The Imperial Women of the Early Second Century A.C. Author(s): Mary T. Boatwright Source: The American Journal of Philology, Vol. 112, No. 4 (Winter, 1991), pp. 513-540 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press Stable URL: Accessed: 18-03-2020 23:22 UTC JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected] Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at The Johns Hopkins University Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The American Journal of Philology This content downloaded from 188.8.131.52 on Wed, 18 Mar 2020 23:22:36 UTC All use subject to
THE IMPERIAL WOMEN OF THE EARLY SECOND CENTURY A.C. I The imperial women of the period of Trajan and Hadrian deserve close scrutiny, despite the infrequency of the ancient literary references to Pompeia Plotina, Ulpia Marciana, Salonia Matidia (Matidia the El- der), Mindia (?) Matidia (Matidia the Younger), and Vibia (?) Sabina, and to Domitia Paulina and (Aelia) Domitia Paulina, respectively Ha- drian's mother and sister.' What scant information there is, however, is commonly construed as revealing an influence these women supposedly wielded with their imperial spouses or relatives. Additionally, this influ- ence is favorably compared to that of earlier and later imperial women, in assertions of the relative power and independence of this most elite category of women from Livia at least through the Severans.2 But ex- amination of all epigraphical and other evidence for the second-century imperial women shows that they in fact enjoyed little power and auton- omy. Further, the close comparison of this evidence to that for the prototype Livia and some analogous women demonstrates the subser- vience and impotence of the imperial women of the first half of the second century in comparison to their counterparts in other eras. These ISee H. Temporini, Die Frauen am Hofe Trajans (Berlin and New York 1978) (Plotina and Marciana); A. Carandini, Vibia Sabina (Florence 1969); W. Eck, RE Suppl. 15 (1978) 131-34, s.v. Matidia, #2, ibid., 909-14, s.v. Vibia(?) Sabina, and ibid., 932-34, s.v. Ulpia Marciana; M.-T. Raepsaet-Charlier, Prosopographie des femmes de l'ordre senatorial (ler-IIe siecles) (Louvain 1987); J. P. V. D. Balsdon, Roman Women. Their History and Habits (London 1962) 133-40. H.-G. Pflaum, "Les Imperatrices de l'epoque des Antonins dans l'Histoire Auguste," Bonner Historia Augusta-Colloquium 1979-81 (Bonn 1983) 245-53, esp. 245-47, basically recapitulates the information of HA. Small- wood = E. M. Smallwood, Documents Illustrating the Principates of Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian (Cambridge 1966); IKEph = C. Borker, R. Merkelbach, et al., eds., Die Inschrif- ten von Ephesos, Ia-VIII,2, Inschriften griechischer Stadte aus Kleinasien 11-17.4 (Bonn 1979-84). Part of this article was presented at "The Lives of Women in Antiquity: Liter-
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