Category Archives: Rome

Octavia, First Lady of Rome


antike3-032Octavia was six years older than her famous brother, Octavian, and recognised as the most prominent woman of the Roman elite for as long as she was alive. By all accounts her brother loved her dearly and remained devoted to her throughout her life until her death in 11BCE.1Augustus’ regard for his sister can be seen in the fact that he allowed her to live in widowhood after Antony’s death, never demanding that she marry again for political alliance, despite his introduction of social legislation that discouraged this. In her youth she had been married to Gaius Claudius Marcellus and had children three children by him, a son and two daughters. Shortly after his death she was required to marry Mark Antony to seal the Second Triumvirate between Antony and Octavian (the third triumvir, Lepidus, was never as strong a presence in the power struggle).2 It was thought that Octavia would be a strong harmonising influence on the two men, and initially the marriage was quite successful, despite the fact that at this time, Antony already had a liaison with Cleopatra.3 Octavia bore Antony two daughters, known as Antonia Major and Minor.

Octavian and Antony’s rivalry however, refused to be laid to rest and the two men continued to bump heads.4 In 37BCE, a major conflict was brewing between the two leaders of Rome and another civil war loomed. It was through the diplomatic efforts of Octavia that conflict was averted at that time. She persuaded her brother and husband to meet and sign the Treaty of Tarentum,5 which extended the Triumvirate for another five years:

“There he was prevailed upon by Octavia, who had accompanied him from Greece, to allow her to visit her brother. She had already borne Anthony two daughters and was now again pregnant. She met Octavian on her way to him, and, after taking aside his two friends Agrippa and Maecenas and winning their sympathy, she appealed to her brother with tears and passionate entreaties not to make her the most wretched of women after having been the happiest.”6

Antony, howeOctaviaver, eventually treated Octavia as casually as he had treated his first wife, Fulvia. After the Treaty was signed and temporary peace restored, he returned with his wife to the East, but despatched her to Italy when they reached Corcyra, ostensibly because he did not want to expose her to any danger. With hindsight however, it was widely accepted that he sent Octavia away so that he could resume his affair with Cleopatra.7 In 36BCE he acknowledged paternity for his children with Cleopatra and in 35BCE, he instructed Octavia (by letter) to return to Rome.8

Octavia remained true to the ideals of the Roman matrona – faithful, chaste and a symbol of motherhood – and lived in Antony’s house in Rome, raising not only their own children, but also his children by Fulvia and later by Cleopatra (as well as her own children by Marcellus). It was only in 32BCE that Antony formally divorced Octavia and ordered her from his house and property. Octavia left Antony’s dwelling and retired into semi-seclusion, still raising all their accumulated children.

Without the buffer of Octavia, the propaganda war between the two protagonists was free to reach its full potential. Octavian, despite his vaunted regard for his sister, used Antony’s treatment of Octavia blatantly in his attempts to smear Antony’s name. He also allowed Octavia to attempt to join Antony in 35BCE, so that it would give him a reasonable pretext for war if Antony continued his scandalous treatment of Octavia.9 Despite her alleged protests that she did not wish to be the cause that drove the two men into war,10 this simply added to Octavian’s cause, since she appeared all the more wronged. She continued her role as intermediary between the two parties:

(Octavia) also entertained any friends of Antony’s who were sent to Rome either on business or to solicit posts of authority, and she did her utmost to help them obtain whatever they wanted from Octavius.11

When she was unceremoniously sent back to Rome, her public humiliation was obvious and in both the Senate and in public, Octavian showcased Octavia’s exemplary behaviour and contrasted it with Antony’s allegedly debauched and un-Roman conduct. The result was of course civil war. Couched in the propagandist words of Octavian it seemed a war between Rome and Cleopatra of Egypt, though in fact Antony was the main target. In 31BCE Octavian won the Battle of Actium and with the suicide, first of Antony and later of Cleopatra, Octavian became the undisputed master of the Roman world.

Almost all the attention paid to Octavia by the ancient historians and writers has been favourable and she was considered to be the epitome of Roman womanhood, an example to follow, a new and modern Cornelia,12 even though most of this evidence has been slanted, deriving from interpretation of the conflict between Octavian and Antony. Modern opinions tend to regard Octavia in the same way as no other evidence to the contrary has yet come to light.

Octavia was therefore a key figure in forging diplomatic ties between her husband and brother, but also, against her will, she became a manipulated image in the portrayal of Octavian’s bellum iustum.

1 Suetonius, Augustus, 4.1; Plutarch, Mark Antony, 31

2 Dio, 48.31.4; Plutarch, Antiquities, 31.3

3 Plutarch, Mark Antony, 31; Barrett, 2002:30

4 Mommsen et al, 2005:68-69

5 Dio, 48.54.1

6 Plutarch, Mark Antony, 35

7 Kleiner, 2005:32-34

8 Dio, 49.33.4

9 Plutarch, Mark Antony, 53

10 Plutarch, Mark Antony, 54

11 Plutarch, Mark Antony, 54

12 Murgatroyd, 2008:268

Octavian Augustus, father of Rome


After the death of Julius Caesar in 44BCE, his adopted son and blood great-nephew Octavian joined the Second Triumvirate with Mark Antony and Lepidus. Between the three of them they divided the rule of the Roman empire. Trouble brewed between Octavian and Mark Antony however, which culminated in the Battle of Actium in 31BCE, where Octavian triumphed. After their defeat, both Mark Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide and Octavian became the undisputed ruler of Rome.

Following the collapse of the Republic and the rise of Octavian as sole ruler, moral legislation and attempts at social engineering became part of the new political order.1 As Rome’s first emperor, Augustus turned his attention in 18BCE to social reforms.2 Among the Roman elite marriage was apparently becoming less frequent, and childless marriages were becoming common.3 It was Augustus’ aim both to restore the morals and to ensure population growth particularly within this class, and laws pertaining to marriage, parenting, and adultery were part of his programme to ensure this, while at the same time he was consolidating his political authority.4 His appeal to old-fashioned values can be said to have masked the radical overthrow of the Republic’s participatory political institutions and the ascendance of one-man rule, which, as Julius Caesar’s attempt at dictatorship and subsequent assassination illustrated, had been anathema to Roman political thought since the time of the tyrannical kings.5

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Terentia and Tullia, the women in Cicero’s life

The wife and daughter of Cicero, Terentia and Tullia.1 When she married Cicero, Terentia brought a substantial dowry.2 It is also clear that she did not enter manus and administered her property independently, with the supervision of a guardian. Terentia was also a political woman with strong ambitions for her husband, as alluded to by Plutarch: “Terentia was not meek or naturally timid, but an ambitious woman and, as Cicero himself tells us, more inclined to take a share of his political concerns than to give him a share of her domestic ones”.3

In many letters of Cicero, and of his wife to him, it is clearly revealed that Terentia managed his estates and financial affairs. Treggiari informs us that Cicero must have been well aware of Xenophon’s division of labour between men and women, as he had translated the Greek author’s Oeconomicus in his youth.4 Cicero went even further, though, and although he arranged Tullia’s first marriage, he later gave his legal consent for Tullia’s second marriage in advance, therefore giving his approval for whomever Terentia and Tullia chose.5 Cicero was away on the business of the Senate and the law so often, especially after civil strife broke out between Caesar and Pompey, that it made practical sense for him to defer such matters to his wife.6 The man they chose, Dolabella, was a supporter of Caesar. As such he became an intermediary between Caesar (who wanted the support of Cicero) and Cicero (who supported Pompey). It is evident from various letters, as referred to by Dixon, that Terentia and Tullia played significant roles in these negotiations.7

Both Terentia and Tullia were aware and supportive of Cicero and his political activities during the turbulent years of the Republic when men such as Pompey and Caesar vied for the dominant position. This can be evidenced from the political information contained in a letter Cicero sent to Terentia:

We had decided, as I wrote to you earlier, to send myself to meet Caesar, but we changed the plan since we got no news of his coming. About the other matters, although there is nothing new, you can find out what we would like and what we think at this time needs to be done from Sicca. I am still keeping Tullia with me”.8

Cicero eventually divorced Terentia because he suspected her of mismanagement and embezzlement. Some modern scholars latched onto Plutarch’s opinion that Terentia was filled with avarice, yet Balsdon disputes this, using Cicero’s own letters as evidence to the contrary: “She was just independent of mind and purpose, and did not always do things exactly as Cicero wanted or take his word for everything”.9 Even in ancient times, however, divorcing Terentia was seen as among the troubles which Cicero brought upon himself, as it was considered disgraceful for a man to divorce his wife who had grown old with him and who was the mother of his children.10

A demonstration of negotiation(s) within a so-called “female network”11 can be seen when a certain M. Fabius Gallus wanted to purchase the house next to Cicero’s in Rome, which belonged to the plutocrat Crassus, although Crassus’ half-sister Licinia was occupying it. Cicero had requested Tullia to promote the sale if she could:

When I got back, I asked my Tullia what she had done. She said she had taken the matter up with Licinia, but I don’t think Crassus sees much of his sister, and she had said that she didn’t dare move house in the absence of her husband (Dexius) (who has gone to Spain) and without his knowledge”.12

Although Tullia was not successful in her negotiation, it does indicate that her father trusted her to negotiate on his behalf. It also perhaps highlights how other women, such as Licinia, did not have such autonomy accorded to them.13

Tullia’s death in 45BCE left Cicero mournful and despondent and in a letter to Atticus he wrote of the strength he had derived from her support and advice.14

All in all it can be said that the women of Cicero’s family played a significant role in his life and a more than usual role in his business and politics. This impression may of course be exaggerated due to the personal nature of Cicero’s letters, and the fact that the extant documents may give a slanted impression, but nevertheless it does show the possibilities of progression in the influence and autonomy for some women, at least.

1 Not to be confused with Tullia, wife of Tarquin, previously discussed.

2 Plutarch, Cicero, 8.2

3 Plutarch, Cicero, 20.2

4 Treggiari, 2007:33

5 Dixon, 1985:367

6 Treggiari, 2007:86

7 Dixon, 1983:91-112

8 Cicero, F14.15/167, Brundisium

9 Balsdon, 1974:12-15

10 Plutarch, Cicero, 41.2

11 Treggiari, 2007:133

12 Cicero, To Fabius Gallus, 55BCE

13 Walker, 1935:19

14 Cicero, To Atticus, mid April 44BCE

Tullia Minor

 Tullia was presented by Livy as being politically motivated and a kingmaker in her own right, was Tullia Minor, described as the most evil of women by the ancient sources, as her influential role led to violence and tyranny. The younger daughter of the Etruscan king Servius Tullius, she is said to have propelled her brother-in-law, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (Tarquin the Proud) to murder both her own husband and his wife, Tullia’s sister, in order to marry her. She then persuaded her new husband to kill her own father, so that he could become king. Tarquin, according to Livy, was just as bad as Tullia, but “evil was drawn to evil but the woman took the lead.1

According to Livy, Tullia claimed Tanaquil as her role model, although Livy made Tullia out to be far more evil than Tanaquil. It could be that Livy, in depicting this progressive evil, wanted to emphasise that the overthrow of the kingship was ‘just’, thereby validating the establishment of the Roman Republic. Tullia did not stay behind the scenes and is described as openly flaunting her power, appearing in public to proclaim Tarquin as king2 and even driving her wagon over the body of her dead father.3

1 Livy,1.46.7

2 Livy, 1.48.5-6

3 Livy, 1.48.7-8



The first known woman to wield any political power in the Roman world, albeit through the men in her life, appears to have been the Etruscan Tanaquil.1 If there is any accuracy in the writings of Livy, she can literally be considered to have been the first “kingmaker” in the history of Rome, since Rome still had kings before the advent of the Republic. Daughter of a powerful family, she encouraged her husband Lucius Tarquinius Priscus to leave their home city of Tarquinii and migrate to a new patria Rome, in search of appropriate recognition for a man of his ability.2Tanaquil used her influence with her husband, as well as her religious authority by citing prophecy, to attempt to have two men (in succession) ascend the throne as kings of Rome. The two men concerned were her husband, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus and his successor to the throne, Servius Tullius, who grew up in the court of Priscus under the tutelage of Tanaquil. She also married her daughter to Tullius, and thus gained additional influence with the future king.3

Tanaquil’s ‘inspirational’ role in the Tarquin dynasty was probably a feature of the earliest written accounts.4 Where at least one portrayal has identified her with female virtues,5 Livy emphasises her political skills and makes her a figure of substantial public importance. This has been thought to reflect the higher public profile of Etruscan women mentioned above but it accords with other portrayals of women in Livy’s first book.

Tanaquil’s patronage of the two kings led to friction with other claimants to the throne and ultimately caused the deaths of both men. Her husband Tarquinius Priscus was assassinated with an axe and Servius Tullius too died horribly, at the hands of one of Priscus’ and Tanaquil’s natural sons.

1 Livy, 1.34, 39, 41

2 Livy, 1.34–41

3 Dio, 2.9

4 Bauman, 1992:2

5Pliny the Elder (8.74.194) recorded that a statue to her had been erected in the temple of Semo Sancus, identifying her (wrongly) with Gaia Caecilia. She therefore seems to have become a female role model for Roman brides. 


Fulvia, wife of Mark Antony

5954914987_1a2f7c50d4_z Fulvia, the third wife of Mark Antony who was also her third husband, was another Late Republican women who had considerable influence, especially where it concerned her husbands’ careers. Plutarch’s description is less than flattering:

She was a woman who took no thought for spinning or housekeeping, nor would she deign to bear sway over a man of private station, but she wished to rule a ruler and command a commander.1

She solicited active support for Antony, firstly by bringing to him the gangs of her first husband Clodius Pulcher, which gained Antony the upper hand in his “gang wars” with Dolabella in 47BCE.2 Secondly, after the death of Julius Caesar, her support for Antony and her garnering of support for his cause had great influence during Antony’s participation in the Triumvirate with Octavian. When Cicero campaigned for Antony to be declared an enemy of the State, Fulvia gathered enough support for her husband to block Cicero’s attempts.3

In 42BCE, while Octavian and Antony were pursuing the murderers of Caesar, Fulvia was left as the most powerful woman in Rome. Cassius Dio implies that she controlled the politics in Rome:

She, the mother-in-law of Caesar and wife of Antony, had no respect for Lepidus because of his slothfulness, and managed affairs herself, so that neither the senate nor the people transacted any business contrary to her pleasure. At any rate, when Lucius [Antonius] urged that he be allowed to celebrate a triumph over certain peoples dwelling in the Alps, on the ground that he had conquered them, Fulvia for a time opposed him and no one was for granting it, but when her favour was courted and she gave permission, they voted for the measure unanimously…4

When Octavian returned to Rome in 41BCE to disperse land to Caesar’s veterans, Fulvia opposed Octavian, fearing that the legions would become loyal to him only, at the expense of Antony. Together with Lucius Antonius, her brother-in-law, she raised eight legions against Octavian in what became known as the Perusine War.5 Octavian won the war, however, and Antony’s standing in Italy was forever damaged. Fulvia fled to Greece and met Antony in Athens. Shortly after, she died of an unknown disease. Her death gave Octavian and Antony the opportunity to blame the conflict solely on Fulvia,6 and Antony’s subsequent marriage to Octavian’ sister, Octavia Minor, gave the appearance of reconciliation between the two Triumvirs.

Fulvia is also the first historical Roman woman to have her portrait depicted on coins. She was represented on several provincial coins – she is thought to have been the model for Nike on a denarius of 42BCE, as well as on coins from the city of Eumeneia, a city which changed its name in her honour, dating from 41BCE. Fulvia can be said to have been a precursor to the women of the Julio-Claudians such as Octavia and Livia, both her contemporaries (though slightly younger).

1 Plutarch, Antony, 10:4

2 Welch, 1995:192

3 Appian, The Civil War, 3.8.51

4 Dio, 48.4.1

5 Appian, The Civil War, 5.3.19. Blok, 1977:151

6 Plutarch, Antony, 30.3


Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi


Probably the most famous Republican woman who obtained lasting renown is Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi. The nobility of Cornelia is celebrated by a large number of Roman authors, though the facts of her life are still hotly debated.1 In the ancient sources she is mentioned in a familial, positive context, a true matrona of Rome, whose virtue and fecundity were exemplary. She was the daughter of the famous Scipio Africanus and wife of Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, who died in 154BCE, after which Cornelia devoted herself to the education of her children. She allegedly bore twelve children,2 only three of whom grew to adulthood.3 She also cultivated intellectuals and philosophers and promoted rhetoric, cultivating the Hellenic style. She drew them to her villa at Misenum, which became a social and cultural centre. Although this may be considered a “public” display, Cornelia drew no criticism from Livy or others, probably because it was seen as intellectual pursuits and not as interference or that she was seeking political influence.

A well known quip was attributed to Cornelia when she responded to a Campanian woman who was boasting about her excessive jewels, by pointing to her children and saying “these are my jewels”.4 Another legendary instance was when she refused to marry Ptolemy VIII, king of Egypt, explaining that such a marriage would be a step down for a widow of a Roman Senator.5 In modern times this may be seen as an arrogant statement, yet it was clearly not regarded as such in ancient times, as nobody, not even the Pharaoh himself, is recorded as objecting to it.

Cornelia’s political involvement centred on her ambitions for her sons, a trait generally seen by all sources as admirable. Her insistence that she be known as ‘mother of the Gracchi’6 is often cited, and it was also used by her sons, and probably her daughter Sempronia as well, as it elevated all her children’s importance and advertised their social status. She ensured that her children received the best possible education and that they married into key political families in order to cement political alliances.7 Both Gracchi brothers’ oratory skills were legendary and, even a century later, Cicero was to cite Tiberius and Gaius as examples of the balance between natural ability and training.8

Plutarch maintains that Cornelia gave her sons political advice: “but the other law was withdrawn by Caius himself, who said that he spared Octavius at the request of his mother Cornelia”.9 Gaius gave her intervention as his reason for his withdrawal of the bill that would have kept the family enemy Octavius from public office.10 Gaius also used his mother’s name in political speeches,11 since her name carried some moral authority in Rome and by mentioning her (and his dead brother Tiberius), he skilfully played on the emotions of his audience.

There was also public criticism of Cornelia, as Gaius’ public retorts to his opponents indicate, for example “So are you slandering Cornelia, who bore Tiberius?12 There were also accusations that she hired rustic thugs and sent them to Rome to support and protect Gaius.13 If true, this would simply underline the skill with which she managed a Lucretia-like facade with a Tanaquil-like practicality, but according to Dixon, there were political forces in play which may have produced this type of evidence simply to discredit her and through her, her family.14 Two fragments of letter(s) to Gaius from the once voluminous body of work by Cicero’s contemporary, Cornelius Nepos, written around 122/123BCE, have survived. In these fragments Cornelia berates Gaius for seeking revenge for Tiberius’ murder, and for defiance against the established Republic. The authenticity of the letter fragments has been questioned by various scholars. Dixon argues that the letters were corrupted for propaganda purposes by those who supported the return of the Republic after 27BCE. Experts, however, are still divided on the authenticity of these letters.15

The question must be asked why Cornelia made such a lasting impression. Her name became a by-word in later years to indicate the ultimate Roman woman, and even later Christian writers paid tribute to her memory.16 Was it specifically because of her famous father, powerful husband and notorious sons? It is certain that most women gained any measure of influence and autonomy only thanks to their influential family connections and especially the standing of their husbands, but some had more influence than others. This may also explain why ancient Roman women vied for glory and respect for their husbands and sons, so that these could reflect upon them and thus gain them some measure of political influence as well. Of course a woman’s ability to persuade her husband himself could also have played quite an important part to garner influence and sway, as valid in ancient times as today.17

How was the image of Cornelia kept alive for so long? Dixon may offer an answer when she claims that Sempronia, the daughter of Cornelia and the only child to outlive her, was the one who kept the legend of Cornelia and the Gracchi alive.18Although we do not know anything about Sempronia’s life during her long widowhood (129 – 100BCE) after her famous husband Scipio Aemilianus died, it would be very odd if she did not spend at least some of that time with her ageing mother at Misenum. Dixon uses the example of Marcia, daughter of Cremutius Cordus, who was persecuted under Tiberius, yet who secretly preserved the works of her father and thus maintained his memory.19 Also the examples of women of the Stoic opposition during the Julio-Claudian and Domitian reigns who performed similar roles are used by Dixon as examples of women keeping the family history and knowledge alive.20 Sempronia was also uniquely placed to promote her brothers and mother as the popularis revival gained momentum around 100BCE.

Sempronia was the sole heir to Cornelia’s vast fortune.21 The gradual transition from manus marriages to those without manus allowed Sempronia to inherit her mother’s fortune directly. In the early- and middle Republic, marriages were conducted cum manu, which meant that no woman could inherit directly, and that all inheritance went to her closest male relative. She also could not own any property. With cum manu marriages, the woman was adopted into her husband’s family, and legal control of her passed from her father to her husband.22 She could only become sui iuris when her husband died.23

1 Dixon, 2007:2

2 Plutarch, Tiberius Gracchus, 1.3

3 Tiberius, Sempronia and Gaius were the only children of Cornelia to reach adulthood.

4 Plutarch, Tiberius Gracchus, 19.3

5 Plutarch, Tiberius Gracchus, 1.7

6 Plutarch, Tiberius Gracchus, 8.7

7 Plutarch, Gaius Gracchus, 1; Tacitus, Dialogue, 28 (extract in Lefkowitz & Fant, 2005:191)

8 Cicero, Brutus 103-4, 125, 210-211

9 Plutarch,Gaius Gracchus, 4.2

10 Plutarch, Gaius Gracchus, 4.2

11Plutarch, Gaius Gracchus, 4.3

12Plutarch Gaius Gracchus, 4.3

13Plutarch, Gaius Gracchus, 13.2

14 Dixon, 2007:27

15 Dixon, 2007:27

16 Schaff, 2009:103

17 Milnor, 2009:278

18 Dixon, 2007:12-14

19 Tacitus, Annals 4.34-5 and Dio, 57.24.4. Dixon, 2007:13. “Cremutius Cordus committed suicide in 25CE. His daughter was the Marcia to whom Seneca the younger addressed his consolation of the death of her son. He recalled her courage and determined filial piety in the face of her father’s sufferings (To Marcia 1.1-5).”

20 Dixon, 2007:12-14 – “Plin. Ep.3.16, 7.19 mentions Arria the Elder, Arria the Younger and Fannia as performing such duties”.

21 Thomas, 1991: 134.

22 Gardner, 1998:11

23 Literally meaning “of one’s own right”.


Lucretia, catalyst for the Republic

LucretiaLucretia is drawn as a chaste and modest wife, whose first appearance is at the loom in her home.1. She is raped by Sextus, the son of the king Tarquinius Superbus, becoming the ultimate victim of tyrannical cruelty, deception and lust. Her subsequent suicide – motivated primarily by concern for her husband and family – takes place after her husband and father have sworn revenge. Before plunging the knife into her heart, she says, in the words of Livy “no unchaste woman will live with Lucretia as precedent”.2 It is Lucius Junius Brutus who makes the political consequence a reality when he draws the knife from Lucretia’s breast and swears a bloody oath to expel kingship from Rome.3

It is likely that, although Lucretia’s motivation was not primarily political but one of family honour, she was aware that political implications would follow her act, for the son of King Tarquin was involved. The moral virtue she is made to represent is in this case incompatible with ongoing tyrannical rule and requires civic freedom (libertas). Thus her suicide opens the way for Brutus to become the liberator of the city.4 Matthes argues that although Lucretia is used as an exemplum in Livy’s writing, the transition from tyranny (Tarquin) to the Roman Republic had more to do with the importance of the paternity of women’s offspring,5 since the importance of virginity in a wife was to ensure that a man’s line of inheritance would continue in an unbroken line. She further argues that for Livy the rape of Lucretia showed that under a tyrant, not even the most chaste of women can be safe, while under Republican rule, a man’s wife and thus the paternity of his offspring, is protected.6

Through the record of Livy, Lucretia was projected as a manifold example of uprightness and inspiration.7 She had encouraged the sentiment of rebellion against oppressive forces, upheld the significance of feminine integrity, the importance of being chaste, the value of justice and the triumph over evil. The ancient Roman woman would become a symbol for these multiple virtues.

1 Livy, 1.57.9

2 Livy, 1.58.10

3 Livy, 1.59.1

4 Livy, 1.60.2

5 Matthes, 2001:26-28

6 Matthes, 2001:27

7 First set down by Livy in succinct but purposeful historical prose, the story of Lucretia’s rape and suicide was then continued by multiple authors and artists that followed the Roman historian such as Augustine, “The City of God” 1.19, Chaucer, “The Legend of Good Women” Chapter 5, and Shakespeare “The Rape of Lucrece” 1240-46.


The Punic Wars

When Republican Rome started to gradually expand their sphere of influence and rule, they clashed with another Mediterranean power of the day, Carthage.

Tarquin’s downfall and the Rise of the Republic

Tarquin the Proud was murdered by the Senate in 509BCE and the Republic was created.