” (66). Augustus had a hard time dealing with this power struggle. He would cease to limit her power, besides things that obviously could not be done, and he would not allow her conduct to get out of hand. According to an account, she claimed her “commanding influence” was a result of “being scrupulously chaste …show more content…
A Jewish orphan named Esther, to whom a biblical book is named after, vied for the position of Xerxes wife. The position was opened after Queen Vashti was banished after she disavowed his request to show herself nude in front of him and his guests (71). Esther saw an opportunity and after a year of beauty preparation, she presented herself to him, and he made her his new queen. The power of women in the Persian Empire is shown when one of Xerxes’ principal advisors suggests the eradication and execution of all the Jewish people in the empire (71). Mordecai, Queen Esther’s cousin who raised her, suggested to Queen Esther that she approach King Xerxes and plead to him not to allow this to happen. Xerxes granted the audience for her to do so, and he granted her

Related Documents